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A boy is bossing my son around at preschool!
Q: Almost every day my son comes home from preschool telling me about a boy who bosses him around. The boy told my son that he couldn’t come on the jungle gym and had to play somewhere else. He also tells him he doesn’t know how to play basketball or hold a bat. It upsets me, and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t want these bad habits to rub off him or for him to start being mean to other kids because this boys tells him to do so. I’m not sure if my son is afraid of this little boy and doesn’t want to tell us.
Kathleen Baltimore
A: I don’t blame you for being concerned. Your son is being bullied. The answer is for the preschool staff to intervene and show the boys a better way to get along. A major component of any preschool program is socialization – teaching manners and kindness. Young children have limited social skills, so it’s easy for them to be unfair, mean and aggressive with each other. It’s up to adults to guide the children in their interactions.

For too many years, adults have been passive about peer cruelty, explaining it away as “children being children.” However, research resulting from school shootings and violence has shown that peer cruelty damages the personalities of children who are victimized.

I strongly recommend you speak to someone in authority at your preschool. And feel free to share my response to your question.
Kenneth N. Condrell Ph.D Child Psychologist