Pint-sized bullies ~Listen closely, do you hear me hovering? I’ve got to say that there are some instances where I just have to let my Helicopter Mommy freak flag fly. Pint sized preschool bullying is one of those instances. I don’t understand preschoolers who harass one another and I certainly won’t tolerate it from my own child. I wouldn’t even believe that such a thing could exist at such a tender age except for the fact that it seems to be attracted to my daughters. I have no tolerance for bullies. I harbor a special disdain for those billies who prey on those who are smaller/weaker then them or who they know thrives on social interaction and acceptance.
My 4 year old has been coming home from school since the first day uttering the name Ava*. My daughter thinks this kid is awesome. To be fair, my kid is pretty awesome herself. I knew this year would be a big one for my Abbi for the sheer fact that it is the first year Abbi would make her very first friend, that was just her friend and not her big sisters. Until now, Abbi has been grandfathered in on all of Ella’s friendships. It’s worked out nicely for all of us, especially Abbi. This is her first year of preschool and I knew it would be a process. So her talking about this Ava* non-stop was fine by me because I took it as an indication that Abbi had made a friend. Sure there were the mentions of many others, but this Ava* she was something special to my Abbi. Or so I thought.
About a month into school, every day that I picked Abbi up, she would run to me in smiles and within minutes of being in the car she would promptly start crying. I’d ask what was wrong and every day it was the same thing “Ava was mean to me”, “Ava won’t play with me”, “Ava won’t talk to me”, “Ava told me that I’m not her friend!” She was being bullied but this couldn’t be, not at 4. I thought maybe she was just overly sensitive being that she is still so new at this friend making business. I encouraged her to give Ava* another chance and that maybe
the bully Ava* was having a bad day. Of course, on the inside, my heart was breaking because no one wants to see their child hurt, especially when they are so young and have no idea of the ways of the world. She doesn’t understand that some people are just mean girls, just bullies. It’s not her, it’s them. It’s not personal, it’s business. I hate that this bully’s actions are literally changing who my daughter is. Abbi is a naive, sweet innocent kid. She is the epitome of wide-eyed amazement with the world, but being made to feel like she is not good enough is changing her place in the world, because it’s changing how she feels about herself and how she moves in the world. That is absolutely not okay with me. Bullies are not cool.
I’ve actually been in the classroom twice in the past week and I’ve observed the bullying behavior; there’s been some pair bullying, some teasing, and the worst the ignoring. I have seen it firsthand. Which begs the question why has the teacher not done anything about it? Of course, what else would I expect from the teacher who told me in a discussion ( in which she apparently lost all her senses) that “This job has made me realize just how much I don’t like kids”. Did I mention that she is pregnant? Oh, and that she said this to a mother of one of the said children. Of course, I guess my appalled facial expression jarred her to her senses because she quickly back peddled “But not Abbi, Abbi is a joy!” Ahem, yeah.Crazy bitch said what? This has left me exceedingly frustrated with the situation. My instinct is to shelter her from the cruelty of world. I know I can’t do this forever, but I can delay it until she is a little more secure in who she is. Abbi doesn’t deserve to be made to feel less than and the bullies of the world need to know that their behavior is not only unacceptable but will not be tolerated. This situation needs to be nipped in the proverbial bud or maybe this helicopter, over protective Mommy might need to show her teeth and bite back.
My gut reaction was to pull her out of school. I know it’s drastic but I don’t feel that I can talk to the teacher and changing classes wouldn’t be fair because then Abbi is being punished. Of course, running from bullies in life is not an acceptable lesson that I want to teach my child but I also can’t continue to be witness to her deflation. She is amazing and I have to be her advocate, first and foremost. I have to teach her that she is better than good enough and that in dealing with the bullies of the world to remember that they are the ones who are experiencing the deficit not her. I will point blank talk to the teacher, if that doesn’t work, I’ll talk to the parents of Ava*. Have you ever had to deal with a pint-sized bully? What did you do? How do you teach your children to handle bullies? What would you do if you were me?
*Names of bullies have been changed.