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Pink Shirt Day 2022: How To Talk To Your Preschooler About Bullying

Pink Shirt Day 2022: How To Talk To Your Preschooler About Bullying

Bullying is a serious problem in childhood and it can start as early as preschool. It is important for parents to understand what bullying is and how to identify it so that you may teach your children about it. Teaching your preschooler about bullying will give them the understanding and vocabulary to tell an adult when they are being bullied, to identify when others are being bullied, and to prevent them from becoming a bully themselves. Most children aren’t actively trying to hurt the feelings of other children, but they have not yet necessarily developed the social skills or impulse control to consider another child’s emotional reaction. To teach your child about bullying you first have to know what bullying can look like and how to approach the topic.

Understanding Bullying And Explaining It To A Preschooler

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone repeatedly and deliberately makes another person feel bad either through words, actions, or exclusion. Bullying can be physical harassment, but it can also include saying purposefully hurtful things or not allowing someone to take part in activities or social groups. When these harmful behaviours are repeated, as opposed to a one time incident, then it is considered bullying.

Why Might Someone Be A Bully?

Some children may bully because they have not considered the emotional impact they are making on others and are solely focused on their own wants and feelings, while other children may be aware of the upsetting nature of their actions and words but like the feeling of control it gives them. Often, the children doing the bullying don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. Many preschool aged children don’t have highly developed empathy, or the understanding that everyone has their own individual life and emotions that are just as vivid and complex as their own. This lack of awareness can cause children to willingly inflict emotional or physical harm without deliberately causing negative consequences.

How To Talk To Your Preschooler About Bullying

There are two ways you should approach the subject: casually and formally. Bullying is a serious topic that does need to be firmly addressed and explained with a sit-down conversation where you can clearly explain what bullying is and your child can ask questions. Other times it can be easier for your child to open up and discuss their personal experience with bullying if the conversation is more natural and they don’t have their guard up.

  • How To Have A Casual Conversation About Bullying. Try to naturally bring up a scenario of bullying while you are doing casual activities such as making dinner. Ask your child their thoughts on the scenario you’ve presented, such as if they think what the bully did was mean or what they should have done instead. If you have a suspicion that your child is being bullied, ask them about how their preschool classes are or if they’ve been making friends. Sometimes children are embarrassed or ashamed to outright say they are being bullied or that other children are being mean to them and this gentle prodding can help them open up more easily than direct questioning.
  • How To Have A Formal Conversation About Bullying. Whether or not you suspect your child is being bullied, or is a bully, at some point you need to sit down and explain to them what bullying is and why it’s wrong to mistreat people like that, or why it’s wrong for others to mistreat them. When speaking to your preschooler, try using a picture book or a TV episode that focuses on bullying; there are lots of bullying resources for children that are free online and from the library. Using visuals and cohesive storylines can help your child better understand and empathize. Have a discussion afterward about what your child thought was happening and how characters could have acted differently or what they did right. Also make sure to explain that bullying can be obvious, such as hitting or yelling, but it can also be using mean words or leaving people out. Exclusion is an incredibly common type of bullying that continues into adulthood and it can be very mentally and socially damaging.

A Safe And Welcoming Space At Grey Matter Montessori Preschool In Calgary

Bullying may seem like a large topic to approach but it is important to discuss it with your preschooler so that they can thrive in school and social situations. Every kid has the right to receive their child education in a safe and supportive environment free from bullying. Grey Matter Montessori School in Calgary is committed to ensuring each student and staff member provides a welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe environment to help promote the well-being of all. As a school, we do not tolerate harassment and/or bullying of any kind to ensure that children will receive their child education in a bully-free classroom. To register your child at our Calgary NW Montessori location, you can call 1-587-707-4739 or fill out the online contact form.


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.

Q: How can my child learn to deal with their emotions?
A: At Grey Matter Montessori, child education is holistic, leading your preschooler to an earlier understanding of the world around them and how they function within it. By engaging children mentally and physically, they are given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and figure out how to understand themselves. As your child develops, they learn the skills to properly understand their own experiences and senses.

Q: How does Montessori preschool help prepare children for school?
A: The Montessori method of teaching delivers on certain principles to help prepare your pre-kindergarten-aged child for education in school and in life. Some of the ideas behind this approach include:

  • Emphasis on independent learning
  • Increased social interaction
  • Fostered love for learning
  • Inclusive learning environment

If you are wondering if a Montessori preschool program is right for your child, reach out to the team at Grey Matter in Calgary for more information about the programs and learning environment.

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