Bullying in schools is a worldwide, complex issue that can have short-term and long-term negative effects on a child, especially those in preschool who are engaging in an environment outside their own home for the first time. During this time, their level of social interaction increases tremendously as children meet new people, such as their teachers and classmates. They also participate in their school activities and lessons on a day-to-day basis.
According to research studies, about 7-20% of preschool and early school-aged children have levels of disruptive, aggressive behaviors that are severe enough to qualify for a mental health diagnosis (Fox et al., 2003). If these disruptive and aggressive behaviors go on without correction, it is very likely that a child will become a severe bully as he/she gets older.
Typically, children at this age don’t speak up about being bullied, so it is important that parents, guardians, teachers, and staff can identify the signs of bullying. Some signs to look out for if a child is being bullied include, but are not limited to:
– Bruises, scrapes, marks, or other unexplained injuries
– Sudden changes in behavior or mood
– Clothing and / or other belongings that are often missing, torn, or broken
– Indicators or statements that they don’t have any friends or that no one likes them
– Refusal or reluctance to go to daycare or preschool
– Statements that they “hate” daycare or preschool
– Complaints of stomach aches, headaches, or saying they’re sick
– Problems with eating or sleeping
– Regressed behavior (e.g. bedwetting)
So how can childcare providers and teachers help in this matter?
Since October is Bullying Prevention Month, we want to focus on training for childcare professionals that help identify and address bullying behaviors. Training in childcare challenges that arise is an important way to help teachers be prepared for many tough situations.
Transform your classroom into a safe, bully-free environment with this online training program: