World Mental Health Day was last week (Oct 10), and while the mental well-being of primary and secondary school children was one of the issues raised by the recent viral #lifebeyondgrades campaign, it seems parents here might also need to start worrying about the mental well-being of their very young kids, as young as those in nursery school, if the latest post from @tjinlee is anything to go by.
Yesterday (Oct 16), Tjin shared the story of how her son Tyler, a five-year-old kindergarten student (middle in pic collage above, and with his mum Tjin Lee, PR and fashion maven and lifestyle and parenting influencer, and his younger brother Jake, 3), was punched in the eye on his school bus, and how it was the fourth incident of bullying he had encountered this year. Her Instagram post garnered over a hundred comments and countless DMs (private Direct Messages) sharing similar stories, which led us to think, "Is pre-school bullying a problem? Should we be worried? Are kids this young able to deal with mental and physical abuse? What can parents do?"
We reached out to Tjin to share more, and she told us, "Clearly, pre-school bullying is real, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I felt it was important to raise awareness. We have the third highest rate of bullying globally [behind Latvia and New Zealand, in a study done among 15-year-olds], and it's rampant and on the rise. And it's starting earlier and earlier. Parents are so concerned with raising their kids to be smart. But are we raising our kids to be kind?