Is My Daughter a Bully?

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.

crying-baby-toddler
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.

toddler tantrum
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.

upset-anxious
What if she doesn’t outgrow this? What if my daughter becomes a bully? I can’t even imagine what I’ll do then..

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.

 

This post is linking with:

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Mommy A to Z Manic Mondays Blog Hop
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38 thoughts on “Is My Daughter a Bully?

  1. Trying this again…sorry if it comes through twice.

    It sounds to me like you’re handling this situation appropriately. Not the worrying, anxious part (though I’d probably feel the same way if it were me) but the part where you’re avoiding play dates just now. I think if you’re right there when your daughter is playing with others, so that you can correct aggressive behavior, that’s all you can do at this point. And I would guess that this behavior will subside once she’s old enough to have better control of her emotions and can communicate better. I think bullying happens when parents turn a blind eye to the bullying, which you’re obviously not doing. You’re a good mommy. Hugs!

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  2. It could be behavior that she is learning from elsewhere. She most likely will out grow it but I think you should always be aware and perceptive of behaviors like that. I think you just choose to handle the situation however you think is best. It is hard for two year olds to understand that their behavior is hurtful. My 3yo began pushing and hitting as a result of what he has seen in daycare and we just made him stop and apologize every time he pushed or hit. He has not pushed anyone in awhile but has now started to stick his tongue out at his sisters and myself. He didn’t stop at first but one day I just popped his mouth and it worked. it didn’t hurt him but he was surprised and stopped him in his tracks. He still does it every now and then, but we make him stop and apologize. the behavior is slowly decreasing. Hugs to you, this parenting gig is damn hard!

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  3. Same boat. She doesn’t care how big the other kid is. We are trying everything and the behavior therapist is giving “strategies” but when they are 2 years old I think it’s hard for these concepts to register. Idk but I’m sending a hug too cause gosh do I relate!

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  4. When my Little Man was in preschool, there were a couple of kids who did this at that age. It was just a phase. As long as you’re sending the right message, and you are, she’ll grow out of it soon! My daughter is also pretty aggressive with LM, so I suspect she’ll go through the same phase.

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  5. Two is a bad playing age. It’s more of a “MINE!” age. With three girls I’ve never had one who’s played with another kid well at that age. They’ll all grew out of it, it was hair tearing frustrating but it passed. Hang in there!

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  6. I worried about this stuff when the Little Mister was the same age. I beat myself up about it and lost sleep over it. I can definitely relate. Worse was when other kids would hit my kid and their parents didn’t even care. He’d then copy them the next time. It was like an awful cycle. I have never been more proud than when he told a kid who hit him that the kid had hurt him, without hitting back. Sure, the kid hit him again for his efforts but that’s when I started to relax a little. I was so nervous before every play date scenario or park visit. Now I realise he’s doing so much better. He has good day care staff and he plays really well with other kids – it warms my heart. We talk about how hitting is wrong and if he says something mean or screams in someone’s face he gets a talking to about treating others the way he’d want to be treated and why it’s not OK to do that. We talk about good manners all the time.
    I feel for you so much because I’ve been there and it’s SO nerve wracking.
    The good news is that you care. You won’t be that awful parent at the playground who ignores her child’s behaviour and lets them become worse. Don’t stop caring and teaching, but do stop worrying your child is going to be a horrible monster xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Makes me feel a whole lot better about the entire situation.. A part of me of course knows that this is a phase and will pass but that doesn’t make it any less stressful 😁

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  7. She WILL grow out of it and I can say that because we are literally just coming out of the end of that exact tunnel of doom ourselves. Annabelle is 3 in Jan coming and I to was reduced to a stressy mess who ended up crying every night due to the day I had just had with her. Taking her to soft play was a no, then school run was a nightmare and even popping to the shop was a terror task. The hitting, kicking and even biting was heartbreaking. But she is now listening. She is now getting it. Sure she still *tries* it (she’s 2!) But she’s starting to understand that it isn’t nice. So just keep at her and the penny will drop eventually. I do feel your pain though so here….cake always helps! πŸ˜‰

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    1. Kudos to you for making it through that phase! And thank you for your kind words and support.. Here’s to hoping Lilly makes it through it sooner rather than later..

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  8. I’m hoping we are just coming out the other side of this. My 3 1/2 year old has had moments of biting friends and hitting them. Its really horrible to see and I felt terrible when it happened with her supposed ‘friends’. It seemed to happen when she was really frustrated. She is definitely showing her more angelic side at the moment! You sound like you are handling it really well. Hope this ‘stage’ passes soon for you. Parenthood is definitely harder than I ever imagined it would be. #fartglitter

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  9. I feel for you. I went through this with my daughter not long after she turned 2. I would dread collecting her from nursery because there would always be an incident form to sign due to her marking other children. She would gouge, scratch, bite and she even pinned a little girl down one day. The staff were so understanding and assured me they’d seen it all before. They said she’d be a different child by the time she turned 3. I just couldn’t see that being the case but they were right. I know it’s really hard going in the meantime. Keep doing what you’re doing and know you’re not alone!

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    1. Thank you! That actually makes me feel a little better, knowing that other kids who went through this ‘phase’ actually did eventually outgrow it πŸ˜› But like you said, its still hard going through it.. oh well, one day at a time, right?

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  10. Oh no! I was bullied too and I wouldn’t know what to do if my child started bullying others. I don’t think you can really use that title with someone as young as your tot. I’m sure she doesn’t really understand and will grow out of it soon. It might not sound like the nicest solution but from what I’ve seen as a Kindergarten teacher the fastest way for a child to learn is for another child to stand up to them. Sorry that doesn’t really help your stress levels any though. I’d also say that the children I would call bullies usually have parents in denial who aren’t doing anything.
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support! I know she’s not a bully, she’s too young for that, but I’m afraid that maybe this is how it starts.. Here’s to hoping she grows out of this phase soon!

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  11. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I agree that it’s probably temporary. My daughter took a little while to learn how to socialize and interact with other kids, and now she’s really friendly and has lots of friends. I’m sure you’ll continue to provide a wonderful example of how to be kind and compassionate to others! Thanks for linking up at the Manic Mondays blog hop!

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