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4 Bumps

How would you deal with a kindergarten bully?

My son has had issues on and off doing mean things to younger playmates for the past year or so. I've tried a variety of different discipline tactics, mainly timeouts and loosing favorite toys, but that hasn't stopped it from happening again. I got the second call today that he was being mean to kids in his kindergarten class, this time pushing a little girl off of a swing. I do spank for dangerous things, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea here. How would you deal with a little bully? Please help!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:27 PM on Dec. 3, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (20)
  • A lot of children are forced to cope alone in a situation without enough support while they still have very limited communication skills.

    Attributing vile motives to children this young is always the result of an adult brain, not a child's brain. Children have not only got no thought like 'I want to hurt this person' that involves actually understanding someone else's experience of that ('cause if it doesn't hurt them, it doesn't cross their minds that it hurts others)... but they also are busy trying to do what they're trying to do (swing on the swing, get by, play with a particular toy, etc) with no ability to predict the likely outcome much less any thought that the other bodies in the world have people in them.

    What surprises me the most is that so many people never do manage to understand that those other bodies have people in them...

    It appears he's not emotionally ready to be in this situation.

    Answer by LindaClement at 1:38 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • Well, id say your sons school has a crappy policy of dealing with bullies, here, it is zero tolerance for bullying. The go home. In your sons case, I would take things away, would that work? No tv, ds, playing with friends, chores, early bedtime, just get it in his head he can NOT hurt people or act like that at school or he will get kicked out.

    Answer by minimo77 at 5:45 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • Please reply and bump! I need some ideas before Monday. Thanks mamas!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:11 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I have no answers for you, my son was always the one getting bullied. I will give you a bump though.

    Answer by Peajewel at 8:03 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • Is he always pestering the same child/children?
    Does he relay the story to you the same as the teacher? Doe she seem to understand hwy he was in trouble?/
    Was he in any schools/daycare's prior to K? How was he there?
    How is his school work? On level?


    Answer by But_Mommie at 8:07 PM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I would have some kind of communication with the teacher each day, like a folder she can write something down about his behavior each day so you know. Then deal with it on a day to day basis. Have a chart at home for behavior and remove privileges as needed if he is nto being nice, and promise a good reward for being kind. Kindergarten is a hard adjustment for a lot of kids and it is not uncommon for them to act out in a lot of ways, sometimes by being aggressive because they don't know how to express themselves.

    Answer by KTMOM at 9:08 AM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • In our kindergarten/preschool, the teachers would give the child a seat. (bully) the other child was always just left mad, or not given any attention, nor said how sorry they were for his behavior toward that other child. What did happen was I stepped in and said that bully ----'' I know your dad, and I saw him today...he says you don't listen at home either. Is this true?" he would just say, you don't know my dad. So, in a short moment I'd say---well if you were my son, right now--- and it hurt your feelings-- I'd do to you what you just did to that little (girl/ boy. ) Would that make you feel bad,....? Although I never "did" this to the boy. I just say it .
    Another way to get their attention is to say.---"Do you do this at home?" Shakes head no. "Why do you think it's any different here at school?"

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:07 AM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Have you talked to him about why? I would suggest coming up with a joint plan with the teacher so that she can follow through in the moment (kids that age have a short memory for stuff and waiting til he gets home won't have as big an impact). I would keep talking to him and making it a two way street. Have him come up with better ways of dealing. Practice them with him at home. Teach him how to deal with others better.

    I think a lot of parents (not to mean you specifically but in general) forget that kids need to be taught everything. We need to teach them by showing them, talking to them and sometime even out right TEACHING socialization stuff. They don't just know it. They live what they see and what their habits/patterns are.

    Answer by terpmama at 11:27 AM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Do you feel that it's learned behavior from somewhere? That someone is setting this example for him?
    What is it like for him at home? Who cares for him?

    You will need to work on the issue at school, but also work to alleviate from the source too.
    Do you have playdates for him with the school friends?

    Answer by doulala at 1:35 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

  • Until you can get into your son's head and find out why he is acting out this way, you will only be guessing at the best solution. There is a reason he is acting out, but he is too young to be able to cope with whatever it is. Pushing other kids around is a cry for help. He is trying to get attention just as a drowning person would yell for help, hoping someone would hear and come to help. Young children don't know any other way. Maybe a professional counselor would be successful at getting to the root of the problem. Divorce, abuse, death in the family, physical problems, and emotional inbalances are just some examples that go undetected. Sometimes it's as simple as a vision or a hearing problem that frustrates a child, but he can't figure out what's wrong and why he can't seem to relate the way others do. It leaves them feeling isolated and helpless. Do all the physical checks and then maybe turn to counseling after that.

    Answer by Kathy489 at 3:05 PM on Dec. 4, 2010

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