How to Handle Preschool Bullies
Protect your child from bullying at daycare or preschool
Your first clue that something is up might be when your preschooler says, "Kids are mean to me." Or "I hate so-and-so, and I don't want to play with him anymore." In my case, the eye-opener was when my son, Kevin, brought home his preschool class picture. As he pointed from one smiling child to the next, he told me, "That's Thomas, that's Riley, that's Jenny, that's..." (ominous drumroll, please) "my bully, that's..."
Whoa there, little fella, back up. Back way up. A bully? In a preschool class of 3- and 4-year-olds? Don't bullies have to be older -- or at least capable of opening their own milk at snack time? I scrutinized the image of the brown-haired, blue-eyed boy standing in the back row in the photograph. He wasn't scowling, and he didn't have Bluto-like muscles bulging underneath his ordinary little T-shirt. The "bully" didn't look like a bully at all; he looked like a little kid.
Still, the mama bear in me wanted to march right over to the school, grab that pup by the scruff of his neck, and tell him that if he kept harassing my kid, he wouldn't live to see his fifth birthday. Rest assured, I did no such thing. But my protective impulse was fueled by Kevin's stories of being banned from the playground pirate fort and pinched during circle time. Maybe not life-threatening things, but definitely not nice either. And as it turns out, my son is not alone.