“He said he doesn’t want to sit by me!” “She called my shoes ugly!” these are some of the tattles that preschool teachers handle on a regular basis within their classrooms. At a very young age, children are learning to communicate with each other while learning where they fit within a group. The definition of bullying is when “an individual or a group of people with more power, repeatedly and intentionally cause hurt or harm to another person or group”. The act of “bullying” can start as young as preschool and if the bullied child gives the other child what they want, the behavior will continue.
Teachers do their best to handle situations with statements like “That wasn’t very nice. You need to apologize” or “If you can’t use nicer words, you will miss out on _____”. Understandably, the focus always seems to be on the child that is teasing or otherwise disrupting the classroom. “Getting to the source” of the problem for many teachers looks like disciplining the child that is causing the chaos as it appears to be the quickest fix.
But what happens when you instead, focus on teaching all children resilience by giving them the tools to deflect negative, unwanted comments from others? What happens when a character, who promises to “recycle” mean words, is introduced to a classroom?
Pure magic! And by pure magic, I mean teachers dealing with A LOT less tattling than before and children brushing off those comments that would otherwise cause them stress, anger or sadness. The best part of introducing a character like this is that it takes the power away from the child that is bullying. When a child doesn’t react to the negative comments and, instead, brushes them off and moves on, pure magic is exactly what happens!
Crouching Tigers is excited to introduce a character that gives children the ability to recycle negative words into positive ones. Recycling Ben is coming to a school near you this fall so keep an eye out for a free booklet and instructions for teachers and parents.
Imagine if we, as adults, had the ability to mentally throw comments in the trash instead of stewing on them. Imagine how much head space we would save if we stopped replaying every negative comment and interaction in our minds over and over again. Imagine if we can give young children the ability to do that in a way that sticks with them for years to come…