Response stories

Addressing bullying in daycare

Viktoriia contacted the REActor for help because her child was being bullied in daycare. The little girl had repeatedly complained at home that other kids were constantly saying bad things about her mother, the teacher called her names in front of everyone, made her pick up and put away the toys other children had been playing with, and yelled at her. Viktoriia suspected being a target of mean-spirited comments and verbal abuse behind her back so she asked the kid’s grandmother to pick her up after daycare. But the last straw was when the kid complained to the daycare teacher that another girl was calling her names and hitting her, but the woman replied that it was all her own fault and blamed it all on her poor upbringing.

The little girl came home all in tears and flat-out refused to go to daycare again. The next day, Viktoriia visited the daycare center in person and discussed the situation with the teacher. The latter brushed all accusations aside and advised the client to adjust her behavior and take better care of her child because otherwise, the girl would grow up to be just like her mother. “Everyone knows perfectly well what kind of lifestyle you lead,” the teacher said as they were wrapping up the conversation.

The client was outraged and replied that her private life had nothing to do with anything and that she was a good mother and spent enough time with her kid. Some personal remarks were exchanged, and then the head of the daycare center joined in the argument to privately advise the woman to find another daycare for her kid given the negative attitudes shown by the parents of the other kids. Realizing that the situation was hopeless, Viktoriia got in touch with the REActor for assistance and guidance.

The REActor, Olena, and the project coordinator, Yulia, escorted the client to the psychologist’s office. The latter talked her through the necessary steps to take and gave her recommendations on how to behave in stressful situations and how to provide support and distract the child from negativity, as well as how to show love and empathy. Apart from this, a joint session with the child was suggested to properly explain the reasons behind the negative attitudes towards her and improve the situation for the future.

In addition, the project’s legal counsel gave Viktoriia an initial consultation over the telephone. The lady specialist explained what to do if her child is bullied, what parents are supposed to do if that happens, and where to seek help if necessary. Viktoriia received assurances of support and assistance in case she should encounter any legal issues. However, the client refused to file a complaint with authorities and chose to transfer her kid to another daycare center with a more child-friendly environment, but she agreed to receive further psychological counseling.