Author Topic: The obligation of parents of a bully?  (Read 9668 times)

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Knitterly

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2013, 08:37:18 AM »
I think if it's something like hitting or biting where there's physical damage, the obligation comes up front -- if you know your child is likely to do this, keep a close eye on him/her to make sure it doesn't happen in the first place.

This.

Maybe even one of those backpack/leash things. At least until she grows out of this stage.

My child hasn't been that age for a long time, but when he was, I know that I would have been furious if someone hit him. I don't hit him, so random kids at the playground shouldn't be hitting him.

We have one of those.  She loves it and carries it around like a doll when we are home.  When she wants to go out, she'll bring it to me and ask for "walk?"

I think you apologizing and hauling her out of there is a good response. "If you can't play nicely, we can't stay."


I agree and plus taking away her favorite toy at home.  Then hold the toy hostage till the next play time.  Tell her if she wants it back, she has to show that she can play nice the entire time.
I cannot imagine this would work for LK right now.
For one thing, her favourite toy is the one she needs to sleep and she Will! Not! Sleep! Without it!  At all! Ever! We actually have two that we rotate on laundry day so that they are evenly worn in case one is ever lost. 
I think this is a strategy that works best with older children.

In any case, I do feel that I am on top of appropriate punishment for LK.

I appreciate the suggestions on dealing with parents.

What I have been doing so far is issuing an immediate apology to the parent (to the parent because usually the child is too little to quite understand what an apology is).  Then I deal with LK.  I remove her and put her in a time out or just leave the play area entirely. 

Sometimes I follow up to the parent by making a comment about how I hope this stage passes quickly.  I hope it doesn't come across as justifying my kid's bad behaviour, but I always feel so awkward after.

Gyburc

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2013, 11:49:12 AM »
I don't like the idea that a parent of a misbehaving child has to "perform" for the "audience" of the other kid's parent. It's hard enough being a parent and dealing with other people's judgmentalism.

Yes, but we all have to 'perform' in front of other people in this way in social situations, not just parents. If I step on your foot, the polite thing to do is to apologise, even if I don't feel like it. It may seem a bit artificial, but I firmly believe that these little interactions are the glue that holds society together.

Knitterly, I think you are doing a great job, and I hope that LittleKnit grows out of this quickly.
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TootsNYC

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2013, 12:04:52 PM »
Of course I should apologize if I step on your foot.

But the post I quoted implied--and I have definitely seen it flat-out stated, especially here--that the person who was wronged needs or deserves to see you scold ("speak sternly to") your child in front of them.

And I disagree with that. I think beyond a basic apology, how you discipline your child is your business, and that a parent shouldn't worry about what someone else thinks.

snowdragon

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2013, 12:26:07 PM »
Of course I should apologize if I step on your foot.

But the post I quoted implied--and I have definitely seen it flat-out stated, especially here--that the person who was wronged needs or deserves to see you scold ("speak sternly to") your child in front of them.

And I disagree with that. I think beyond a basic apology, how you discipline your child is your business, and that a parent shouldn't worry about what someone else thinks.

The person who was wrong needs to know the parent  won't let it happen again. How the parent handles it is there business but the person who was hit/bit/whateever does deserve to know that the parent will not let their child hurt them again.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #49 on: May 16, 2013, 12:54:36 PM »
Sometimes I follow up to the parent by making a comment about how I hope this stage passes quickly.  I hope it doesn't come across as justifying my kid's bad behaviour, but I always feel so awkward after.

Please don't say this.  It comes across like, "We're hoping she grows out of this" rather than "we're being proactive about making her stop hitting other children."  Since you're doing the latter, you don't want to make it sound like you're just waiting it out.

Sophia

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #50 on: May 16, 2013, 07:37:09 PM »
Your obligation is to prevent it from happening.  You say you stop it 80% of the time.  Then you are only doing 80% of your job.  You know this is going to happen, you need to hover.  Time outs don't seem to be working.  The fun needs to come to a complete and immediate stop, and you need to go home. 

Nemesis

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2013, 08:29:50 PM »
Sometimes I follow up to the parent by making a comment about how I hope this stage passes quickly.  I hope it doesn't come across as justifying my kid's bad behaviour, but I always feel so awkward after.

Please don't say this.  It comes across like, "We're hoping she grows out of this" rather than "we're being proactive about making her stop hitting other children."  Since you're doing the latter, you don't want to make it sound like you're just waiting it out.

I agree. After my child is hit, I will have less sympathy for the hitter's parent, especially if the parent gives the impression that they are doing nothing except to wait it out. I would think that if the parent knows that their child is a hitter or a biter, they would need to be watching closely to prevent the incident in the first place. So if the parent makes such a comment to me after my child was hit or bitten, it would take me a lot of self control not to tell them to just keep their child at home in such case, until they grow out of it.

A simple and heartfelt sorry, and quick removal of your child is sufficient. It has happened to my child before, and I don't care how the parent wants to teach their child. I don't care to see it. I just want to know that my child can play safely without being intimidated by yours (general you).

blarg314

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2013, 09:01:42 PM »

I would say two things

1) An apology from the parent (or the child, if appropriate for the age)

2) Evidence that the parent is taking it seriously, and is actively working to solve the problem.

The second part is important, because that's what's going to determine if your kid is welcome to play with the other children, and it will vary depending on the child, their age, and the offense.

If you have a regular playgroup, then you can pre-emptively discuss this with the other parents - explain that your child is currently having trouble with X, and that you're working on it, and ask for their help in patrolling (in case you miss an instance).

For more general groups or at the playground - for something like in the OP, it could mean making sure you're always within arms reach of the child to keep them from hitting the other children.  Or it could mean that as soon as they hit a kid, you swoop down with a firm "no hitting - that hurts people", take away the toys, and immediately take your child out of the building and home repeating "you can't play if you hit people" a few times (as time-outs are ineffective). It can also be worth talking to your pediatrician, or a child psychologist, for specific advice.

If you get into a cycle of child hitting another child for no reason, having a time out, going back to play and repeating - after a few rounds of this, the other parents are going to get fed up, and possibly start keeping their kids away from yours.

kareng57

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2013, 10:46:59 PM »
Of course I should apologize if I step on your foot.

But the post I quoted implied--and I have definitely seen it flat-out stated, especially here--that the person who was wronged needs or deserves to see you scold ("speak sternly to") your child in front of them.

And I disagree with that. I think beyond a basic apology, how you discipline your child is your business, and that a parent shouldn't worry about what someone else thinks.


I don't buy that, at all.  I would like to continue to bring my child to the playground without worries about him/her being hit.  It is my business that the hitter's parents are taking firm steps to make sure that it does not happen again.

bonyk

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2013, 07:11:32 AM »
I suspect I'm in the minority on this one, but I believe hitting is part of the toddler social order.  I don't think it's okay, but I think it happens, and that toddlers need to be able to handle it.  Therefore, I don't want a whole big song and dance in front of my child after she's been hit.  A simple and firm, "No!," followed by a time-out and an apology is perfectly acceptable, IMO.  Anything more than that will make the hitee think she was more injured than she really was.

Sophia

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2013, 09:19:53 AM »
If my child was hit, I would want the song and dance.  My toddler was the victim of one of these unprovoked attacks.  The father immediately pulled his boy away and after that the boy was sleeping on a bench.  If the boy had been allowed back into the play area, my body would have continued to be between them.  I was pleased I didn't have to worry about him hitting my DD again.  The boy's older sister told me that she is "always being hit by him"  She was a sweet girl.  I encouraged DD to play with her, but our visit was ruined and we went home shortly after. 

sweetonsno

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2013, 03:03:23 PM »
I suspect I'm in the minority on this one, but I believe hitting is part of the toddler social order.  I don't think it's okay, but I think it happens, and that toddlers need to be able to handle it.  Therefore, I don't want a whole big song and dance in front of my child after she's been hit.  A simple and firm, "No!," followed by a time-out and an apology is perfectly acceptable, IMO.  Anything more than that will make the hitee think she was more injured than she really was.

Being able to gracefully handle someone else's bad behavior is indeed part of the social order. For toddlers, that might mean being hit. It might mean having someone stick their tongue out at you. However, I think it is far more important that you (general) learn what types of behaviors are acceptable and what types are not, and what your obligations are if you mess up.

A rebuke to the hitter and an apology to the hitee accomplishes both things nicely.

SPuck

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2013, 03:55:26 PM »
I think the situation changes depending on the other toddler who the OP's daughter hits. There is a difference when you see a kid hit one another, but then have one child who is known for hitting.

Marbles

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Re: The obligation of parents of a bully?
« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2013, 04:59:26 PM »
I have kids this age. If this were my 2yo hitting, I'd time him out immediately (he sits down in place wherever we are). Then I'd apologise to the other parent and give the other kid a little attention. (If you want to do a bit of gushing over the other kid while ignoring yours in timeout, I've heard that can be very effective as your kid learns that hitting means she's deprived of your attention and that someone else gets to have it.) After the timeout, I'd ask my kid whether he wants to go home right away or say sorry first. Then, we'd go.

If you know that your child has a hitting problem, the onus is on you to supervise play a little more closely and shadow her until she has earned your trust.

My DH and I have some friends whose son is 3 years older than our oldest (kids are 6.5 and 3.5). The 6 year old likes to lead kids to places where they can't be seen to "teach them some karate". His parents know that he has some bullying tendencies (it came up at school), but still don't monitor him much around other kids. This means that DH or I end up spending visits supervising all the kids. (If the 6yo's little sister weren't the same age as my son, and my son's BFF, we would avoid visiting with the kids.)