One of the topics I have found I come across quite often since my 4 year old has started school is bullying in reception class. Who would have thought a 4 or 5 year old could be called bullies at such a young age.
Yet when I talk to other mums in the playground, I have to agree.
There seems to be a few of the youngest members of the school bullying other children in their class.
Girls seem to be much more vocal, rather than simply wresting or snatching the toy back, girls will use their vocal skills to demonstrate they should be the ones in charge.
“I won’t be your friend if you don’t give me your new hair clip” I heard one five year old girl say to my own daughter.
I watched as my little girl sadly took her favourite Peppa Pig hair clip out of her hair and handed it over.
I had no choice but to step in and intervene. While I want my children to learn to adapt into the school years easily, I also don’t want them to become targets to bullies. I want my children to know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not. A friend threatening not be her friend unless she gives her something, is not acceptable.
Although Kia is rather used to loosing toys or giving in thanks to the constant toy snatching and tantrums from 2 younger brothers, I have always taught the children the value of sharing and taking turns.
My daughter is very small, the others in her class all tower over her. She is quiet and gentle by nature. She prefers to “hand over” an object rather than have any confrontation. She also gets upset very easily.
Bullying in reception class should not be taking place and the teachers can only do so much. Children learn how to behave from their home life. Parents need to be teaching their children about behaviour and learning the correct social skills.
The way we teach our children at home in the younger years, definitely does arm our children with the ability to stand up to these bullies or become a bully. A child who has always been given what they demand by throwing a tantrum knows no difference.
I asked Kia what she would have done if this girl had taken her hair clip when I was not there. She replied that she would have told her teacher because the hair clip was hers and we are not to take things that belong to other people.
She then told me that she had just handed the clip over because she didn’t want to get into trouble from the other child’s mum ( who was stood close enough to have heard what her own daughter had said to mine). Yes I bit my tongue at that comment.
If I were to see any of my children bullying another there would be consequences to their actions.
“How would it make you feel if someone did or said that to you?” Is the first question I would be asking.
I want my children to learn social skills and be able to build friendships, confidence boosting is something I am very fond of doing with my own children. I want them to know they are very important and do have a choice in the way that others treat them. I want them to be able to say;
“Stop that, I do not like it”
Have you come across bullying at such an early age?