The One Where We Disagree About A Mother’s Role In Bullying

This week at Momversation we talked about Bullying, Bullicide and a mother’s responsibility to her kids and the kids around her.

Mindy recently confronted her daughter’s bullies. At school. On the yard.

When Jane was in second grade she didn’t get along very well with another little girl. There was no campaign to harass, there was no ganging up on anyone, it wasn’t bullying, it was just two kids not really liking each other. Jane came home from school, at age seven, freaked out because the little girl’s mother had “talked” to Jane on the yard, telling her that she was mean, that she was going to be in trouble, and that she had to be nice to her daughter.

Jane still hates that kid.

I might have promised the mother that I’d, “shove her Mercedes up her ass if she ever so much as looked at my daughter again.”  or I might not have.

But I think y’all know that I probably did.

With that in mind, here is this week’s Momversation

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Comments 6

  1. This is a touchy subject and I think it has a lot to do with the child’s age. My girl is 5 and was being picked on and purposely left out by 2 other girls in her ballet class. Her and the 1little girl were friends and then over a summer, she little girl befriended the other little girl and decided that it wasn’t enough to exclude my daughter but that she needed to tell her that she didn’t like her and was excluding her.It was just very shitty. I had toyed with the idea of saying something to the girl’s Mother, who I am friendly with, but decided to let it go for a bit to see if they could work it out. After a month of turning her cheek, I simply told my daughter that if the behavior continued that she should just avoid the girl and if it escalated to let me know. I had my finger on the situation but don’t think it is my place to speak to another parent’s child. I have reign over my child> I teach her. If the child had ever become physical or I saw that it was becoming too much emotionally for my girl, I most certainly would have contacted the other mother and discussed it with her.If that wouldn’t have worked then my next step would have been to contact the ballet school, to separate the two so that the situation could not occur. I think there is a very thin line of what we can and can;t do for our children. Obviously, I wanted to beat this child for her bad attitude and for hurting my child, but that was just the Mama bear in me, we have to teach our children to thrive and live in this world and preferably take the moral high ground but sometimes its hard.Eventually, the girl got bored with being mean and it wasn’t any fun because my girl ignored her.Now they are friendly again. The fickle friendships of 5 ear olds:)LOL

  2. I’m on the Jessica side of things.

    Staying out often is the better answer. Getting involved (depending) can often make it worse.. I’m talking about kids.. not teens and grownups.. ?

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  4. I think that what every parent needs to learn is what every child does learn at some point. There is a huge difference between being bullied and being picked on.
    The parent should only become directly involved if the child is in mortal danger, otherwise let the child know that you are there ( keeping your eyes open ) but it is up to them to solve the problem. Keep a close eye on the situation and lock up the guns . There will always be a bully somewhere and each person needs to learn how to best deal with them as they surface. Sometimes what is required is to walk up and punch the bully in the nose, but also be aware that your precious little Biff or Bunny may not be perfect and that they are the ones doing the bulling. This requires that you be involved in their lives. Being pick on is also something that each of us must learn how to deal with, and if you have done a good job teaching your child ( remember the 2’s, it’s mine, no, hitting, crying, playing the victim , etc.) they will survive. The question is How well will you ? LOl

  5. I’m kind of surprised that no one thought to contact the school about the behavior. In most situations, that would be my first response. Bullying is a serious offense in school and failure to regulate bullying is a serious thing.

    As a former teacher, I was regularly asked to keep an eye on children who were not getting along. We’ve even had students change classes if we were that concerned about it. Outside of school, it’s a different story, but in school, I think letting school officials know is very important.

  6. It’s so hard to stay out of your kids’ battles – but if you don’t, what are you teaching them? That every time there’s a conflict, you’re going to fight their battles for them? My daughter, who’s now 10, has had her fair share of conflicts; and while I counsel her how to handle them, I would never intervene. And believe me, that’s hard to do.

    You make an important point, Jessica, about the grade 3 and 4 years – the time when groups start to form. This is an especially important time to guide your child to choose wisely; and the kids who make him/her feel bad about themselves or put them in awkward situations are not their real friends. And can I tell you, there are some tween girls who are natural, bitchy ringleaders – they’re not hard to spot,and their MO is always the same. Then, when you meet their mothers – you realize the apple never falls far from the tree.

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