Bullying in Kindergarten

My child the bully, lessons learned.

Does bullying even really exist in preschool and kindergarten? The answer is a very clear yes. You might wonder how children this age learn this behavior; I always assumed the blame rest on the parents. I was about to learn a hard lesson.

Before I had children of my own I often pictured the parents of a bully to be big bullies themselves, passing down the bully gene from generation to generation. After all, every sit-com and cartoon depicts the bully in school having a clone bully for a Dad that beat up on the nerdy kid’s Dad 30 years earlier.

When I researched “how to parent a child that is a bully” the first piece of advice was to lead by example. It was clear to me that I wasn’t the only parent who felt this way. My position would change drastically when I received this note in my 5-year-old daughter’s backpack.

Miss Lone Star Bullying

It was just last week that Bianca was being extorted for money at school, the victim of bullying herself, you can follow that story here.

Why would she do this? Had her 5-year-old mind decided it was bully or be bullied, that if she were the bully then she would be on the safe side of the fence? I know this may sound awful but I’m kind of glad that the little boy punched her.Kindergarten Bullying

Either way there is no excuse. The next day I went in to her class to speak with her teacher and was mobbed by several little girls that told me Bianca was mean to them too! I was shocked to find out that this little boy wasn’t her only victim. She had been in several through downs, but the most recent incident with the little boy, was the only altercation that ended in a fist fight!

I didn’t even know this sort of thing happened in kindergarten. Bianca is now grounded. It’s true that I’m not sure what “grounded” even means for a 5 year-old. No cartoons or deserts until further notice? In addition I am headed off to go spy on her at lunch today.

I can’t help but feel like this is my fault, that I could be doing something more to show her the meaning of empathy, and the satisfaction in your heart that you get by being kind.

 Are there any parents out there that have been on both sides of the fence on this issue? I would truly love to hear from you, as I am at a complete loss.

The First Mate of Miss Lone Star

The First Mate of Miss Lone Star

4 thoughts on “Bullying in Kindergarten

  1. I know this sounds trivial, really, but the best advice I know of in this situation is to read and tell stories to your daughter. Multiple studies have shown that kids who read a lot or are read to are much more empathetic than those who don’t/aren’t. in stories (well, GOOD ones at least) they identify with the main character to the point where they feel hurt when the character is hurt, and triumphant when the character succeeds. Stories are the most effective way I know for a kid to learn to walk around in someone else’s shoes for a while. You can reinforce by asking her to tell you what she did at school, and if you suspect that something she did/said was distressing to someone else, ask, “How do you think that made her feel? Do you think what you said made her happy?” Kids often don’t think about how their words or actions affect others. In my memoir of my boarding school days in Africa, I told about a period of time when the other girls all ganged up on me tormented me daily and how embattled and rejected I felt. One of those girls (now in her 50s like me) read the book and wrote to apologize, saying she never thought at the time how their behavior made me feel. As an adult looking back, she was horrified at her behavior. Sometimes I think all kids are savages–I never hold anything against someone that they did as a kid!

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