Ask A Mum : Help! My child is being bullied
Q: My 4 year old seems unhappy, withdrawn and aggressive. I learned that he has been bullied by some of the kids in his kindergarten. What should we do?
A: Mona Lisa Nganga, 37, mother of a 9 and 4 year old advises:
We learned that our son was also a victim of bullying at school. Even though kids in nursery school seem too young to be bullies, we saw that it can be just as bad as a school for older kids. Our son was 5 at the time and he started to have nightmares of the girls in his class bullying him. I went and spoke to the teacher and asked her for permission to address the class. I then spoke to the entire class and they stopped bullying him but I eventually moved my son to a different school where kids are not allowed to harass or intimidate each other. With the move, his personality returned back to normal.
This experience taught us that bullying continues often because of a lack of supervision or a lack of intervention from the teachers or caregivers.
Aside from physically hurting the victim, bullying is also putting down their classmates or singling them out to make them feel left out. Children who are bullied may become moody, irritable, frustrated, and withdrawn. My son started having an attitude like a teenager and acting out because that was the environment he faced at school. For kids who witness another child being bullied they feel a lot of fear and tension, which makes it hard for them to learn. Your child may even start making excuses to be late or to miss school entirely. Moving to the new school restored my son to the playful, happy boy we were used to.