Is My Child A Bully?

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The day that Sydney came home and told me that she was a bully surprised me.  First, I thought that maybe she was repeating something she had heard.  But after looking into the situation, I found the answers I needed.  It was a teachable moment for all involved.  Don’t worry I was classy, not trashy.  Sydney made it very clear that she is involved in her surroundings and can hear! I was proud of her for sharing that information with me after school.

The day I noticed Harrison packing two of everything in his lunch, I was puzzled. He said he was packing extra for after school at grandma’s house.  I knew something was not right.  The next day I asked him what was going on at lunch.  He shared with me that another student would ask for his lunch or tell him to buy lunch items from his lunch account. I was trying hard to seek first to understand. But all I could think about was this kid has a mama and a daddy. I am not paying for his lunch.

Harrison said the student told him he would beat him up and he wouldn’t have friends, if he stopped or told anyone.  Harrison didn’t want to get the boy in trouble. I talked with Harrison that this has to stop.  I told him to seek help from counselors or administration on his own.  It was very hard for me not to email the school right away. 

Harrison was able to advocate for himself and the situation was resolved.  My children are not perfect. They have made mistakes in the past. They know the reality of consequences.  But what happens when your child is the bully?

My dear friend said she needed my help because her child was “the bully”.  I listened as she shared her story.  Her child was known as the bully at school.  Her child had to be in charge of the group at recess and create the rules. Her child would tell other kids who they could play with and who to exclude from the group.

She was devastated and she was trying to get counseling for her family. She didn’t understand why the other parents whispered when she arrived at parent drop off. She didn’t know how to respond when the teacher at open house said she had heard all about her child.

What makes a child a bully?  Do we blame it on the internet, cyber bullying, or iphones?  All I know is that my friend was desperate to help her child.  Are you thinking that my friend and her husband are to blame?  Do you think their child learned this behavior at home?

Let me say that my friend was not in denial.  She realized that her child had a problem.  She asked me to how to approach administration because she felt that their minds were already made up about her family.  I told her to talk with her child first and see where all of this was coming from. She was trying to figure out a timeline of when the incidents first started.

I was proud of her for not being in denial and asking for help.  She was able to get help for her child. We all need to take bullying seriously, our children depend on it. My friend asked me to blog about her experience. With the hope that it would help others. Her daughter will be a second grader in the Fall.

Bullying isn’t defined by race, gender, or economic status.   Don’t ignore the signs of bullying. Talk with your children and remind your children to speak up. I would want someone to stand up for my children.

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