Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/what-adults-can-do-to-stop-hurtful-preschool-behavior-before-it-becomes-a-pattern-of-bullying/5020558/
What does young children's bullying behavior look like and how does it get started? What is the role of peer influence on the proliferation of bullying episodes? These are two of the questions we'll examine in this article, as bullying among young children becomes a growing concern.
Bullying in Preschool?
Bullying behavior across all age groups is a pattern of verbal or physical intimidation towards someone with less social or physical power. Bullying can exist when a power gap between children is not recognized and resolved with adult support. A hurtful preschool behavior can become a pattern of bullying only when it is repeated, intense, and targeted. Consequently any typical, aggressive preschool behavior in this targeted form is potentially the beginning of a pattern of bullying, but only if adults allow it to continue. Keep in mind as we consider this topic that bullying is a set of actions or behaviors. It is not a permanent condition; it is not a person. Merely labeling children 'bullies' and responding with punishment does not foster healthy social-emotional growth in young children.
Let's consider these two preschool scenarios: