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Bullying in Preschool? Presenter: Mrs. Rosiland Peterson~ Early Childhood Supervisor - Community & Parent Involvement Karen Bernard ~ Early Childhood Supervisor-

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying in Preschool? Presenter: Mrs. Rosiland Peterson~ Early Childhood Supervisor - Community & Parent Involvement Karen Bernard ~ Early Childhood Supervisor-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying in Preschool? Presenter: Mrs. Rosiland Peterson~ Early Childhood Supervisor - Community & Parent Involvement Karen Bernard ~ Early Childhood Supervisor- PIRT (Guest)

2 What is Bullying … Bullying is a pattern of verbal or physical intimidation of someone with less social or physical power. Bullying is a pattern of verbal or physical intimidation of someone with less social or physical power. Bullying is a set of behaviors, seen in all age groups, that is currently receiving a great deal of attention in communities everywhere. Bullying is a set of behaviors, seen in all age groups, that is currently receiving a great deal of attention in communities everywhere. Bullying is a set of actions that happen when a child who is, or who wants to feel, more powerful targets a weaker and/or smaller person by hurting or frightening that person, and does so repeatedly. Bullying is a set of actions that happen when a child who is, or who wants to feel, more powerful targets a weaker and/or smaller person by hurting or frightening that person, and does so repeatedly. The bullying exists when a power gap between children is tolerated by adults. The bullying exists when a power gap between children is tolerated by adults.

3 What does it look like...

4 Acting superior Acting superior Laughing at others Laughing at others Being bossy Being bossy Pushing Pushing Taking people’s things Taking people’s things Making fun of people’s Making fun of people’s appearance or disabilities Name-calling Name-calling Exclusion Exclusion Put-downsTeasingIgnoring Breaking possessions Hurting feelings ScaringThreateningKicking Lying LyingHitting

5 When a child engages in hurtful actions toward others, the child is not “mean” or “bad” but is experiencing overwhelming emotional challenges. DISCUSS: A preschool child sits at the lunch table and, just as she has done many times previously, points across at some of the children at the table, loudly saying, “You’re my friend, you’re not my friend, you’re not my friend, you’re my friend,” as she does every day. The child then directs specific children where they are to sit according to who is a “friend.” All the children look frightened. As they switch seats as directed by the child, an adult says to no one in particular, “Come on now, let’s be nice. We’re all friends here.”

6 How Do Children Learn Bullying Behaviors? It is even more important to understand that bullying behaviors are also directly taught by adults who bully children when they yell, threaten, shame, and punish children rather than staying calm, setting limits, problem solving, and following up with positive interactions. It is even more important to understand that bullying behaviors are also directly taught by adults who bully children when they yell, threaten, shame, and punish children rather than staying calm, setting limits, problem solving, and following up with positive interactions. To effectively eliminate bullying by children, we must eliminate bullying by adults. To effectively eliminate bullying by children, we must eliminate bullying by adults. Negative communication patterns can form between children and adults when adults engage only in limit-setting interactions with children. Negative communication patterns can form between children and adults when adults engage only in limit-setting interactions with children. o Bullying behaviors become learned behaviors when they work. o If a child threatens others and the threat succeeds in getting the child what he or she wants, the behavior is reinforced. o Bullying behaviors become a pattern when adults do not intervene or guide the growth of more constructive emotional and social skills at the time the child engages in hurtful behaviors toward others. o In classrooms where bullying exists, it is very important to look at adult behaviors, at home or school, as a possible source, noticing when negative interactions have become the norm, and noticing when adults bullying children is actually the root of the problem.

7 What Verbal Bullying by Adults Sounds Like …  “I don’t care how upset you are…get over here and sit down!”  “Look at me when I’m talking to you!”  “Do what I say — or else!”  “I’ll give you something to cry about!”  “You are being ridiculous —you are old enough to know better!”  “You’re being such a cry baby!”  “Don’t you say a word! Have a time-out and think about what you did!”

8 GROUP ACTIVITY I GROUP ACTIVITY I GROUP ACTIVITY II Alvin has been pinching only the girls in his class and tell them that he is going beat them with a belt. Alvin has two older sisters and his parents work at night. What are you going to do to help Alvin? Nancy has been hitting her friends and kicking the teacher. Nancy’s mother has told her to hit first if you think anyone is going to hit you. What should you do to help Nancy?

9 Group Activity III GROUP ACTIVITY IV Barbara has been telling the new students that she is not their friend and pushing them down during Gross-motor play outside. She has been having tantrums and throwing herself to the floor. What will you do to help Barbara? Dennis has been taking toys away from his classmate forcefully. He hit one student in the face last week. Dennis bit one student for not giving him a truck. Dennis is the only child at home with two aging grandparents. How will you help Dennis?

10 Why Do Children Engage in Bullying and What Can Adults Do? The bullying behavior is a red flag that the child needs limit-setting, followed immediately by problem- solving help, not punishment. The bullying behavior is a red flag that the child needs limit-setting, followed immediately by problem- solving help, not punishment. If children merely are punished for their behavior, with no attention to the reason for the behavior and no help with other ways to express their feelings, it is likely the behavior will continue, perhaps in a more sneaky, surreptitious way. If children merely are punished for their behavior, with no attention to the reason for the behavior and no help with other ways to express their feelings, it is likely the behavior will continue, perhaps in a more sneaky, surreptitious way. When children’s behaviors are understood in their developmental context, adults can recognize the hurtful actions as an opportunity to support new, more constructive skills. When children’s behaviors are understood in their developmental context, adults can recognize the hurtful actions as an opportunity to support new, more constructive skills.  When adults frequently observe a child engaging in hurtful actions toward others, the child must not be seen as “mean” or “bad” but as experiencing emotional, physical, or social challenges that are Overwhelming.  Every behavior has a goal — to get something desired, to get attention, and/or to express frightened, frustrated, or angry feelings that are overwhelming the child and are being ignored by adults.  If children who bully succeed in attaining their goals, however inappropriately, then the bullying behavior will continue. The bullying behavior is a red flag that the child needs limit-setting, followed immediately by problem-solving help, not punishment.

11 By using the strategy of limit setting followed by positive interactions, adults can help children learn to express their feelings constructively.

12 Strategies for Preventing Bullying by Young Children … Recognize hurtful behaviors that are intense and repeated as a possible red flag that children need more attention to the reasons behind their behaviors and support as they learn to express their feelings constructively. Recognize hurtful behaviors that are intense and repeated as a possible red flag that children need more attention to the reasons behind their behaviors and support as they learn to express their feelings constructively. Eliminate bullying by adults: examine adult behaviors for the use of yelling, shaming, threatening, and/or punishing in interactions with children. Eliminate bullying by adults: examine adult behaviors for the use of yelling, shaming, threatening, and/or punishing in interactions with children. Understand the difference between a pattern of bullying and predictable preschool behaviors. Understand the difference between a pattern of bullying and predictable preschool behaviors. Problem-solve when there are conflicts or hurtful comments. Problem-solve when there are conflicts or hurtful comments. Set limits on any intimidating behaviors and follow up with positive interactions. Set limits on any intimidating behaviors and follow up with positive interactions.

13 Steps in Resolving Conflicts 5. Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together. “What can we do to solve this problem?” “What can we do to solve this problem?” Encourage children to think of a solution. Encourage children to think of a solution. 6. Be prepared to give follow-up support. “You solved the problem!” “You solved the problem!” Stay near the children. Stay near the children. 1.Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions. Place yourself between the children, on their level. Use a calm voice and gentle touch. Remain neutral rather than take sides. Use a calm voice and gentle touch. Remain neutral rather than take sides. 2. Acknowledge children’s feelings. “You look really upset.” “You look really upset.” Let children know you need to hold any object in question. Let children know you need to hold any object in question. 3. Gather information. “What’s the problem?” “What’s the problem?” 4. Restate the problem. “So the problem is…” “So the problem is…”

14 Strategies for Intervening Hurtful Behavior 1.Stop verbal and physical hurting. 2.Facilitate problem solving. 3.Observe and write anecdotes. 4.Empower children. 5.Be a role model. 6.Provide proactive support for relationship building. 7.Involve Parents

15 Implementation Plan … Group 4. List the actions that you consider to be bullying. Group 5. What does the adult need to do to prevent a pattern of aggressive behavior from developing? Group 1. What will you do as a result of this training and share these ideas as a group. Group 2. Discuss together the strategies for empowering children by giving them the choice of being a problem-solving partner. Group 3. Talk about how a label makes a child, not the actions, the problem, and it also creates an expectation for the child — an expectation that children rise to, making growth and change very difficult.

16 Thank You! rpeterson@paterson.k12.nj.us


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