Teachers in early childhood settings, such as daycares, preschools, kindergarten classes and more often overlook bullying for a few reasons. They may think that young children are too innocent to deliberately harm on another, or they may dismiss bullying behavior, chalking it up to “kids just being kids.”
Children as young as 3 years old are capable of participating in bullying, and early childhood educators and assistants who are prepared to address bullying can effectively create safe and harmonious learning environments.
During early childhood assistant training, you’ll learn that understanding bullying behaviors is the first step towards preventing them. There are three main types of bullying, these include:
- Physical bullying (hitting, pushing, etc.)
- Verbal bullying (name-calling)
- Relational bullying (excluding others)
By spotting and recognizing these behaviors once you become an early childhood assistant, you’ll have the chance to nip them in the bud. Here’s a few ways that early childhood assistants can prevent bullying in a childcare setting.
A Trained Early Childhood Assistant Discusses Bullying with Children
When children understand what bullying is and its different forms, they will have a better chance of recognizing bullying when they see it or when they become involved in it. By speaking openly and directly with children about bullying, it will let them know that the adults in the classroom or daycare take it seriously, and that it won’t be tolerated.
Talking about bullying can also create an open dialogue between you and the children. This will make them feel comfortable to approach you if they are being bullied. As an early childhood assistant, you will be able to speak to children one-on-one about bullying, and you could also help design activities that will educate them or encourage them to share stories on the topic.
A Good Early Childhood Assistant Gets Parents Involved
At home, parents can keep the conversation about bullying going as children learn to understand, talk about, and respond to bullying during preschool or daycare. They may need help from educators to know what bullying behaviors look like in early childhood, and why it’s important to intervene. There are a few ways to seek parents’ cooperation and support in order to prevent bullying.
During your early childcare training, you will learn all about program planning. These skills will help you create and host parent workshop sessions, where you can discuss bullying prevention initiatives. If there are children in your group that are being bullied or showing bullying behaviors, you can speak with their parents alone and let them know. In addition, you might also ask parents to partake in coming up with ways to put an end to bullying, both in the classroom and at home.
Pros with Early Childcare Training Help Children Develop Empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and respond in caring ways to how others feel, and is one of the most powerful social skills young children can develop to prevent bullying. Children will be much less likely to hurt someone if they’re able to imagine themselves in that person’s place.
As an early childhood assistant, you’ll have a hand in designing activities that help children learn to talk about and label their feelings, and find ways to help other people feel better. You can also promote acts of kindness in the childcare environment you end up working in, because one of the best ways to stop bullying is to teach children to behave in ways that are its complete opposite.
Looking for an early childhood assistant college that combines theoretical learning with hands-on training?
Visit NAHB for program information or to speak with an experienced advisor.