image by Todd James
Boy, do I empathize with CM mom OOGIEBOOGIE02. It's always someone else's child that first crushes your baby's feelings, but in most cases when that happens, there's a decent parent involved and ready with an appropriate apology. Not so, when oogieboogie02's daughter was recently distraught by another little girl who called her "ugly," sending her home in tears.
Minutes later, the same kid (only about 7-years-old!) was outside with friends throwing all kinds of F-Bombs. No parents were to be found. It's a tough one, because while many of us still recognize that it takes a village, we also acknowledge that in today's world, disciplining someone else child is pretty much a no-no. So what to do?
I like a lot of
what other mothers had to share on this one. Most everyone was in
agreement that in a case like this, ideally you'd be able to talk to
the parent/s but that it doesn't seem likely to be an effective option
here. So little.miss.mom says talk to the teacher and principal. Raybell says, talk to the kid herself. "Wait until she does it again and is taunting and being nasty outside of
her house. Go outside and say, 'What are you saying? That's
nasty talk! Young ladies don't talk like that! I am going to talk to
your parents about this.' That will probably scare her enough that she
won't do it again."
The suggestion I gravitate most to however, is the one that deals directly with helping your own child process what's happened and put it in some perspective. Says m.robertson811, "Make sure to tell your kids that this is bad language and you (your family/friends) do not talk like that. Tell your child that she is not ugly, the words that those other kids use are ugly and it's not right to say that. But make sure your daughter doesn't think that those other kids are ugly--only the way they talk is. It's sad, but you can't really protect your child from kids like them. And like I said, there is not much you can do about it. Just keep telling your daughter that she is not ugly, she is beautiful and a good girl, and that she should not bother with them. She needs to learn to ignore them, because if she cries and they see it they will keep picking on her. Kids can be really terrible. Give her a hug!"
There are also great tips on dealing with bullies at this kid-friendly site which arms kids with well-explained suggestions like: don't give the bully a chance, stand tall and be brave, and feel good about you.
Oh, why are kids so mean sometimes? How have you handled bullies in your kids' lives?