Written by Barbara Gilmour.  NJ Mom Squad Team.

I’ve read several reports about bullying in children as young as five, in kindergarten. Some are saying 20% of children were bullying in kindergarten. Just this week, Good Morning America polled their audience with the question: “Have you heard about bullying in kindergarten?” A whopping 92% of viewers said, “YES!”

What is the Impact of Bullying on Our Children?

One study found that children who do not acquire social skills at the proper time and begin school with poorly developed social competence are at increased risk for difficulty in school. This can escalate, causing other significant problems as children age. (Study by Karen L. Bierman and Stephen A. Erath. ”Promoting Social Competence in Early Childhood: Classroom Curricula and Social Skills Coaching Programs.”)

Pushing (C) Cool Kind Kid
Another study funded by the National Institutes of Health and other Federal Agencies, conducted by Penn State University at 44 Head Start sites, found that preschoolers who received basic ABC’s and 123′s and social skills training were better prepared for kindergarten and performed better throughout their school years.

Help Your Children Learn Healthy Social Skills In The Preschool Years

The question we must ask is: ”What can we do about this?” ”Developing well-balanced friendships is key to a child becoming neither a victim nor an aggressor. Therefore, it’s important for you to help your children learn healthy social skills in the preschool years, when the nature of friendships is first being explored. By learning how to effectively handle difficult situations with friends, children can take care of themselves and develop healthy relationships. The time to start is early in life.” (Scholastic/Parents: Bullies in Disguise by Suzanne Marie Fanger.”)

These reports show how important it is to begin teaching kids more than just “please” and “thank-you,” and how to hold their fork. We can prepare them for all their social encounters, build their confidence, and put the brakes on bullying.

Cool Kind Kid(C) Cool Kind Kid