What do you do when...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    the shoe is on the other foot? Duckie struggled greatly with verbally aggressive and bullying behavior in pre-k and early kindergarten. I'm pleased to report that while she still has her childish spats with other kids, she wouldn't be considered a bully any longer by others. She's actually a pretty nice kid. :)

    She is, however, having a problem with my bff's daughter. "A" plays nicely with Duckie when it's one-on-one. The problems start when other girls are around. "A" isolates Duckie, taunts her and generally targets her for bullying. We went to the graduation party of "A's" older sister yesterday and she had a group of young kids pointing and laughing at Duckie. Duckie was humiliated and I'm heartbroken. She seemed to bounce back during the rest of the party, though seemed to hang back from engaging with "A" (I don't blame her).

    She confided in me that she's very confused by "A" being so mean to her when "A" says she's a friend. I explained that she's not acting like a good friend, and neither were the other kids there (including Duckie's bff :( ).

    I know I need to address this with my bff, but I don't know how to bring it up without sounding harsh or judgemental. I told Duckie she doesn't have to play with "A" if she doesn't want to because I won't make her. I told her nobody has the right to humiliate her. I told her it was okay to tell someone that is bullying people that she doesn't have time for mean people and walk away. I named a few dozen other kids that are always (or at least almost always) nice to her and want to be friends with her. I told her she doesn't have to like everyone, but she needs to behave with kindness and consideration.

    But she's still hurt. :crying:
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You don't need to be harsh or judgmental. Just tell bff that Duckie won't be spending time with-his daughter any more because his they don't get along.

    Or, perhaps you can get him to witness some of their interactions.

    Or, if you think he will handle it well, just tell him that his daughter was pointing at Duckie and laughing and that was inappropriate, and that you would appreciate his help and guidance in getting his daughter to relate to your daughter on a more mature level.

    Have you had issues with-his telling you that you are judgmental of his daughter and overprotective of yours?
  3. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    I feel for you and your ghg ~ my easy child 1 goes through this with her cousin. We talk about it and she understands that cousin has her own issues with- being the new kid, overweight, bossiness, etc and that there are times when you just have to ignore (as hard as it can be) the person. In a few days, she tells me they've worked out their problem and are friends again.

    (((((((((((to your GHG))))))))))
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks for the response, Terry. For the record, this is my "best friend forever" J, mother to "A". She doesn't see the problem except as isolated occurences. A particularly bad example happened toward the end of the school year. J took a group of kids to the park including Duckie, "A" and her son "C". Duckie's bff was there and her older brother, too. According to bff and her brother, "A' picked a fight with Duckie and kept taunting her the whole way home (quietly) in the van. Finally, Duckie told her off as they were pulling into our driveway. Duckie gets out of the van, is chased by "C" for being mean to his little sister and bff's tackles "C" to get him off Duckie. "C" told his mom that "A" was being mean to Duckie but my friend "J" only corrected "C" and not "A" for starting the trouble in the first place. "A" likes drama. I've told Duckie not to give her a negative reaction, and she even has my permission to laugh in "A's" face in she starts in again. But my friend doesn't see her daughter's behavior as over the top.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks for your response CTMA. Our difficult children can use all the support they can get.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    My heart is breaking for Duckie!

    I wish I had a simple answer. Little girls almost always play well when there are 2 of them, but throw in a third...

    The other day, the neighbor kid (K) who is a year older than Tink was over playing. After awhile I took them to the pool. Another girl in K's class was there, and I told K outright, you are playing with Tink, don't leave her out. Feel free to play with whomever you want, but do not leave Tink out.

    It took less than 5 minutes. Tink was crying because they excluded her.

    It hurts so bad to see our kids hurting this way. On one hand, you want to rush in and save them, but on the other, you want to hang back and let them learn for themselves who their true friends are.

    Boys are SO much easier.

    Hugs to Duckie.
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I had this problem last year with difficult child. In previous years difficult child had verbalized that it was cool to be a bully, he wanted to be one. So finally we get it thru his thick skull that it is NOT cool, and then he gets bullied. Kids throwing his backpack in the trash, he is afraid some of them will beat him up. I dealt with it just like I would have wanted him dealt with, I held the others responsible just like I would have difficult child. Or tried to, we had problems as the incidences occured on the way to and from school, but did not occur on school grounds.

    I wish I could give you better advice, it is harder when you are dealing with friends. I can only say that we have kinda been there done that, and I can sympathize.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think girls are worse in this area than boys are. Boys tend to play rougher and more group oriented games so these kind of things dont happen as often though it does happen.

    I dont know what the answer is because I was the odd man out in these situations. You have her in many activities where she has lots of group friends so that should help. She really has my sympathies. I think it will get better as she gets older and gets a group of core friends.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks, ladies. I hope this morning goes well. We leave for day camp shortly and she's expressed concern now about making new friends. I told her I doubt that will be a problem since the other kids have always wanted to be her friend before this.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    There's been some variation of this going on in my daughter's class since 2nd grade. The teachers tell me what they used to see starting around 4th and 5th grade is occuring much earlier now. In this particular class there's not been a lot of physical but a great deal of power play, manipulation stuff and the dominant girl is always switching. I kid you not--one day at recess my daughter was playing with her best friend and the dominant girl of the month literally picked up the best friend and moved her to a different location to get her away from my daughter and alone to herself. I also agree that three girls spells disaster much of the time.

    What I've learned is that in the end you just can't control the other girls. You can try and intervene with other parents, teachers, leaders, principal but you may or may not get results and you will have to make your decisions based on the outcomes. If this is your bff's daughter who is causing the problems you may have to make some hard choices in order to protect Duckie. I did talk with the teachers when things got really bad for my daughter and thankfully they did intervene but it only held for a time and then got bad again.

    What I have done is focused my attentions on my daughter. When she hits a rough patch I encourage her to tell me what's been going on and I talk the situations through. I coach her in appropriate responses and role play with her. So when she encounters "Your skin is too white, you need a tan" (starting in 2nd grade--she has beautiful, delicate, white-toned skin) I helped her practice responses like "This is the skin that God gave me and I'm very happy with it". When bullying extended to special needs kids when teachers weren't looking I helped encourage her to do the right thing and made myself available if she felt like she needed to report to the teachers. What my daughter has found is that when it comes to the direct comments, standing up to the aggressor appropriately has caused them to back down most of the time.

    We've had a lot of tears, cancelled birthday parties, and taken the summers off from playdates because of this so I feel your pain. But again, in the end you can't control someone else's child and often you can't make them see it from your child's perspective. What is acceptable in terms of behavior varies widely amongst parents.
  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    TM, bullying is such a trigger for me that I fear I'm not good at talking to the parents. I want to shake their kids until their teeth rattle. I absolutely hate it and what it does to nice kids. I have no tolerance for parents who don't see their kids as being a bully.
    In the end, I figure that I wouldn't be forced to socialize with someone who makes me feel bad, why would I expect my son's to be forced to be around others who make them feel bad.

    I feel fairly comfortable correcting behavior with my friends kids when they were younger and even as teens. It takes a village, and all that stuff. Most of my adult friends appreciated it. It's gentle, tactful stuff. These bullies are still learning life lessons too. They don't always know that what they are saying is hurtful.

    When easy child was in middle school and he was teased a great deal on the bus, I kept telling him to ignore it and toughen up. I still feel bad about how long I let it fester. I just kept dismissing it. I can now see how teens get to the point of exploding and hurting other kids. Bullying is dangerous and a crappy thing for parents to tolerate if their own child is a bully.

    When there is a catastrophe, everyone wants to know why and why wasn't anything done. Ending the bully mentality is the first, most important step.

    Step in and correct the other child. Your difficult child is being ganged up on and the odds are not in her favor. If Duckie can't end it herself(and someday she will) the taunting will increase then it's time for mom to come in and help sheild the victim.
    in my humble opinion of course.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM, with girls this is really, really common. They tend to have a BFF one week and next week it is a different girl that is their BFF.

    It is most important to teach Duckie what you have told her now. She does not have to be friends with people that are mean to her. She should think about what being a friend means to her and try to be that same kind of friend. If she can not find that in a 'friend' they really are not meant to be one of her friends. I agree with the 'you do not have to be friends with everyone, but you do have to be nice and polite to everyone' theme, that is what I tried to use most often with difficult child.

    Do not be surprised if the bully ends up being a friend next week and an enemy again the following week. I am sure it gets worse as they get older.

    I actually worked very hard to make sure difficult child was never in an odd number situation. It seemed to me if there was an even number these problems did not exist. It was like someone was there counting up partners and if anyone was left at the end that one became the target. It always ended up being difficult child. Then later in life she became the bully. She did not necessarily have friends on her side, but she was so angry by that time.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrrgh! So sorry.

    I hate to say this, but my easy child daughter still has "friends" like this ... and they're 17.

    I just have no patience. I'm not the right one to ask.

    I hope camp goes well. Sounds like the perfect time for Duckie to make new friends and have a new experience. :)
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    We've been there done that as well. Girls can be mean little creatures. There are several things I had Miss KT try, with varied sucess. If the bullying was taking place when an adult was nearby, she would shout something like, "Why are you teasing me again?" at the top of her voice. Definitely got attention, and that helped tone things down at school. I had already spoken with the teachers about the problem, so they knew what to expect. I also worked with her on fighting back with her words, not her fists, although she had my permission to hit anyone who hit her first.

    The fighting back worked better in junior high. When the same girl who had picked on her all during sixth grade started again in seventh, she told the girl exactly what she thought about her, her parentage, her status in life...and the girl couldn't take it and ran crying to a teacher. When I got the call from school, I pointed out that this was an ongoing problem, I was sure Miss KT hadn't started this one, and if the school wasn't going to protect my child, I was going to the next board meeting to ask for help. The girl miraculously transferred to another school, and Miss KT felt much stronger.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Like others have said, Duckie doesn't have to be friends or play with A. If this means that you and J only get together without kids, then that may be how it has to be for now. If J is your bff, I would hope that she shows some compassion and understanding and keeps a better eye on things when the girls are together.

    Like others also, I have noticed this behavior with girls. I have not noticed it with my son. He did have a bully in the 7th grade on the bus and he did not want me to interfere. He ignored him and utilized a punching bag in the basement about every afternoon after school. This bully is now a friend of Devon's and was at the house the day Devon got into the car accident. When my mom and I were driving out to the scene, I looked in my rearview mirror and he was following us. He wanted to make sure Devon was ok.

    At Duckies age you can start teaching what is appropriate and to treat others as you want to be treated and if others treat you this way they are not really a friend, but it's still hard for them to grasp....especially when A is a friend one minute and a bully the next. They are very much in the moment. If it were my child - and I have been there - I would remove her from the situation by either only getting together with your friend without kids or by always being there if the kids are together (don't send Duckie with J unless you go to).

    Sadly, I remember girls doing this when I was young, but we were older. 6th grade. It started happening with Wynter in the second. It's horrible and it really does hurt.
  16. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    This an extremely emotional subject for me because of all that I have been through with Daughter. Last year being the worst with a fake MySpace and altered pictures. All former friends who turned literally on Daughter within 24 hours of hanging out and having a good time. No, it doesn't get better with age, it get worse. Much worse, and vicious beyond words.

    The ringleader along with her little toadie then began to threaten Daughter. I had had it. I went to the school, told the principal I was going to the superintendent and DEMANDED they keep these girls away from my kid (on a previous encounter a AP told me she could do NOTHING, I found out later not true. Thank goodness she was fired this year). Security filed a order of protection against both of those nasty little creatures (they would be up for expulsion with they even SPOKE ONE WORD TO HER) and finally it stopped. I went to the parents with the MySpace thing, and though shocked and sympathetic, I don't think they had a handle on their twisted little spawns.

    Years and years of intimidation and bullying is what I have dealt with Daughter. She had to miss the last two weeks of her Spanish class because someone was passing around a note describing how they wanted to kill her. Nice, eh? They never could figure out who wrote it and no one would "snitch". She went down a grade because of that.

    Going to the parents. It's hit and miss. Most don't want to believe their little darlings are capable of this type of despicable behavior. Or, they simply just don't think it's a big deal. This person is your BFF, which is another complication.

    I bottom line with you. If your friend doesn't want to believe her child does behaves in such a manner, or doesn't think it's a big deal, it would be a friendship deal breaker with me. My kid comes first.
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I spoke to bff. She doesn't think it's a big deal because they all have done it. I pointed out that Duckie hasn't had more than an occasional spat with all her other friends except "A" in almost a year. But it didn't make an impact. The difference is, everything good in Duckie's life stopped if she were bullying. She learned the behavior was unacceptable and wouldn't be tolerated. Girls will be girls isn't acceptable.

    I stand by what I told Duckie, she doesn't have to play with "A" anymore. :(

    On a positive note, one of Duckie's friends from another troop is at camp with her this week. Plus, she made a new friend, too. :thumbsup:
  18. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    This is such an emotional situation for our difficult children & it triggers the mama bear in all of us.

    kt has been through this countless times - we've talked about her hurt feelings. We've also discussed how the "bully" needs to make themselves feel better & more important by hurting others. kt cannot stop that person, she can, however learn to change her reactions to it.

    kt has learned to walk away; she's also learned to laugh along (even though she's hurt). AND this has taken years.

    Duckie is of an age where it's almost always better to have a group of 2 or 4; never an uneven number where someone can gang up on the rest.

    I've noted that even the respite home kt attends keeps the kids in even numbers. It's just a better idea with girls.