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What would you do if....

Posted by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:46 AM
  • 18 Replies

one of your friends said your child was showing early signs of being a bully?


Here's the background - 

My boys are twins, 5.5 yrs old.  Charlie has ALWAYS been the dominant twin.  Zach has had some "issues" since he was about 15 mos old (thought autism, then that diagnosis was "recinded" and we now have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder along w/ ADD).  Zach does whatever Charlie tells him to do.  I've told him he doesn't need to do this, I've even told him to hit Charlie back when Char hits him - but he doesn't.  He just takes it.  We've told and tried many things to get Charlie to stop.  I really feel that bc Zach just lets him do it, he's not "getting it".  I almost wish he'd attempt it w/ another of his friends and they'd sock him one.  Thankfully tho, he doesn't ever do this w/ his friends....just his brother....until this weekend.  When at my best friend's son's soccer game, he started hitting their 9 yr old son (in a flailing flapping sort ofway - not punching and kicking, but laughing and doing this.....he doesn't do this to HURT someone - i know thats not an excuse tho)  The 9 yr old just let him hit him!  I was like WTF?  Why would a 9 yr old just put up w/ that?  We broke it up.  I've started to talk to Charlie about being a bully and all.  My friend thinks I should have him see a pyschologist to nip this behavior in the bud.  Esp w/ all the anti bullying stuff.  

I'm hurt, but yet I don't want my son seen as a bully.  I don't want people to not want my kid around.  I'm unsure of where to start.  


(I posted this in Park Bench too, but since I know most of you and some of you have met the boys....I just need some more personal opinions.  I'm pretty devastated about this.  I've been seeing it more and more w/ Zach at home....and just so not sure what to do.  I hate the way I'm feeling and not sure what to do.  I have so much going on in my head....)

by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
jen113000
by Jenna on May. 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM

What punishments are you giving Charlie for hitting?

betsystipo
by Betsy on May. 1, 2012 at 8:59 AM

He gets a time out, but its not affective.  He's no longer allowed to watch Power Rangers either.

jen113000
by Jenna on May. 1, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Take things away that are important to him? Start a behavioral chart with him? 

betsystipo
by Betsy on May. 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Power Rangers is his new obsession, so I took that away to start.  The doc in NYC that we are seeing for Zach is helping us create Behavior Mod charts for both boys.  We did talk to him about this, and he did agree with me that since Zach doesn't respond to him, he isn't "seeing" it as "wrong" if you know what I mean.  He does know what a Bully is, but I guess he's not seeing himself as one.  

mhmomma
by Becky on May. 1, 2012 at 9:13 AM
If timeout isn't working then like Jenna said take something important away. With K I take books and h I take Lego. And they don't get it back until they earn it back with good behavior. K is a bully to H. Thing is he hits back now. She's just bigger and faster. We are working on it too.
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HTMommy
by Crystal on May. 1, 2012 at 9:55 AM

What is Zach's response? Is he just aloof to it or do his feelings get hurt or anything like that? The reason I ask is because Trent can be like that to Gabe, keep in mind that Trent is 6 and Gabe is 3, While Gabe fights back something fierce because he won't put up with it, Trent just doesn't get it. It wasn't until I turned around and did something to him like what he was doing to Gabe, that he kinda got it. I teach my kids by example, action, cause and effect. Maybe because I am MOM it "hit" him harder and hurt his feelings more, but Gabe isn't verbal, he can't express that his feelings were/are hurt, so I acted it out with Trent and he understood it then. Trent doesn't react to consequences of time out and getting things taken away. I did the same thing to Holden when he was younger and it never happened again, Trent needs reminders sometimes, but he's not like he was.

betsystipo
by Betsy on May. 1, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Zach doesn't react.  Sometimes he thinks its silly, sometimes literally NOTHING.  Charlie can purposely stick his foot out to trip Char (just recently he did this) and Zach trips into the couch laughing...  

One day in the shower, C hit Z - so it hurt way more!  I told Charlie that I was gonna hit him if he hits Z again...he did, so I did.  But he still didn't get it.  I don't want to do that again/anymore.  

I'm just so upset bc to have my friend say He needs to see someone so he doesn't become a bully if he has these tendencies at 5....  I don't know, does he really need therapy?

Quoting HTMommy:

What is Zach's response? Is he just aloof to it or do his feelings get hurt or anything like that? The reason I ask is because Trent can be like that to Gabe, keep in mind that Trent is 6 and Gabe is 3, While Gabe fights back something fierce because he won't put up with it, Trent just doesn't get it. It wasn't until I turned around and did something to him like what he was doing to Gabe, that he kinda got it. I teach my kids by example, action, cause and effect. Maybe because I am MOM it "hit" him harder and hurt his feelings more, but Gabe isn't verbal, he can't express that his feelings were/are hurt, so I acted it out with Trent and he understood it then. Trent doesn't react to consequences of time out and getting things taken away. I did the same thing to Holden when he was younger and it never happened again, Trent needs reminders sometimes, but he's not like he was.


HTMommy
by Crystal on May. 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM

personally I think people, friends family whoever, are too quick to jump to doctors. You still have to remember that they are BOYS! and TWINS! Not alot of people get that. That may just be how they will be with eachother Holden and Trent constantly rough house. I think its why Trent sometimes does it with Gabe, but he doesn't like it where as Holden does. You have 2-5yr olds and they have a dynamic that no one but them will ever understand. Not even you. The fact that your friends 9 yr old didn't react or fight back or whathaveyou is NOT your reason. Most 9 yr olds wouldn't exactly know how to react if a 5 yr old came up and started swatting at them like he did. My kids would laugh and do it right back to them. With your boys being the way they are, dominant and anxious, you don't know what your friend has told her kids in respect of Char and Zach. She may have told them to not react if they did something like that kwim? I know there are some kids that my kids know that I have said that to, certain things, ignore, others react fight back or whatever.

figure out how far you want to take it. I'm not a hitter,spanker,slapper, I will but I rarely do. With Trent I was a bully to him to show him how it feels when someone you love is being nasty. Thats what I meant by teaching by example, action, cause and effect. He didn't have the experience being a child to know the effect of what he was doing to his little brother. Just telling him wasn't working he didn't understand. I got nasty with him doing the same things he was doing to Gabe to him and he didn't like it one bit. It was really hard for me to do it, but that was when he finally understood. If that makes any sense....

Rychelle
by Platinum Member on May. 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM
I'm not going to be much help and will prob be bashed but, I have 2 boys. J is almost 8 and him and his friends are constantly rough housing and "beating each other up". They wrestle and play fight, and just act like obnoxious boys. As long as its not serious I want to hurt you cuz I'm pissed us parents don't get involved.
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NErye4
by on May. 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

This exactly!  He's a 5 year old boy- it's in his DNA to be rough.  I tell Nicholas is 7 and he knows (just barely) the line between play fighting and "bullying".  Your kids are only 5, to them it's probably fun and doesn't sound like he is purposely trying to do it to be a bully.  If the other twin were to laugh at it, that would encourage the "fun" in the behavior.  All you can really do is keep talking about it to him and he will "get it".  It may not be immediately as he's still growing and maturing but he will get it.  Not something I would say he needs to talk to someone over at all.  He's being a kid and LEARNING his boundaries.  Stick to your gut too, these are YOUR children.  Coming from a family very involved in raising special needs kids (Elena has a TBI and my nephew Joshua is severely autistic) I quickly learned how quick others are to judge your parenting and say you arent doing it "right".  As hard as it is and as much as it hurts sometimes you just gotta let others have their opinions.  I don't see his actions as "bullying" at all- more along the lines of playing and rough housing like boys do.  He's just being a kid- something I've noticed a lot of parents don't allow anymroe (kids being kids).

Quoting Rychelle:

I'm not going to be much help and will prob be bashed but, I have 2 boys. J is almost 8 and him and his friends are constantly rough housing and "beating each other up". They wrestle and play fight, and just act like obnoxious boys. As long as its not serious I want to hurt you cuz I'm pissed us parents don't get involved.


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