Banish the Bully from Kindergarten (page 2)
Naturally, when your child is upset, all you want to do is calm him down. Even better, however, is teaching your child to calm himself.
What You Need to Know
All a budding bully needs to flourish as a tormentor is to learn that his behavior is in some way rewarding. To stop them, then, children need to be empowered to make sure that no such reward surfaces to reinforce and encourage such negative behavior.
Studies on bullying in kindergarten have demonstrated that bullying takes place at same rate among kindergarteners as among elementary school kids. The forms of harassment may differ, but the general features remain similar:
- a child who is the repeated target of negative acts
- several children who unite in bullying a decided victim
- a situation in which the victim has no chance to defend himself
Example: One student wants to play with others who habitually ignore him and tell him he's good for nothing. Occasionally, they do invite him to join – when they're playing house and need someone to be the dog, a none-speaking role in play which involves doing everything the others in the “family” tell him to do... which, of course, usually results in the child running away in tears.
How You Can Help
All findings indicate that victims and their peers can't bring the situation to an end altogether, and that bullies do not stop on their own. Victimizing peers is a situation that reinforces itself for bullies, making them just as confined to their roles as their victims are – meaning that in order for the harmful situation to end, adults have to become directly involved.
- Listen when your child reports seemingly trivial daily hassles that actually seem to upset him greatly – and thus implies that it is only one of many hassles.
- Teach your child to say no before he's ever even targeted. Often, children don't know what to do or learn the best way to react until the cycle's begin and reached full swing, at which point bully behaviors are more difficult to counter.
- Create opportunities for your child to feel competent. Involve him in activities that nurture strengths and interests, and praise every progression toward an accomplishment to encourage further effort and instill the confidence in his ability to achieve.
- Teach children to intervene when they witness bullying. Peer approval is as important to bullies as to any other child, and showing them disapproval makes it more difficult to enjoy bullying's “rewards” and reinforce the behavior.
For more on this topic, see the complete article:
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