Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We were at the park on Friday with a bunch of neighbors and kids 2-4 years old. There is one boy who has been a bully (he is 3!) for about 1.5 years who was there in the park. We tend to avoid him because of his excessive hitting and pushing. But there he was, so I just steered my 2.5 year old ds away.<br><br>
But at some point, they ended up next to one another and this child actually punched my ds in the face.<br><br>
Later, after ds calmed down, he was off playing in the woods with 3-4 other children. I was a little way off, watching as this child (the bully) made his way up to the group. I started walking up to them, but immediately this child started pushing and pushing and pushing my ds. I RAN and stopped it immediately, but ds was crying and very upset.<br><br>
Since then, ds has been very violent, hitting, scratching and biting us at home. He hit a 5 year old boy repeatedly on the head with a toy hammer, making him cry and still not stopping. This is not isolated behavior, he is after all, 2.5....but the severity and amount of this behavior leads me to believe that it is directly related to his being bullied so violently on Friday.<br><br>
Any words of advice helping him to process the emotions, fear, anger, etc that he is feeling?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,560 Posts
To get a better handle on bullying, let me recommend "The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander" by Coloroso. With toddlers, I have found the best thing to do is to stay glued to my kids behinds when someone in the area is having impulse control problems.<br><br>
Lawrence Cohen's Playful Parenting has a lot of ideas about how to help your kids "play out" painful experiences, which can help them resolve them.<br><br>
I'm sorry your little one got hurt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,864 Posts
This is not answering your question ... but as the mom of a kid who is probably referred to as a bully (behind my back), where was the other child's mom? Yes, you should follow your son around, but so should that other parent. It is your responsibility to protect your child ... but she should be even closer to her son. My ds rarely gets more than one hit or tug in before I'm intervening. And after one (or two, depending) events, we leave the park - no hanging around to let my child beat up others.<br><br>
I'm sorry your ds was at the receiving end. It is so embarassing when ds shows bullying behaviour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the book recommendations, I will get them.<br><br>
I have been feeling sorry for the other mom for 1.5 years now! She is a friend, after all, and is a good person, willing to help anyone in need. I have tried to be supportive and, believe me, ds hits too! Of course, every child does and yes, it is embarrassing...she knows her son is a "bully" and she does "her best" to control him, but I think she is inconsistent with her approaches and no, she does not follow him closely enough. We know all these kids well enough to feel comfortable telling them "no hitting" or correcting them in other ways.<br><br>
I would not presume to understand their family dynamics but they are not AP at all...I just got off the phone with her and she told me about how they spend an hour every night dragging him back to his bed. But at the same time, I have another friend who is very AP and her son was also a bully. She sounds like you, GenomicsGirl, where she did stay close by his side and left the situation after 2 times. It all but disappeared by the time he was 3. Who knows!!<br><br>
I just want to help my child through it and I think it is a catalyst for my doing some research about how to help your child deal with any trauma.<br><br>
Thank you!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Here is an older thread about "bullying". It discusses the underlying needs of a child who is "bullying" and how to facilitate their social interactions. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=500444&highlight=bully" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ighlight=bully</a><br><br>
Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very intersting thread, WuWei. Thanks for the reference.<br><br>
I'm reading the article at <a href="http://www.naturalchild.org/robin_grille/natural_born_bullies.html" target="_blank">http://www.naturalchild.org/robin_gr...n_bullies.html</a> and will send it to my friend. She seems to be at her wits end about her son. Still, my job is to protect ds and I will do everything I can to keep them apart!<br><br>
It is funny, though, how ds still asks to play with this child. Even though every single time he gets hurt. It has been a long long time since we have played one-on-one, but he and his mom do stop by to play in the afternoon every now and then or we see them on our walks and the boys run around the block together. It was never this bad, though, with the punch...so, now I am on high alert! Thanks everyone. I feel like I have some things to check out now to educate myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,560 Posts
I think traumas can be big or small. FTR, I don't think a 1.5-3 year old can be a bully. The OP thinks the experience at the park is affecting her kid's behavior, playing out a "trauma." I think it's okay for a mama to help her kid play through a little trauma, just like it's okay to put a bandaid on a little cut.<br><br>
Twocoolboys, I'm very sorry for your loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
I don't agree with you, pp. It is certainly a horrible thing that your brother went through, but that doesn't make his situation the standard for what constitutes trauma in another person. I believe that individuals have different thresholds for experiencing something as traumatic or not. My DD was bitten by a boy in her class, and she is still talking about it in her 22 month old way, after a month. Maybe it traumatized her, maybe not. But I, as her parent, have a responsibility to help her deal with her feelings about it, as OP has a responsibility to help her DS. I wouldn't dismiss her emotional response simply because her experience wasn't as bad as seeing someone die.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MelAndSimon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7344174"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Any words of advice helping him to process the emotions, fear, anger, etc that he is feeling?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
My older son was bullied by a good friend of mine's son. This mom and I were in the same circle of friends, the local natural parenting crowd. Both of our sets of kids were the same ages and we really hit it off personally. Her son was completely out of control. It was definitely out of the range of normal hitting, kicking, biting, etc. The mom really did not do anything about the episodes. We did have a "final straw" moment when her son did something extemely violent towards ds. I had to "break up" with the mom and it was so very hard. I really did try to be tolerant. I tried using the episodes as a learning situation for ds to help him be tolerant of the child's obvious struggle with impulse control. But in the end, my kids' safety is #1.<br><br>
As far as what I did to help my son process the emotions, it was very diffucult. Especially after the really bad episode. MY son was 4.5 when the last incident happened so he was a bit older. I did give him words to help him talk about it. We used the words "bully" (he already knew the word from reading books) and mean and hurt. We talked alot about friendship and trust. We still do. One thing I noticed about my ds is that when an incident would happen with this little boy (for instance, the little boy picked up an open folding chair and threw it at ds at an LLL meeting-his mom said sorry and then picked her son up and nursed him-he was 4), my ds would not want to go back to the place that it happened. He would still ask to play with the little boy but he would tell me that the "place" was bad. It was difficult to help him separate the place from the person. Does that make sense? At any rate, I probably waited way too long to do something about it but I really liked the mom and I was hoping that at some point she would begin to do something about his issues. I'm not pretending to know what she could have been doing differently as a parent, but I do know that she should have been more concerned about the safety of the other children around her son.<br><br>
I'm very sorry you are having to deal with this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7353500"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">FTR, I don't think a 1.5-3 year old can be a bully.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
The boy who bullied my son was 2.5 when we started playing with him and he was extremely violent then as well. I dismissed it as toddler issues and figured that he would grow out of it as his vocabulary grew. I will admit that the hitting/pushing/biting episodes did lessen as he got older BUT the things that did happen became much more violent. I really did have a horrible feeling about this little boy when he was a toddler but, like you, I didn't think children at this age could really be a bully. So we still played with him until the last really bad episode, which was almost exaclty two years after we met them. I know that out situation is different than the op, but it started our similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your interesting responses...I believe trauma was the word I intended, but perhaps when you read it out of the dictionary it is too strong. It was not a car accident, but it was more than the usual pushing toddler behavior. We have been dealing with this child's impulse control for over 1.5 years and we have been extremely forgiving, tolerant and empathetic. We have discussed it at length one-on-one (me and the other mom) yet she talks about him with him sitting right there as her little terror, and so on.<br><br>
I really did see this as an incident that was affecting my child's behavior and am certainly not taking a little "hitting" incident and blowing it out of proportion. If it had been no big deal I would not have brought it up...if I had not seen ds change dramatically after the incident, it would have just blown over. I did not make a big deal out of it when it happened, I just acknowledged that he was crying, that he might feel scared or hurt and moved on "you're OK" typical encouragement without encouraging him to deny his feelings.<br><br>
Then my boss told me about this incident that happened to his 2 year old...a dog jumped on her and scared her. It was 8 years later, after the child had become more and more withdrawn and afraid of every animal to the point where she would not even go to the zoo or read books about animals, when a therapist discovered the root as that dog jumping on her. Say what you will, I am sure everyone has an opinion about it, but after they helped her work through those feelings she became a "healed" child. She is now 17 and perfectly "normal." So, you never know what is trauma to a child. You have to be a thoughtful, observant parent with an eye to your child's needs. I certainly don't think this experience was even close to the one my boss related, I think ds will be fine. But it is very helpful for me to know how to contructively work through tough things that come up, encouraging without shaming or belittling his feelings (esp as he is still so young and not able to articulate them so well).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,774 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>chfriend</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7353500"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">FTR, I don't think a 1.5-3 year old can be a bully.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I agree. Agression is very normal for this age range...<br><br>
OP, can you discontinue playdates with this child until both kids are a little "emotional" older?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
My son has been 'bullied' since I can remember. I think alot of it is, in his case, that he is VERY 'hands on' and VERY 'verbal'. I have seen him go to give another child a hug, not realize that they dont want to be hugged, and get bopped in the head/face for it. And I have seen my son say something rather direct, for example "dont take my toy", and get shoved or bopped or bitten in response.<br><br>
When he was a toddler and preschooler it was MUCH easier to see it happening from both sides since other children reacted physically (boys seem to hit, girls seem to bite?) while my son (and a few others) reacted verbally (yell, cry, whatever) and I noticed that whether my son was 'taking the toy' or 'having the toy taken' his reaction was to use words but the other 'bully' like children used their bodies, all to say the same thing... "No"<br><br>
It seems to me that, frankly, both the verbal and the physical responses are 'bullying'. Sadly though usually only the physical 'bullies' get called out... we are always focused so much on "use your words" that we sometimes forget how awful those words can be too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,072 Posts
Here is a link about the dangers of early socialization with peers. <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=613714&highlight=peer" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...highlight=peer</a><br><br>
Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Twocoolboys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363500"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If your ds was truly traumatized, then what kind of message are you sending him?<br></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is what I struggled with in our situation. I didn't want to send the message to ds that I thought this child's behavior was socially acceptable. I also did not want my son to think that I am not his protector.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For the record, we stopped having play dates with this child about a year ago. We were at the park with a lot of other kids when this happened. I was standing right there, at face level with the kids, telling the boy "we don't push" when he reached out and punch ds in the face.<br><br>
Also, FYI, I talked to a therapist friend and have done some research to educate myself, so I am feeling reassured about the situation now.<br><br>
One more thing...I posted to get some advice from other mothering families, not to be corrected for my usage of the word "trauma" or the definition of "bully." So, see, I got educated about that as well! But if I did not have thicker skin, I would not post here again for fear of saying something wrong. Thanks for the interesting dialogue everyone, I am signing off onto more positive times.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top