Nowadays, bullying is taken far more seriously than it once was. Bullies are not getting cut as much slack as they were in past generations. You don't want your child to be "that kid"- but sometimes you only notice when it's too late.

Ti83PlusGuy asked: Parents of bullies, when did you realize your child was a bully and how did you react?


That's a good point.

"My sister (who I partially raised) was a bully and one of my long term foster kids was definitely a bully in the beginning. Not to be cliche, but it was nearly entirely due to trauma and mental health problems. My sister turned out to have some pretty serious bipolar. My foster son had been abused in every sense, actively isolated, and had "gone" to 5 schools by the 3rd grade. Gone is in quotes because he never actually went. Both of them were very obviously bullies in different ways. My sister was manipulative and was constantly lying to get her way. My foster son also lied a lot but was not very good at it, and mostly had physical aggression.

I worked with my foster son and his therapists a lot to navigate situations with bullying. He started on his own saying things like, "hey I'm sorry I was rough back there" or "it makes me scared when I think someone is going to hit me in the head." The kids were super forgiving, and I honestly think the hardest part for him, once he got less defensive, was forgiving himself. He also saw me defend him with other adults and kids a few times, so he learned the difference between standing up for yourself and being malicious. Some kids are just being d**ks, but some of them really have been through it and are acting out because of it."

Allredditorsarewomen

Luckily, they caught it early.

Giphy

"In preschool my daughter began to show signs of being a mean girl. She would talk about refusing to play with someone because she didn't like their clothes and convince her friends not to play with other kids.

I watched the edited for TV version of Mean Girls with her and we stopped and talked about how the kids treated each other and how they might be feeling.

She started being nicer all around.

What really spoke to her was being the victim of a mean girl situation in first grade.

Now in middle school she is quick to identify mean girls and bullies, doesn't let herself become their victims and befriends kids who are victims and helps them connect with other nice kids."

Mathsciteach

Honestly, the bully should've been the one to do that.

"A year after I graduated high school, the meanest, most popular girl in school's mother called my mom and said "I'm sorry if my daughter ever upset or hurt your daughter."

Apparently she called a bunch of girls moms from my grade to apologize for her daughters behavior."

Zerobeastly

That wasn't fair.

"Was told my kid was a bully in 4th grade. Ok, I had seen signs of him being bossy to his sisters so.... we had numerous talks, I watched him like a hawk, jumped on him if he even so much a gave a sideways glance at his sisters.

Later on, the kid he supposedly bullied came to a small gathering at our house. WHAT A LITTLE S**T THAT KID WAS! Took our digital camera off my husbands desk (when they were expensive items) and broke the battery compartment hinge because he threw the "stupid camera" because it wasn't Polaroid. I had a hard time keeping my husband from "bullying" this little s**t.

Later still, talking to other parents, my son was not the only unfairly accused.

The kid was tiny for his age, had red hair and freckles and long eyelashes and a sweet smile, and at first glance was angelic.

My son was cool with our temporary mistrust, because it came out he was not the only one.

I always wonder what became of the little s**t."

4x4is16Legs

Problem solved.

Giphy

"When I had to change my work schedule to pick my kids up from school because my 2nd grader was verbally antagonizing a 7/8th grader on the walk home. It started with her complaining she was being bullied till her older brother told on her that she was instigating.

Long story short, it was her way of trying to get more attention from me because she didn't have the words to explain what she wanted. It happened years ago a bit after I went from being a stay at home mom to a single working mom. I've made more effort to spend more time with them."

Abbygineseen

Good for him.

"Not me, but when I was growing up we had a neighbour kid who was like 6 years older than me, always teasing and making fun of me. Until one day, when I was already in a bad mood (I was like 6, it happened a lot), I put on my gloves (it was cold outside, don't judge me) then jumped the fence and punched him square in the mouth. Knocked one of his teeth out, and gave him a busted lip.

Went bawling inside, his mum came over an hour or so later and was basically like, "Yeah I always knew he was a little sh**t. He deserved it." then left. He never spoke to me again, though. As far as I know he's married now with his own kids."

astrielx

The Golden Rule never fails.

"This is one of my biggest fears as a parent, because for a long time my son was getting in trouble for hitting other kids randomly (this was in kindergarten, he's going into 2nd grade now). Legit randomly, we had proof and everything.

Like once he was putting his snow boots on and a kid was walking by, and my son, straight face and everything, stood up and just cold-clocked this poor kid before calmly sitting back down and finishing getting his boots on.

I started telling him if he was going to treat others that way, that's how he should be treated, because we follow the Golden Rule™ in our house.

He didn't like that idea, and his behavior started to improve.

For clarity, we didn't actually do anything to him, just told him we would if he kept it up, and that he wouldn't have any friends because nobody wants to be friends with a bully.

He still acts out sometimes, but it's gotten a lot better with talking about why something he did was wrong and how it makes others feel, and asking him how he would feel if someone did those things to him."

Gwendywook

That's awful.

Giphy

"Not a parent but it was probably around the time my brother was 6-7 that I noticed he was a bully. He saw no need to share, be nice, be generally pleasant, social, anything. This never bothered my parents. He was the golden boy. He was showered in praise for anything and given exactly what he wanted when he wanted.

He continued to get worse and worse until now he sees nothing wrong with openly talking about how he wants to badly injure and permanently maim anyone he doesn't like.

He thinks it's acceptable for him to openly say whatever he wants about anyone and thinks there should be no consequences — but only when it's him. No one can say anything bad about him, even if it's a valid criticism of a poor behavior.

He gets violent when he doesn't get what he wants as soon as he wants it. He's pulled a knife on me just because I was taking a turn on the Xbox (it was mine and he wouldn't let me use it ever, it was the first time I'd touched it in a few months) and screamed about how he was going to kill me because I wouldn't give him what he wanted the second he wanted it.

He's not much different at school. He mouthed off to a teacher because she wouldn't give him a grade he wanted specifically because he wanted it, not because he'd earned it. He picks on special education kids, too, since he thinks he's above them.

Unfortunately, my parents condone this behavior and have never once done something about it."

br0m0-sapien

Bad career choice...

"My nephew is a huge bully. His mom, my sister-in-law, started to notice this when he started getting physically violent with his younger brother...and it didn't turn out to be a phase.

And when he started to tell my kids really awful stuff too. And when he started kindergarten and broke his teacher's chair, and every day since then (in 1st and 2nd as well) as she continued to get notes home about how he treats others in class. I think these realizations are generally gradual, with parents at first hoping it's a phase.

Sometimes she cries about it. She said once (not in front of the kids) that she wouldn't of had a second if she'd known he'd end up being such a handful. But overall she doesn't do much.

The doctor recommended he be evaluated, but her mother said no and she's totally up her mom's butt (they seriously need to cut the cord - my mother in law thinks I'm awful for not letting her control my life like she does with her daughter), so he hasn't been evaluated or received any therapy or anything.

They sorta discipline him, but my mother in law (who they constantly use as a free childcare provider) says that's mean and he's just "being a boy" and will give him ice cream after. She now basically just talks to him when he gets a bad note home, which he ignores and continues to do whatever he wants.

It's not good. And his mom wants to go into early childhood education! Yikes. No. Bad idea. This is what she's like AFTER two years of classes on childhood development. Shockingly, she can't pass the test to finish her degree."

whateverreddit88

It starts early.

"My 3yo is a bully. His dad is an abusive narcissistic a-hole, a bully, liar, cheater, and just generally a completely despicable person.

When I saw that it was affecting my children as much as me I got help. (The little one is behind on his developmental milestones in addition to his behavioral problems and my teen from a previous marriage was failing at school and starting to self harm.)

I got ahold of the ywca victims resource center and got help getting away from the narcissistic ex and getting help for the kids before it was too late. Parents as teachers comes to the house every week to help us learn strategies to encourage better behavior. Bi-weekly meetings at the guidance center for everyone has helped a lot too.

I've also had an IU9 evaluation done on the little one and will be receiving the results tomorrow morning. (Fingers crossed they get him into early intervention.) I will do everything I can to prevent him from becoming like his father. That's no way to live."

aimeegaberseck

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