Kindergarten Cliques: How to Handle Preschool Bullies

Okay, I’ve just added jujitsu, taekwondo, and karate to my martial-arts-to-teach-my-kid-so-she-can-beat-bullies list.  I have briefed my five-year old, and told her to leave no stone unturned and beat the living daylights out of her mean classmates.  I have just finished polishing all the heavy artillery in my arsenal and am ready to bring out the big guns when my daughter goes back to school on Monday.

Before I let the war-freak in me pounce on those bullies without batting a false eyelash, I am going to breathe deeply and count to ten- backwards- and let the calm, collected, poised, and smart mom in me take over.  That’s a difficult feat, I have to admit.

I had the feeling that something was amiss when my daughter came home from school one day with an unusually dejected look on her face.  Normally, she’d come home all jumpy and eager to tell me how her school day went.  When I asked her what was wrong, she told me, “Mama, Teacher said that classmates should love one another.  But why are some of them not nice to me?”  Although there hasn’t been any physical violence, some of her classmates tell her things which clearly have affected her.  Alarms went off inside me, and I had to restrain myself from screaming, “Off with their heads!”  Oh, the nerve of those kids to be mean to my angel of a daughter!

So, what do you do when your kids are bullied?  Short of pulling out your copy of Witchcraft for Dummies and casting a spell on those kids, you should first try to stay calm- unless of course, there has been evidence of physical abuse.

You should definitely let the teacher know.  She’s supposed to be the mom in school, so she should step up and sort things out.  She should be well-trained to handle such cases, and make recommendations for therapy for the bully, if deemed necessary.

Talk to your kid.  Tell her that she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.  Remind her that she is doing a good job at being nice to them, but if they’re not nice to her in return, she should walk away and not be friends with them.

Boost your kid’s self-esteem.  What’s happening is certainly crushing her spirits, so try to help her regain her confidence by getting her involved in activities which hone her talents and skills.

Teach your kid to stand up for herself.  A little sassiness wouldn’t hurt.  With your kid’s renewed self-confidence, she should be able to know how to fight back without turning out to be the bad guy.    You can help her practice assertiveness at home, by encouraging her to always be open about how she feels about anything.  She should learn to express herself and not allow others to put her down.

It’s never easy fighting bullies.  That “I speak softly, but I carry a big stick!” attitude can be very well put to good use in such situations.  Practice is the key, I guess.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Samantha Bangayan says

    It’s so great to meet you, Pepper! Thank you so much for reaching out through NetworkedBlogs! =) I knew we’d get along right away when I landed on your page because of your reflectiveness.

    In fact, I was just reflecting on this topic of bullying in childhood. It’s such a scary topic to face and I would have no idea what to deal with it. I love your confidence and attitude in this post. You’re so right that it starts with the child’s confidence and self-esteem. And truthfully, we can only control so much.

    Thanks for laying this out, friend, and I truly hope things lighten up for your daughter!

  2. Optimistic Mom says

    Great tips for keeping it together. I am guilty of getting upset whenever someone is mean to my son. AND bullying I have zero tolerance for that.
    SN: We enrolled our son in karate earlier this year at 4. ;)

  3. We didn’t have to deal with bullies yet and I hope we won’t when the tot starts preschool next year. But you mentioned some real good points, I also think that involving the teacher is the first step, she is supposed to see and know what’s really going on in the school.

  4. among my two kids, it was my youngest son who has been bullied by a schoolmate,not a classmate, the boy was much taller than him. My son ignored him in first two incidents but on third one, he fight back because the bully kid spank him on his face. They were not aware that my son is training on martial arts, loko e di nakatikim sya, the school office at once called me and i immediately went to the school to see if my son has been hurt. thankfully, he’s ok.

    it’s a good thing i forgot to bring my magic wand or else the boy who bullied my son will turn into a frog LOL, just kidding.

  5. my pretty daughter has always experienced it Peps..hay some kids I should say are really daughter went home one day with a wound on his hand and I asked her who did it..she said she was hardly pinched by her classmate and pushed at the edge of the table ay grrrr..I immediately went to the school and talked to her daughter has always been so I did teach her to say NO at times if it is not right..

    one act of bullying pa Peps when her classmates gets her food hay i did talked to her teachers and the students where given letters..hay proper guidance I should say Peps..and I do understand you Peps..some kids are so stubborn talaga hay naku!

    • I understand how you feel, Sie. I guess that’s the problem with my daughter- she doesn’t know when to say no. She tends to want to please people all the time, for fear of rejection.

  6. hello mommy Pepper, you are absolutely right! Every school has a bully, and my 4 year old son faces one of them too, everyday that he goes to school. I just told my son that he should not copy what his classmate is doing, and that he should tell his teacher if he attacks him. kasi, mas worst yung sa school ng anak ko, physical violence talaga, minsan nanununtok, minsan sinisipa din niya anak ko at ibang klasmeyts nila..

  7. have a blessed sunday to you .. Keep in touch.. you have a very nice and wonderful site.. keep posting..

  8. It’s things like this na magdidilim talaga ang paningin mo and you don’t see that the bully is also a kid. My daughter was hit by a lunchbox and spat at by a male classmate when she was in grade 1 (She’s in grade 3 now). We wrote a letter and spoke to her teacher about those incidents. Eventually, it reached the school principal because there were other parents whose kids were also bullied by this student. “Professional” bully?!

  9. among my two kids, it was my youngest son who has been bullied by a schoolmate,not a classmate, the boy was much taller than him. My son ignored him in first two incidents but on third one, he fight back because the bully kid spank him on his face. They were not aware that my son is training on martial arts, loko e di nakatikim sya, the school office at once called me and i immediately went to the school to see if my son has been hurt. thankfully, he’s ok.

  10. This post had me laughing, although not a laughing matter at all. But cute nonetheless. It is always hard to see our kids hurting. Hope everything works out, looks like your daughter has some good guidance. If it doesn’t work, pull out the witchcraft! Ha!

  11. Ah, my boy is already 11 and also had his share of bullies in school. We enrolled him in Taekwondo when he was 8 and it definitely helped him overcome his meekness towards bullies. No, he never hit them back. I guess, the bullies just found him less wimpy and too confident to bully na hahaha!

    • You’re right, learning martial arts will definitely boost a kid’s confidence- without necessarily meaning he’ll beat those bullies to a pulp. Thanks for sharing :)

    • I went through the exact same thing in middle school and junior high. I never threw a punch, but you could see the confidence and self-esteem I gained through studying Tae Kwon Do and having that removed my “easy target” status.

      • I’m seriously considering martial arts lessons for my kid. Maybe next summer :). Thanks for the visit.

  12. My case is different naman. Having chinky eyes, the kids are often thought of as Chinese – partly yes – some teeners actually would go by chanting “chinese-chinese* (ki-ne-se – tagalog) and my kids don’t understand why those kids have to do that. — I went all out one time haha shouting back at them. ^_^

  13. Oh Pepper, you don’t know how much I needed this. My younger cousin went home last week with a small cut near his eyes.. one of his schoolmates punched him for no reason at all. I suggested a “resbak” haha! Good thing they didn’t listen to me! The school called the attention of the parents naman.

    My daughter will be going to school next year and I thought, oh no if my child gets bullied.. grr.. i might turn into a witch. HA! Well I still have 5 to 7 months to ready my child (and myself)on how to handle bullies.. just in case.

    • Oh that’s just terrible, what happened to your cousin. I guess, we’ll just have to pray that nothing of that sort happens to your daughter. We can just teach our kids to be headstrong- like their moms? hehe

  14. Sometimes there is just one person that’s the leader, find out who it is…

    Than consider a sit down with the parent/parents of the child/children and the teacher.

    A child shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable and fearful in class.

    A students biggest worry should be staying awake during the class, or whether of not ‘mom’ remembered to give them a snack, or hoping it doesn’t rain so they will get to have an out-door
    break in the middle of the day.

    Good luck and I hoping you find a solution that solves the problem…8o)

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