It turns out the old saying about sticks and stones breaking bones but words never hurting is bunk.
According to research newly published in the peer-reviewed Early Childhood Research Quarterly, emotional bullying in the preschool years hurts quite a lot. When a child both bullies and gets bullied, the findings are especially clear: Depression symptoms begin to appear as early as age 3. Depression in early childhood increases the risk of depression in later childhood, which predicts depression in adolescence.
Bullying by young children is “very obvious,” said Tracy Vaillancourt, a professor of child psychology at the University of Ottawa and co-author of the study. “They’re not very good at it but it’s still very effective.”
Two- to 3-year-old preschool students engage in emotional bullying by refusing to let certain classmates sit by them, threatening to withhold their friendship from others, blocking classmates out by turning their backs or even just closing their eyes and covering their ears. Stating that so-and-so “can’t come to my birthday party” is and especially common weapon, Vaillancourt said.
Click here for the entire article.