Who is the Real Bully?

today is a great day | I’m sure everyone heard the story of Nadin Khoury, the 13- year old bully victim, who garnered attention from the Eagles because he was attacked by a group of teenagers and hung on a fence by his coat.  As a parent of two children, I was highly appalled by the incident.  Every parent, at some point, faces the realization that it could happen to their child.  But what if you were the parent of the bully?

For the first time ever, my daughter was accused of being a bully.  Shocked, stunned, and disbelief were my immediate reactions.  If my children are accused of something, I want to hear all sides so that if my kids are at fault, I can correct it immediately.  “Bully” is a strong word, so before you use it, make sure you can back it up because I’m gonna check… and check good.  After all, you’re saying my child physically or mentally hurt someone weaker, which is a no-no in my book and constitutes disciplinary action.

The woman who accused my daughter of being a bully is, in fact, the same woman who complimented me on both my kids and their behavior and said she was so happy her daughter, “Susie” has someone to play with.  Huh? That statement should have projected a red flag in my mind immediately.  But instead, it went over my head.

Susie is 8.  She met my children a month ago.  You mean to tell me she had no one to play with until my children came along?  Hhmmm… “I wonder why?”, is what I should’ve asked myself.

Susie’s mom seemed to be a nice lady.  We exchanged phone numbers.  Why not?  I’m always open to new friendships, especially other moms.  So one day, she calls me up and asks me if I can watch Susie for an hour or two.  “Sure, no problem at all.”  They all play together anyway.  So her mom drops her off and oh boy… let’s just say she was a handful and her mother couldn’t have come a minute sooner!

Here’s one of my parent rules:  Do not get involved in minor kid drama. Kids play and get mad at each other all the time and say they aren’t friends anymore.  The next day, they’ve made up and are playing again.  It would be silly for me to react everytime time my child comes and tells me, her friend did something she didn’t like.  Our conversations regarding kid drama normally go like this:

My child: “Mommy, we were playing jump rope and ‘Taylor’ didn’t let me go first.”
Me: “Did you get a turn to jump?”
My child: “Yeah, but…”
Me: “Go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Sarah’ said she wasn’t going to play with me anymore.”
Me: “Okay, well find someone else to play with.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Patty’ told ‘Carlos’ I liked him.  I can’t believe she said that!”
Me: “You can’t control other people’s actions or what they say, but always be conscious of your actions and what you say.  Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want anybody to say to you.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

My child: “Mommy, ‘Kevin’ said my shoes were ugly!”
Me: “You know your shoes aren’t ugly.  When people say negative things, don’t engage in conversation with them. Ignore them or tell the teacher.  Now go wash your hands for dinner.”

I’m not a mom who thinks my children are perfect.  Angels… yes.  Perfect angels… no.  But, just because you’re (or suppose to be) an adult, doesn’t mean I’m only taking your word either.  Especially if, based on past actions, you aren’t credible or a bit absent-minded to begin with (but that’s a different story).  It’s sad how some adults always blame kids for their mishaps and premature senility.

Anyway, if something constitutes immediate correction, then I’ll go to the child’s parent or a teacher, whichever is applicable.

So let’s fast forward about a week.  My girls and Susie are all playing together.  According to my daughter, Susie is being loud, pulling on her arm and is scratching her because of her nails.  My daughter yells at her to stop it and says she’s not playing with her anymore.  Susie starts crying.  Susie’s mom walks in the room and asks Susie why is she crying.  Susie tells her my daughter is being mean to her.  Susie’s mom turns to my daughter and viciously calls her a bully.  Hence the pic on the left is how her expression was described to me.  My daughter tells Susie’s mom, “No I’m not, she was scratching me and I told her I wasn’t playing with her anymore.”  Susie’s mom says, with pen in hand pointed at my daughter’s face, “Yes you are and I don’t want you playing with Susie again.”  Now mind you, Susie’s mom saw me after this incident took place and said absolutely nothing to me about it.

In my opinion, anytime a parent feels another child is being mean, go directly to the parent… immediately.  My first reaction would have been to tell the child, “Stop being mean.  If you can’t play nice, then don’t play at all. There should be no scratching and no yelling.  Period.  Now where is your mother so I can talk to her?”

In our case, Susie’s mom did us a huge favor.  Based on some other occurrences, my parent radar peaked “trouble” with Susie and “screws loose” with her mother.  So her mom saying she didn’t want her daughter playing with mine, suited me just fine.

However, the simple fact that you approached and intimidated my child (and saying nothing to me) leads me to wonder… who was the real bully?

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5 Responses

  1. Wow! That is some nut case of a mother. Why would you straight up call a child a bully, especially when you didnt see it happen. Your daughter was crying, so what? Did you ask her if she played nice and fair? I agree with you, no child is perfect, but sometimes some mothers think their children are perfect and that every other kid is out to get them. I say, you ditch both mother and daughter. This proves that they are both bullies.

  2. Totally agree, but it appears that that mother and her child ma yhave some deep rooted issues especially the way she reacted to your daughter. My son is not perfect and at times may be even bratty, but hey, we do what ever it takes to protect our children. Dump the mom, her kid and her number. ; )

  3. I have to agree. There is something definitely wrong with both the mother and parent. I don’t even think it was her place at ALL to say anything to your child, she should have came directly to you about the incident. Just the simple fact that she even exchanged words with your child while you weren’t around screams “psycho”.

  4. Some good advice here that I will remember – never get involved in minor disputes. And I agree with Shannon.

  5. I realize this is a late post, but congratulations on being able to be calm and not jump on things, assuming only one child is “guilty” and not enabling them. My daughter, since kindergarten has been bullied – to the point of bruises on her shins from being kicked. Now, you may think that is bad, but I should have first stated it was winter, she was wearing snow pants and snow boots (Serels – a good make). These are bruises that made it through pants, snow pants and Serel winter boots. The principal’s reaction? “They are only 5 years old” so I replied, “what are you going to do when you have now enabled them and are feeding that feeling of empowerment, when he are in Grade 7 or 8 and truly do damage to another child? No response – so although we bought our house because it is on the same street as that Catholic School (not to state that they have higher morals, but should) to busing her to a public school only after having had confirmation from other parents that there is an absolute ZERO tolerance level. I am now going through the same thing. Girls are the worst – proven fact. They are more sneaky. I thought it best to talk to the mother first. She told me I was trespassing and was harassing her. So then later finding out she went to my daughter at the bus stop and talked to her, I lost it. So I have not only alerted the principal, who I left a message for and it was unreturned, I called our local police department, advised them what happened, and they dispatched someone immediately. Not that the principal was all too keen to hear, but understood. I am awaiting a call back. I was disappointed to hear that my daughter hit back, only once, but told her this was inexcusable. She needs to move away from the situation and tell the bus driver, teacher, her parents and the principal. (My inside voice was good – she is finally standing up for herself, however, should have been with words, and not a smack on the girls thigh). She had scratches on her hands, as did the other girl who tried to stop her from hitting my child by holding her wrists, but unfortunately the girl freed herself and started to hit the child helping mine. Their mother says her daughter is an angel. Nice “angel” – the day after she advised with a sneer and snicker that she lied to her mom and her mom believed her.
    Just waiting to see what unfolds… and yes, if the parents are enabling their kids, they are just making it worse, not only to allow the bullying, but the parents’ turn is coming when she turns into a teenager and uses that empowerment towards her parents. Karma I think is the word?
    There is far too much bullying going on, and suicides or even thoughts of suicide, depression – stealing the childhood away from the child. I will not stand for this – period.

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