As we’ve explored in our previous article on ‘What To Do When Your Child is Being Bullied at Kindergarten in Singapore‘, it is apparent that with bullying cases on the rise, most parents in Singapore fear that their children who are attending kindergartens may become victims.
But what about if your child is the bully?
The first reaction parents in Singapore usually have is to defend their child and insist that their kindergartener has done nothing wrong.
However, for various reasons, even the most timid child can resort to bullying.
Here are some measures you can take if you discover that your child is a bully.
Listen to your child and their kindergarten teachers
Children bully for a variety of reasons – they may be acting out, replicating something that they have seen or experienced or simply because they have low self-esteem.
Starting kindergarten in Singapore can also be very stressful for children. To express their emotions, they may resort to picking on others. Finding out the reason behind their misbehaviour is key to address the issue.
Listen to your child’s teachers and try to figure out the motives.
Admitting that your kindergarten child has a problem is the first step to eradicating their bullying streak.
Assure them that you love them very much, but their bullying behaviour still needs to be addressed.
Formulate a plan of action
Encourage your kindergartener to feel empathy and compassion towards others by getting them to imagine how they would feel if they were the victim.
Kindergarten-aged children in Singapore rarely understand the consequences of their actions so you need to explain to them how their actions affect others.
Ensure that your child admits to their wrongdoings and get them to apologise to the people they have teased.
If need be, continue to liaise with their teachers to help observe your child. If their behaviour persists, you may want to consider getting psychological help.
Be a role model
Kids learn by replicating the actions of adults.
Other than kindergarten, kids in Singapore spend the most time at home.
Thus, sometimes parents have to look towards themselves and other family members at home for the root of the problem.
Be honest and try to identify some problematic behaviours that your kindergarten child might be picking up.
Have you or anyone at home ever been rude to service staff or made them feel small?
How do you treat the other family members? Do you gossip about others often? Making an effort to change these bad habits can go a long way to address any bullying issues in your child.
Send your kid to classes other than just Kindergarten
Sometimes, children may not be purposefully mean – they just lack the social skills to know how to behave appropriately.
Enrol your child in extracurricular classes to increase their interaction with others, rather than limiting them to kindergartens.
Activities like camps widely available in Singapore will teach them how to work in a team, as well as to be more self-aware and flexible.
If your kindergarten child has problems controlling their emotions, sending them to dance or music lessons could help them refocus their attention elsewhere.
Helping your child discover their passion will aid them in becoming a more balanced individual.
The earlier bullying issues are caught, the easier they will be solved.
Always remember to keep an open mind and communicate well with your child and their kindergarten teachers.