Are we too quick to label our kids as ‘shy’? How can we help shy kids become more social? And at the other extreme, bullying can start at a very young age. What do you do if you are the parent of a child who bullies? When should you intervene? Child counsellor, Jenny Coen, helps with some useful advice.
Jenny suggests that if you have a toddler who is reluctant to join a group then you should be proactive and take them by the hand and lead them into a game and introduce them. Helping them to break into the group is usually enough to get them interacting with the other kids.
The term ‘bullying’ is quite harsh but some behaviours can start from a young age. If toddlers are exhibiting this ‘bullying’ behaviour it’s usually because they are not aware that the behaviour is inappropriate. Jenny says that parents need to teach their children what is socially acceptable behaviour and provide positive directions such as " use your words" or “we keep our hands to ourselves”. She reaffirms that young kids (up to about the age of 6) are not really capable of moderating their own behaviour so they may require time out from a game, or a situation, to prevent it from getting out of control.
The over riding message from Jenny and the mums is that our children learn by example and we need to be good role models.