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21st August 2013 05:44 PM #1
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- Aug 2013
How can I handle a bullying situation?
It broke my heart when my 4 yrs old daughter, she is into school already, reveals that she does not want to go to school anymore because one of her classmates told her that her coloring is ugly. She instantly refuse to talk after that big reveal. I coaxed her into talking some more about the incident. I did talk to the teacher. And then it happened once again. A brother of her classmate told her that she is ugly and silly. My first instinct was to tell her to fight back, but I did not. How should I handle such situation?
23rd August 2013 06:28 PM #2
I'm going to put my early childhood educator hat on again and say... children can be cruel! Regardless there is no excuse for racial discrimination ever and it is just as important for the children making the comments to know that as it is for your daughter!
Just to clarify, is your daughter in public school or daycare? What did the teacher say in response? The teacher needs to be working with the whole class (rather than singling out children) to talk about equality. At the same time, work to empower your daughter.
Fighting is not the answer. If your daughter was violent or verbally hurtful towards these children she would only end up in trouble with the teachers herself. Also this sends the wrong message. Ultimately we need to teach kindness in all it's forms (helping others, accepting diversely, speaking kindly etc) to children so being verbally or physically hurtful is counterproductive to this message.
Empowerment is the key. Talk to your daughter about her beautiful skin. Tell her of the great contributions to history and the world that people from your culture have made. Tell her about how terrible racial discrimination is and that ultimately our goal is peace among all people. Use simple terms and stories. Also explain to her that often times children who bully others do so because they feel bad about themselves in some way. They bully to take the focus off themselves and they often feel very bad within themselves for having bullied.
A great idea is to go to your local library, join if you are not a member, then ask to speak to their early childhood educator and get advice on some good books to read to your child both on bullying and racial discrimination. It can be wonderful for children to hear stories they can relate to and hear how the characters in them deal with the issue. There are many great picture books on these topics and borrowing them from a library (rather than buying them) lets you read them all!
I hope that the teachers are more supportive on your next approach. Do post back and let me know how you go.