“That boy’s a bully.” That’s not something you typically hear in a preschool classroom. You might hear “He’s being mean to me.” or “He took my toy.” But, the concept of bullying isn’t really there. Sure, you’ve got the kids that don’t know how to share. That’s typical preschooler behavior. They’re not bullies. Yet.
What is bullying, really? At the core, it’s someone being selfish and not caring about others. It’s a behavior that usually has a psychological root. But truly, it’s being mean and not sharing. Hmmm… that sounds familiar.
What we do as leaders in a preschool classroom in reaction to “He’s being mean to me.” is crucial. We need to step in. We need to love. We need to coach. We need to love. We need to help them resolve the conflict. We need to love.
We need to love both the child who is complaining and the child being “mean.” We need to coach both on how to handle the confrontation. We need to explain expected behaviors and that Jesus is everyone’s friend, and He wants us all to be friends, too.
Our preschool classrooms are where children first hear that they are loved by the Creator of the Universe. It’s where they hear for the first time that God sent Jesus to be their friend forever. It’s where they hear that they are never alone; God is always with them. It’s where they get the foundation of their faith. It’s where they hear that they are an important part of a bigger story.
Preschool classrooms are where we learn to share and love. As leaders, if we teach those two things well…we won’t have to worry about bullies.