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Befuddled

Strange are the ways of some, who invariably think thus:

When you are hurt, the world is victimizing you
but when others are hurt, the world is trivializing the issue

How do you handle a child who is constantly bullying a few kids in your neighbourhood? I may get some tips on this over the net, but I want to know how to handle the mother who seems to be blind to the errant kid's act, covers it up saying its all child's play and reverses the entire blame to the rest of the parent community who she thinks is singling out her child unnecessarily?

As a parent we all love our kids and cannot imagine them being at fault. However, should love be so binding that you cannot even recognize a fault that unfolds right under your nose? As a parent of one of the victims of the bully, here is an open letter to the mother.

Dear Parent,

I understand that you have some bones to pick with me since you believe that I have reprimanded or even keep reprimanding your child for no fault of his. I need to tell you that I don't go about reprimanding random children at the playground. 

However, you need to know that your child bullies others. If your child keeps bullying my child, I can only ignore it for a couple of times, which I did. The third time is when I walked up to your child and asked him why he behaves the way he does. If you think your child did not deserved to be asked such a valid question, I am sorry to say that you are wrong in your thinking. If you feel your child did no wrong by bullying, and then I am aghast at your thinking and shudder to imagine what is in store for you and your child. If you feel what your child does, does not fall into the category of bullying, I suggest you educate yourself more over here.

Your child needs help, but if you continue to behave the way you do, then please take my humble advice- you need more help.

Your well-wisher.

Comments

  1. I know what you mean, Uma. I think the habit of bullying is effectively passed on from the parents only. It is us who teach our children how to behave. And, if we ourselves do not know to behave ourselves, then, well, God save our children!

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    Replies
    1. yes, if the parent is unable to nip the behaviour in the bud, it might prove serious later. I believe the kid should be undergoing some image issues which is why he resorts to such acts.

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  2. I think the problem only goes deeper from there on. If a parent doesn't or rather doesn't want to recognise their child's bullying attitude, the child will think it is ok to impose himself on other kids. And then there are other parents who teach their kids not to be a bully (or are shy themselves) end up being victims.

    It is up to the parents to keep a look out for signs of bullying, right from the beginning. Our neighbours kid who is almost the same age as Aa is used to pushing away others. Her mom/ gramma do reprimand her. I think that is the right way to go about it. Eventually she'll learn that it is not ok to push away/ be violent towards other kids.

    Similarly, I am always behind Aa, keeping an eye on her to check if she does something unpleasant when she is mingling with other kids. We love our kids and must not forget that other parents also share the same feeling for their kids. How can we discount that?

    I really hope this parent you are talking about finally sees some sense.

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly my fear that the kid seems to be encouraged by this stand. What gets my goat is that the mother is never far away from the scene, yet she is unable to spot where the actual trouble is brewing from. Rather she is only observant about how her child is being pulled up (if I may use this term here) and nurses grudges against us.

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  3. I know what you mean Uma. Although I don't have kids, I have been bullied by other girls as a child (girls are very, very mean I tell ya). The parents of those girls had this false feeling of pride that I don't quite get. I don't want to sound holier-than-thou, but EVERY single 'bully' that I know of has an absolutely pitiable personal life now. No wonder, right? So hang in there, it's the 'victims' who win the race :)

    Preeti

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    Replies
    1. I know what you're trying to say here, Preeti but I don't want this to be a race of sorts where I'd be happy to see the other lose. Trust me it is difficult raising a child and I don't mean bad for the kid. I'm disturbed because while it seems that the mother wants to get it right, she also seems selective in choosing which behaviour she wants to correct.

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  4. Wow. do grown-ups not realize what is bullying and what is not? I am no mother yet, but still we can see when a child does it, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The child has to be taught that what he does is not the right way to do things. Children only need understanding to correct their ways and if the parents give that understanding to them, all will be well.

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    Replies
    1. Agree, Keirthana.I'm really not sure where the mother stands in her thinking. Is she simply ignorant or just is in denial, I don't know..

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  5. I think parents should try and separate their identity and self-worth from their child(ren) especially when it comes to behaviour in the early years. No child is perfect, period! And so if they are wrong we need to accept that and correct their behaviour. Bullying is just not acceptable. One should promptly and sternly bring it to the notice of the parents, in case they are unaware about it.

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    Replies
    1. totally with you, Vibha. Many times, our egos are hurt more than anything else and we want to just close our eyes to the glaring facts. I suspect that is likely the case. The mother gives me the cold shoulder, so I am really loathe to broach the subject with her on my own. And, unfortunately, I'm not sure I'll be able to keep my cool and talk to her :-0

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  6. It's unfortunate that a parent is so blind when it comes to her child's faults :(. Will definitely serve to reinforce the negative behaviour as well! Hope you were able to protect R and keep him out of the bully's way. We can only try so far to let "kids be kids". When your child's behaviour hurts or endangers mine, then there's no stopping me from speaking my mind.

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