My almost 5 year old boy is in preschool 2.5 days a week. Last year, he was always enthusiastic about going to preschool but this year, he has encountered 2 boys (one of them is his cousin) - who have seemed to identify my son as a target for a bit of bullying. His cousin has always tried to exclude him from games with cousins, and is unpleasant with him during family gatherings (which we can't avoid). His cousin's parents are aware but have a very different parenting philosophy than ours and they will not discipline their kid for mistreating others (Only shout and cajole and do nothing else).
So this cousin, and his friend at kinder - They hit my son on a regular basis at preschool, call him names like "Dumbface" or "Rubbishface", bump into him whilst on the tricycle. I have recently notified the preschool teacher. What makes it even more complicated is the friend whom my son normally plays with at kinder, is now joining these boys. I have taught my son to say "stop!" and get the teacher (and he does), but he reports to me, there's always hitting and name calling almost every session we go. Hence my son, who usually loves to go to kinder, is now anxious when I drop him off and wants to to stay. He has also recently said he prefers to be home (which is a very unusual thing for him). I'm a little concerned, and would like some advice as to how to proceed to help my son without it turning this into some big drama?