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 FeralBee

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 HRH Countrymel

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

 

Tot meets his heroes, falls apart with excitement

Two-year-old Quincy finished his potty training last week, and as part of his reward he was able to meet his idols.

Beautiful in our eyes: Georgia's story

I will never deny the fact that grief has a place when you give birth to a child who brings a set of circumstances very different to what you imagined. Because for nine months, I thought I knew my Georgie.

'It's been phenomenal': widower dad of quads thankful for support

There was nothing Erica and Carlos wanted more than a baby.

Vin Diesel names daughter after actor Paul Walker

The actor said there was "no other person" he was thinking about when he chose the name.

How midwives can help women who experience domestic violence

More than half of women who live with abusive partners experience violence during pregnancy.

Mum describes giving birth during Cyclone Pam

A new mother was told she must flee Port Vila hospital with her baby as Cyclone Pam bore down.

6 signs you're done having babies

There were a few signs I'm never going back to the land of maternity jeans, breast pumps and bassinets.

Marta Dusseldorp reveals breastfeeding cost her an acting job

Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp has revealed she was forced to withdraw from a Sydney Theatre Company production because a director did not approve of her breast feeding.

Female celebs (or their babies) with traditionally male names

Looking for a name that's a little bit different for a girl? Turn to names that have been traditionally used for males, as these celebs (or their parents) did.

'If you're anti-immunisation ... take a look at this picture of my son'

Greg Hughes is "an absolute shell of a man" as he and his wife Catherine struggle to come to terms with the loss of their newborn son Riley to whooping cough.

How an extrovert can raise an introvert

Introverts are often misunderstood as shy, and sometimes even rude. A timid child can be difficult to build rapport with, but it's important we nurture their sensitive natures.

Sheryl Sandberg's advice

'Choreplay': Help out at home to get more sex, Sandberg tells men

Forget foreplay. The new and improved route to intercourse is "choreplay" - it's good for your spouse, good for your house, and comes with the imprimatur of feminist du jour Sheryl Sandberg.

How to play with your baby

The first time your child learns a new skill at playtime is very exciting - for both you and your baby! Play is important to your child's development for a variety of reasons - here are some simple ideas for you to try at home.

I'm a single mother by choice

For me, being the best mother I can be means being a mum alone, at least for now. Thinking of my friends with inadequate partners, I wonder why more people don’t choose single motherhood.

Awkward wedding photos

Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.

Four-week-old baby Riley Hughes dies of whooping cough

The mother of a four-week-old Perth baby who died after contracting whooping cough says her family has been left devastated by the loss of her "gorgeous, sweet" son.

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, we are giving away five DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Oh boy! Video shows family's reaction to baby surprise

Little Peyton Williams thought she was getting a baby sister named Charlee. But the two-year-old has had to settle for a doll dressed in pink after her baby "sister" turned out to be a boy.

How to help build up your baby's immune system

We all know that having a strong immune system is the best way to stay healthy – but what can we do to help it along?

'Nick, you need to call an ambulance': home birth mum's tragic death

A Melbourne mum who died after the home birth of her baby pleaded with her husband to call an ambulance because she felt she was going to die, the Victorian Coroners Court has heard.

When dads believe their baby doesn't 'like' them

Q: My two-month-old baby doesn't like me. He's perfectly content with my wife, but when I try to hold him, he gets upset and cries. I've backed off a little, thinking that he just needs a little time to get used to me, but that doesn't seem to be working. I'm starting to think I'm just not a very good dad. Is it too late for me to build a relationship with my baby?

When was the last time a stranger praised your parenting?

Wouldn’t it be great to get some nice feedback every now and then? After all, everyone likes to hear positive praise, particularly when it comes to parenting.

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

15 names on the verge of extinction

If you're looking to revive an older name, or don’t want anything near the top 1000 list, check out these rare monikers for your unique baby.

5 characteristics of great dads

It’s great to see a generation of dads who are more actively involved with caring, nurturing and loving their kids.

Why doesn't Australia have more breast milk banks?

When there’s no question that milk banks are important, why don’t we have more of them in Australia?

Carrie Bickmore announces birth of daughter

Television personality Carrie Bickmore has given birth to her second child.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Sign up to our 30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Sign up to receive 30 amazing tips and ideas for play with baby during the month of April and submit a picture or tip on our social wall for a chance to win an amazing Fisher-Price prize pack.

Man faces jail after giving woman abortion pill smoothie

A Norwegian man is facing jail after putting abortion pills in his ex-girlfriend's smoothie, causing her to have a miscarriage.

'He's a blessing': family of baby born without eyes

Jordy Jackson was born without eyes. He has anophthalmia, which affects one in every 100,000 babies born.

Win one of 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers

With Easter fast approaching, Cadbury are giving away 5 Cadbury Easter Hampers. Enter Now!

Super fit model Sarah Stage defends her pregnancy body

Model Sarah Stage has defended her pregnancy body after critics claimed her slim figure at eight-and-a-half months pregnant wasn't "normal".

Win a Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig prize pack

To celebrate the April 1 release of Holly's Magic Wand on DVD and Digital, Essential Baby and Entertainment One are giving away five bumper DVD packs featuring the newest installment of Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom Holly's Magic Wand and many more hours of family entertainment! Enter Now!

Why I post breastfeeding photos online

I love to take pictures of my children. In some of the pictures, my younger son is nursing.

The day I broke my baby

There are things I wish I didn't know. I wish I didn't know that companies make tiny braces, small enough to hold necks no bigger than a wrist.

The place just for dads of multiples

When a couple discovers they're expecting multiples, the dad can sometimes be almost forgotten in all the excitement and preparation. But one group offers a space just for dads of twins and higher-order multiples.

Brave mum calls for domestic violence law reform

A brave mum of two has shared details of the harrowing attacks she suffered at the hands of her partner in a bid to help other victims of domestic violence.

Why I had the new test for Down syndrome

Early last year I turned 35, and having just found out I was pregnant, I opted to have the new test for Down syndrome.

Geeky baby gear

If your family is more into Star Wars, gaming and the periodic table than most, you might want to check out these geek-chic baby items.

2015: the year of the sheep

According to the Chinese zodiac, babies born in the year of the sheep are creative and enjoy spending quiet time with their own thoughts.

Breakthrough genetic testing now available in Australia

Pregnant women will for the first time have access to locally analysed, accurate, non-invasive pre-natal genetic testing when the first Australian clinic to offer the services opens its doors next week.

Grandbabies: the babies born looking old

Not a day under 65 and a lifetime of struggle! That's the look of these newborns, who look adorably older than their real age. Social networking site Reddit recently featured user submissions of adorable grandbabies, here are our favourites.

Family kicked off flight after toddler seatbelt drama

An entire family was kicked off a Cathay Pacific flight when a misbehaving toddler refused to put his seatbelt on.

Stolen baby found after 17 years

A baby stolen from her mother's arms shortly after birth has been found through an astonishing coincidence.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Sign up now!

30 days of #PlayIQ challenge

Receive a daily email from Essential Baby during April with great play tips and ideas, then submit your baby at play photos to our Playwall, Instagram or Twitter for your chance to win.

 
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.