Just two weeks in a Montessori school for my daughter , and I am encountered with a common but often overlooked problem in Indian schools - bullying.We want to believe that all little kids are complete angels, incapable of inflecting harm on each other, but the unhappy reality is, they are.
I suppose because the behavior is typically associated with older kids, it is often overlooked during the younger years, when it's hard to tell the difference between normal social experimentation and emergent bullying behavior.Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school.
Bullying can cause an enormous amount of stress, fear, and anxiety in young kids. Sonee,my daughter luckily enough is the expressive types and tells me about it frankly but there can be kids who are being bullied but don't say much.Your young child may be being bullied if s/he:
- is suddenly scared to go to preschool
- complains of headaches or stomachaches for no reason
- is clingy and whiny
- comes home with unexplained injuries
- is withdrawn or depressed
- talks about one particular child doing mean things to him
- has trouble concentrating
- avoids eye contact when you ask him/her about school
I hope I successfully enhance her confidence and teach her a lesson or two about socialization,because bullies will be everywhere in the real world.
I strongly believe whether our child is a bully or a target of bullying, the way we handle the incidents will have a long term effect on all of the parties involved.Here's a poem from a bullying victim ,which brings in all the optimism that is so peculiar of kids.
REMEMBER ME ?
I AM THE BOY WHO SOUGHT FRIENDSHIP;
THE BOY YOU TURNED AWAY.
I THE BOY WHO ASKED YOU
IF I TOO MIGHT PLAY.
I THE FACE AT THE WINDOW
WHEN YOUR PARTY WAS INSIDE,
I THE LONELY FIGURE
THAT WALKED AWAY AND CRIED.
I THE ONE WHO HUNG AROUND
A PUNCHBAG FOR YOUR GAMES.
SOMEONE YOU COULD KICK AND BEAT,
SOMEONE TO CALL NAMES.
BUT HOW STRANGE IS THE CHANGE
AFTER TIME HAS HURRIED BY,
FOUR YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THEN
NOW I’M NOT SO QUICK TO CRY.
I’M BIGGER AND I’M STRONGER,
I’VE GROWN A FOOT IN HEIGHT,
SUDDENLY I’M POPULAR
AND YOU’RE LEFT OUT THE LIGHT.
I COULD, IF I WANTED,
BE SO UNKIND TO YOU.
I WOULD ONLY HAVE TO SAY
AND THE OTHER BOYS WOULD DO.
BUT THE MEMORY OF MY PAIN
HOLDS BACK THE REVENGE I’D PLANNED
AND INSTEAD, I FEEL MUCH STRONGER
BY OFFERING YOU MY HAND.
By Ray Mather