My Daughter’s First Experience with a Bully

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I remember looking at my oldest within the hours and days after she was born and thinking, “I never want anyone to hurt this sweet little girl’s feelings.” Was this a weird, random, emotional thought of a hormonal new mom? Probably. Of course, as humans we get our feelings hurt. But at the same time, as a parent, especially a mom, it’s hard to deal with people who are not nice to our kids. Since those sweet, innocent days of newborn babies, both of my kids have had interactions with other kids who they have deemed “not nice”. With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, I wanted to share a story from my daughter’s first experience with a bully.

The situation

Our first real encounter with a bully happened during my daughter’s kindergarten year. There was a fellow kindergartener on her bus who, according to my daughter, was not very nice to another child. When that other child stopped riding the bus to attend an after-school program, the bully turned her attention to my daughter. My daughter came home and informed me that this bully had ripped a piece of her dress off. She was as shocked as I was. Nothing like that had ever happened to her. To say that I was seeing red was the understatement of the year.

The action

I called up the transportation department and demanded they radio the driver in hopes that she’d be able to find the piece of the dress. I’m sure I sounded a little nutty in my request but I was SO MAD. Unfortunately, the piece was never located. I went to talk to the driver the next day and also my daughter’s teacher. They both helped to ensure that contact between my daughter and the bully was minimized. The one thing I did not want to do was pull my daughter from the bus. Unfortunately, I was never able to have contact with this girl’s parents. Thankfully, this separation allowed for the situation to dissipate.

The lesson from our experience with a bully

The initial anger and sadness can cause a knee-jerk reaction. I’ve really been focusing on teaching my kids how to navigate these bullies. I try to be as transparent as possible. I let them know that even adults can encounter bullies in one form or another. Lately, I’ve really been driving home the feelings. How does a certain person make you feel? While it’s natural to have disagreements, being with a friend should make you feel good. If not, it’s time to reevaluate. There are too many nice people to waste time with the mean ones. A good rule to follow in all seasons of life.

Have your children had their first experience with a bully? If so, how did you help them navigate through it? Let me know in the comments.

You can also read about a fellow blogger’s experience here.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am so sorry that your daughter had to experience this. I applaud you for taking action as a mom to ensure she is safe and that adults in charge are aware of the situation.

    I would like to caution parents about the use of the word “bully” with our children. It is obvious that your daughter witnessed repetitive behavior. The term bullying has a specific definition in school and requires repetition toward a victim or group of victims. It sounds like this was an isolated incident in the case of your daughter, regardless of the previously witnesses behavior.

    What happened to your daughter is in NO WAY acceptable and I do not diminish the experience at all. I just want to make sure all parents understand that a single incident toward one child does not constitute bullying.

    Every child deserves to feel safe in school as well as to and from the school. Most (if not all) school districts require an investigation into bullying and bullying prevention awareness.

    I hope the child in question receives some help and that no other classmate falls victim to undue violence. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Hi Kate, thank you so much for reading and conveying your message so clearly and concisely. What I failed to mention in this post is that the following year there was additional negative interaction with this same student, so in my daughter’s case it was a form a bullying. I appreciate your clarification for our readers.

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