Probably, most parents have experienced the situation where their child comes home from kindergarten and complains about being offended by their peers.
Some mothers and fathers immediately start to sort out the conflict. They may try to sort things out with the offender’s parents, some may send a statement to the police or the prosecutor’s office, others go to the head of the kindergarten and demand to have the offender removed from the group.
On the other hand, some parents do not attach importance to the fact that their child is complaining, they believe that it is the child's imagination. All of these reactions are wrong.
In our article we want to advise what parents should do in such situations.
Sometimes it’s not easy to understand that the child really has problems in the kindergarten and children don’t always tell their parents about it.
How to make sure you know the truth about your child?
- You can talk with the child directly. This type of conversation is especially effective in families where it is normal to have open hearted discussions. Find out who your child’s friends are and discuss what type of situations or quarrels occur in the group. Two options are possible here: either the child will tell you everything with enthusiasm, or they will ask you for help.
- Watch carefully how your child behaves at home, their interest and habits. If they have suddenly changed from an active child to a passive one and they do not want to play or seem afraid of something, then alarm bells should be ringing.
- Be sure to inspect the child for bruises and scratches and to find out how they got them.
- Go with the child to the playground and watch how they interact with other children, what role do they play in the groups games? If they communicate and play with other children on the playground without problems, and after, in the kindergarten they come in and “hide in a corner” - then you need to urgently find out what the matter is.
- Games with your child can help to understand what is happening with them and find out the truth. For example: play kindergarten together and by your child behavior you can understand what kind of communication they have with their peers. You can also ask the child to draw a picture "How was their day in kindergarten."
How should parents react to the situation that is happening?
First, try to understand the scale of the problem. Do not pretend that you can't hear your child complaining about someone biting, fighting or taking away their toys. Find out from them all details about the offending child-who they are, if they act the same with other children, how often and why this is happening. Try to find out everything calmly.
Your course of action should be along the following line:
- First, talk with the teacher. Ask them the same questions as you asked your child. Find out how the story of the teacher coincides with that of your child. During this conversation, find out how often the offender is aggressive towards other children, and who usually provokes the conflict. If the teacher is not aware of what is happening, then ask them to observe the relationship between your child and the aggressive child. If the teacher knows what happened, then ask them to talk with the parents of this child.
- There is no need to talk with someone else's child personally, especially, do not scold them.
Also, you don’t need to talk with the parents of the offender, because most likely it will lead to a conversation with raised voices. Do not forget that each parent will always be on the side of their child. Only the educator should talk with the offender's parents and directly with the offender, and if it’s necessary, a child psychologist.
- If, in the near future a parent meeting is planned and the conversation with the teacher has not resolved the problem, then you can talk with other parents about your situation. If other parents are experiencing the same problem and there is a collective appeal to the head of the children's institution with the signatures of other parents, then there is the possibility that the problem child can be transferred to another group.
However, it will only be possible if there is another group of the same age in the kindergarten, no one has the right to expel a child from the kindergarten, this is not legal.
Above we described the external signs of the problem, but there are also internal ones. To deal with the internal symptoms of the problem, you must use the following methods.
The first method is called "Search for an Ally." If a difficult situation arises, then the child must find someone to help or ally themselves with. Teach your child to talk about the problem and, if necessary, to ask for help. But, be sure to explain what telling tales is and describe situations when adult help is really needed.
The second method is called the Border Guard Method.
Teach your son or daughter to set personal boundaries between them and those who are trying to offend them. A child must learn to say that he does not like or is not feeling comfortable about something. Explain to the child that the offence cannot be swallowed, and they should learn to stay away from those who are ill-mannered or aggressive. Teach your children the following phrase, “I do not want to play with you!”
The third method is called the “Similar Impact Method”. This method is considered controversial, because it’s based on the fact that if someone hits you, you should hit in response. Most often, this method works well against offenders, but it can do harm to your child. Children usually do not recognize where the line between aggression and self-defense lies.
In conclusion of this this article, we would like to note several key points. Give as much attention as possible to your children, be closer to them. Let the child go to a sports club, whether it be swimming, judo, karate or any other type of wrestling, so that they can realize all their physical abilities. Do not blame them if they cannot fight back. Never point out a child’s shortcomings, do not tell everyone about what is happening, because all this may not have a very good effect on the psyche of your child.