Jump to content

How to bully proof your child?


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Mama Lama

Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

    Can anyone offer advice as to how I bully proof my child?  My daughter (2 and 1/2) is pretty sensitive  and this is a beautiful quality around family and friends as she is considerate  of others so tuned into those around her.

    My concern is at playgroup (one council and one at my local  ABA) the ‘bully’ in each of these groups seems to target her.  I have tried stepping in to separate them,  stepping back to let her deal with it, politely asking the parents to keep an  eye out for their kids, asking the other child to ‘go back to Mum’ play  somewhere else, play nicely– but it keeps on occurring and mainly to my  daughter and rarely other kids (the child returns again and again whether I am  10 meters away or at arm’s length).  I  realise it maybe because they get a reaction out of her, but what should I do?

    1)       Watch like a hawk and pre-empt every interaction  with kids who are prone to violence (this may get tricky with #2 on the way)

    2)       Not attend playgroup (but this is just avoiding  the problem isn’t it)

    3)       Scream at the other child (really don’t want to  do this and pretty sure that would render me a social outcast)

    4)       Teach her to hit back (I know this is wrong but  I am running out of options)

    5)       I am trying to explain that they are looking for  a reaction so stay away from them and shout at them loudly “STOP GO AWAY” –  this is the option we are working on now, but her fear and panic (understandably)  is making it hard for her.

    Thanks for reading this far - has anyone else been through  this?  I know this can be normal kid  stuff but with all the bullying and sad stories in the media, what is normal?  and when does a certain type of kid become a target for bullies no matter where  they are?  I was nearly brought to tears  today after 6 attacks in a 1 hour period – we just had to leave – they all happened  so quickly I could not stop them.

    

#2 FeralSqueakyBee

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

I can't speak from experience, but from what I've seen from other people it's about teaching her to be assertive, rather than aggressive. Also, she needs to learn these skills herself because you won't always be there to intervene.

Firstly, make it clear that her body is her own, and it's not ok for other people to touch/push/pinch/hit her and that she is allowed to have her own space.

Then, give her some phrases to say - "Stop hitting me, I don't like it when you do that!" or whatever is appropriate for the situation. Get her to practice saying it in a clear and forceful tone, and if they don't stop then tell her to get up and walk away, preferably to close to where you or other adults are.

Again, I can't speak from experience but this approach seems to be working for other people I know. Good luck addressing it!

#3 JustBeige

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

I think at this age you need to do a combination of watching like a hawk and using your stern mummy voice to say "Stop. we dont hit(?). We use gentle hands"   Sometimes a child who automatically hits knows no better and unless shown how to be gentle really has no clue.

If they are hitting whilst you are standing right next to your child then its pretty certain that this is the way they think they should act.

By you saying stop dont hit (and possibly putting your arm in between the child and your DD, if needed) you are modelling this for your child.

If the child keeps hitting and doesnt pay attention, you can do two things - take them back to their parent each and every time.   and/or talk to the coordinator of the group for them to keep an eye on the child.  

Some parents DGAF about another mum saying something, but will pay attention if the coordinator says something.


Lastly, if it keeps up and you have tried a couple of different avenues, then yes, pulling her out is the next step.

#4 ImpatientAnna

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE (JustBeige @ 16/01/2013, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think at this age you need to do a combination of watching like a hawk and using your stern mummy voice to say "Stop. we dont hit(?). We use gentle hands"   Sometimes a child who automatically hits knows no better and unless shown how to be gentle really has no clue.

If they are hitting whilst you are standing right next to your child then its pretty certain that this is the way they think they should act.

By you saying stop dont hit (and possibly putting your arm in between the child and your DD, if needed) you are modelling this for your child.

If the child keeps hitting and doesnt pay attention, you can do two things - take them back to their parent each and every time.   and/or talk to the coordinator of the group for them to keep an eye on the child.  

Some parents DGAF about another mum saying something, but will pay attention if the coordinator says something.


Lastly, if it keeps up and you have tried a couple of different avenues, then yes, pulling her out is the next step.


Sorry, no suggestions OP but who are these parents who don't intervene when their  child is hitting?!???!!


#5 CountryFeral

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

My nephews were both taught at daycare to put your hand out and say "Stop! I don't like that!"

It seems to work very well and it neatly circumvents all of the "Oh I didn't know he didn't like it.." or "We were just having fun/playing.." excuses a bully will try on.  It also of course lets a boisterous child who is hurting/frightening a playmate by accident know that they are and to back off..

#6 BabeBlossom

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

I understand your concern, I have a gentle, sensitive daughter myself and always worry about her good nature being a disadvantage. So far she has surprised me with her lack of reaction towards aggressors, so far her blank look of disbelief is scaring them off. We start playgroup next month so I'm holding my breath how it will go.
I read a brilliant book book, how to raise an optimistic child. Its about increasing self esteem to help bully proof them, and stop them from becoming bullies. Its more of a long term solution and I think more beneficial as they get older but could be worth a read. I can't help with immediate strategies but will be watching with interest.

#7 CallMeFeral

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

I'd love to know the answer to this.

I think the PP response is a good one for the specific situations. But the fact that she is the target in BOTH groups is interesting - and I can see why this makes you ask how to help her not to be.

What are the other kids actually doing to her? Shouting at her or hitting her?

TBH, I know it's not what you're supposed to do, but I'd tell her if someone hits her, and doesn't stop when she says stop, to hit them back  ph34r.gif
I know it's perpetuating violence and all that, and at an older age I'd promote some different strategies, but at that young age things are pretty simple and anything too complicated won't work.
But hopefully there will be some better options suggested!

#8 Mama Lama

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

Thanks everyone:

SqueakyBee - good idea, I'll try to build up a few phrases for her.

JustBeige - I like the idea of modelling, thanks also for validating that going back to the parent each time is not seen as being a pain.  That may finally encourage them to stay as close to their child as I have to.

ImpatientAnna - I am not sure - they are nice people - but maybe see this as an opportunity to take a break?  They seem a bit exasperated what this happens - so they may be over it?

CountryMel - I'll add that one to the list - Thanks.

I already feel relieved to hear your responses - I was no sure if I was being over protective or too sensitive cause of the pregnancy! thanks!

#9 Mama Lama

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

BabeBlossom - thanks for the book recommendation and good luck with playgroup!

CallMeAliG - it is pushing, hitting with toys, hitting with a stick once, throwing food, shoving, snatching toys (not so concerned about the last one).  Mainly violence.  If it was yelling, my DD is pretty articulate so I don' think that would concern her as much.  She is petite so she immediately feels threatened.  Thanks for sharing the concern about it happening in both groups - that is the bit that has me worried the most too...

#10 Peppery

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

I have also taught the ''stop i don't like it'' to DD. Thankfully she has a natural bellowing voice so i can hear her and also her teachers at preschool are alerted to the situation.



#11 Mummy Em

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 16/01/2013, 01:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My nephews were both taught at daycare to put your hand out and say "Stop! I don't like that!"

It seems to work very well and it neatly circumvents all of the "Oh I didn't know he didn't like it.." or "We were just having fun/playing.." excuses a bully will try on.  It also of course lets a boisterous child who is hurting/frightening a playmate by accident know that they are and to back off..


I was going to suggest this. Arm out straight in front of her (to re-establish her personal space) hand up like a police officer, loud, strong voice: "STOP, I don't like that!" Practice it by role playing at home. She can use it both of kids and on adults if they are doing something that make her feel unsafe. And she will probably still need you to be close by. I used to wear dd2 in a carrier at playgroup.

#12 jibsi

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:54 PM

To be honest, considering the age of the kids, I think you sound a bit hysterical about this. Using words like "bullies" and "violence" is a bit over the top for this age group.
All the kids (even the ones that hit) are learning how to play and behave with others and it is the role of adults to guide them in my view. Unfortunately some parents don"t guide their kids as well as others so that may be where your difficulty lies (rather than with the kids themselves). Unfortunately you may have to be the one to tell the other kid to "use gentle hands", "share toys nicely" etc. As others have suggested, teach your daughter that it is ok to be assertive and give her strategies.

Good luck, it can be tricky navigating them through this stage!



#13 kadoodle

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 16/01/2013, 04:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My nephews were both taught at daycare to put your hand out and say "Stop! I don't like that!"

It seems to work very well and it neatly circumvents all of the "Oh I didn't know he didn't like it.." or "We were just having fun/playing.." excuses a bully will try on.  It also of course lets a boisterous child who is hurting/frightening a playmate by accident know that they are and to back off..



This is what my kids have all been taught at CC/preschool and school.

My DS1 is a gentle sort of kid too.  The kind who cries when it rains and there are dead worms on the footpath.  The bullies just smell him out.

#14 JustBeige

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE (Mummy Em @ 16/01/2013, 04:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Arm out straight in front of her (to re-establish her personal space) hand up like a police officer, loud, strong voice: "STOP, I don't like that!" Practice it by role playing at home. She can use it both of kids and on adults if they are doing something that make her feel unsafe. And she will probably still need you to be close by. I used to wear dd2 in a carrier at playgroup.

Yep this is what we did with ours also.   #1 has lovely dulcet tones that can be heard a country away, so she was pretty OK at coming across as serious, whereas #2 had to be taught that it was OK to have a loud voice and use it in this instance.

I also had to ask the teacher that if she heard #2 using his loud voice could she please pay attention as he needed help (this was in FYOS though)

Edited by JustBeige, 16 January 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#15 MaeGlyn

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

2 1/2 is not bullying.

I know what it feels like to have a child push your child over in playgroup. It does make you feel a bit bit upset, but that is you. The children are still toddlers and they are learning.

We had a girl in our playgroup who pushed and hit other kids. The other mother's intervened by trying to encorouge her to play in group games and constantly say that each child 'name enter here' liked her. It made a really big difference and her behavior improved a lot. She wasn't pushing when we left the playgroup. Maybe that would be a good strategy.

Older children are different, a child is less able to be bullied if they have a high self esteem, and their parents are very interactive in their life and they have been well socialised as your young toddler is.

#16 liveworkplay

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:16 PM

Some good advice but I think in the long term it is all about instilling confidence and self worth in your child.  Both my eldest kids are very empathetic, with the eldest being very sensitive as well.

I honestly don't know the "how" but I do know that they are both confident enough to walk away if they don't like something and to be happy NOT to go along with the crowd. They also have the confidence to tell another child if they do not like them doing something and walk away.

At your DD's age, I certainly didn't "rescue" them from every confrontation but consoled them if something happened and worked out a simple strategy (eg, why don't you go and do craft for a while and then come back to the swing) to cope.

They are now 9 and 6 and things still hurt their feelings but they deal with it at the time of it happening and then we debrief about it at home

Edited by liveworkplay, 16 January 2013 - 04:18 PM.


#17 Escapin

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

So hard when it's your kid bearing the brunt of someone else's kid - regardless of what you call it. I think it's perfectly OK to parent the other kid in those circumstances. If their parents aren't there to do so, then you can. Especially at playgroup - it's not like they are some random at the park.

#18 Mama Lama

Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

Thanks for the advice and honest opinions.  I was not sure if I was a bit emotional about this as I am pregnant, or if this is normal parental concern.

I really appreciate your advice kadoodle - for sharing that your child is similar to mine - but things turning out okay.

MaeGlyn - It is a reassuring perspective that this is all behavoural and kids will be kids and that if we keep up with the love and social elements at home - she will be protected (and can walk away) from the nasty stuff that goes on in high school.

I guess I was curious as to when parents realise their kid is a target - later in life (high school) or much earlier.  It seems that the concerning behaviour emerges in school and this is playground stuff which is more about setting boundaries and teaching assertiveness?  No one gave me the manual...not sure if anyone has a copy?

#19 Mama Lama

Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:20 PM

Thanks Escapin - it is such a fine line between defending your child and then crossing the line of disciplining someone else's child.  I am more confortable with the idea - especially now the hand up and a big "NO - STOP IT."  It serves as modelling the right response for my DD too.

#20 Propaganda

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

I heard, "Stop it, I don't like it!" so many times when mine was about 3. It was what daycare taught and was used in daily life as well.

I think they're so little at that age that generally, they can't be expected to socialise properly with other children, so you've got to keep a close eye, and try to let both children know that violence is not acceptable. I think you have every right to tell the other child to stop. You don't need to yell, you just need to say firmly, "Stop that. It's not nice to hit." Something very simple or you'll lose them. Sometimes, just a stranger telling them something is enough to scare them away.

Mostly, I think you need to teach your child to stand up for herself and not put up with violence. It might not matter much yet, but in years to come I think it probably will be quite an important skill for her to possess.

#21 beabea

Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:59 PM

QUOTE
Sorry, no suggestions OP but who are these parents who don't intervene when their child is hitting?!???!!
They might be the ones out back changing the baby's nappy, or running madly after their early walker. Sometimes they just have their hands really full.

OP, teaching assertiveness and self-esteem is great, but for a backup plan, why not show your daughter who the parents are and teach her to approach them directly? If she can talk well enough to make herself understood to most people, she may be able to put across a simple sentence like, "Such-and-such (ie your child) is hitting me." I can't guarantee anything, but it might have the best odds of producing the desired effect.

ETA: As she moves into the 3+ agegroup as well, teaching of basic social skills should also help. If she knows how to play cooperatively she has some insulation against uncooperative players, if you see what I mean. It will help her self-confidence and also give her friends/an ability to turn to alternative playmates. So I think nurturing general social skills can be a bully-proofing technique, too.

Edited by beabea, 18 January 2013 - 12:09 AM.





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win $1000 with Sea-Band

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

Misery loves Facebook

Facebook users are often criticised for only showing the positive, fun parts of their lives. But what about when it swings the other way, when someone uses it for the purposes of ranting about their children all the time, never posting anything positive?

Toddler's adorable impersonation of pregnant mum

Little Ellis has noticed his mum is walking differently lately, and his impersonation of her is hilarious.

'Forgotten baby syndrome' can happen to any one of us

When my third child was two months old, I strapped her into her car seat, then promptly forgot all about her. But she survived, unharmed, because it was winter, and I was lucky.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

Ten things I've learned about motherhood

Never take a good night's sleep for granted. There is no logic like toddler logic. Standing on Lego hurts every time. These are the truths of parenthood.

Parenting past the toddler years: what's next?

Your baby has grown into a toddler, and now your toddler is fast approaching the preschooler stage. What can you expect as a parent?

Tips on what to pack in your hospital bag

Before giving birth I read countless lists, ended up overpacking just a little, and now know what I'll actually want to pack next time.

New app keeps tabs on your kids at childcare

Popular new technology lets parents know what their children are up to at childcare - but not everyone is a fan.

21 things I love about newborns

There?s an irresistible magic about newborns. Of course they're not all smiles and rainbows, but they are undeniably cute and remarkable in so, so many ways.

Kid-friendly hairdressers: who says haircuts can?t be fun?

I?ve found some salons who boast setups ideal for children ? you name it, they?ve thought of it. All are designed to make haircuts fun rather than stressful.

Labour pain relief may reduce risk of postnatal depression: study

Postnatal depression is a complex condition, but researchers say pain relief during labour may help some women.

Why we need better support for men after miscarriage

In a recent study, 85 per cent of men admitted feeling sadness after their partner miscarried, but almost half said they didn't share their feelings at all. What can be done to help them?

Mum in business: Kristy Chong

Kristy Chong is the managing director of Australian-made Modibodi underwear and a mum to Lucas, 6, Jason, 4, and Isaac, 6 months. She shares her advice for other mums thinking about starting their own businesses.

From toddler to preschooler: a developmental roadmap

So your toddler is growing up and will soon be entering the preschooler years. Here are a few ways to frame their development that will help you understand what?s going in those beautiful, funny, clever little heads of theirs.

Mum sacrifices an eye for her unborn baby

Motherhood is full of sacrifices, but this woman has made a life-altering one - and her baby hasn't even been born.

A grandparent by any other name

A growing number of grandparents are shunning tradition and going against conventional names - but a grandparent by any other name still gives the same awesome cuddles and kisses.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

When labour just doesn't happen

After three healthy kids, I can?t help feeling I?ve been a little ripped off. I missed out on something I had always wanted to experience, and now I?ll never get the chance.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Share the little things that make you smile

We're giving away a Mountain Buggy nano, the ultimate travel stroller - and here are some of the great entries so far.

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win a Mountain Buggy nano

We?re giving away the new Mountain Buggy Nano - the lightweight travel buggy! So show us the little things that make you smile for your chance to win.

Be careful what you say, your baby is listening

The importance of speaking to your baby even if they are not old enough to answer back has been highlighted by new research.

Win $1000 with Sea-Band

Three lucky fans can win a Sea-Band prize pack valued at over $1000 each, which includes two Sea-Bands plus a $1000 Eftpos gift card!

The beautiful moment a baby was born at the side of a road

It's not where she expected to give birth, but mum Corrine Cinatl is delighted that her daughter's roadside arrival was captured in a series of beautiful photos.

Doctor sings first Happy Birthday to newborns

His job is to deliver babies, but this US obstetrician also has a unique way of celebrating the miracle of life.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five mums or mums-to-be will join the EB Test Drive Team and discover great items at an exclusive Big W event. (Sydney only.)

The Nappy Collective starts new drive

It's that time of year when the dedicated volunteers at The Nappy Collective do their bit to help out mums and children in need - and they need your help.

Baby shower cake wrecks

From misshapen cake babies to questionable text, from odd colour choices to internal organ recreation, these are the baby shower cakes that taste forgot.

Photographer captures the beauty of adoption

The love of a family is usually tough to capture on camera. This is an exception.

Pregnancy progression photo ideas

Want to record your pregnancy as your belly grows? Here are some creative, fun ideas for photo shoots along the way.

The myths and facts about "normal" breastfeeding

When it comes to successful breastfeeding, there is a wide variety to what is "normal", according to new research.

Tin can craft and DIY ideas

Got a few old formula, Milo or coffee cans around the house? Use these fantastic upcycling ideas to create items for around the house and yard.

Dads meet their newborn for the first time

Emotional photos of two fathers meeting their newborn son have resonated with viewers worldwide, attracting thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

Skin safety isn't just a summer worry

Lax about the slip slop slap with your kids as weather turns cooler? Here's a reminder as to why we have to remain vigilant for our children?s future health.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

Creative sleeping baby photoshoots

See how some parents and photographers have captured sleeping babies in unusual positions and using different props.

DIY kitchen and food hacks

DIY your way to a better kitchen and make cooking easier with our clever hacks. (Some content reproduced with permission from mashable.com.)

Winter warmers for babies and toddlers

Your baby or toddler will be nice and snug in these beautiful and fun winter pieces. Most are hand-made or knitted, and they're all designed to keep your little one toastie - and adorable!

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.