It’s something every parent dreads: finding out your child is the victim of a bully. Whether in pre-school, middle school or High school, bullying is bullying and though it can take different forms, it always has a negative effect on the child being bullied.
I was bullied as a child. I was a short, chubby brown girl with braces and an atrocious bob haircut so I sort of made an easy target at the time. I still find it a little funny when I come across someone from that time in my life and they refuse to believe I’m the same person! The ugly duckling grew up, I want to say in these situations, what did you expect?
So yes, I can relate to the emotions involved in being the victim of bullying and I always hoped that my children would dodge that bullet.
What I didn’t stop to worry about was what I would do if it was my child who was the bully.
To be fair, Lilly is barely two and not capable of bullying anyone, but recently she’s developed a disturbing new habit: she’s started pushing and hitting other kids and whatever I do, I can’t get her to understand that it’s wrong! I’ve tried everything: I’ve tried explaining it to her, I’ve tried putting her in timeout, I’ve tried being stern with her, I’ve tried everything but she doesn’t stop. Everyone tells me she’ll grow out of it, that it’s just a phase, but I can’t help but have panic attacks because of it.
I feel so helpless when I can’t get her to understand that it’s wrong, that she needs to stop pushing other kids. I feel like a failure as a mother when my child causes someone else’s child to cry. It makes me cry with frustration and every play date is ladled with anxiety.
I know I know, I’m probably overreacting, she’ll probably outgrow it once she’s old enough to understand why it’s wrong, but for now, she’s reduced me to a stressed out, anxious mess. I find myself cancelling plans with friends just because I don’t want to deal with the fallout when Lilly pushes or hits their children.
Honestly, I don’t know what to try now and all I can do is hope she outgrows this on her own before this mommy has a nervous breakdown.
And I thought potty training was going to be the worst of my worries as a mom.
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