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Bullying in Kindergarten (page 3)

By — Bullying Special Edition Contributor
Updated on Jul 22, 2010

Some Implications of our Knowledge about Bullying in Kindergarten:

  • Bullying is unfair and adults must take it seriously as early as in kindergarten.
  • Be aware of social, indirect, hidden and ambiguous forms of bullying; they already occur in kindergarten.
  • Pay attention to symptoms and possible indicators of victimization, like unwillingness to go to kindergarten, stress or sadness
  • Listen to children when they report on “trivial” daily hassles that seem to upset them. It may be one of many hassles.
  • Talk with the children about “good and bad things” happening in the kindergarten group.
  • Talk about the unfairness of bullying and provide children with alternative behaviors
  • Teach children to say no!
  • Give children an opportunity to feel competent
  • Give children who feel insecure in situations with peers some social training
  • Use teaching forms and games that enhance integration of all children
  • Encourage children who are not involved in bullying to intervene when they witness such situations. They may be trained to tell the bully to stop, to ask the teacher to help or to include the victim in play situations.

All recommendations listed above are part of our prevention program against bullying in kindergarten and school (7).

Some papers from our team on bullying in kindergarten:

Alsaker, F. D. (2004). The Bernese program against victimization in kindergarten and elementary school (Be-Prox). In P. K. Smith, D. Pepler, & K. Rigby (Eds.), Bullying in schools: How successful can interventions be? (pp.289-306). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Alsaker, F. D., & Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger, E. (in press). Social behavior and peer relationships of victims, bully-victims, and bullies in kindergarten. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), The International Handbook of School Bullying. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Alsaker, F. D., & Nägele, C (in press, 2008). Bullying in kindergarten and prevention. In W. Craig, & D. Pepler (Eds.), An International Perspective on Understanding and Addressing Bullying. PREVNet Series, Volume I. PREVNet: Kingston, Canada.

Alsaker, F. D., & Nägele, C (submitted, July 2008). Vulnerability to victimization in kindergarten: Need for a differentiation between passive and aggressive victims. Merril-Palmer Quarterly.

Alsaker, F. D., & Valkanover, S. (2001). Early diagnosis and prevention of victimization in kindergarten. In J. Juvonen, & S. Graham (Eds.), Peer harassment in school: the plight of the vulnerable and victimized (pp. 175-195). Guilford Press. Valkanover, S.,

Alsaker, F. D., Svreck, A., & Kauer, M. (2004). Mobbing ist kein Kinderspiel. Arbeitsheft zur Prävention in Kindergarten und Schule [Bullying is not a game: Teachers’ book on preventing bullying in kindergarten and school]. Bern: Schulverlag

Françoise D. Alsaker is a professor in developmental psychology at the University of Berne, Switzerland. Her special interests are: socio-emotional development and developmental psychopathology. In the past years, she has lead two large research projects on: 1) victimization and its prevention through kindergarten and primary school and 2) on Swiss adolescents’ health (national study).

References

  1. Alsaker, F. D., & Nägele, C (in press, 2008). Bullying in kindergarten and prevention. In W. Craig, & D. Pepler (Eds.), An International Perspective on Understanding and Addressing Bullying. PREVNet Series, Volume I. PREVNet: Kingston, Canada.
  2. Alsaker, F. D., & Nägele, C (submitted, July 2008). Vulnerability to victimization in kindergarten: Need for a differentiation between passive and aggressive victims. Merril-Palmer Quarterly.
  3. Stassen Berger, K. (2007). Update on bullying at school: Science forgotten? Developmental Review, 27,90 – 126.
  4. Salmivalli, C., Lagerspetz, K., Björkqvist, K., Österman, K., & Kaukiainen, A. (1996). Bullying as a group process: participant roles and their relations to social status. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 1-15.
  5. McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T., & Mercer, L. (2001). The consequences of early childhood rejection. In M. Leary (Ed.) Interpersonal Rejection (pp. 213-247). New York: Oxford University Press.
  6. Ladd, G. W. & Troop-Gordon, W. (2003). The role of chronic peer difficulties in the development of children's psychological adjustment problems. Child Development, 74, 1344-67.
  7. Alsaker, F. D. (2004). The Bernese program against victimization in kindergarten and elementary school (Be-Prox). In P. K. Smith, D. Pepler, & K. Rigby (Eds.), Bullying in schools: How successful can interventions be? (pp.289-306). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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