(email edited for confidentiality)I have subscribed to your Youtube account after watching the video on parental bullying.Unfortunately, I am in a situation that has kept me from sleeping and unable to deal with day-to-day issues to some length.My 5 year old daughter was severely bullied in pre-school so I pulled her out of that school. She then started in another school and was placed in a class with a girl that we met over the summer. My daughter had a few play dates at her house, the girl’s mother and I would bring the kids to play together to our local Starbucks (where we met) to play a couple of times, and I had her daughter over the last time that they played together. The mom and I were on friendly terms but not ”friends”. Looking back, I should have known this woman and her family better before allowing my daughter to go over to the house or to continue the relationships. During the play dates I noticed that the girl would say mean things to my daughter and would refuse to play with her until my daughter played with someone else.I attended the girl’s birthday party with my daughter and I couldn’t believe how cruel the girl was towards my daughter, who had just arrived, and was even more surprised when I saw the parents doing nothing although things were said in front of them. Looking back, I should have left and told the parents that things weren’t working out between the two. Instead, I didn’t say a word and stayed at the party with my daughter. I also realized that this little girl was the leader of her family unit which included a mother, father, and other siblings.When school started, my daughter came home the first day and said that the girl had been saying mean things to her: “you’re ugly”, “I hate you.” etc. I told my daughter that I did not want her to play with this girl anymore.The second day was the same but the comments became uglier, “go back home and leave your backpack”. The girl even had other students tell my daughter she was ugly, which they did.(This email continued on about how the mother is now harassing her and her daughter. The police have become involved.)
Can you give me any guidance, suggestions, or help that may be useful in this situation?
I have to say that I take some of the blame because I did not get to know her and her family well enough and regret becoming friendly with them. At this point, I am scared for my daughter and myself, especially after the xxxx incident.
Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
The problem I always have with bullying is that it’s not about the kids, it’s about the parents. I simply can’t tell adults what to do unless they come to me for advice. I have found that by putting my focus on parenting instead of bullying, I’m much more effective. The more effective parents we have out there, the less bullies we will have. Bullying has gone crazy because discipline is almost non-existent. My kids wouldn’t have dreamt of being mean to anyone EVER!!! They were treated with kindness and respect in the home and I expected the same out of them, they simply didn’t know any different.
Dr. Phil is so wrong on so many levels re. bullying. He keeps dealing with the kids rather than the parents. He also blames the bystanders which is as ridiculous as blaming the public for not disarming the bank robber. Why blame the car for careening out of control rather than the person behind the wheel? It just doesn’t make any sense. He’s a smart guy but hasn’t spent years in schools like I have watching bullying with kids forgetting I’m even there.
Before I forget to tell you, I’m going to use your email as a blog for my website. I edit like mad and don’t use names so no one will know it’s you. But it will be a good blog for other parents going through similar things … and there are a lot of them so you’re not alone!!!
Here is a link to my bullying blogs which may help.
So now, onto your problem and what I would suggest with the information I have. You disengage with the mother as much as possible, do that polite little smile thing when you see her though as ignoring her is just going to make her worse. If what you say is true, she is emotionally imbalanced so you don’t want to poke the bear.
Your daughter is very young so not capable of a lot of the techniques I teach to older children, but what you can do for her is get her involved in as many things as possible outside of school. This will build confidence. School is traumatic for you both right now so I’d calmly talk to the principal about this and ask what you can do as a team. What parents don’t understand is that this is a parenting problem and schools can only go so far legally without the bully’s parents pressing charges. Girls are particularly sneaky about bullying so hard to catch in the act, hence, hard for schools to reprimand.
If possible, move schools. But, train your daughter on how to get off on the right foot by in the next school as often they get a victim complex and go right into that same pattern in the next school. Read my blogs on all this, there are techniques in there.
If you need more intensive help and a plan of action, check out my coaching page. Coaching is done on the phone/skype so I can coach people in any location. I always guarantee results but with bullying I have less control unless I can also talk to the other family. If you hire me to coach you, I would request the email of the bully’s parents and the word “bully” is not mentioned at all. I go in with compassion and understanding with a resolution for all in mind. I can coach you alone, but even my email to the other parents usually helps as it’s worded very carefully so as not to get their defenses up … if there’s blame there’s no resolution. I also send you that email first for your permission to send.
Let me know if you want to go ahead with coaching. If not, let me know how things are going.