First off, can we just all understand that there’s no such thing as a three-year-old bully ? The actions that you see that might lead you to believe the child is a bully are simply a call for help or signals that a child has not learned skill they need yet. Hence, when we as teachers walk in.
This is one of the major reasons of many that spending time with the teacher directed activities waste important skills practice time. Very seldom do you see a child exerting his aggressive behavior while coloring a picture of an apple. However, with extended periods of play, choices and mixed groups you see scenarios play out.
One child takes a toy from another child. He is not being a bully. He simply does not know how to ask or wait for his time or possibly, he just wants the other child’s attention. Maybe it’s the only way he knows to get the attention . So instead of grabbing the toy and giving back to the other child we will usually observe closely and then say something like this:
You wanted the tube . You did not know how to ask. Repeat after me. I would like to play with the toy , can you let me know when you’re finished ?
Usually this solves the problem
Sometimes there will not be an adult close by to model and support the children to know what to say — and I’m sure you have heard it. ” Stop! I didn’t like that. Give it back. ”
” I name is Debby. You may not call me names..”
“Look at your friends place. They are sad.”
Today is national bully prevention day. Every day is bully prevention day at our place. We are helping prevent children from becoming bullies. We are helping prevent children from being the victim.
In light of recent news from both directions I am sure we can see where this emerging skills can be used in adult life. I know a few adults that should’ve learned this lesson many years ago
These skill drills happen many times throughout the day. It’s not always fun and sometimes it’s hard to be the backseat driver but it’s important. When you get past the hard stuff building community in teams begins to happen.