Question of the Week: Bullies

1 Comment


This week on Multiples and More, a question was asked about a scenario.

The kid pushes Jill out of the way and says “No it’s mine you can’t play”. Yes, put his hands on my daughter. I turn to the Mom to see if she’s going to say anything. No response, clearly talking about how much tv her “angel” does not watch is way more important. So I was in a spot, do I say something to the Mom or the kid? I know she saw it, she’s looking in the direction of her child. I decided to say “I think we need to share and not push because that’s not nice” then I turned to the Mom and asked “Right?” giving the “you so better agree with me” look. Response? “Right we share”.

What would you do?

Honestly I have no idea.  Butterfly has been the victim of bullying and also the bully.  I used to be very protective of Butterfly at play places.  But even though I was protective, she was slapped, pushed, hit, and hurt.  She’s also been the one to push.  I think it’s the nature of kids to push their boundaries.  And frankly, this is one of those boundaries kids push.

If had been Butterfly (who is 5), I would have waited it out to see if they had worked it out.  She and I talk about these types of situations and how SHE should act if this happens when I’m not around.  I would have told her to walk away or come find me.  And if she came to find me, I would have told her to wait her turn.

Now if SHE had been the one pushing, I would have made her apologize to the other kid.  She would also have had a time out on the spot.

If it had been the boys (who are 2.5) being pushed by a bigger kid, I would have stepped in and redirected my own child.  If they had been the one pushing, I would have made them apologize and they would have had a time out.  (More often then not, they are great to other kids, they would have been pushing each other.)

Only if there is a grave danger to the child or if I see that the child is alone.  I typically ignore the bullying child and their parents because they just aren’t worth the time.

Like I mentioned, Butterfly and I talk about what to do if she is being pushed around.  Typically I see her stop and look at the offending child a little baffled.  Then she comes and tells me.  (She’s a bit of a tattle tale…and it’s okay.)  I tell her to come tell me.  Or tell another adult.  But NOT to hit/push/yank back.

Bullies are a part of life.  I’m hoping to teach my children to act with dignity when they are pushed by someone.  Because even as adults, I think we get pushed a little.  And hopefully, we handle things well.


One Comment (+add yours!)

  1. Momster
    Sep 13, 2010 @ 14:33:11

    Wow! Seeing this 15 years down the line I now have a totally different perspective. Those playground bullies turn into the kids in elementary school who trip your child as they walk with their lunch tray. Next they steal their calculator and threaten them so they are afraid to tell any adult and it escalates from there. It is a fine line to teach your child to stand up for themselves without telling them it is okay to become a bully themselves.

    In middle school one of my son’s was being verbally abused day after day at lunch in the cafeteria. I didn’t find out until he didn’t want to go back to school after Christmas vacation. When the offender was called in to speak to the counselor his comment was that my son never told him to stop or to cut it out. Duh! It never occurred to my son that he needed to yell back at the boy to quit it, he assumed the bully knew what he was doing was wrong. The problem was solved. Teaching my boys to loudly yell stop hitting me on the playground was often enough to get a parents attention without my having to get involved.

    I try not to scold others children, what do you consider scolding? But I don’t hesitate to tell them don’t hit, don’t push, don’t spit.

    Maybe I am saying more than you wanted-I never “made” my boys apologize. I felt that was teaching them to lie. If they were not sorry, I would apologize and then take the child for a time out. If once they thought about it they were ready to apologize they could go do that of course we had the standard -how would you feel if they had done that to you? would Jesus do that? etc conversation) or they could wait until we went home and not apologize at all.


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