When it comes to teasing and bullying, no child wants to be a victim, and no parent wants their child to participate in the bullying and teasing of another child. During the preschool years, teachers and parents can watch for signs that can be addressed early on to avoid potential issues further down the road as children prepare for school.
For parents of preschoolers who want to teach their little ones how to be good friends, how to be respectful of others, and how to handle bullying and teasing, here are three helpful tips.
A child’s development can greatly influence the ways in which he or she will respond to teaching or discipline when it comes to bullying or teasing, so, whatever you do—be patient and keep trying. We all know that toddlers and preschool-age children don’t always love to share or understand others’ perspectives. Some children may show signs of genuine concern for others’ feelings early and we can certainly encourage those instincts. Some children likely won’t develop consistent empathy skills until they reach elementary school, so moms, dads, and teachers can help guide them to be caring and kind!
Be a Role Model
Preschoolers learn by observing those around them. One of the best ways you can help them learn to be kind and respect others is by modeling it. It’s an opportunity to take inventory of any potentially harmful patterns or behaviors they see in us that might lead to them thinking bullying or teasing is ok.
As your preschooler begins the early stages of learning to be empathetic and considerate of others, find ways to help them be mindful of others’ feelings and needs. As you are intentionally mindful of others in your own life and display genuine empathy to those who need it, your little ones will see this as a normal and regular practice. Even more, as you are mindful of your child’s needs and any signs of bullying or teasing in their lives, you’ll be more prepared to correct any harmful patterns, as well as encourage and empower them to be kind and considerate of others.
The effort to prevent teasing and bullying can begin early. With a few simple practices—and a little patience—you can be an instrument of positive change while helping your preschooler learn about the importance of being a good friend.
At The Gardner School, we are proud to facilitate a nurturing and safe and secure environment, and etiquette and manners play a big part of our everyday routine. Schedule a tour at The Gardner School near you today to learn more!