Eight year old (and me!) dealing with school bully - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > Eight year old (and me!) dealing with school bully
~Nikki~'s Avatar ~Nikki~ 06:59 AM 02-28-2012

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations on dealing with a school bully.  I have notified the school (as of this morning, via note) and will follow up if I do not hear anything from them.


My daughter is very small for her age, so I guess I always suspected that she could end up getting a hard time about that.  There is one girl in particular that is being downright cruel to her, harassing her whenever she has the opportunity.  My daughter has been coming home with stories of this girl cornering her and making fun of her for being a "little runt", among other things.  She is not in the same class as this girl - this is all happening at recess when they are minimally supervised.  The girl is easily twice her size, targets her on the playground, and has even turned two of my daughter's best friends against her.  Sigh...I thought they were too young for cattiness.  It begins early..


We have had issues with this girl in the past.  I am a Brownie leader for my daughter's group, and have witnessed first-hand this girl bullying the younger kids.  We have brought it up with her mother, and she shrugs it off.  Late last year, my daughter accidentally brought her ipod into a Brownie meeting (I let her bring it for the car ride), and on the way home, discovered that it had been stolen.  There was only one girl that had been around the drop-off area during the Brownie meeting - the bully.  I wrote an email to the parents of the Brownies, and two days later, it turned up in my daughter's locker (dead - I guess the thief discovered that it was useless without a charger).  A friend of my daughter's confided in her that the bully had bragged about taking it.


And this kid has no limits.  She's a total jerk to me, too!  I've never been made to feel this way by a child before.  She is downright mean!  I was at the school one morning picking up my son, who was sick.  The halls were empty, but the bully happened to walk by.  As I know her from Brownies, I said hi to her to be polite, and she rolled her eyes and kept walking.  This kid is eight years old!  I happened to mention it to her mother at the next meeting (not in a "your kid is a jerk" sort of way, but in a joking - "you'll never believe what happened!" way so that she wouldn't get defensive), and the mother responded "Oh, she's such a character."  Um...  So although I know the mother well enough, I don't think that it would be effective to discuss the bullying with her.  She really doesn't seem to take it seriously.  This girl has made some of the younger kids at Brownies cry with her bullying.  It's just not fun.


So I guess what I'm wondering is if 1) anyone has any ideas to help my daughter deal with bullying, in general; and 2) how do *I* deal with this?  This is a girl I have to directly supervise once a week, and frankly as an adult, she makes ME feel bullied...which as I mentioned, I have never felt intimidated by a child before.  I mean, if I feel intimidated by this girl, I can only imagine how difficult it is for my eight year old child.

serenbat's Avatar serenbat 09:10 AM 02-28-2012

don't deal with it!


let the school and KEEP after them


your next step is letting the teacher know as well as the higher up (who I assume you gave the note to-if not DO both)- keep a record of it and make them be accountable to you


if you "try" at Brownies the mother (IMO-and I dealt with ones like it in Brownies as well) will turn this on you, picking on her child, let who ever else in Brownies know about it- but back off- real far and IF they (the others/leader) allow this to continue- keep after them


nipping it at school is your best bet and I "think" you WILL have fall out in Brownies and in the end it will just be a matter of time before she doesn't attend Brownies anymore (these types never stick around -GS tends to be too much niceness for them and soon her mother will find another form of "baby"sitting for her to attend)- if the others at Brownies don't move as fast as you feel they should- contact council and ask for assistance they have many activities to promote niceness that the child will not like and soon she won't want to attend


sadly- these types grow up and they don't all change- they get worse

chaimom's Avatar chaimom 11:33 AM 02-28-2012

I think I would go directly to the office to talk to the principal about the bullying, and follow up to find out that it was handled.  I would also talk to the teacher, of course, and find out what she will do to keep your daughter safe from the bully.


About the Brownies situation.  I wouldn't care whether there was fall-out or not.  I would tell the girl that part of being in Brownies is to be respectful and that if she can't do that, she cannot attend and put her on some kind of probation for her behavior.  I would also tell the mother the same thing.  I know the local Brownie mom here has had trouble with two girls-- and she scheduled an anti-bullying unit for her troop, which she thought was useful.   There's no way I would tolerate being bullied by a kid in my volunteer Brownie troop!  


Most important is your dd, though.  I hope the school responds appropriately and immediately.

serenbat's Avatar serenbat 11:42 AM 02-28-2012



if she can't do that, she cannot attend and put her on some kind of probation for her behavior. 



please be cautious of this if you are not the leader and check with your local council - last thing you need is the mother accusing you of something and running to council about you-it can be really tricky to "remove" someone like this

chaimom's Avatar chaimom 12:42 PM 02-28-2012

Originally Posted by serenbat View Post





please be cautious of this if you are not the leader and check with your local council - last thing you need is the mother accusing you of something and running to council about you-it can be really tricky to "remove" someone like this


Wow.  Really?  OP says she is the leader, though.  IMO,  if you're hosting a brownie group you get to insist that bullies behave! :)  I'm not suggesting she bully or badger the girl herself, but that the girl and her mother need to know there are behavioral expectations she needs to meet in order to continue attending.  The brownie leader/mother I know also acts as a moral crusader outside the meetings to remind her troop if necessary to be kind.  (She sees them every day at school.)  It doesn't seem like a big deal.  



~Nikki~'s Avatar ~Nikki~ 02:28 PM 02-28-2012

Yep, I'm one of the Brownie leaders, so I'll bring it up with the other two and see if we can set up an anti-bullying activity.  It's so touchy, because I know I can't talk to the girl personally about the bullying at Brownies (we're not allowed alone with the girls) and if two of us talk to her, it could be considered ganging up!  But building it into an activity would be good, because it certainly is frustrating when she influences other kids to join her bullying crusade, which inevitably happens every time she shows up to a meeting.  She actually hasn't been in the past couple of weeks, and we've noticed a total difference in how easy it is to do activities with the girls when she's not there to influence them.


I got a note back from the teacher, but it does not deal with the instances of bullying and instead beat around the bush a little bit.  The most recent issue was this bully telling a couple of girls that my daughter stole a couple of small toys from another girl, which resulted in this other girl's mother ending up on my doorstep after school with accusations, and me completely clueless as to wtf was going on.  My daughter explained the issue later, and I wrote a note to the school clarifying the situation, asking if it was being dealt with.  I got a note back from the teacher saying "I hope you told the girl's mother of the bully's involvement."  Um... well no.  I didn't know of the bully's involvement until my daughter discussed it with me after the mom left.  Hopefully the teacher will take the new note seriously, and if not, I'll see if I can set something up with the principal.  I'm not optimistic, because a neighbor told me that her son dealt with bullying for some time (physical, not emotional like the girls are dealing with) and the school kept brushing it off as "boys will be boys."  They do have all kinds of anti-bullying propaganda plastered all over the walls at school, so I'm hoping they've modernized their stance on bullying a bit.


I'm just so bummed, because my daughter normally loves going to school, and excels at her work and I've seen a clear plunge this year.  She comes home several times a week with her shoulders hunched and a sad look on her face and just collapses on the stairs in tears.  Now she's saying she doesn't want to go back to school at all, as apparently with this new tactic of branding her a thief, even her good friends have stopped talking to her.


Girls really suck sometimes. =( 



serenbat's Avatar serenbat 02:43 PM 02-28-2012



sorry you are the true leader-even so--go to council! As you said it is such an issue to talk to the girl and we had a mother run to council when we dealt with the same---those mothers can really twist things--watch out--CYA and let them know prior to the mother making the call




I got a note back from the teacher saying "I hope you told the girl's mother of the bully's involvement."  Um... well no.  I didn't know of the bully's involvement until my daughter discussed it with me after the mom left.



please inform the teacher it is HER place not yours and she knows there is a problem----she needs to step this up and take care of it-let the other mother know she was aware of it--not you, not your place to do it


keep after the higher up and ask direct questions as to the monitors at the recess if they are doing what they should be doing 


I would see how things are by Thurs and if you hear nothing I would request the meeting on Fri for the following Mon morning and ask the teacher to be in on it--good luck


doesn't seem like a little thing to me

Elcie's Avatar Elcie 09:40 AM 03-03-2012

Regarding Brownies: troop time would be a good opportunity to have the girls focus on activities related to the part of the GS law "Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout."  I think at this age you can still turn the peer pressure toward good behavior, especially if the ideas on how to show this bubbles up from the girls themselves. And this is behavior that Brownies should take beyond the "walls" of the meeting.


Good luck to you and your DD.

One_Girl's Avatar One_Girl 03:42 PM 03-03-2012
I would start ccing a copy of your emails to the principal and ask for the school counselor to get involved. I found that this is a very effective way to get a lazy teacher to take bullying more seriously when my dd was in first grade. I also suggest reading The Bully, The Bullied, and the Bystander. It helped me get more perspective and the language in it has started helping my dd understand why she needs to stay assertive when being bullied.
nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 08:12 PM 03-04-2012

I agree with trying an antibullying activity and spend some time on it, so the parents know that is what you are working on this month.


Then, if there are any special words you guys learned, you can use those on the girl when she's bullying... "Do you think you are being respectful? or do you think you are bullying?" Make her give it some thought, because at 8, she's never had to think about this before... she's doing what's always worked out for her, and nobody has ever made her put it into words.


I dislike bullying behavior, but I usually see the bully kid grow up and be a bully adult.  So, it's often easier to arm your own child with ways to shut the bully up.  





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