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Claiming Our Neighborhoods - Page 2

post #21 of 121
Id call the city and ask for a "no cursing" sign to go up at the playground.
Even without freedom of speech laws this is ridiculous. Who is going to police it?
post #22 of 121
Yeah... somehow I don't think these kids are likely to obey a sign.

I'm also not sure the OP should try to find the kids' parents. What if they're scarier than the kids? I mean, bullying kids are often like that for a reason. What if the parents get offended and egg their kids on, or start with their own threats and bullying?

I'm sorry, OP: that sounds like a very uncomfortable, stressful situation. Not sure how I'd deal: I'd probably wimp out and abandon the playground, or at least find times to go when the other kids weren't around.
post #23 of 121
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Yeah... somehow I don't think these kids are likely to obey a sign.
This is a good point. I guess it's just a matter of instilling in dd that her name isn't "B!tch" or "M_F_" so she should just assume that anyone saying these words is talking to themselves or an imaginary playmate, or maybe their own "wee-wee," and ignore them.

I'm also not sure the OP should try to find the kids' parents. What if they're scarier than the kids? I mean, bullying kids are often like that for a reason. What if the parents get offended and egg their kids on, or start with their own threats and bullying?
Another good point. We actually recently had some drama at the playground between two adults. There is an older lady in the neighborhood who is involved with parks and recreation, and she has been going over every day picking up trash (and sometimes syringes), and trying to get the kids to stop littering, because her granddaughter likes playing there and the city has been considering removing all the play equipment because of the trash, and some other problems late at night.

There's one particular neighbor who likes sending her dog across the street to poop at this park, and the older lady got fed up and one day headed over to their house to ask the lady to give her a plastic bag so she could clean up the poop.

Well, the lady got mad and yelled at her and said, "You don't come knocking on my door!" and wouldn't give her a bag. So the older lady got mad and called animal control (or said she did) -- but then she got out of line and started making a big deal to this woman's children and telling them, over and over, "You're gonna lose your dog! And all you had to do was give me a plastic bag, that's all I asked for and I would have been nice and cleaned it up..."

Which of course upset the mother, and it culminated in these two grown women having it out (verbally, not physically) right in the middle of the playground a few days ago.

It makes me sad, because if this older lady wasn't so prone to going overboard and going on and on and on about grievances to children at the playground and anyone who's too polite to walk away from her, I'd really like to team up with her.

There are just so many hard feelings toward this old woman right now. Apparently some neighbors are getting prosecuted by the city because they were emptying their home trash into the bins at the playground, which go 10 feet deep into the ground.

I was surprised to learn about the depth, because they are usually full to overflowing with trash scattered on the ground around them because it won't go in -- and the older lady explained that they are 10 feet deep so that they only need to be emptied something like every 3 months -- only with some people throwing in their home trash they fill up really past.

So apparently some city employees went through the bags of garbage and found enough identifying information to prosecute the guilty families. Since the older lady has been going around telling everyone about this, people kinda seem to see her as a snitch, I think.

It's hard because I can tell she really cares about the neighborhood. It seems like there are the folks who maybe care a little but not enough to really get involved, and then there are the folks who care but maybe just reach the boiling point and don't know where to try the line and let up about something.

I'm sorry, OP: that sounds like a very uncomfortable, stressful situation. Not sure how I'd deal: I'd probably wimp out and abandon the playground, or at least find times to go when the other kids weren't around.
We homeschool so it would be cool with me and, I think, with my younger dd to go earlier in the day when we'd have it pretty much to ourselves.

But my 10yo isn't that interested in just playing on the equipment; she really wants to see her friends and play with other kids in her age group. Even her favorite activity of swinging is no fun to her when she doesn't have any friends around to watch her jump off.
post #24 of 121
Wow, this is truly horrible. I'm really sorry your family is experiencing this. You and your family can get through this, I know it.

Can you call Parks & Rec and keep going up the chain of command until you get someone who listens? Could you make a request for an employee to patrol the grounds for a period of time? With the poop and trash issues happening simultaneously it seems like some serious attention is needed in that specific park. Or do you maybe have an assertive friend or family member who could accompany you to the park? Is there another nearby park you could visit temporarily?

I gotta agree with the other posters, just don't engage with these children anymore. Not with food, not with swing offers, not clothing discussions, nothing. Have some very short replies ready beforehand if they try to engage and stick to them and keep calm and don't engage. Be busy with your book or your cell phone. It will be difficult because their behavior will ramp up to try to get a reaction from your family. You are their target and once your reactions stop being fun they will stop.

This article has some good advice: http://wondertime.go.com/learning/ar...our-child.html

You are a wonderful mom for seeking advice here and learning along with your child. I am sorry this is so hard right now, I would be so very angry.
post #25 of 121
i haven't experienced this myself, but my mom was never afraid to stand up to kids who were being jerks. it was funny, kids who were rotten always acted like angels around my mom (neighborhood kids, field trip kids etc). my mom had rules about how she was to be treated and how her stuff/house/car/kids were to be treated as well. i think you just need to be harsh with them once and stick with it. boundaries.

oh and that is insane about the trash, who takes their house trash to the park?? disgusting. or better yet sends their dog to poo at the park then come back home! i am with the old lady, who cares if she "snitched" ... they were in the wrong.
post #26 of 121
Thread Starter 
kathteach -- what a great article! Thank you! The second page seems to take a while to load, so I'll have to finish it later. I also want to read it to dd. She loves the Back to the Future movies.

lookatreestar -- my reservations about the older lady are not that she "snitched" -- but that she was targeting these women's children who probably have no control over their mom's decisions.

I also think it's great that the parents who were using the park to dispose of their trash got caught and are being prosecuted (this includes the lady sending her dog to poop at the park) -- but IMO it's kind of dumb for the older lady to make it so obvious that she was involved in this whole process.

I also think it's tacky to pass along information about who's being prosecuted to other people -- and mostly she's passing it along to kids since they're the main ones who are out there.

I understand that I may need to talk about the bullies to other people, but I feel like there's a difference between working together to deal with a public menace, and giving out information about other people when it's truly not helpful.

I guess she just needs to talk about this, and if kids are the only ones she can find to talk to, she'll just go up and unload on them. I am very thankful for the internet and MDC, because I was so very very angry about our own issues a couple of nights ago, but talking about it here is really helping me to work through it and start calming down and seeing the positive.

If this lady doesn't have any online community to help her process the stress, maybe she just has to let it out to whoever's around, or burst. I will try to be a better friend to her. I think I hurt her feelings when I got onto her the other day about the way she was talking to the kids.
post #27 of 121
I ahve one experience with addressing a bully. He for some reason targeted my kiddo at the school playground after school one day shortly before school let out last year. DS was in Kindergarten, the other kid was in 3rd grade (in the beginning they were all introducing themselves so I overheard). There were 4 boys: 2 3rd graders a 2nd grader and a 1st grader, and my son. The one kid just decided that my kid made an easy target, and started tripping him and shoving him while they were playing their rescue/adventure game - being slick about it at first so it seemed like part of the game, but I saw it from the first time and was watching. After a couple times I called DS over and told him to try to steer clear of that kid since he seemed to have a problem; DS tried, but was unsuccessful as the kid kept targeting him. My breaking point was when I saw the boys running behind a tree out of view of all the parents except me (because I was on a swing next to my DD), and this kid ran behind DS, stuck out his foot to hook my kiddos foot to trip him, while simultaneously grabbing the back of his shirt and tackling him down to the ground. Adrenaline took over and I shouted across the playground, "HEY! NO WAY!" and jogged over there. There was another boy there who looked kind of shell shocked because I dont think he was on board with that part of the play, and he got up looking real scared and ran off. I used my loud, firm voice and said, "Come ON, that's NOT COOL." He said, "we're just having fun" with a smirk. I said, "Doesn't look like he's (my son) having fun being tripped, and it's NOT fun to *me* when a bigger kid tackles and picks on a younger kid. Nobody else is hitting or tackling in this game." Of course DS was embarrassed, but he got over it and started playing in a different area.....and some of the other kids around migrated over to him to play a new game. SO this older boy, and I cannot believe this, walks over with a fist sized rock in his hand, and chucks it in a puddle below the tire swing my DS was standing on (the kids were using it as a prison they had to rescue DS from) so that he'd get him wet/muddy. SERIOUSLY? I was too far away to do anything about it, but for a moment I was terrified because I swear I thought the kid was going to throw the rock AT DS. I was just getting up to go to the kid and ask him what the HELL his problem was, when the dad finally shows up at the playground and calls him over and has him sit in time out because by that point the kid had started kicking at his sister and the dad saw that. So the dad calls him over like 5 times in 30 minutes, for trying to hit kids with sticks, shoving another kid to the ground, tripping his little sister, etc. Then they finally leave. I've seen the kid twice now that school has started up again, and he's always messing with somebody. It takes a lot for me to say I don't like a kid, I can usually find something redeeming or have sympathy that they have some kind of problems going on in their lives, but I really don't like this kid. I guess I feel bad because something is clearly going on, but i have NO desire to teach my kid to take that on just to be "nice". Ugh.

So anyway.....that day was so stressful to me, and it was only one day - I can't imagine the adrenaline you have in your body every time you go there and the kids are there. You're going to have to stand up to them gently but firmly, and I'd tell them exactly why in words they can understand: If you can be polite and respectful, we'd enjoy being friends and having fun together, but we won't let you keep bullying us with words and actions, and then deciding when you want to be nice to get things from us. Period.

Good good luck, mama.
post #28 of 121
I just read that article and the accompanying website and holy COW, it rocked my world!
post #29 of 121
Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I just read that article and the accompanying website and holy COW, it rocked my world!
post #30 of 121
Thread Starter 
Hi all! Thank you everyone for being such a help to me!

We've had a lot going on for the last few days, plus it felt good to take a little break from the situation, so today was our first time going back.

We were there this afternoon for a good three hours, and overall had a pretty good time. Dd2 and I walked over while dd1 went ahead of us on her bike. She said that as she rode up, a bunch of the teens/preteens from this group were there, and one girl yelled, "Hey wedgie-girl!"

Dd said, "Are you talking to me?" and the girl said, "Yeah I'm talking to you," and so dd rode back to us (as a whole bunch of them joined in and started yelling "wedgie-girl") and told me what happened. I just reminded her that her name isn't wedgie-girl, so she shouldn't even respond to that.

We arrived together and, yeah, they were all hollering "wedgie-girl" and I just said again to dd "That's not your name" and encouraged her to go swing on the empty swing, so she did.

One of dd's friends arrived a moment later, and another friend came soon after, so dd got very busy playing with her girlfriends and seemed pretty oblivious to the mean kids, who also seemed to give up trying to engage with dd.

The teens all got engaged in an "acorn war" but I didn't stress because they were only throwing at the others who wanted to play. Dd at one point wanted to join in, and I explained how this could really cause an injury if she was hit in an eye.

She and her friends ended up gathering up acorns to supply one of the nicer teen girls with ammunition, and I felt this was fine so long as dd wasn't actually throwing at anyone herself, since a couple of these kids really seem to have it in for my dd -- and some of them were throwing so hard that they managed to put a welt on one of their friends.

The war tapered off, and a bit later the boy from the other day came over. He walked over to my dd and said "B!tch!" (she told me about it later) but she just ignored him and he moved on. After playing here and there a little, he walked over to where I was sitting off to the side trying to read my book, and started zinging acorns at me.

I told him if he did it again, I would call the police, then another acorn zinged past my head so I just picked up the phone and called. Someone answered right away; I explained the situation and she said she'd send a couple of officers by.

Then the boy ran off, but he actually walked back over when the police car pulled up. I went over to them and pointed out the boy, and he came up when the officer called him over. He didn't say much when the officer questioned him. When the officer asked about his parents, he pointed out his older sister, and the officer asked him to get her but she refused to get up so they went over to her.

At this point I went back to my area and sat down until one of the officers came back to talk to me. I did hear one officer tell the boy that if he kept having to come over and deal with him, he'd be taking him somewhere and it wouldn't be home. Dd1 hung around and listened (as many others were doing), and she told me that the boy accused her (or someone) of taking his swing.

The officer just asked him if she had picked him up and thrown him off the swing, and the boy said no, he was off the swing but he was going to get on it, and the officer said that if he gets off then someone else can get on. The officer who came to me asked who my daughters were, so I pointed them out.

Then he said the boy had claimed that someone took his swing, and I said that sometimes a lot of different kids do go after the same swing, and maybe something like that happened the other day -- but today what happened was he came up to me and started throwing acorns at me. I thanked them for coming so quickly, and they went back over to the group and gave another pep talk about nobody throwing acorns anymore and they left.

At this point, dd1 came to me upset because one of her friend's dads told her that he didn't know if he wanted his dd coming to our house because I had called the police. Dd's friend also has an older teen brother who is friends with this group, and the parents don't usually come to the park, but today they had come over and were hanging out and laughing and talking with the teens.

I don't think anyone else even observed the acorn-throwing, since I was off to the side and all I did was give the boy one warning and then just call. I had decided that I needed to follow through with my promise, and that I wasn't going to wait for the situation to escalate. But maybe I should have tried to draw some others' attention to the problem, I don't know.

I really don't think it's productive to keep second-guessing myself. If dd's friend's parents had come to me I would have explained -- but I wasn't going to go over to talk to them with the group. Plus I know I didn't do anything wrong. I suppose it may have looked to them like I just sat there while all those other kids were having their "war" -- and then turned around and called when I saw one little boy throwing acorns.

However, dd later told me that her friend's mom did ask her why the police were called, and dd told her that he was throwing the acorns right at me, so then the mom told the dad it was okay and it wasn't "like that" (whatever he apparently thought it was like), and they told dd that their dd could come over after all (they have planned a sleepover for this Friday).

I've told dd that it's okay if she comes, but to be prepared that they might decide she can't. I said that if people don't want to be our friends because we're not willing to be harmed, then they're really not our friends in the first place. Dd seems pretty cool with the situation, though of course she's still hoping her friend can come.

The boy did run over to us as dd was putting her new acorn collection into a bag in my purse, and actually reached right into our space to try to take some acorns -- and I said "Get out of our space! We don't get in your space, so stay out of ours!" and he backed off.

So we'll just take it day by day. I feel much more empowered now, and I'm prepared that some people may misunderstand the situation and think I'm some sort of a "snitch." If they want to ask me about it, I'll tell them why I called, but I'm not going to get sucked into needing to go up to everybody and explain and be all on the defensive.

I think this may be partly what happened with the elderly woman. She was always wanting to explain everything to everybody -- and some people don't want to be involved.
post #31 of 121
Wow! Good for you for calling the police. That tells these kids you mean business.

A really good article on stopping bullies (or at least minimizing it) is here.

You can't prevent them from saying rude things, but you can roll your eyes and say "oh, ha ha" in your most bored tone and walk away.
post #32 of 121
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Wow! Good for you for calling the police. That tells these kids you mean business.

A really good article on stopping bullies (or at least minimizing it) is here.

You can't prevent them from saying rude things, but you can roll your eyes and say "oh, ha ha" in your most bored tone and walk away.
Yes, I finally finished that article and then I read it to dd. She was eager to start the series, and we've already read the first two. Now the girls and Daddy are practicing how to deal with bullies. It's so cute, dd2 keeps saying, "Do you wash your underweah?"

Earlier today when we were at the playground, dd2 was sitting with me by the swings when the 12yo who makes a big deal about panties came over to swing. Dd2 looked at her, and then asked me, "What did you tell me to say if someone says, 'Do you wash your underweah?'"

And I laughed and said, "Well, no one is saying that to you right now, but if anyone does you can say, 'None of your business!' or 'Go wash your underwear!'" And dd watched the girl on the swings for a long time with a big grin on her face, as if she was just waiting for her to ask so she could tell her to go wash, LOL.

With dd2, I don't have to worry so much about them "getting a reaction" about the underwear-thing, 'cause I honestly don't think she'd care if they told her she stunk. I'm more concerned that if someone told her to pull down her pants she'd do it and think it was funny.
post #33 of 121
Thread Starter 
I also wanted to add that I am now seeing it as a wonderful thing that we are getting to have this experience. The articles are showing me how learning to disconnect, right now, the remote-control that bullies have to our brains is a basic life skill that will keep us empowered for the rest of our lives.

Another wonderful thing to realize is that I no longer need to feel any sympathy for the bullies. According to this author, bullies have higher-than-average self esteem and lower-than-average anxiety in their lives. They bully because they are already feeling great and bullying gives them that extra little kick that pumps them up even higher.

This frees me to just focus on having fun with my daughters, without any worries about hurting their feelings if they complain about being hungry or stuck on top of the swingset or what-have-you.
post #34 of 121
Thread Starter 
Well, after my last post I was spending some time with dd1 as she dropped off to sleep, and she told me about an incident that I hadn't been aware of, and this made me realize that I may have another interesting issue to navigate: some of the teens seem eager to see what it will take to get me to call the police again.

Dd said that after the police left, she and her friend were continuing to collect acorns, and she felt herself being pelted with a few acorns but she wasn't sure but what it might be an accident. Then she got hit in the back of the head with a basketball, and she said she didn't want to give anyone the satisfaction of turning to see who did it, so she just got up and started walking over to tell me.

She was pretty sure it was her friend's older brother, since he was the one playing with the ball. His parents were still there but she said they didn't act like they saw it. As she was walking to me, she heard some whispering of, "Now she's gonna go tell her mom," and she saw me watching her walk over and assumed I must have seen everything, and since I wasn't reacting she thought it must not be a big deal and she went back to playing with her friend.

I told her I hadn't seen her get hit by acorns or a ball, and I said I do want to know if someone is physically harming her. But I also said it was okay for her to use her judgement. Apparently after she decided not to tell me and went back to playing, it stopped. But we went home soon after, so I'm not sure if it would have stopped permanently.

I realize that some of these kids might be thinking it would be cool to see if they can get me to dial 911 over and over. Especially since they've heard the comments of at least two other adults who were there, and know that there's a good likelihood that a lot of adults will take a dislike to me if I keep calling the police over to their neighborhood playground.

I know it's very important to be unafraid to call when there is someone trying to do actual physical harm to one of us or to anyone else. I say this even though the officer did seem a bit discouraging during the few minutes he was talking one-on-one with me, out of earshot of everyone else.

He was saying that if the boy's parents were unwilling to cooperate (and he had a feeling that they were not involved parents), then there wasn't very much they could do. I said can't you at least talk to the parents, and he said not if the kids won't tell me where they live.

That was a bit puzzling to me, because it was my understanding that if a police officer wanted, for any reason, to see my ID or to know where I lived, and I refused to tell him -- well, I thought this would be grounds for arrest. You mean I can commit any crime I want and if I'm not willing to "cooperate" with the police and tell them who I am, there's nothing they can do?

I didn't say all this to the police, though. I figured it was better to be positive and show appreciation for their quick response. At least from the little I heard of their conversation with the kids, they did learn their address (though I guess they said they wouldn't talk to their mom this time, but would if it happened again... apparently the father is dead).

It's not like they were threatening to ignore me if I called again, but maybe they are worried that I'll just call for anything and everything. Also, maybe they are hoping that nice people like me will just realize they need to stay in their houses in "tough neighborhoods" like this one. Or, better yet, move to the burbs.

I still recall taking a walk once, years ago, not far from where we live now, and having an officer pull up to talk to me to find out my purposes for walking there. He informed me that this was not a good neighborhood for taking a walk because there were lots of prostitutes and other bad people.

So I realize that to some in law enforcement, it just makes their jobs easier if any and all potential victims are willing to stay home and let the bullies have the run of the neighborhood. Kind of like my old job in a daycare center was a lot easier on those days when most of the parents had a holiday and kept their kids at home.

I realize it's important that I only call about actual, harmful, physical contact or threats. And it's important that I stick to the facts. And be calm and polite and logical. And be prepared that some adults will take a dislike to me because they just don't like anyone who calls the police.

I also can really feel in my heart that we will make some good and lasting friendships through this whole ordeal. I have a feeling that there are other parents who'd like for their kids to be able to play in their hometown without fear.

I also realize that, though the learning curve may be tough, these are priceless skills that my girls and I are learning, and it's priceless empowerment that we are gaining.

Sometimes I just wish that putting the bullies in their place was as easy as the "Home Alone" kid makes it look. But, even if it is harder in real life, maybe we can have just as much fun doing it.

We've sure been having a lot of fun this evening brainstorming and learning together as a family, so the bullies may be bringing us even closer together. Thank you, bullies! Now that I know from the article that you have high self-esteem and low anxiety and there's no reason to pity you, I sure do think it's our turn to start enjoying this whole process!
post #35 of 121
I have to be honest and say that I'm suprised you called the police because a kid was throwing acorns at you. It seems like a huge waste of their time to come to the playground and sort out who took whose swing. Honestly, it's seems like a really frivilous thing to call the police about.
post #36 of 121
We've sure been having a lot of fun this evening brainstorming and learning together as a family, so the bullies may be bringing us even closer together. Thank you, bullies! Now that I know from the article that you have high self-esteem and low anxiety and there's no reason to pity you, I sure do think it's our turn to start enjoying this whole process!
This is how we handled the situation I described in your other thread in the Spirituality section. We spent some time talking about it. I reminisced about how I dealt with kids like this when I was their age. I got into a few fights. I was a quiet kid but I didnt back down from a fight and bc of that on a number of occassions I can remember two girls (both older then me) not turning up to the 'arranged fight', I think, bc they knew I wasnt afraid of them. We had a few families who were like that and targeted us and the local council did get involved and they eventually left us alone.

I have no more advice to add to what Ive already given. Being brave and standing up to them can go a long way. One day, those lads I was talking about in your other thread threw a very big stone at my son's head. A very nasty welt and bruise was the result. He was so brave. He shouted 'There's nothing you can do to hurt me!' and said it felt like he was in a protective bubble. He's nine now, so he must have been about 6 at the time. They grew so much as a result of all that. We talked a lot they learned about their own strengths and weaknesses. We grew closer thru it as a family. Their dad taught them how to defend themselves (well tried to, lol, it was more about a bit of bonding then any real self defence).

Then after we moved, we did make friends with a neighbour and their kids. The boy was older then all of mind. He didnt get on with my son very well really and this day, in the field behind our house, the lad ganged up on him about something silly. My son did get a bit frustrated and threw this kid, who was atleast three years older then him, to the ground and start wailing on him. Now, as a christian, I know the whole turn the other cheek thing but for a child who is being targeted like that, to grow up feeling defenseless, is a bad thing. I was proud of him. Then, however, I learned that his boy's step dad shouted at my son for hitting the lad. I got all mamabear and I just about managed to wait for dh to get home to let him handle it. I did make it clear that I did not want that man ever to discipline my kids ever again. I might be nice, I might be a devoted christian and I might know all about love thy enemies, but I think it is different when Im teaching my kids how to handle themselves when there are people who are worse then not very nice out there. First, I want them to know that they can be brave and not to feel defenseless. Then when they are strong enough in that way they can learn how to handle their own strength and not use it for gain, but in defense of those who are defenseless. ykwim?
post #37 of 121
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Now that I know from the article that you have high self-esteem and low anxiety and there's no reason to pity you,
i am not sure if i agree with the author fully.

and is it true for all bullies?
post #38 of 121
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
i am not sure if i agree with the author fully.

and is it true for all bullies?
My personal opinion: Initially, the kid teases someone else to make that person feel bad so that they can feel better about themselves.....but then that powerful feeling is pretty addictive, and it makes them feel better about themselves because they're powerful, so they continue and probably so it to more and more people. So if you'd ask them about it, they'd say they felt great, but the initial thing that probably started it all was insecurity/feeling lousy and wanting someone else to feel worse than them, and picking out someone they thought was "weaker" than they are to accomplish it.

So I'd say that deep, deeeeeep down they probably don't feel great about themselves, but on the surface and if you asked and even if you delved a little, it might seem like they feel good about themselves and their lives. Usually when you feel good about yourself and your life you don't feel the need to make others feel badly.

And having said all that, I don't think that addressing your bully about why they feel lousy about themselves deep down is ever a good idea . Because at that moment they feel pretty good about themselves and if you take that tack it would likely get worse than it was, so the best thing is to take the power of their words away by not reacting or by turning it into a joke yourself. It's not a kid's (or a parent's) job to help a bully process their inner issues.

And I'll agree that I don't necessarily agree with that part of his writing, but I got a lot of useful information from it, especially the other paper for parents re: siblings.
post #39 of 121
In my experience both as a child in school and as an adult in social situations and the work place, there are two kinds of bullies - the angry or unhappy child/adult who lashes out, and the person who feels JUST FREAKIN FINE about himself/herself and just bullies because he/she can. The second type are usually, popular, attractive, sporty, or whatever it is that makes them a big deal in that particular environment. They aren't popular because they bully, but they bully because from the safety of popularity, why not?

I can think of a few really good examples kid/person who had everything and still needed to humiliate the most vulnerable person in that environment. I don't understand it, it would make me feel horrible, but it seems like sport for some people. Because I'm "lucky" enough to live in one of those small towns (and I grew up here, too) where I know the kid, my parents knew the parent, and my grandparents knew the grandparents and now via my daughter, I'm dealing with the next generation - this kind of bully is usually just like mom or dad.
post #40 of 121
OP,I mean this gently, but why don't you just find another playground? AS an objective observer, it seems like this issue isn't going to resolve itself in a positive way. These kids aren't going to stop being jerks. At this point I'd think the best outcome would be that they'd get sneaky about being mean.

It's great you see this as an experience to work through, but you've already made the point to yourself and your kids, so why not move on? You've wasted a lot of energy and time on this drama, and for what? I would think, esp at this point, that you'd get more pleasure out of spending that time/energy in finding another place to play. An unhealthy dynamic is already in place, unfortunately.

Also, I have to agree, calling the police because of acorn throwing? Seriously? I would predict more of the same from these children. It's my understanding that bullies act out for attention, be it positive or negative, and you're providing a wonderful reaction--I can't imagine the power that child must have felt in making you feel so powerless that you have to call the police! (Assuming that's his thought, I can understand you as an adult felt that was the best solution) I would think he saw it as an admittance that you have no power or control over him. At this point, I'd cut bait and find another playground for a couple of weeks, then return. Well, actually, I don't like drama so I'd *never* return around those horrible kids, but that's just me.

Don't get me wrong, these kids and their behavior are indefensible. It's just IMHO this is their parents issue (kids are horrible) and you're not going to be able to do anything about it. You've learned some good bully strategies, now remove yourself from the situation.
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