The other day, I took Norton to the Prince George Forestry and Railway Museum for a preschool field trip. He loves trains, so I was just thrilled to take him to the museum. The only thing that disappointed me is that I’d planned on having a family outing to the museum at some point in the summer. At least, that was the only thing that disappointed me…. Right up until I caught what might be the beginning of preschool bullying.
When we were getting Norton out of the van, another little girl was getting out of the van next to us. A little girl looked at Norton and said to her own mommy, “Norton is weird. He doesn’t use a lot of words.” It was said with all the contempt that a preschool girl could muster.
I was crushed. Norton had come so far in dealing with his toddler language delay. I was just so proud of my little boy. To hear that little girl make those comments broke my heart. I wanted to close the van door and drive away with my little boy safe inside, and never look back.
The little girl’s mother handled it the best possible way while I bit my own tongue. Her mother said mildly, “He’s little. When you were little, you didn’t use a lot of words, either.”
I hope that nipped it in the bud. But even though I’d hoped that was the end of the matter, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the beginning of Norton experiencing some sort of bullying. In the beginning, he loved preschool, but lately he hasn’t always wanted to go. Now I can’t help but wonder if there’s some sort of bullying problem that I’m not aware of and that Norton isn’t verbal enough to express. Or maybe I’m projecting because I remember the special hell of schoolyard bullying from my own childhood. And I remember my own preschool bullying being my first experience with being picked on… and that it was sanctioned by the preschool management.
Have you ever wondered if your child was experiencing preschool bullying? How did you handle it?