Preschool age children are often thought of as too young to be able to engage in bullying behaviours. However, when it does occur, there are ramifications not only for the child but also for parents and siblings. This article explores this issue by reporting on an exploratory study involving interviews with four parents whose child had experienced bullying in a Victorian kindergarten. Parents reported a range of responses, including anger, guilt for not protecting their child, and powerlessness in the face of denial from kindergarten staff that their child had been bullied. Being unable to access information about bullying among preschool children which might validate their experiences, reinforced the sense of isolation these parents experienced. Further research which explores the needs of family members of children bullied in the kindergarten (prior to school) setting is needed.
Field of Research
160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services