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Toddler Being Bullied

Discussion in 'Friends & Neighbours' started by anayasree, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. anayasree

    anayasree Silver IL'ite

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    Hi ladies,

    I have a toddler and we go out on regular potluck with a group of friends. We almost meet weekly. Now here is the situation. There are 2 more kids same age group as my kid who get along really well. One kid is a toddler and the other is a preschooler. Initially all 3 kids played well though there were some usual toddler fights in between and I didnt care about it. But for past 3 months it has turned into bullying by the other kids. Mostly the preschooler keeps telling the other toddler to hit my daughter. Initially the other toddler didnt want to hit, may be she was scared or something, but off late she gained confidence and started hitting my daughter. Its not just hitting, my daughter loves to play with them, but they keep pushing her away, asking her to not join them, etc. What happens is they keep saying mean things to my daughter (like dont come here, get out, etc) and after a while end of beating my daughter. My daugter is too young to understand she is being bullied. So until they hit him, how much ever I try to restrain her, she still wants to play with them. After being beaten up, she starts playing by herelf. This happens everytime we meet.

    I am not sure how much of this is noted by the other parents, but they know they beat my daughter. I kept thinking they would discipline their kids, but things havent changed. Both moms have no control on their kids and they just brush it off like "kids are like that". Husband wants to handle it by going to the weekend potluck, but just give my daughter a phone so she is watching videos and not playing with them. I dont like it cos I dont normally let her watch videos a lot. So my idea is to totally avoid going to these gatherings.

    This wont work long time cos I have some really good friends who wouldnt take a no to their potluck with some excuses for a long time. Talking to the other kids moms is very uncomfortable for me as I worry it would change our dynamics, no parent wants to hear complaints about their kid. So how should I deal with this situation?
     
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  2. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    anayasree,

    Looks like your friends need to control their kids. But you cannot force them to do it. Meanwhile you can try some tricks with your daughter. Guessing your kid is less than 3 year old, you can teach her to yell NO when someone hits her or misbehaves with her. Reward her when you practice, so she will know it is a good thing. This will make whoever coming on to her to back off. This is a good trick against those adults who wants a hug and your kid doesnt want to hug them. if you havent already, this will teach her the beginning of understanding personal boundaries. that being said, she will use it against you sometimes. So be wary about that and see what you can do to resolve when she yells no to you. Watch out for your kid when in those parties. Tell her to come back to you or go and get her when you see other kids are not including her and let her hang out with you. This is something we tell our DD before we go to any potluck/parties. If any of us feel alone, not getting along with the people at the party, we hang out together and leave early. This never happened so far, but it is our safety net. You can also come up with something like this. Take a book or a toy for you kid, or a snack, so that she can enjoy the time if she is not playing with other kids. There are so many other ways kids can spend time with out screens.

    You can talk with your friends, if they are good friends, they will try to settle amicably. Not going to potlucks and gatherings are not a good idea. You cannot bubble wrap your kid's life. You will have to teach her how she can handle the these situations. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes don't. Also, if you see other kids actually beating your kid, make sure you stop the other kid, don't be afraid to tell the other kid " It is not nice, can you not do that again?". Most kids will stop with that.
     
  3. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    I would give my kid first priority, I will be watching kid all the time in that young age.
    kid is too young, so you and dad has to take the role to stop bullying. Bullying should be stopped early stage like when it starts at pushing your kid, take her away, she will not listen , even she cries take her away and let her spend time with something else, if needed leave the party.
    You will see lot of things like this coming in future.. stop at the first step by letting everybody know if parents not stopping, so the kid will not do that bullying..still kid is doing then better avoid such company as your kid may pick stuff from that.

    You have to tell reason openly..why you don't want to come..to the party in that case.

    Lately my kid said some kid making fun of his name and others laughing, so i gave a note to bus driver to help. she asked my kid who is doing that etc,, I am sure she might have taken some action. my kid didn't face this again.
     
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  4. anayasree

    anayasree Silver IL'ite

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    @Angela123 Thanks a lot. You have posted some good suggestions. I have tried teaching her to say NO when someone hits her. She is in her early two's, so she doesn't remember it when it actually happens. I dont know if taking a book or toy would help. I have tried distracting her but she loves them and wants to play with them. I feel really sorry for her that she doesnt understand the other kids dont want to play with her. And these other moms keep telling me I should just let my daughter free to play, but they dont see that she is actually getting bullied and that is the reason I am shielding her.

    How would you approach a mom about it? Both moms are good friends, but I dont know how to talk about this without being confrontational.

    @KashmirFlower I am also worried my kid would pick up this bullying in the future if she gets exposed to it repeatedly. I just dont know how to talk to the moms openly.
     
  5. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    What if you got the parents of those kids to note their kids' behavior and having to acknowledge it? In potlucks, things are usually informal. You don't have to be sitting at one place for long. Take your plate and be near the area where you kid is playing. If a kid overly bothers your kid, in a neutral voice, call your kid by name and say 'what do you say if ...?' After a few times, she will get the hang of it, and will reply to your called out question with a No. The pause in the proceedings would give everyone enough opportunity to note what happened without you needing to talk about it directly with the parents or other kids.

    I would not bring it up with the other parents. Parents who think "kids will be kids" are not amenable to reasonable discussion about their kids. In a park or playground setting, I would approach the parents. In a regularly recurring potluck, no.
     
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  6. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    I would tell the friend as soon as the beating/hurting takes place, " Could you tell your son/daughter to stop doing that? my DD loves to spend time with your kid". If you wait for a minute to pass, the conversation will become awkward, so it has to happen right away. But be nice. IMO, it is best to talk to the parent when it happens, not days after that. I have noticed at age 2, most kids listen/obey their parents say. It is usually after 3 they start implementing their ideas. It is your job to keep your kid safe, so removing her from the situation is what needed, do that. You do not have to listen to anybody on that matter. But she will have to fend for herself when in school or on a common play ground. So help her, but teach her not to accept when someone behaves rude or as a bully. Even in day care under age of 3, if a kid hurts other kid, they give time outs, or he gets written up. So if your friend's kid are being physical going on around hurting other kids it is their parents job to control the kid. But like I said, you can only point out this is not right, politely.
     
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    If I was feeling really irritated at the parent who doesn't discipline their own kid, I'd ask her, "Hey, is it OK if I tell your son/daughter to stop doing that? My child is still learning how to say No and defend herself."
     
  8. anayasree

    anayasree Silver IL'ite

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    @Rihana and @Angela123 I am going to try both your ideas the next time we meet. Thank you very much!
     
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  9. EverydayBloom

    EverydayBloom Gold IL'ite

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    Dear OP,

    I experienced the same thing in my kids scenario, first I tried telling the trouble kid parents indirectly, they took it light, then I spoke to the kids directly and disciplined them, it worked to some extent but they rebelled and troubled more later, then I told my daughter not to play with them, she got bored and started asking for device which as parents we dont like, hence we avoided meeting all together!!! Its better this way..

    As you already said, no parents like to hear complaints about their kids nor they are ready to discipline when they see them being mischief. We can change which are in our hands!!!
     
  10. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    ananyasree

    I think it is perfectly acceptable to tell the other children who hit your child something like "it is not nice to hit" or "we do not hit our friends" or something like that, in the presence of the other parents and friends, without asking for the other parents' permission. If the other parent is not doing what they should, I think it is reasonable you do, to stop your child from getting beaten!

    Amongst our group of friends, there is a child who has severe allergies and sometimes ends up sneezing (literally anything could trigger that child and she is usually OK after she sneezes a few times!). Once when we were all at a party, the child got a sneezing fit and she did not have time to grab tissues or anything, so ended up sneezing into her sleeve a few times and one other child started "gross, ewwww" and all that. I was hoping that the parents of the child would say something, but nothing. I just said "that was not a nice thing to say to your friend" and used the opportunity to tell my daughter that she should probably quickly grab tissues or a towel or something to help her friend the next time this happens. The other parent started making a few excuses that her daughter is a clean freak etc., but it told me that she was embarrassed by her child's behavior.

    In this case, the kids were all a little older and in your case, since they are all pretty young, it might not work the first time, but reinforcing this a couple of times would hopefully send a message to the other parents as well that this behavior is not acceptable.
     
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