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Pink Shirt Day 2022: Strategies To Help Your Preschool Child Handle Bullying

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Pink Shirt Day 2022: Strategies To Help Your Preschool Child Handle Bullying

Bullying can happen in every school environment, even preschool. The bullying tactics common in lower grades are different, but they can be equally hurtful, scary, and traumatic. Preschool children are just as capable of teasing and taunting, excluding and alienating, and even hitting, kicking, or biting. The preschool experience is an important stepping stone in childhood development. It should instill a love of learning and a foundational basis for social interactions. If your child feels unhappy or unsafe due to a classmate bully, it is important to address it early and re-establish the preschool learning environment as a safe and nurturing space. It is equally important to help your child develop strategies to handle bullying and empower them to stand up to a bully.

Strategies For Your Child To Address Bullying

Ignore It: If the bullying your child is experiencing is verbal teasing or taunting, or name calling the best first step might be simply to ignore it and walk away. Many bullies are seeking attention or hoping to get a rise out of their target. By not engaging with the bully, your child might be able to take the wind out of the bully’s sails; shutting it down by just ignoring the behaviour. Make sure your child understands that you want to know about the incident and that telling the teacher can be helpful, but walking away can be an effective strategy in the moment. Also emphasize that any bullying that involves physical harm must be reported right away.

Stand Up: If your child’s bully is persistent and does not seem to be deterred by a lack of engagement, empower your child to be brave and stand up to their bully. This does not mean fighting back or engaging in a war of words. Encourage your child to stand firm and assert with their words. “Leave me alone!” or “Stop teasing me!”, in a loud, confident voice can disarm the bully and call attention to the situation for adults or other advocates in the area. Your child should share any incidents with you. Make sure you praise them for their confidence and assure them of your support.

Tell Someone: Playground supervisors and teachers are the first line of defense in schoolyard and classroom bullying. Some children will prefer to at least attempt to deal with a bully themselves first. This is not a terrible thing. Learning to deal with difficult people is an important social skill. But if your child begins to feel overwhelmed, scared, and powerless dealing with someone who is always mean, encourage them to speak to an adult authority at school. This can be a tricky situation. Some kids are not comfortable confiding in a teacher, they may be embarrassed to be targeted by a bully, or they may worry about being labeled a tattletale. Assure your child that teachers want the classroom to be a safe and positive experience for everyone and they can help every child who is struggling, even the bully. Offer to speak to your child’s teacher together, outside of school hours, so that privacy and discretion are guaranteed.

These tips can help your child if they are the target of preschool bullying, but they are important strategies if your child sees someone else being bullied too. Foster empathy in your child by encouraging them to stand with other children who may be bullied. Help your child forge friendships with other children in their classroom: there is often power in numbers and open and inclusive classroom dynamics are not as rich a breeding ground for bullying to begin.

An Inclusive, Nurturing Preschool Experience At Grey Matter

Open dialogue with your child about their school day, their friends, and their social interactions will create a foundation of communication that will help you be aware if your child experiences bullying. Talk to your preschooler about bullying before it ever becomes an issue. Help them develop the language needed to communicate if they feel hurt or unsafe due to bullying. Assure them that bullying is not acceptable and that you will help them navigate this tricky situation. 

Grey Matter Montessori is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment where all children can learn, grow, and thrive. We strive to foster an inclusive, diverse, and respectful environment. Bullying of any kind is not tolerated. The Montessori method allows our Grey Matter educators to meet each child where they are and to provide opportunities for them to develop confidence and compassion and realize their own academic and social excellence.

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of a Grey Matter Montessori education for your preschool or pre-k aged child, contact us to book a time for a school tour at our NW Calgary location. We are accessible just off of Symons Valley Parkway in the NW community of Evanston. Call 1-587-707-4739.


Q: My child is being bullied. When should I involve the teacher?
A: You know your child best. If you believe your child is being targeted by a classroom bully, speak with the teacher right away. You and the teacher might decide to give your child some space to resolve the bullying on their own before intervention, but at least the teacher will be able to monitor the situation, record incidents, and get involved the moment a situation gets out of hand.

Q: How do I know if it is bullying or just a personality conflict?
A: Your child is likely to encounter situations where they simply do not get along with another child. These personality conflicts can result in unkind behaviours, but are not necessarily bullying. Bullying is deliberate and repeated cruelty aimed at hurting or intimidating another. If the interactions your child reports are resulting in fear, intimidation, withdrawal, or isolation you should speak with your child’s teacher right away. 

Q: How does Grey Matter Montessori take steps to prevent bullying?
A: At Grey Matter Montessori preschool, we develop a child’s socialization skills and teach about different cultures and backgrounds, which helps children understand the world at large and appreciate the differences between people, leading to lower rates of bullying. Preventing bullying through teaching respect and understanding is a vital part of child education.

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Another shout out to an amazing school here in #Calgary! Our youngest son goes to this school and he loves it! In just 5 short months his knowledge has grown, his confidence is starting to bloom and he just loves learning! The personal touch the wonderful teachers provide is certainly priceless!  What I love is that when you walk in there, there is always calming music playing softly, and everyone is smiling and friendly 

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