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The Park Bench The Park Bench

What would you do if....

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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.  

by on May. 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Replies (41-49):
Charli627
by on May. 3, 2012 at 3:52 PM
I wouldn't worry about him being a bully, but yeah the hitting needs to be address.
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mommy2annaliese
by on May. 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

It sounds like it could very well be the start, if YOU don't fix it.

rightnow, probably not, but if this keeps going on as he gets older, it can turn into that.

and that is sad, i hate bullies, and i will NEVER allow bullying behavior from my child.

YOU are the mom and it is YOUR job to nip it in the bud, not your other son's.

Start deciplining and discouraging this behavior.

If anyones child hit my child, Lord have mercy. all hell is going to break loose.


*****not to be read in rude tone, sorry if it comes of that way*

Apollos82
by on May. 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Does he display a lack of empathy in any other areas, of just hitting? 

betsystipo
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Both of these are very strong assumptions.  Neither of us are letting this hurt our friendship. She has taught her son not to hit, at 9 he knows not to hit younger kids.  I'm working w/ my son now and have been for a bit. But in no way is it faulty parenting bc I'm NOT letting him just get away w/ it

Quoting slw123:

I would say that this behavior doesn't make him a bully, but it's still not ok for him to hit other kids, even if it's for fun.......because it's not fun for the other kid.  Your friend is upset that you let your child act like that towards her kid.  At 5, nearly 6 years old kids know that hitting is wrong and hurtful and if your kid doesn't know this, then it's faulty parenting.

Your hurt, your friend is hurt.  Don't let it ruin your friendship.  Apologize and work on these behavior issues with your kid so it doesn't happen again.  Make sure your friend SEES for herself that you are working on this.


hollydaze1974
by on May. 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM
good lord therapy isn't a panacea for everything. It sound like your son isn't "getting" empathy, he's not understanding it. Bullies are not empathetic and they have a need to feel power over other; (like his brother)
Perhaps some one on one time with him and explaining the big words like empathy and the big truths like "there is always someone meaner and tougher than you that will kick your a**"
Have these talks periodically, get the man in his life involved.(on the same page of course) explian suspension and other disciplinary actions that can happen and include what will happen if he doesn't stop bossy his twin. Good Luck!
isaboo22
by on May. 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

It sounds to me that your son just isn't "getting it" becuase these kids are allowing him to do this stuff and not fighting back.  because they do not fight back, or say anything, hes not seeing how he might be hurting thier feelings. I would just keep talking to him and explaining - like you have been. Now if it gets to the point where is is physically hurtiing kids, then that is different.

betsystipo
by on May. 4, 2012 at 1:06 PM

This is exactly how I feel!  I've said if his brother or someone would just sock him one (as awful as that sounds) so he sees how it feels, I'm so sure  he'd stop!  I've told his brother he can hit him back, but he doesn't.  

Quoting isaboo22:

It sounds to me that your son just isn't "getting it" becuase these kids are allowing him to do this stuff and not fighting back.  because they do not fight back, or say anything, hes not seeing how he might be hurting thier feelings. I would just keep talking to him and explaining - like you have been. Now if it gets to the point where is is physically hurtiing kids, then that is different.


thedahliascene
by on May. 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

i'm the oldest of 7, and if you went an hour without someone hitting, touching, or otherwise annoying someone else then it was a blessing. the truth of the matter is that siblings are always trying to get at each other in one way or another because they spend the majority of their time together. as we got older even, it was always a fight about who was in the bathroom more or less or who got more of this or that. my brother was a biter, and i was the kid that wouldn't bite him back. i'd just take it until i reached my boiling point. of course i bit him way harder than i should have at that point, but he never bit me again. haha.

NoahsMom1215
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:55 PM

i agree with this. If you are worried about his behavior then you as the parent need to provide discipline and structure. I don't know him so I can't speak on whether or not he is a bully. But I don't think it is fair to him or anyone else for you to rely on another child to teach him the lesson that his behavior is not ok. Set consequences and stick to them.

I applaud you for being open to your friends comments.

Quoting LucyHarper:

Probably the nine year old knows better then to hit back and also would feel bad about socking a child four years younger then him. Don't rely on other kids hitting back, telling your other son that its okay to hit him back is telling your child with the hitting problem that hitting isn't that bad, it needs to be the parent who disciplines him, not another child hitting him back. Whenever he hits, immediatly discipline, and if you cant find a method that works, talk to a therapist with him and find something that does.


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