My son is 3.5 years old and is in preschool. Yesterday, his dad picked him up and a group of girls who are 4.5 years and up said, 'Here comes the dumby. Look at the dumby. Dumby, dumby, dumby.' Our son grabbed his father's hand, put his head down and went running for the door. His father was in shock and could not believe what he just witnessed (thankfully he did witness it). We spoke to our son about the situation. However, he was very reluctant to talk about it and acted ashamed or as if he did something wrong. So, we did some role-playing activities. I did call the school and spoke to the Head. This morning I went into the school and spoke to the teachers. I was assured that the parents were going be notified and the situation was going to be addressed.
I never expected bullying at this age. Honestly, the look on his face heart-breaking. It was like his spirit was crushed. And unfortunately, I do not believe this was the first time this happened. He is only 3.5 years old. I am even contemplating pulling him out of that school. I really need some advice. I am wondeing how to re-establish security and his confidence. This morning he repeated, 'I am not smart' and 'school is scary'. I am so confused and want to do what is best for him. Please help. I really need advice. Thank you so much!
by corrinacsJanuary 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM
Wow, I can only imagine! And I know it does happen, I've seen it happen around my son....luckily he wasn't on either end of the problem.
Let the preschool handle it, this will be a good "test" for them for you. Seeing how they handle issues like this really shows what a place can be. IF you leave now, you won't have that glimpse. IF they handle it well, then you may lose out on a fantastic school.
But you did right by talking to the director and teh teachers. They did the most fantastic thing by bringing it up to the parents of those chidlren. Hopefully thier parenst are the "my kids do no wrong" kidn of kids.
My son had this issue at a preschool once. And the director, who is the kindest lady I've ever met, actually kicked the kid out. After many attempts with the family, even offering to pay for and bring in a counselor for the child........they refused and his actions kept up. So, out he went.
by ejsmom4604January 16, 2013 at 12:52 PM
I am so sorry to read about what your son is going through. 3.5 is very young to understand all the complexities that socialization entails. They are still learning. You might want to start explaining that some kids don't know how to act appropriately. Also let him know that he isn't dumb. Make it a point to validate all the good/smart things he does. Let him know his stregnths so he can focus on those. Also, he will need to learn to speak up to a teacher, as well as how to ignore people. Unfortunately bullying hasn't gone away, and it breaks my heart to read it happening so soon. My oldest has dealt with bullying in 2nd grade (he's in 3rd this year), and I thought that was early. :( ~Hugs~
by wingmomJanuary 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Wow that is hard. Its good the school is addressing it with the parents, in my experience the teachers and parents have to work on it together in dealing with the bullies, or it is not enough. Teachers need to realize that they need to nip that behavior in the bud immediately. My son had a bully problem for a while he is 4, the bully was 3! but physcially rough, name calling, etc and for a while my son didnt want to go to school. His teachers assured me that both the mom of the boy and all the teachers were working hard to correct the problem, and it has gotten better. In fact the boy and my son are now friends (most of the time!:) and have even asked to go to each others houses, but I realize that is an execeptional case, and I knew the root of the problem was the family dynamic at home that I knew about involving a 14 year old brother who was teaching the little guy bad behaviors. If it would have continued (I gave it a couple of months) and I would start seeing serious trauma in my son I probably would have pulled him out.
by PEEK05January 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM
That is awful!!!!!
Oh, that's so sad. Im sorry he's going thru that but I'm so glad your hubby heard it so you could address it. I would just give it time to see how the school handles it and if it turns around. Otherwise, change schools. Hugs to your little one.
by .Angelica.January 17, 2013 at 8:26 AM
:( I don't have any experience here but I hope it gets worked out with the school. Sad that bullying starts so young.
by HappeeMommaJanuary 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM
I'd say to him "You are very smart and I love you and sometimes school is scary, just as my work is scary sometimes, but you'll get stronger. Try to stay away from the unhappy kids that are mean to you, maybe find a new friend you can play with. Leave bullies alone, they were not taught any better". We went through that with the little kids, and it stopped. They need to know to get away and not engage that crowd for their own safety.
by furbabymumJanuary 17, 2013 at 6:06 PM
Ah thank goodness my kid is mean. Sorry! They tell me he plays by himself but when other kids try to bully him he beats the hell out of them. :P He's 2.
I'm a rather mean mom so I'd be paying VERY close attention to the schools response to this. If it wasn't satisfactory I'd switch him.
January 17, 2013 at 6:15 PM
I always thought I could be nice to children in any circumstance, but if any kid fucks with my kid, I would fucken annihilate that child.
I know, bad language.
You have have have to instill in him now that what others think of him has to be worth something to him first before he listens to them. You have to show him his attention and focus have value that is worth more than anyone else's opinion of him. That's an absolute necessity. So I think the role-playing thing is a great idea, and you can incorporate that kind of thinking into his psyche using role playing.
Another thing you can do is talk with these parents and try to figure out how the hell these kids learned the word "dumby" and feel they can use it against another human being.
And finally, if I were you, watch him. Praise him. Show him his self-worth and being working on his self-esteem with him. Check this out.
Oh, wow. I bet you're just angry as hell at his dad for not saying anything to those kids, but wow, what a shocker.
by AmyL3469January 18, 2013 at 9:27 AM
Kids are so mean! I can't believe kids that young are bullying. There's no one to blame but parents or other influences. Kids this young are taught to be so mean, they don't just do it. It's horrible.
I don't know if I would pull him out of school, but I would stay on their ass about fixing the situation. I'd give it a bit more time to see if they do their job and make the school experience safe and enjoyable for all the kids. If it happens again, let them know again and tell them you want something done about it. Call the other parents yourself or something too. Maybe they're unaware?