Mom Confession: I Hate an 8-Year-Old Child & I'm Not Sorry

bullying is not acceptableMy daughter's backpack had just barely cleared the door of her bus when the tears began to fall. "B.* called me a baby because I like stuffed animals!" she sobbed. "And she got me in trouble again!" My 8-year-old used to get off the bus with a smile on her face and a song in her heart, but I haven't seen that smile much lately.

Instead I hear that she has a stomach ache and doesn't think she should go to school tomorrow. Instead I hear about B. B. who calls her names. B. who makes up lies about her. B. who excludes her on the playground.

B. is a bully. And I'm about to say something that will probably make you gasp.

I hate B.

I'm a 30-something professional with a husband and a mortgage, and I hate an 8-year-old. I don't hate her in the way that you hate having accidentally set the alarm for 6 a.m. on a Saturday when you could have slept in.

I loathe this 8-year-old for making my little girl cry. I despise her for taking away the light in my little girl's eyes.

Is it OK to hate a child?

I'm not sure. I've been working with the school to get my daughter some relief (and her teacher has been wonderful about the situation). I've talked to parents of other B. victims.

It's helped. Some.

But deep down, I am wrestling with the uncomfortable feeling that I really cannot forgive a child for hurting mine again and again and again over the course of three (!) years. After the latest bout of B. bullying, I was feeling particular angry ... and unsettled. I wanted to know -- am I alone? I put the following out on my Facebook wall:

Is it permissible to HATE an 8-Year-Old? (No, I don't mean my own ... I mean the one who makes mine cry every day). ARGH!

The answers came fast and furious. Parents shared their own stories of their children being bullied. Parents offered to grab their pitchforks and go after the little brat (metaphorically, of course). Parents agreed. Parents disagreed. Parents judged (gently). 

All agreed they would be angry in my shoes, but a debate broke out over who that hate should be directed toward. Is it the bully or the bully's parents?

"It's probably more reasonable to hate the parents. But, yes, definitely permissible," said one dad.

"Sometimes kids with "good" parents who are trying to raise them right can still be little brats at times," a mom countered.

Still others put forth the notion that they're a package deal -- hate the kid AND the parents. Fair enough!

More From The Stir: Bullying & Your Kid: How to Fight Back

Some pondered about this child's home life. Should I go easy on her because she might not have it easy at home? Should I actually pity her?

I certainly don't wish a bad home life on a child -- if that's even the case here -- but it's hard to summon much pity for someone whose very existence gives your child nightly stomach aches. And quite frankly, my heart doesn't have the room. It's full to the brim with feelings for my own child, with trying to mend my daughter's broken heart.

Dealing with that bully's personal life, finding her the help she may or may not need, pitying her, loving her ... those are problems for the school and bully's parents, not those of the victims'. 

We have to put our children first. And sometimes that means hardening our hearts to little kids who hurt our own. 

Have you struggled with your feelings about a child who has hurt yours? What did you decide?


Image via MarylandGovPics/Flickr


*Name changed to protect the little shit who is making my daughter's life a living hell.



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arose74 arose74

My 1st grader had his first experience with a bully who liked to hit the smaller kids. He never actually hit my son, my son said he ran away and the kid couldn't catch him. Yes, I told the teachers but its a process and you are always left unsure if they will handle it in a timely matter. Finally my son pointed the boy out after school one day. We walked up to the boy together, my son felt empowered with my standing by his side. He told the boy "I don't like it when you try to chase and hit me, and I don't like it when you hit my friends either. So you need to stop alright? If you don't you're going to get in big trouble. Okay?". Man that kid did not know what to say. He agreed and we had some friendly chat getting took to know him after.

I can't help but feel a little bad for him. I tell my son, don't hate him. Something must really go wrong in his home life for him to come go school and have so much anger. He never messed with my son again.

RMT1995 RMT1995

What I told my daughter when a girl at school (whose home life is awful) was borderline bullying her last year - "If someone is saying things that make you feel bad, then THEY probably feel bad about themselves. If they don't stop after being asked, you should pity them because they are probably hurting about something." This little girl was abandoned by her drug addicted mother and left with a father who doesn't know what he's doing and doesn't care.

mojoe... mojoe12776

Ultimately it will always be my child I will think about in the end.

Kate Cooley

Here's the sitch. You're the parent. You're the only advocate your child has in the world. Teachers, though they put up a front of caring, only pay the scantest of lip service to bully prevention. You can't trust them to "do something." In my experience as a parent AND as a bullied child, whatever needs to be done needs to be done by YOU. YOU need to stump for your kid. YOU need to talk to the school. YOU need to equip your child with the social tools to deal with this situation, otherwise you're dooming them. I'm still suffering from the effects of my parents' hand-wringing when I was bullied. Worrying fixes nothing. Doing something is a step in the right direction. Teach your kid not to put up wth this crap. Teach your kid that no matter what, they've got you on their side. Teach your kid that standing up for themselves isn't a crime. Of course, we need to teach that one to the schools as well.

nonmember avatar fosheezywhitebe

I don't hate any 8 year olds, but I do hate people that use the "word" sitch.

nonmember avatar LISA

The bully is always either the fat, ugly, or stupid kid. I have no sympathy for any brat who chooses to torment others to feel better about themselves -- no excuse for the cruelness!

the4m... the4mutts

When my 8yr old (he's 10 now) was being violently and verbally bullied, it was a hard situation. It was a girl, bullying my son. But she outweighed him by 50+lbs, and she was violent. She tried to stab his hand with a pencil, in the presence of the teacher! She kicked him and his friends, managing to kick his friends in the balls, missing my son's, because he blocked her. I didn't even find out, until my son came home telling that C tried to stab his friend in the neck with a pencil, and she kicked the friend in the balls, and Van (my son) got time out for PUSHING HER AWAY!

I talked to the teacher, the yard aides, the principle. Nothing was done.

So I told my son "Van, if she tries to touch you again, PUNCH THAT LITTLE BITCH IN THE FACE!" Then I taught him how to land a solid hit. I called the principle and told her exactly what I told my son. She tried to say that if he hit, he would be expelled. So I told her "If he is expelled, you will be hearing from my lawyer, and the police. You're allowing my son to be assaulted, and I will not stand for it" and I hung up.

The little bitch went after my son again. He stood his ground, and told her "My mom said to knock you on your fat ass if you touch me again, and I will do it"

She left him, and his friends alone after calling him some crude names.

Teach your kid to stand up for herself. Even if it ends in violence. Sometimes, they deserve to be knocked out.

mande... manderspanders

Amen, Mutts!

It used to be thsat kids settled things in the schoolyard. I will teach my son to stand up for himself. I've had about enough of the antibullying campaign that ends up punishing the kids who are being tormented.


Mutts- you are awesome!

lilad... liladam07

I heard you did everything but talk to the child or the child's parents. Is there a way to do that? Some kids torment others because they don't know how to make friends in any other way. I see kids torment mine and as long as they are not actually physical I let them handle it. I saw an 8 year old kicking water into the face of my 4 year old. I was getting so angry!! The other girls mother was even watching and not stopping it. I wanted probly for yell at them bit something made me stop. My daughter simply asked the girl to stop and she did. It was handled better with me in the back watching. She was so happy she ran to me and told me how she handled the situation. I was one proud momma!!

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