Tonight we needed to address a situation concerning my 5-year old daughter getting bullied into bullying a friend of hers.
There is an older girl that lives near us that plays with Breanna from time to time as there aren’t that many kids in the area. Well today this older girl bullied Bre into calling her friend names, even after Bre kept saying she didn’t want to. The older girl said that she would stop playing with Bre and wouldn’t invite her over anymore. My daughter finally gave in to the peer pressure and started calling the boy names while they waited for their ride.
To make things even worse, this boy is a friend of the family and one of Breanna’s best friends. When she saw me she was crying and telling me how bad she felt for making fun of her friend. We spoke to the boy and he said that it was Breanna’s older friend that was telling Breanna what to say and how she would’t play with Breanna or invite her to her birthday party if she didn’t say it.
Molly and I spoke with Breanna and we made plans to go visit our friends after dinner; where Breanna would apologize and ask for forgiveness. She also wrote a letter, that she was not coached on, and for a five-year old it was pretty heartfelt.
“Dear (name omitted), I am sorry that I hurt your feelings. It was wrong for me to say those things and I hope you can forgive me. I cannot take those words back, but I can give you this picture.
Your Friend, Breanna
(A drawing Breanna made of the two of them playing together)
We spoke with the older girl’s parents to inform them of the situation and that we would like for them not to allow their daughter to come over to see if Breanna can play with her for the next few weeks as the answer will be NO, and we hope that she too will apologize to both Breanna and her friend; but we’re not going to hold our breath.
Before Breanna went to bed, we reminded her that she is a smart girl and this is an ugly part of growing up, but she doesn’t have to allow it to happen. Stick by your true friends, they will always be there for you and if someone tells you that they aren’t going to be your friend if you don’t do something for them, then they are not a real friend.
You need to address bullying when it happens.
I’ve told Breanna that the first step, if possible, is to walk away and tell an adult. However, if she cannot walk away and feels threatened, that she needs to do everything we have spoken about to protect herself from getting hurt and not to worry about getting in trouble – daddy will take care of that.
I’ve had my share of bullies. I ended up taking one of my biggest bullies out with my Dukes of Hazzard METAL lunch box long before there was ECW. He told me that he was going to beat me up when we got off the boss so as soon as he stepped off the bus, I cracked him over the head w my lunch box; laid him out right there at the bus stop. I told him to stop picking on me.
I was never bullied again.
Bullies just aren’t on the playground. There are bullies that went unchecked in school and their ways continue into the professional world where they bully co-workers or staff that they manage, or even teammates on their football team.
Regardless as to what the coaches/bosses say, you can’t lay out your bully without some serious ramifications: i.e Lawsuit, Loss of Job, Jail, etc.
It’s management’s responsibility to keep track of these conflicts so they are handled properly and to ensure that they do not escalate. That is easier said then done, as there were plenty of reports on Incognito’s behavior that show him to have a pattern of “bullying” people, yet teams kept signing him.
If you have kids, I’m not going to tell you how to parent them, but make sure you know what is going on in their life. I know when something is bothering my kids, even when they tell me that everything is okay.
If you are an adult and you still feel the need to bully co-workers, your employees, or other people; I think it’s time that you grow up.