Friday, April 11, 2008


There is this little girl named Amber. Yes, I'm using her real name. I'm not about to "protect" her identity. I would poster her face all over Stapleton if I could. She is a real bully. It's hard for me to stay calm, cool and collected when I see her near Chase. And yes, she is two-years-old.

Her mom corrects her (a little), saying things like "oh Amber, that's not nice." But she has already pushed Chase twice (from behind) and and today, she hit her with a metal stacking pin (by mistake?) and took a soccer ball from her, ran in front of her when Chase was about to kick the ball (I know this sounds little, but something like this happens EVERY FRIDAY - and she usually targets Chase, probably because Chase just doesn't even flinch and doesn't give her the time of day). Her mom finally got a clue and removed her from the team early.

But before she did, I almost said to Amber, "If you keep this up, you are never, ever going to have any friends. No one is going to ever like you." A little harsh? Perhaps. But it is true. And then I wanted to say to the mom, "I can't believe you allow her to behave like this. What kind of mom are you?"

But then I remembered that I have a couple friends, who have kids that act out and no matter what they try the kids don't seem to respond. So maybe it isn't the mom's fault. I mean I have to give her credit for removing Amber today.

So I did a little research and came up with the following information (from, that I thought was good advice.

- 0 -

I know at 22 months, that is still too young for your child to verbalize. At this age, however, I would not hesitate to start saying things like "Let's choose to not play with "Johnny" right now because Johnny is biting." Then re-direct, re-direct, and re-direct. I believe as parents, each incident at the playground can provide teachable moments. For preschoolers, if I witness a bullying situation, I would come alongside my child and model for him and say to the bully something like "Because you are not playing nice, I choose not to play with you until you start sharing, (stop biting), (stop scratching), etc." and then immediately turn and walk away from the bully. I believe this teaches your child, that he is not the problem here, but it is the bully's problem. This will also teach the bully that his behavior is not desirable and will result in loss of friendship. I would also explain to my child that if the bully changes and wants to be his friend, then it would be wise to give that bully another chance. I believe it is good to teach our children that they do not need to "take mistreatings" from anyone...that hey can always choose the type of friends that "makes good choices".

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