Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bully's Mom

I've read a whole lot of posts lately about kids that are dealing with a bully at school. Being that it is a new school year, this is not all that surprising.

Because if you have kids, you will deal with bullying. If not this year, next. Or maybe it will be in a few years...but eventually your number is up.

And with all the sad stories on the news of kids killing themselves over cyber bullying -- you'd better take notice.

And the whole turn the other cheek thing really just does not work.

But all of that really isn't why I'm writing today.

There is plenty of advice and suggestions all over blogland right now on how to deal with bullies.

What is bothering me....

...is all the comments on the bully's mother.

Because if your child is a bully it is your fault mom.

You should be hung, drawn and quartered. You should be called trash. You should have nasty remarks made about you all over town and the internet.

Ummm...kinda sounds like bullying doesn't it?

So now, all you sweet moms with kids who would never bully anyone...

lets talk about those mom's of children with ugly personalities.

You see, it just might be, that they are as upset by their child's actions as you are.

Couldn't be you say?

Well, I say you are wrong.

Some parents have children with difficult personalities.

Maybe it is a child that is beyond selfish and you struggle daily to teach them to share. There is no reason they should not understand all the teaching you are doing on a daily basis...but while the other kids are getting it.....yours just WILL NOT share. No teaching, no preaching, no punishment, reward chart or being isolated works. So mom tries everything, reads every book, asks every friend for advice....and still the child will not share toys, takes things from others in a group and hordes. They even hit. Which horrifies mom and brings punishment. Every time.

See, that was an easy one. You understand that don't you?

It can be the exact same with bullying.

I have one child that had a difficult personality for years. Like 12 years.

We struggled. We punished. We praised. We warned that there would be no friends as you don't treat people that way. We PARENTED through the whole 12 years.

And it took 12 YEARS for the kid to finally get it.

When there were parent complaints we always took them very seriously and handled it.

But it would happen again.

And again.

And I was mortified and embarrassed by the child's behavior on practically a weekly basis. I cried tears over it. I actually did not even like my child very much and was angry at being put in such positions. (Which is not the same as not loving your child. You can not like a childs personality and still love them.)

This child was NOTHING like my other children.

I have another child that was everyone's best friend. Everyone who even met the child for a few minutes loved the child.

Same family. Same rules. Very different behavior.

You guys are getting this right?

Because all the name calling and finger shaking going on towards mothers of difficult children -- its just another form of bad behavior ladies. Think about it.

NOW - that is not to say that this is true in every case.

There are bad parents. Absent parents. Abusive parents. Racist parents. Inattentive parents. Noneffective parents. And parents you don't want to deal with in any way.

But don't assume.

Because one day it might be your child that pulls the mother of all stupid tricks. And when it happens -- that is exactly how you are going to be treated. Regardless of the truth. Because so many moms are willing to point fingers and assume bad kid action = sucky parenting.

And its not a fun place to be if you are a caring, teaching, parenting type of parent.

What I am not saying here is that because you give the parent the benefit of the doubt, that you deal directly with them when in a bully situation.

I have been attacked IN FRONT OF THE cops by a bully's mom when her son was being a bully and my son was one of the ones that fingered her kid. Her innocent kid. (Yes, 100% of the kids interviewed on the entire bus were lying -- but my little kid was somehow responsible for that because he was the one bloodied. Huh???) So, even when I give the other parent the benefit of the doubt, I still have the authorities in that situation handle the issue.

So I'm NOT saying mom IS a nice lady. I'm saying she just might be.

I'm saying don't take out the boxing gloves until you know she boxes.

I'm saying don't murder her good name until you know SHE is guilty.

I'm saying parents don't actually have full control over their children once they are out of sight.

We can teach.

But its up to the child to apply the teaching.

And some won't.

And I'm saying that if you are the mother of a young child and standing in judgment......you are most likely going to look back one day when the shoe is on the other foot and feel foolish.

Because kids make mistakes. Kids do wrong things. Kids make poor decisions. And kids pull stupid kid tricks.

Even your precious angel that would never.......(lie, steal, cheat) could do something you totally disapprove of one day.


It could happen.

So do unto others............................


  1. Autumn,

    Amen. Amen. And AMEN!! Fabulous post with super advice for newer moms. I feel you on the "I didn't like my kid at times." If you have a teenager chances are there are times when you cannot stand them (or more specifically his/her behavior). Yes, you love them. You'd defend them with your life, but their attitude, fresh mouth, whatever, just makes you recoil from time to time. Oh, yes...I've been there! Sometimes I would wonder how I could have possibly raised such an ungrateful, sassy-mouthed child. Where did I go wrong??

    I'm just hoping that #2 will give me an easier time of it!

  2. I pray, pray, pray that my oldest won't be in trouble by the time she's 12. She's a stubborn one. Kicked the neighbor across the street multiple times on the way home from school today. Not that he wasn't kicking back... Just makes me sad when they don't have self control. Fortunately, we worked it out after everyone cooled down. But still...

  3. Well, my Tongginator didn't earn her nickname for nothing. The difference is that you (and I) gave/give our children consequences for their actions. My daughter continually chooses the hard road - nearly every time - but at least the other parents see me stepping in to correct (or TRY to correct) my daughter. My issue is when the other parent does nothing.

  4. Excellent message! As a Daycare provider I see all kinds of children and parents, what you say is very very true. Sometimes kids are just difficult and cannot conform to group situations. And no matter what the parents, providers and schools do they will bully, be aggressive or just be difficult. Thank you for such a well thought out and well written post.