How To Deal With Violent Classmates In Preschool
No graphics here please
Violence has happened
You pick up your four year old from pre-school and are informed that your 4 year old has been bitten and hit by his friend. That is a problem. Violence happens at an early age. Or what about if your child did the biting and hitting? It happens.
The good school does what they should do and that is talk confidentially with the parental figures involved. (was a time I could just say "parents" involved ;-) Every child gets one free pass and all parents should get that notion. Stern instruction and letting them know about disapproval is essential.
The "victim's" conduct must also be addressed as precipitation should be avoided and lessons learned.
If the bites were multiple and drew blood then we have very large issues and that offender needs serious attention before returning to school. But those are very very rare.
Now let us talk about what to do in the victims home.
Stop and think. Do you or don't you?
Do you ever strike your child while angry?
It does not take a genius to figure out this problem.
If you use physical means to express your frustration to your child, your child will likely be the bully and not the bullied.
Not at Fault -- Chill out!
Do not make a big deal about the assault and battery. Make a big deal about what might have caused the problem at all. Really there are two facets here and both are worth discussing and talking about with a four year old.
1. What did you do to make Billy so angry? CAUTION!! There is nothing that your 4 year old could have done to justify this kind of bad behavior. It is just a learning moment. Something happened and your baby was part of it. Learning at a young age to evaluate our own actions is just a great big deal and one that is worthy of small chit chat and exploration at this age. "What was my part in it?" can be such a great tool in all of life that it is worthy to review and teach.
So inquiry here is essential for a happy child, not to find out the truth or even to mitigate anything, but to teach.Teach that all our actions have consequences, that there is a cause and effect to every little thing we do.
2. What is the problem with Billy? Here is where it takes some effort. Billy the biter has issues. Remember we are not talking about serial biters here we are talking about another little boy who has frustration problems. Biting and hitting come from two sources. First of all know that it does not need to be taught. It just happens. But we can teach it if there is violence in the home. Spanking in frustration teaches violence in frustration to our children.
Have you ever stomped your feet or hit a wall or table with your hand. Normally that is done we we are in complete frustration. It is a learned method of relieving our frustration. Now if one child is frustrating another the same emotions are channeled toward that child and biting and hitting are nearly natural reactions to such a state.
If we can make this clear to our child the our child has the tools to avoid causing that behavior in Billy the biter.
This is also an awesome teaching moment to explain to our angel how to properly release the frustration properly.
Knowledge is power over our feelings
How about you?
How you respond to the event is very telling to your child. (and do not think you can hide anger from a 4+ year old) If you get all upset and angry just look at what that teaches your little one. Violence begets violence. Maybe a good lesson but not one to teach in anything other than the abstract.
You must resolve to speak lightly and with forgiveness in your voice and actions in front of your child. If you cannot do that get some professional help because you need to get it together to raise your child. For sure take a break and unwind so you can really "be there" for your child.
That really is one of those green flashes just without a good camera
We cannot control the outside world of people, places and things. But we can control our reaction to it. Most were not taught this as children. Let us break that cycle. Our children deserve no less.
So evaluate and moderate how we view when someone else does wrong, especially another child. Use compassion and patience to get through tough times.
Just fast forward this whole scenario and now biting Billy is a teen in high school and just think that how you handled our problem here may effect how Billy reacts if he is bullied and bashed in high school. I think you see the problem of extreme violence if Billy was handled wrong way back when.
Steal my stuff and you will see just how poorly I deal with frustrations ;-)
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