One of the reasons you may have had for placing your child into child care was the chance for early socialization. Giving your child the opportunity to interact with other children under careful supervision is a large selling point of day care programs. Unfortunately, that pre-school interaction runs the gamut from positive playtime to exposure to daycare bullies.
Bullying behavior is common in children of all ages. While those in infant care may be unable to do much to their fellow peers, as your child grows older, the size and strength of other children can be a cause for concern. Bullying can begin as early as toddler care programs, and if not carefully handled, it can lead, at the very least, to hurt feelings.
One of the hardest steps in handling early bullying is recognizing the behavior for what it is. Younger children may have trouble verbalizing a bullying issue distinctly, so listening for clue words and terms is important. If your child suddenly shows a dislike for the daycare, question further. Take note of any child’s name spoken of with distaste or consistent incidents of selfish playing behavior, physical altercations or social ostracism led by an individual. Even small incidents done repeatedly by the same child can add up to a bullying environment.
If you feel that your childcare center has a bullying problem, then speak to those in charge of supervising the children. If your child is enrolled in more structured learning centers, speak to the center’s administrator. Hopefully, those in charge will speak to the bullying child’s parents, who will in turn speak with their child. Minor bullying can often be ended with a few small parent-to-child conversations on acceptable vs. unacceptable behaviors.
If the parents or the childcare center cannot curb the bullying, consider a change of classroom. A new environment can do wonders for a bullied child, and separation may be of help to the bully as well.