Is my daughter a bully?

Tabitha - posted on 10/30/2012 ( 16 moms have responded )




My daughter recently got accused of being a "bully" at school and on the bus. The girls mother came to me and let me know what was going on. Apparently my daughter called her a loser and laughed at her and said she was ugly. My daughters version was that her friend called the girl loser and ugly and she laughed at it. I talked with her about it and she had no remorse whatsover. She said it was funny and she laughed at it. I called the school counsler to let them know to watch out for it. Anyways it blew over and the mother said that my daughter and her friend apologized to her. Today however i was dissapointed to find this note she wrote in the trash:

"I can't believe dalal did that. She is acting like a pre-schooler. I did not do anything i just called her a loser. What is so bad about that? Nothing!!!!! She is a little cry baby. She and her mom are stupid and no one likes them cause dalal is such a tattle tale. She is UGLY and STUPID. she thinks that telling on me will get me to stop "bullying" her. Her mom is mean and horrible i wish they would just move to alaska!!!!! I know that dalals mom called the principal. Im not going to stop. Im going to make her life miserable. Thats what she gets for telling on me!!!! :) "

Sorry so long and i know this is not a debate but you guys are so great at responding i know you will have some good advice for me. I am heartbroken to read this note. I don't know if i should approach her as i was obviously not supposed to see it. And i don't know if she was just venting some steam. But i need to do something if she really is thinking this way! She is 11 by the way and in 5th grade.


[deleted account]

Take her to see a child psychologist. Whatever is going on is pretty deep and it needs professional treatment. Keep the note she wrote because any counsellor or psyche you attend will need to see it. Good luck, stay strong, and remember to keep loving your daughter through all of this despite how disappointed you must be feeling. Hugs to you.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/30/2012




Yes, my dear, she is a bully. She's going to be a vicious one, too, if you don't nip it in the bud right now.

Find out why she feels the need to bring negative attention to herself. Has she changed schools? Started middle school? anything new in her life that could be causing her to feel insignificant, and the need to make herself "bigger" than the rest of the kids by causing them to cry and being mean to them? Generally, there's an underlying cause.

I'd ask her where she formed her opinion of the young lady and the other mom. Why does she think they're stupid? Can she put her feelings into words? She needs to articulate the "why's" of the situation so that she can understand what a heartless little bitch she's going to turn into.

I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with this. I'm not sure exactly how to tell you to start, except that you need to start NOW. You have it in writng: she's going to make that little girl miserable. Well, she just got caught, and you need to enforce it. She's made a threat, and put it into writing. That's not just being a bully, that is terrorizing another human being for no good reason.

Julie - posted on 11/01/2012




I'm sorry this is happening, I would feel the same way in your shoes!

My only suggestion is that when you do speak with her about it, you emphasize that it has nothing to do with Dalal and everything to do with her behaviour and actions. It sounds from the note you found that she is shifting the blame for her actions onto the victim. Part of becoming a young adult is to learn to take responsibility for oneself. Does she want to be the type of person that takes pleasure in hurting others? Is that the kind of "friend" she'd like to have? If she had a friend like that, how long does she think it would be before that "friend" started to turn on her? Perhaps you could also discuss some of the words she used to put down Dalal and her mom. What makes a person ugly? It's not what they look like, it's their actions. What she did was ugly. If someone was picking on her, wouldn't the intelligent choice be to report it so it would stop? Seems like common sense to me. So who is being the stupid one here? Wouldn't it be stupid to just allow yourself to get wailed on and do nothing about it? Is it intelligent to put in writing that you are not going to stop picking on someone and then drop the note where it can be found? Finally, how does she think her actions would affect her own loved ones? You had to hear that your daughter has been bullying some little girl and then read that she hasn't learned anything from the incident. Does she think this would make her mother proud of her behaviour, or ashamed and sad?

If it were me, I would also tell her unashamedly that /you/ were the one who called the principal, not Dalal's mom. Because her behaviour worries you and you wanted to make sure it didn't continue.

I'd also move on this ASAP, before she starts getting herself into more hot water by "making [Dalal's] life miserable" even more...

I wish you the best of luck handling this sticky situation! Please let us know how it all goes!

Kristi - posted on 11/02/2012





It sounds like you are doing all the right things to resolve this issue. Good for you for thinking before reacting. My knee-jerk reaction was kick her ass and see how she likes being bullied. That is not how I would have handled it but that was my impulse. Getting professional help for both of you is a great idea. Just know that it can be a long and frustrating path to the right counselor. Not everybody is cohesive but don't give up, the right one will come along.

It almost sounds like she is afraid she won't fit in or that others will (or have) put her down so she is going on the offensive. I don't need them to accept me, they need me to accept them or they will be miserable, thus giving her power and control or at least the perception of it.

It is possible or do you know of anything she may have gone through that is making her feel helpless? Has an adult male role model been verbally or physically abusive to you? Or her for that matter. There are so many under lying issues that it could be. It's so hard for kids today.

I hope you find a good child pyschologist soon and that your daughter will open up so you can get to the bottom of this for a happier, healthier life for all. Thumbs up for facing this head on.

As Julie asked, please let us know how things are going. Best wishes!

Brenda - posted on 11/02/2012




I'm going to applaud you for focusing on this issue w/your daughter. It has to be hard and I'm really really glad you're not excusing her behavior as so many other parents would. Maybe she feels pressured to act this way from her friends? I would tell her you saw the note (that way she cant deny it) and ask her to explain it and why she feels the need to be mean to other kids. Also, ask her how she would feel if she were the girl she's being mean to and maybe roleplay scenarios where she is the one being bullied? Definitely have her talk to the school counselor, too. Maybe w/the counselor and you working together you can help your daughter figure out why she's doing this.


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Ashley - posted on 12/05/2012




try to set up a play date with the other girl and her mom. maybe she will get to know the other girl and why she is the way she is. maybe there is something more going on, like jealousy or showing off for her friends, it could be a number of things. thats why getting to know the other girl might help her to realize shes not really what she thinks she is. explain to her that it is very rude, and disrespectful, and that it really hurts people when things like that are said and make sure she knows what u expect of her. ground her from her friends until she can stop being a bully, the friends are probably a big part of it.

Lily - posted on 11/21/2012




I agree that seeking a counsellor would help. I am a child and youth worker and I see that kind of behavior all of the time through my work. Has there been any recent changes in her life ( sorry I didnt have time to read all the comments so idk if you mentioned it already). Any major changes in her life may have started the issue and to me it also sounds like her friend isnt a very good influence...sometimes if a c hild is in the wrong crowd it can make the situation a lot worst. It sounds like its a fun activity to do together is bully this girl which needs to change. Maybe try talking to her about something else she can do with her friends... She also needs to be really sat down and spoken to about her behavior as much as she shuts you out. She needs to know the seriousness of her behavior... I would not discipline her too intensely as the more upset she is with you the more she will want to defy you.... but she does need some sort of consequence if she has not already been. I hope that helps a little bit ! Goodluck I know this can be really tricky to deal with... but each child has their own way that works lol you will figure it out.

Tabitha - posted on 11/02/2012




To answer above question no she hasn't been like this before. It started when puberty started 2 years ago. She has gotten more defiant,rude,emotional, and introverted. She will not tell me anything even though i have always respected her opinions and listened to her when she needed it. She completely shuts me out when i talk to her, i.e. doesn't look at me, rolls her eyes,sighs, or simply saying rude things. I have already taken her i pod and computer time away since this incident, she hasnt not gotten them back. And she wont get them back until she has an intelligent mature conversation with me, and stops the disrespectful behavior. When she started puberty she did a huge 180 and now i dont even recognize my sweet,respectful, beautiful daughter anymore. She is basically a good kid minus the above very unlikeable attitude towards others.

[deleted account]

Yeah - well done Tabitha for being so honest. I think a lot of mums would be making excuses for their daughter, but it sounds like you are ready to confront reality.

BTW is this a new type of behaviour for her, or has she always been like this?

[deleted account]

It must be so hard Tabitha, I applaude you for tackling the issue with an open and rational mind. I wish you the very best with this. :-)

Tabitha - posted on 10/30/2012




Thank you Sharon.....i do plan on finding a psychologist not only for her but me to. I need help to handle this with finesse, because it is a very touchy subject. And until i speak to one myself i will not be approaching her with this matter. I never had to deal with bullying nor was i one myself....but i know handling it the wrong way will only make it worse. I'm so disappointed and hurt that she would act this way....

Cass - posted on 10/30/2012




Well that's clearly bullying, and you need to deal with it asap using some tough love.

Put yourself in the shoes of the other parents. If your daughter was being bullied by another girl whose parents found that kind of note, would you hope they approach their child about it? I would be furious if someone was hurting my child, and we need to care for one another how we care for ourselves.

Sounds like your daughter is angry about something.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/30/2012




Yes. She is indeed a bully. I don't have any good advice for you whatsoever. This is a tough time for kids. 5th and 6th grade IMO are the worst. They will be friends one second, and mean as shit to each other the next. I went through this personally. Speak with the counselor and see what she/he recommends.

Lacye - posted on 10/30/2012




Yes she is a bully. Yes you need to confront her about it. Find out why she is acting this way. A lot of time, a child bullies another child for an underlying reason.

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