Preschool is a wonderful period in your child’s life when she learns through play, boosts her socialisation and motor skills, and expands her horizons in a safe and nurturing environment. But when some kids turn into preschool bullies, their hapless victims may not know how to respond.
All you may know is that your child is miserable in school. It’s important that you make an effort to get to the root of the problem and manage it well. Now’s the time to equip your preschooler with the skills she needs against her bullies, too .
Encourage your child to open up to you
“Have daily conversations about her activities, friends, thoughts and feelings,” says Coreen Soh deputy general manager of The Little Skool-House International.
“When you’re well-connected to your child in this way, she will automatically go to you if she has problems with her classmates. As a parent, you will also be able to detect anomalies in her emotional wellbeing quickly.” In this way, it’ll be easy for your kid to open up to you about preschool bullies she has encountered.
When she does open up to you, don’t dismiss her complaints
It’s important to acknowledge what your child reveals to you about preschool bullies, rather than dismissing them.
Not taking her seriously will make her feel helpless, says Dr Lim a psychiatrist at of Dr BL Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness.
“And if you’re discussing the matter with your child’s teacher, allow your child to be present, so that she knows what actions are being taken to prevent the bullies from bothering her again and to reassure her that something is being done.”
Teach her when when to walk away
Teaching her to walk away from friends who are toxic and negative is one strategy to prevent her from becoming a victim of bullies, Coreen says.
“When a child is bullied, she may feel excluded from a particular social group. But a confident child knows that she need not limit her group to a specific number of friends. She also knows that she’s capable of establishing healthy relationships with most people.”
In severe cases, approach the school principal to mediate
This should be your last resort, because your goal should be to get your child to walk away from the bullies instead of having the principal step in to resolve the matter all the time, Coreen says.
(Also read: 5 ways to get along with your child’s teacher better)
Don’t confront the bullies’ parents
Coreen does not encourage parents to confront one another, as she says that it will not really resolve the issues that the kids are experiencing.