Children’s Mental Health and Bullying: Early Childhood Educators

Topic: Pedagogy
Words: 1929 Pages: 8


Social, emotional development is crucial for any child who is still undergoing mental development. It deals with how a child can interact with others and express their emotions towards a given situation. In short, it demonstrates how children begin to understand their surroundings, what they feel. The development enables a child to form and sustain positive relationships with their peers and caregivers, manage, express, and experience emotions, and explore and engage with their environment. For instance, positive social-emotional development can be determined if a child can contribute to group activities. Additionally, a child’s reaction after being teased can also be regarded as social-emotional development.

A Child’s Social-Emotional Developmental Milestones and Worldview for Ages K-3

There are numerous worldview that determines children of ages k-3 social-emotional development. According to Gądek-Michalska et al. (2019), the milestones include the capability of joining their peers in playing. Starting and making up hypothetical games is also a critical milestone. Additionally, they begin to show care to others by sharing their toys with other children. Additionally, they are always interested in winning everything they participate in and often feel disappointed if they lose. Moreover, a child becomes bossy and defiant as they want only their opinions to be considered. They express their feelings depending on the situation. Finally, they demonstrate all the scenes they get involved in by acting, such as driving a car and making funny sounds, and at times they pretend to be an animal by assuming their roles.

The Effect of Stress on The Social-Emotional Development of a Child

Exposure to stress can affect the social-emotional development of a child both biologically and socially. Biologically, extreme stress activates the Hypothalamic Pituitary and Adrenal (HPA) in the brain (Gądek-Michalska et al. 2019). However, repeated over-activation of HPA causes lifelong negative behavior that can be difficult to control. Socially, children who are exposed to stressful environments exhibit traits of irritability and anger. They also become isolated as their confidence levels are lowered. Additionally, they become frustrated, and at times, they can inflict physical pain on themselves because of becoming frustrated.

The Effect of The Environment on The Social-Emotional Development of a Child

The environment that a child lives and operates in also affects social-economic development. An environment that encourages discipline often instills the virtue of discipline into children. For instance, when they monitor their peer’s interaction with their colleagues and their caregivers in a disciplined way, the children also adopt the discipline value. A positive environment motivates kids to be kind to their peers (Vilcins et al., 2018). They share what they want, and they care about other feelings. Moreover, an environment that doesn’t tolerate violence and bullying makes children not exercise any bullying behavior. In other words, a positive environment enhances a child’s confidence; hence they fit in any group.

Activities To Incorporate Whole Group Social Skill Lessons Promoting Positive Peer Interactions

The following activities should incorporate the whole group social skill lessons promoting positive interactions: 1. Often greet children by their names when they come to class and tell them goodbye when they leave for home after the classes. This will make the children feel part of the team hence relieving any form of tension for their peers or teachers. 2. When allocating toys to children, distribute equal toys to children and ask them to swap the toys after a given period. This makes the children feel recognized in the team and understands that they can play different roles among their peers. Additionally, they begin to develop the quality of sharing. 3. Showcasing the performs of children is also a critical activity since it enables children to develop confidence.

Bullying among Young Children

Every person has experienced one form of bullying in one way or another knowingly or at times unknowingly. Young children experience bullying, and this can be detrimental to their health. Bullying is a complex behavior in young children since they may not be able to understand the situation. It occurs gradually by systematic pain infliction. The pain can be inflicted physically or verbally, and at times it can take two forms (Wiseman et al., 2018). Although it can sometimes be indirect, it can conduct directly through teasing the destruction of belongings, among others.

Strategies For Identifying Bullying Behaviour Concerns In Young Children

Bullying can be identified through three main strategies. The first strategy is monitoring a children’s behavior towards others. A child who constantly blames others for their mistakes is a potential bully. Second, the ability to fight with peers or caregivers is an effective strategy for determining a bully. Bullies are quick to get into a physical or verbal fight with everyone they interact with. They believe they are superior and never care about any person’s feelings. Third, monitoring the level of aggression of a child can be a strategy used to determine if a child is bullied. Bullies often become increasingly aggressive in most of the activities and the interactions they get involved in.

Ways of Addressing Bullying

Bullying can be addressed using two approaches, the school approach, and the single factor intervention. In the school approach, the institution measures to curb bullying by enlightening them on the effects of bullying and punishing those who bully others. For instance, schools can enlighten their peers by teaching them about the effects of bullying on children in classrooms (Lester et al. 2018). Students are constantly reminded of the repercussions of buying and encouraging those bullied to report to the administration. Additionally, learning institutions can punish bullies depending on the severity and frequency of their bullying acts.

Regarding single-factor intervention, an individual bully is identified and is guided towards stopping the bullying acts. For example, bullies are encouraged to mediate with those they bully. When they start to accept the mediation process that they begin to appreciate the feelings of others, bullies can also be encouraged to practice general concern and remorse towards their peers. Finally, parents are t be actively engaged in stopping the menace if their child expresses bullying behaviors as this will help them understand the severity of bullying.

Mental Health Concerns in Young Children

Mental health concern in young children has raised numerous alarms in the contemporary world. Young children experience numerous health concerns which may be difficult to determine since children can be unable to communicate their feelings. However, they can exhibit clear characteristics of mental health issues at a very early stage. It can mainly be caused by toxic stress that children get exposed to when they are still young and mentally undeveloped. However, young children’s mental health can be treated at home. According to Wiseman and Jones (2018), mental health concerns are directly linked to their caregivers. Additionally, they should be treated as soon as detected to prevent them from manifesting in the later years of a child’s life.

Strategies for Identifying Mental Health Concerns in Young Children

Mental health concerns can be identified using three main strategies; monitoring social interactions, observing a child’s emotional distress, and the ability to inflict personal pain. A child who has mental health issues is poor at interacting with their peers (Arango et al., 2018). In other words, kids can either be aggressive towards other kids or, at times, they can isolate themselves from people. Observing the emotional distress of a child can be used to determine their mental health concerns. Children can show mental disturbance by crying, exhibiting sadness in their faces, among other unusual behaviors. Moreover, mental health issues can be determined if a child is capable of inflicting pain on themselves. For instance, children throw themselves on the flow, throwing objects at people.

Ways of Addressing Mental Health Concerns in Young Children

Mental health concerns in children can be addressed in several ways, depending on the situation. Children often deserve attention, and therefore they can be shown tremendous love and acceptance, which is the most basic way of addressing mental health concerns. Caregivers and educators should ask questions about children’s interests and activities, which can help them monitor their mental well-being. Listening and respecting the kids’ feelings and providing physical activity such as play is also crucial. It helps relieve the tension and stress a child can be experiencing. Additionally, the situation can be improved by adopting simple solutions that a child can understand instead of a complex technique that may further fuel the mental issues. Finally, the conversation should be flowing, and children should be able to participate in the conversation.

Community Resources For Families Concerning Children’s Social-Emotional Development

Community resources for families in handling children’s social-emotional development. For instance, public parks are a crucial community resource as it provides a conducive environment and space where families can take their children to play and explore nature. As a result, it helps relieve stress that the home environment can at times be unable to provide. Second, community guidance and counseling facilities ensure that caregivers who experience mental issues have free access to the resources. Additionally, children experiencing mental issues can further affect their caregivers by imposing constant stress. However, the availability of guidance and counseling facilities in the community can help in reducing effects at an early stage. Churches are also community resources that can help families as it offers them hope and a place to share their troubles. As a result, churches can lower the mental stress experienced when dealing with children.

Community Resources For Teachers Concerning Children’s Social-Emotional Development

Similarly, community resources are also crucial for teachers. The resources include public libraries, guidance and counseling services, and museums. Teachers can go to the library to access written information regarding the mental health h cases. As a result, it helps them increase their knowledge of mental issues. Additionally, as parents, teachers are also affected by the mental concerns of the children they interact with. Hence, they can visit community guidance and counseling services for free. Moreover, the museum can be a good place to explore nature and therefore it can help the teacher relieve classroom stress by visiting such places.

Importance of Community Resources in Enhancing Children’s Social-emotional Development

Community resources are critical in handling mental health issues since it creates a safe environment for interacting, for instance, in public parks. It also helps in enhancing a child’s efficacy and provides professional help, especially where a child exhibits long-lasting signs. Additionally, it creates opportunities for caregivers to take care of their children, such as churches in public parks. In addition, it keeps young children busy.


In other to address bullying and mental health concerns effectively, some proposed recommendations should be considered. First, an integrated approach should be deployed by educators to address the issue of bullying and mental health. Second, building, and mental health concerns should be taken seriously, and any form of such behavior exhibited should be moted early. Third, each school and department should identify appropriate ways of dealing with bullying and mental health as every school can experience different forms of such issues. Fourth, the educators should acknowledge differences in every student’s personality and handle them differently based on their mental needs and capability. Fifth, parents should be given the priority in handling issues of bullying and mental health as they spend most of their time with their children.


To conclude, bullying and mental health issues are modern-day challenges. They affect both the bullied and the bully in equal measures. Additionally, they can be identified early. Upon identification, numerous techniques can be used to address these issues depending on the situation. Additionally, community resources are crucial in ensuring that these modern-day challenges affecting kids are handled effectively.


Arango, C., Díaz-Caneja, C. M., McGorry, P. D., Rapoport, J., Sommer, I. E., Vorstman, J. A.,… & Carpenter, W. (2018). Preventive strategies for mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(7), 591-604. Web.

Gądek-Michalska, A., Tadeusz, J., Bugajski, A., & Bugajski, J. (2019). Chronic isolation stress affects subsequent crowding stress-induced brain nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses. Neurotoxicity research, 36(3), 523-539. Web.

Lester, L., Waters, S., Pearce, N., Spears, B., & Falconer, S. (2018). Pre-service teachers: Knowledge, attitudes and their perceived skills in addressing student bullying. Australian Journal of Teacher Education (Online), 43(8), 30-45. Web.

Vilcins, D., Sly, P. D., & Jagals, P. (2018). Environmental risk factors associated with child stunting: a systematic review of the literature. Annals of global health, 84(4), 551. Web.

Wiseman, A. M., & Jones, J. S. (2018). Examining depictions of bullying in children’s picturebooks: A content analysis from 1997 to 2017. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 32(2), 190-201. Web.

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