Baby Bullies: When Good Kids Go Bad

Baby Bullies: When Good Kids Go Bad

How could you possibly be mean to someone this adorable?
So it happened. The moment that every mother fears. The moment that makes all the little baby hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Yesterday I took Jasmine to the kiddie library uptown to let her run around and pick out a few new books.

 I'd finally decided to stop being such a Mommy-copter and backed up a few feet to give her some space, and sure enough, as soon as I let my guard down, this little kid took it upon himself to push my little girl. And it wasn't even just a little tap. It was like a full on shove. It happened in slow motion. One minute she was waddling up to him, a huge grin on her adorable face, and the next she was being shoved to the ground.

I think I screamed a little. I definitely snarled.  I briefly imagined myself letting out a Xena-like battle cry, leaping over the three tables separating me from them and knocking that little over-sized bully to the ground, but I'm pretty sure there are laws against that.

The most irritating thing is that the father, who witnessed the whole incident, didn't say a word. Not once did he apologize or chastise his belligerent little child. Even as I rushed over and picked up my munchkin, who was wailing at this point. James wisely chose that moment to intervene and suggest that we were past due for lunch. He probably saw my eye twitching and my fingers balling into fists.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I've never seen Jasmine hit a kid. Because she has. But, most of the time it's an accident because she's excited and is just flailing her arms about . Even so, I always firmly tell her no, and immediately apologize to both the kid, and their parent(s).

It's called parenting. And it's hard work. But that's no excuse not to do so.

Truthfully, I feel a bit bad for the kid. Children aren't exactly born with a moral compass that helps them distinguish good decisions from bad ones. That's where parenting is suppose to come in.  It's our job to teach our children what is okay, and what is not. If we don't teach them, then who will?

There are a lot of things that I said I would never do when it came to raising Jasmine. I said that I wouldn't let her watch television. Fail. I said I wouldn't feed her processed foods. Fail. (Although,  I think it should be noted that I haven't yet gone as far as to feed her fast food.) Yes, there's no doubt about it, parenting makes you eat your words. Almost every day. However, one thing I refuse to cut her any slack on is bad behavior.

I will not allow my daughter to become a bully. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with teaching her to stick up for herself, should the situation call for it. But picking on someone simply because they're smaller than you is unacceptable. Bullies just don't spawn overnight. They grow out of neglect and a lack of intervention. And I know it's difficult to imagine that your child is capable of being mean, but it happens. Your child is just as capable of being a bully as mine is. And it's our duty to remember that and discipline them when the time comes.

So my question to you ladies today is how do you deal with disciplining your children when they do something mean to another child? And what do you do when you see another kid picking on yours and the parents don't seem to care?

Also, be sure to tune in later this week for part II on adult bullies. Trust me, it's going to be a good one.
 XOXO Reese
 



14 comments :

  1. I have dealt with this before with a friend. She thought it was funny when her daughter pushed mine for no reason at all. And then had to the nerve to tell me my daughter needs to "toughen up a bit" and proudly said that her daughter is a bully. I was dumbfounded. How do you deal with such behavior?

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    1. Wow, that's horrible!! I'm not sure what I would have done in that situation, but it probably wouldn't have been very nice...

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  2. This is a really really difficult thing. It is so hard when your little one is hurt and there is no correction/acknowledgement of the behavior by the parent of the child. It disheartening and frustrating. Thanks for sharing, I'm sure that many others can relate.

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  3. Disciplining means taking responsibility for your children at the first place, meaning, keeping an eye on them. When your children are at risk, speak with the parent. Let them correct their kids before doing violent reactions. The best thing to do in order that no one can hurt our child or our feelings as well, is to keep our children right by your side at all times.

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  4. I have gotten into arguments with parents before - one for his kid throwing dirt at my daughter with no response from him, and once for kids cutting mine in line. I hate how it makes me feel! wish people would just teach their kids to behave.

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    1. It's sad when you have to literally fight with a parent in order to get them to teach their children to play nicely.

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  5. I can't believe the other parent didn't do or say anything. How rude! That is why kids act the way they do these days.

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  6. I hate that this happened to her. If they don't do anything about their child bullying others now, they will soon go down a long road of trouble with him or her. Children who aren't disciplined early usually become problem children. I know we've all experienced this growing up. Kudos to you for doing the right thing and raising your daughter right!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I agree, this behavior does lead down a long road of trouble. I'm actually in the middle of writing a post about adult bullies. Be sure to swing back by and give that one a read.

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  7. I am really careful with using the word "bully" or "bullying" when it comes to children, especially very young children. My daughter is two and when one of the girls at daycare described her as a bully after one bad day you can bet my husband set her straight. She's two! Two year olds are not capable of being bullies. She was simply being a normal two year old and had a moment of frustration. If she acts in a way that is not acceptable (hitting or throwing things) you better believe we address the situation and try to help her understand that there are other and better ways to express yourself.

    I certainly understand where you are coming from. I've had that frustration too, when another kid pushes or shoves my daughter and the parent does nothing. I don't understand it. I would never let something like that just slide. It's especially frustrating when it's an older kid. If the parent doesn't step in I will say something. If I just let it slide too then what am I teaching my own child?

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    1. Very good points!

      Like I said, I know Jasmine hits other kids on accident. Just like your daughter, she's still a baby and is hardly coordinated when she's excited and starts flailing her arms around. However, I still take the time to tell her it's wrong, and that we don't hit other kids.

      Now the kid that pushed Jasmine looked to be about 5 or 6. That's why I was so upset. Honestly, I'll to hate to do it, because I've seen how sensitive parents can get, but I'm with you, the next time something like that happens, I'm going to have to say something.

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  8. Great post. I think you have the right idea. Thats what I plan to do as my son get older. I totally see me doing the Xena-like battle cry though. lol

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  10. My niece Grace is such a handful when I have to babysit her. She is turning 4 next month and is starting to read and I thought about getting her a customization kid's book that features her name and pictures of her. Hopefully this will get me on civil terms with Grace. I got the inspiration from http://www.cutekidcreations.com/
    Here's the link to the website where I got my customization story book. http://www.cutekidcreations.com/products/my-adventures-with-disney-princess-collection-2-photo-story-book?taxon_id=60
    Thanks again for thoughtfully blogging! Besos!

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