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#1 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I went on this wonderful bike ride with my kids today where they close down the streets for a big car-free, family-friendly loop. It was so fun! Most of the time I was thinking, What a lovely day!

 

At a stop at a park, I was helping my husband with the baby for a moment, when my toddler wandered a few feet away to where some people were hula hooping. I turned towards her to corral her, then heard a lady saying to her friend, intending for me to hear, "Like that girl wandering around, who should be wearing a helmet!" I was alongside DD then and gave the lady a half-smile, and thinking that DD was plenty far out of the hula-hooping lady's radius  -- I then proceeded to put arm bands (which she wanted earlier but then promptly shook off) and then heard the lady sneer to her friend, "She needs a helmet, not arm bands!" All the people at the park had left their helmets by their bikes (we had been wearing one) -- what the woman meant was that my daughter was in her way and she was about to get hit in the head by her hula hooping, even though she had to be at least 8 feet away.

 

I live in a generally friendly city, and It's one of those moments where it seems so strange that someone could actually be being so mean that it catches you off guard. I didn't really know what to say or do. I walked off with my daughter, but just felt my blood start to boil. And I've been so angry all day.

 

I would have been so much more responsive to a direct "You might want to move her out of the way here," but that passive aggressive way of speaking is so junior high mean! And she's hula hooping for goodness sakes! Shouldn't she be happy!

 

Why is it that after having hundreds of positive interactions, one mean one can really get to us?

 

Ahh, so now that I got that off my chest, any Mean People stories you want to get off yours?

 

 

 


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#2 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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I'm sorry. That's annoying. Most people are more direct with me though, comments about how my baby must want to get out and move around (as opposed to wearing my 6 month old) and DS1 needing socks (he was a space heater no socks needed) and DS2 scratching his head (yeah I know he needs his nails cut again, No mittens don't work....)

 

its annoying how everyone feels like its their job to parent your children...


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#3 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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Wow, I could have understood that comment if your kids werent riding in a family friendly loop with no cars. That was totally uncalled for.

When I was at Disney World last week, we had a whole family park themselves in front of us for the Fantasmic light show.
We came 45 minutes and staked our spot out.
They were outside the white line you were supposed to stand behind, basically in a spot that is not "approved"
They were all about 6 feet tall and me and DH are both super short.

I said (nicely) "Are you guys going to stand here for the show?" and the dad replied, "Yep, our kids are old enough for it".

Grrr.......


For the record, my kid loved it, but had to stand on daddys shoulders to see. Their kids argued over popcorn and hit each other.

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#4 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing. I just realized though that I wasn't totally clear about the comment. My daughter had been wearing a helmet on the bike ride. Our helmets were left with our bikes when we were walking around the park -- no one was wearing a helmet there. What the woman meant was that my daughter was in her way and she was about to get hit in the head by her hula hooping, even though she was at least 8 feet away. Anyway, I'll update the story to reflect this.


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#5 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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Oh my goodness what a jerk! I have no advice on how to deal with people like that, except avoid them like the plague! Seriously though, some people are just mean. There doesn't seem to be a lot we can do about it. I'm sorry that happened to you. It's so hard to let this stuff go and enjoy the rest of the day isnt it?

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#6 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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I have a partially mean story which I wanted to start a thread about but maybe I will post it here. My 27 mo old daughter was in a park trying to climb up the ladder so she could slide down. There was a 4-5 yr abouts boy who saw her and suddenly got it in his mind to bully her. He stood at the top of the ladder in a blocking "I won't let you pass" kind of way. My daughter was so puzzled (we live in a super nice neighborhood and this was her first nasty experience) she just looked at me and said "mommy"...meanwhile I started talking to the boy - "Can you let my daughter pass?" Nothing..he was just grinning, standing there. Me, raising my voice a bit - " You are being a bad boy. let my daughter pass"...nothing. I knew he was with a lady who was sitting on the bench close by but acting oblivious (or maybe oblivious) to all this. I asked him once more (and by now was ready to forcibly remove him or fight with his mom) - "Stop being a bully - please move!" .... Still nothing...he was just grinning and circling the top of the ladder. At this point I lost it but I wanted my daughter to learn from example - so I calmly told her - "He is a bad boy , let us play some place else" and we moved away.

 

This was why i wanted to start a thread. Growing up - I never was bullied. I was a strong willed girl and very good at studies and talking. I was the captain of my school and leader of my group. I was always looked up to. I have no idea how to deal with bullies. I keep thinking of my daughter and how I should teach her to behave with bullies. What is the better option? Stay and fight or leave calmly? What should I have done?

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#7 of 15 Old 08-28-2011, 09:56 PM
 
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Hawthorne Street Fair, right?! Haha, if my family had seen you, we could have ganged up on that mean lady together! 

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#8 of 15 Old 08-29-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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i think when i was preggers with dd, i was in line in the grocery store and some jerk came up behind me and did the commenting loudly thing about how many items i had in my buggy when i was in the express line.  and i was feeling oaty so i turned around and asked him how he liked making somebody feel bad, and that i hadn't noticed the sign.  he scurried off.  some people just feel like they need to be mean to strangers, because they're angry or sad or lonely.  i usually try to feel sorry for them because they have incomplete lives or that they must have problems to be icky to other people that way.  and sometimes i am rude right back.  cause there isn't any excuse for being a jerk to somebody you don't know, not really.

 

maybe the lady in question was just a bad and out of control hula hooper.  she doubted her ability not to fling it somewhere? 


Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#9 of 15 Old 08-29-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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Rude people are a personal pet peeve.  I usually ignore them, but if I'm in a particularly bad mood or they say the wrong thing I either call them out or respond in an uber facetious, super sugar-sweet nice way.  I then try to calm myself down by remembering that I only have to deal with them for a few minutes and they have someone in their life who has to deal with them all of the time.

 

I remember when I was pregnant I got on the elevator at work with my ONE cup of coffee I allowed myself per day (and it was half decaf at that) when some MAN asked me if the baby liked it when I had caffine (clearly implying I was a bad person for having the coffee).  I wanted to throttle him for several reasons (one being that I hadn't had the coffee yet and it helped make be bearable!) including the fact that (a) it was none of his business; (b) how did he know I didn't have mint tea in the cup or that it wasn't decaf; and (c) that caffine is actually O.K. during pregnancy and I had actually don a lot of research on the foods and drinks I consumed to ensure that I was doing no harm to my baby.  How RUDE!!  Anyway, I just made some joke about the baby actually really enjoying it and got off on my floor.  I was peeved though and he's lucky he didn't end up wearing the coffee (it was too precious to throw at him! lol)


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#10 of 15 Old 08-29-2011, 10:44 PM
 
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Yah, all the mean stories so far sound like sad people attempting to make themselves feel better by making someone else hurt. Apparently you are supposed to be nicer to mean people because they are exhibiting self fulfilling behavior. They are mean to everyone so everyone is mean right on back. So they get pretty good at being mean and it just spreads like a virus.

 

Personally, I've come up against a lot of mean people. In my youth I would fire off at how an injustice it was and give them a good tongue lashing ... but these days I just can't get involved emotionally. Sometimes (like when people are irritated with me because they want my parking spot while I'm getting my child into her car seat) I just pretend the honks and yelling don't exist, or that it isn't about me. I still wait until my daughter is ready to sit down and let me buckle her in. I'm certainly not going to let the arrogant jerk blaring his horn intimidate me into forcing my child into her seat.

 

But it is hard. I have the urge to tell people exactly what they are doing wrong but they don't really care. It just exhausts me. Try to feel sorry for them rather than get sucked into their little vortex of hell. It is an angry place.

 

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#11 of 15 Old 08-29-2011, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessed_Mom View Post

I have a partially mean story which I wanted to start a thread about but maybe I will post it here. My 27 mo old daughter was in a park trying to climb up the ladder so she could slide down. There was a 4-5 yr abouts boy who saw her and suddenly got it in his mind to bully her. He stood at the top of the ladder in a blocking "I won't let you pass" kind of way. My daughter was so puzzled (we live in a super nice neighborhood and this was her first nasty experience) she just looked at me and said "mommy"...meanwhile I started talking to the boy - "Can you let my daughter pass?" Nothing..he was just grinning, standing there. Me, raising my voice a bit - " You are being a bad boy. let my daughter pass"...nothing. I knew he was with a lady who was sitting on the bench close by but acting oblivious (or maybe oblivious) to all this. I asked him once more (and by now was ready to forcibly remove him or fight with his mom) - "Stop being a bully - please move!" .... Still nothing...he was just grinning and circling the top of the ladder. At this point I lost it but I wanted my daughter to learn from example - so I calmly told her - "He is a bad boy , let us play some place else" and we moved away.

 

This was why i wanted to start a thread. Growing up - I never was bullied. I was a strong willed girl and very good at studies and talking. I was the captain of my school and leader of my group. I was always looked up to. I have no idea how to deal with bullies. I keep thinking of my daughter and how I should teach her to behave with bullies. What is the better option? Stay and fight or leave calmly? What should I have done?




Hi Blessed Mom,

 

It's really tough to watch a kid being mean to your little one. That kid wasn't very nice at all. Because of the situation -- a big kid vs little kid on a playground with you right there -- and the age of your kid, just over 2, I wouldn't worry that your girl is prone to getting bullied. I remember dealing on several occasions with mean kids on the playground when my daughter was just two. Like two older girls would walk away when my daughter approached them to play. Or a kid wouldn't let her on the swing when it's her turn. It made me really mad. But honestly, most of the time my daughter wasn't totally aware of that they were excluding her. And I would just direct her to something else.

 

We were also in a co-op around that time and honestly, the kids would be mean to each other all the time. Their "victim" might get sad for a second, but then just go on to something else. Because of their age some of the mean kids just didn't know any better -- yet -- it's our job to help them learn how to behave so that they don't actually become bullies.

 

So, we can't, and shouldn't, try to defend our kid from every mean kid out there. We want to arm them with the skills to stick up for themselves, but we don't want them to become bullies themselves or to get into fights.

 

In your particular situation, since our children learn from example, getting in a fight with that kid would not have been the best example. Even though he was acting bratty, the label "bad" is a little harsh. We don't know their story. Perhaps saying to your daughter "he isn't being very nice right now" which is true statement. Just like how we're supposed to say "You're not behaving well" vs "You're bad." Over time, kids that are called bad feel, who are really just acting out b/c of lax parenting or whatever, will then actually live up to the title. They'll believe that they are deep down. You want your daughter to be assertive, but not to necessarily escalate and get in a fight with every mean kid. Anyway, hope I articulated my thoughts well, Just my two cents.

 

 

 

 

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#12 of 15 Old 08-30-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Hi Blessed Mom,

 

It's really tough to watch a kid being mean to your little one. That kid wasn't very nice at all. Because of the situation -- a big kid vs little kid on a playground with you right there -- and the age of your kid, just over 2, I wouldn't worry that your girl is prone to getting bullied. I remember dealing on several occasions with mean kids on the playground when my daughter was just two. Like two older girls would walk away when my daughter approached them to play. Or a kid wouldn't let her on the swing when it's her turn. It made me really mad. But honestly, most of the time my daughter wasn't totally aware of that they were excluding her. And I would just direct her to something else.

 

We were also in a co-op around that time and honestly, the kids would be mean to each other all the time. Their "victim" might get sad for a second, but then just go on to something else. Because of their age some of the mean kids just didn't know any better -- yet -- it's our job to help them learn how to behave so that they don't actually become bullies.

 

So, we can't, and shouldn't, try to defend our kid from every mean kid out there. We want to arm them with the skills to stick up for themselves, but we don't want them to become bullies themselves or to get into fights.

 

In your particular situation, since our children learn from example, getting in a fight with that kid would not have been the best example. Even though he was acting bratty, the label "bad" is a little harsh. We don't know their story. Perhaps saying to your daughter "he isn't being very nice right now" which is true statement. Just like how we're supposed to say "You're not behaving well" vs "You're bad." Over time, kids that are called bad feel, who are really just acting out b/c of lax parenting or whatever, will then actually live up to the title. They'll believe that they are deep down. You want your daughter to be assertive, but not to necessarily escalate and get in a fight with every mean kid. Anyway, hope I articulated my thoughts well, Just my two cents.

 

 

 

 




Your post makes a lot of nice points ms sig but it still doesn't equip me with my answer. How do I teach my child to be assertive rather than submissive to bullies? I recently watched "About a boy" (Hugh Grant) and it really scared me. There is this boy who is a..err...misfit...amongst the regular boys because he is sensitive and is bullied constantly by other big boys. They throw things at him, rag him, hurt him and he just walks on without responding, just removes himself from the scene of the bullying. For some reason this has become a sensitive topic to me. I DO NOT WANT her to just walk away from bullies.

 

So how do I "arm her with skills to stick up for herself"??

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#13 of 15 Old 08-30-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessed_Mom View Post






Your post makes a lot of nice points ms sig but it still doesn't equip me with my answer. How do I teach my child to be assertive rather than submissive to bullies? I recently watched "About a boy" (Hugh Grant) and it really scared me. There is this boy who is a..err...misfit...amongst the regular boys because he is sensitive and is bullied constantly by other big boys. They throw things at him, rag him, hurt him and he just walks on without responding, just removes himself from the scene of the bullying. For some reason this has become a sensitive topic to me. I DO NOT WANT her to just walk away from bullies.

 

So how do I "arm her with skills to stick up for herself"??

As someone who was bullied a fair bit in late elementry and into junior high, I have some perspective on this.

 

I think that the best thing you can do is to give your daugher self-confidence and help her to be a strong, assertive, and self aware person generally.  In that way you equip her to deal with all kinds of difficult situations in life. 

 

This is the best thing that my parents did for me.  In addition, they helped me to understand why bullies act the way they do (ie: why those people were being mean.  That they were jeleous or that they lacked self confidence or that they tried to make themselves feel better by putting others down.)  They also taught me that the best way to difuse a bully was to not let them get to you, not letting them see you are hurt or whatever.

 

I know that isn't the answer you are looking for, but sometimes the best way to be assertive is to walk away.  You are then asserting that you don't accept their behavior towards you.  You are then not giving the bully the satisfaction that they are looking for that encourages that behavior and they will leave you alone next time because you are "no fun".    Yes, your child may still be hurt.  I cried many, many days after school.  But I honestly believe that my parents did equip me to deal with the hurt and helped me understand that it wasn't about me, it was about the bully, and I feel I am a stronger and better person for having this perspective.  In a way I am thankful for those experiences because I believe I am a stronger and also more empathetic person because of them.  And remember, often the bullies are bullied too. 

 

 


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#14 of 15 Old 08-30-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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As someone who was bullied a fair bit in late elementry and into junior high, I have some perspective on this.

 

I think that the best thing you can do is to give your daugher self-confidence and help her to be a strong, assertive, and self aware person generally.  In that way you equip her to deal with all kinds of difficult situations in life. 

 

This is the best thing that my parents did for me.  In addition, they helped me to understand why bullies act the way they do (ie: why those people were being mean.  That they were jeleous or that they lacked self confidence or that they tried to make themselves feel better by putting others down.)  They also taught me that the best way to difuse a bully was to not let them get to you, not letting them see you are hurt or whatever.

 

I know that isn't the answer you are looking for, but sometimes the best way to be assertive is to walk away.  You are then asserting that you don't accept their behavior towards you.  You are then not giving the bully the satisfaction that they are looking for that encourages that behavior and they will leave you alone next time because you are "no fun".    Yes, your child may still be hurt.  I cried many, many days after school.  But I honestly believe that my parents did equip me to deal with the hurt and helped me understand that it wasn't about me, it was about the bully, and I feel I am a stronger and better person for having this perspective.  In a way I am thankful for those experiences because I believe I am a stronger and also more empathetic person because of them.  And remember, often the bullies are bullied too. 

 

 




No no no. I don't want my child to be that child who cries many many times after school. There should be some better way. Where she is not bullied , nor is she hurt.........

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#15 of 15 Old 08-30-2011, 02:02 PM
 
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No no no. I don't want my child to be that child who cries many many times after school. There should be some better way. Where she is not bullied , nor is she hurt.........



Sadly, the world we live in can't insulate them forever, and there isn't any way to give them a magic answer that will take the bullies away.  Kids who bully do so for a lot of reasons, and we can't fix their lives for them.  Teaching your child to walk away  and find something else to do sometimes is the only approach. 

 

My daughter is very much a target for bullies.  She learned to walk away.  Often she would actually voice that what they were doing was bullying and not ok, and she would later actually invite them to play with her peers on the playground, thinking they might be feeling left out.  She did all the things we tell children to do.  She developed panic attacks in first grade because of the bullies.  The school refused to see what was happening, and made it a habit to send the bully and the victim to 'the wall' or pull cards for any kids involved.  In many ways, school systems, while giving tacit mention to anti-bullying policies think that  the victim is at fault. 

 

In our case, for this reason (along with MANY others) we have opted to homeschool our child- at least for now.  She still runs into these social challenges and situations where kids try to be bullies, but it doesn't particularly phase her as she knows she can simply walk away and not be punished for being a target.  Set an example- when someone behaves in a cruel manner, respond to it appropriately, or disengage while reminding your child that you only know that one momentary glimpse of the person's life.  Maybe they have something going on you don't know about, and while that doesn't excuse the behavior, it's a reminder that you don't have to take their negativity as their own.  You can assert yourself without having to fight back. 

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