9 thoughts on “Bullying And Discipline – The Second Kid Sometimes Gets The Penalty Flag

  • March 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

    My older sister bullied me from the day I was born, starting with tipping me out of my cot and later went on to physical and verbal abuse. We now no longer remain in contact. My mother was also an oldest child so she always sympathised with my sister and took her side and there was always the element of ‘you must have done something to deserve it’ from my mother. She never once stopped to think that both herself and my sister were experiencing jealousy of younger siblings and resentment towards their own parents which led to them both being attention seekers.
    The only thing I ‘did’ to deserve it was being born.

    A similar problem occurred between my oldest son and my youngest and I genuinely think it stems from the oldest child feeling usurped by the younger child whilst also harbouring resentment for the parents for bringing another child into the family. And those feelings can often be hidden when the child is young and can escalate as the child becomes older and feels more powerful. Position in the family not only affects a person’s childhood but it also affects how they parent their own children.

  • March 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

    My son had a friend who was a year older. They got along like brothers amd fought like brothers often do. Then, it became imbalanced and there was much more physical aggression and verbal sparring on his friends part. My husband and I were on to it and were slowly detaching my son from this boy. Low and behold at a park one day, this boy became really mean and started taunting my son and tried several times to kick him between the legs telling him he was going to smack the shit out of him. He got too close so my boy, one year younger and a foot shorter threw the best punch he had in him which basically missed the mark but made contact minimally. This boy ran and cried to his mother and then she with me. Knowing my son had been having trouble with this jerk i barely reacted and asked what her son might have done to provoke my son into taking action… She wouldnt take any responsibility that her son had anything to do with it. Nothing ever came of it and witnesses verified what i had thought. The kid was after my son and my son felt threatened and threw a punch. Not the first in the history of the world, and certainly not the last!
    No matter how you look at it, punching is looked down upon in society especially with kids. But frankly I don’t give a squirrel’s butt and was happy my son took care of himself! I have no doubt he did what he felt was necessary. But, of course he is the bad guy. Though he has many friends and a really good kid. Cream rises to the top and this too shall pass. We stand firmly behind him and he understands it is a last resort.

  • March 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I recently went through something similar with my 6 year old daughter. She was being bullied under the teacher’s radar, yet all the teacher saw was my daughter’s acting out in reaction. I had a conference with her teacher where I re-emphasized what my daughter was telling me about the bullying, after mentioning it months earlier in a previous conference. After the second conference, I wrote her an email explaining what I understood from my daughter’s perspective, providing details of the bullying behavior and when it occured. It was not an “open your eyes woman” kind of message, it was more of a “I want you to have all the information possible so that we can work on this problem together” kind of message. The teacher wound up meeting with the bully student and his counterparts separately, where they were honest about their behavior once confronted and made to apologize to my daughter. Now, the bully kid stays away from her and his counterparts stay away from the bully. None of them want to get into trouble with their teacher.

  • March 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    When I read your article I realized that this is exactly what is happening at work. For the umpteenth time I was lied to at work and accused of not fulfilling my responsibilities. When I asserted myself (verbally), the manager happened to hear and jumped straight on my back. I suspect the ‘bullying’ behaviour is not entirely concealed from her but since I am a racial minority in the shop she prefers to take their side no matter what.

  • March 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    The Bully Train

    OK, here’s how the gig goes down. I will speak to my experience of both intervening in bullying battles, and teaching kids and parents about power battles so many times I have lost count. We want to teach your child about self worth and about standing up for him/herself in the least reactive, non-physical way possible. Helping your child to understand how to make words work for them is critical. Talk about a calm and firm stand with a solid delivery versus being aggressive, angry and fueling the situation so that things are blown out of proportion. Model the more gentle and subtle approach to making your voice heard so that your child can put that picture inside his or her head. What we are doing here is teaching valuable life skills that can be used at any age or stage of growing up and maturing. And honestly, the growing and maturing continues across a life time.

    Following a hitting or shoving match (the bully show); the in-residence adult needs to talk with each child separately in a non-threatening, encouraging and safe domain to try and get the full story about what just went down. Doing this in a timely manner is important so that the story does not have time to grow with embellishments. Children want to believe that someone is truly listening – and understanding. Never be judgmental or critical. Watch the child’s behavior for clues and let them know there are consequences attached to all actions that we take in life.

    At all possible costs, saying I’m sorry and even shaking hands are two beginning steps to a winning proposition. We do the best that we can to put out the fires, protect the truly innocent, and overall keep the peace. It all comes out in the form of one big juggling act and we try to stay on top of as many balls as we possibly can. Don’t worry, if one ball gets loose it will eventually be picked up and put back into the mix. But the one thing that must remain constant is the message that bullying is never tolerated.

    Pamela J. Lindsay, A.L.M., D.Ph.

    • June 19, 2012 at 2:57 am

      Those who cry bully are often bullies themselves.

  • March 8, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I was the bullied kid at school who sometimes lost it and fought back (yes, as per my father’s advice). Unfortunately, the schools I went to had a “zero tolerance” policy which advocated punishing both children involved equally, regardless of who started it. What they didn’t do was address any accusation of bullying as a root cause to be prevented.

    The result of this was my fully-justified knowledge that I couldn’t trust the teachers, and that if I fought back I would be punished twice — once by being bullied, then by the teachers — whereas if I just “took it” I would only have to deal with being bullied. I only barely made it through school sane (some might even debate that).

    I have not worked as a teacher, and I cannot address it with any knowledge of what it’s like to be a teacher. From the perspective of a victim, I can only say how much it would have meant to me if a teacher had asked why the fight was happening, listened to the answer, ***kept a record of incidents and been able to recognise patterns of behaviour***, and addressed each kid separately (with parents if possible). Being punished equally as much (or more than) the perpetrator of abuse who had been making my life miserable for days or weeks was absolutely soul-destroying.

  • March 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Having suffered from this kind of abuse, I would without hesitation recommend that the target of the bullying respond, and I don’t just mean tit-for-tat. I would recommend that the target respond in so disproportionately violent a manner that the bully never again targets him/her. I’m not talking about packing a gun or a knife to show-and-tell, but I would have no problem whatsoever recommending that a foreign object suitable for the purpose – a chair, for example – be used. Repeatedly, if the bully is a little slow to get the message. If one of my kids were the target and got punished by the school for defending themselves, that’s a small price to pay – especially since it would only have to be paid once.

    • March 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

      Finally! That is exactly how I feel.
      I posted earlier and my son HAD used words, HAD come to me asking if we could leave the gathering and why…I just didnt heed his call for help, hence, a punch was thrown and that boy RAN TO HIS MOTHER AND CRIED after taunting and bullying my son for over an hour.
      I have finally been able to process this as meant to happen. It cut ties that needed to be cut. FOR GOOD.
      ph.Ds and degrees are wonderful and offer insightful advice under the right circumstances. But sometimes a swift knock between the eyes speaks volumes of “don’t mess with me or you”ll get more of where THAT came from!”


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *