Just Thinking Out Loud . . .

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Disclaimer: I'm going out on a limb here because there are a plethora of my neighbors who read my blog... which stresses me out to the MAX!  So neighbors: please view this as a simple observation and not a passive/aggressive attack.

I know of girl in our neighborhood who likes to bully people. And not just people, but adults. 

She's eight.

I know what you're thinking "why would an adult let an eight year old bully her?" And my answer to that is simple: Because you're so freakin' surprised that a CHILD could act like a nasty adult that it leaves you speechless as you watch her saunter off into the sunset.

This child told my friend to get out of her chair because she wanted to sit there.  When my friend-- who coincidentally is one of the nicest people on the planet-- kindly told her No, this nasty little girl proceeded to try and bully her into giving her what she wanted.

She would return every minute or so and tell my friend "You're fat! Get out of my chair!"

This child's mother was not more than 20 feet away from her.

You're speechless, aren't you?

Yeah. Me too.

This little girl also likes to ring my door bell and when I answer she likes to tell me all the reasons she will not play with my daughter. Then she will stick her tongue out at me, turn around, stick her bum out and then shake her bon-bon like Charo

I may have yelled at her the last time she pulled that little stunt that if she ever did that again she just might find my foot up her rear and then we would "shake our bon-bon's" down to have a chat with her Mom. Or not.

The thing is this: I'm not the sharpest pencil in the stack, but I know basic child behavior and kids parrot what they hear their parents say and do.  Now, I'm not implying that this child's mother likes to shake her bon-bon like Charo doing the Cuchi-Cuchi dance, but what I am saying is that maybe this child is parroting variations of what she has heard at home.

In the book Queen Bees and Wannabes the author states very clearly that when there is a mean girl typically there is a mean mother behind that girl.

Think about the mean girls you know.  What are their mothers like? Granted, some have the kindest mothers on the block, but that is rare.  Usually where there is a mean girl, there is a mean mother. Truthfully, I've never understood that.  Why would a grown woman go out of their way to make a mean phone call, or say mean things to people? I have never understood that.

Also, people misinterpret being direct and forthcoming as being mean, and I totally disagree with that.

I say what I think, never meaning to hurt another persons feelings. I am just direct. Which always gets me in trouble because people think I'm being mean. When in reality I just want you to know what I am thinking so that there is none of that stupid-weird-game-playing-drama.  I tell you what I think. If I apologize I mean it and that is that.

But, I digress . . .

The bottom line is that I find this child's behavior incredibly troubling because if she is this aggressive and nasty at eight, what will she be like when she is sixteen and in the same Youth Group as my sensitive, kind Thing 3?

This nasty little girl will eat her alive, that's what.

And then the ugly Mama Bear will have to come out to play and it won't be pretty.

So the question of the day is: Would it do any good at all to tell the parents of this child how she behaves?

Or would I be beating a dead horse?

(So to speak)


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19 monkeys jumping on the bed:

  1. Amy R. Nelson said...

    I don't think that the behavior should go without a discussion with the parent. Whether it has any affect on that child or not, it may have an affect on your child to know that she has her own mother in her corner standing up for her.

  2. Miranda said...

    I hope the mother of this child reads your blog!

  3. michelle said...

    I guess I am with Amy, I think you have to try, even though I do agree with you that it probably won't do any good. That is in theory of course because I personally will do just about anything to avoid confrontation!
    Oh, and I agree with your mean vs. direct view. My other beef is people who think what you say is okay as long as it is funny. Good luck, I hope this mom reads your blog too!

  4. Melanie J said...

    It makes my head hurt just to think of this child. I try to teach my kids to be tough but kind. I know it doesn't make any sense, which is why it's hard to teach.

    Having kids is hard.

  5. Alyson (New England Living) said...

    You definitely need to talk to the mom and if there others who feel the same way in the neighborhood, they should probably talk to her too. Just be sensitive when you do.

  6. NG said...

    Ugh. If you figure it out, will you let me know? I think I know this child. Fortunately her parents moved out of our ward, but I'm cynical enough to believe that this won't be the last child like that my daughters meet and I'd like to know from the experts how to handle it when that happens.

  7. kaye said...

    I've raised five kids and made lots of mistakes along the way. but basically I've learned you can't change other people's behaviours. So the only course left to you is to teach "kind, thing 3" how to deal with undesirable behavior. And on a cautionary note--nothing good comes of letting mama bear out in public. I've learned that through real life experience as well. If you teach your kids to be good people, and do your best to help them deal with the not so happy things of life--they'll do all right. With my older kids I tried to solve their problems for them and actually made things tougher for them.

  8. Momza said...

    If a child rang my doorbell to tell me that she doesn't like my child, I would walk that child to the end of my walkway, and tell her that she is not allowed to come to my door anymore and my child isn't allowed to play with her until she learns some manners.
    If that child spoke ugly to me, I would definitely tell the mother.

    Now, I have had just two occassions in all of my "mothering" where I had to go directly to the parents of a bully--one was a mean girl, and I'm not going to go into the details of what all she did to bully my then-middle-schooler, but I will say that when I called her mother about it, her mother invited me and my daughter over "to discuss things"--and WOW! That mother proceeded to try and bully ME. I was shocked. When she finally took a breath, I stood up from her sofa, and said something along the lines of, "I can see why your daughter would think acting like this is okay."
    And we left. And yes, they were an LDS family in our neighborhood and ward.
    The fruit does not fall far from the tree.
    On a happy note: The bullying stopped in both cases.

  9. Gina said...

    You need to try. I think that you need to do everything you can reasonably do to make your child's environment safe, and this is part of it.

    However.

    Don't expect a lot to come from it. I just recently wrote a paper on bullying, and the number one risk factor for a child to become a bully is that his parents are inattentive. Inattentive parents are unlikely to care a lot what their kids are really doing.

    I wish you luck. And I also suggest you teach your children some passive-aggressive mental-self-defense techniques.

  10. heather said...

    Please let us know how it goes.

  11. Sell...Party Of 4 said...

    this makes me sick. it scares me for my baby girl. i don't think that i could let this go without saying something to the parents, even if it doesn't get resolved.

  12. Circe said...

    Oooh, tough one. I can't give you advice, but I will say that nothing good has ever come from confronting a mom with evidence that her child is bad.

    What I would probably do is continually analyze the situation to death and wonder/discuss/obsess over what the mom could possibly be thinking, etc, etc, etc.

    I will say this: Thing 3 IS the sweetest thing EVER! Love her!

  13. This Girl loves to Talk said...

    personally dead horse.

    think of the mother, how she acts. It is all over today that people take their childs side. just look at schools etc, no one believes their little perfect so and so could do any wrong.

    this is why I never take my child's side in anything :)I dont want to be one of those people defending their kid after just being told when they have done something wrong. and if someone is being mean to my child I say you can either not play with them, or continue to play its their choice.

    I would also just talk to the child nicely, about how we dont tolerate that behaviour at our house, in front of me etc.

  14. The Boob Nazi said...

    Just beat her, not the dead horse.

  15. Andrea said...

    You are my hero. The End.

  16. Judi said...

    That is crazy! She just needs a good slap across the face! and her mouth washed out with soap and a swift kick in the rear! and so does that mom.
    As for talking to the mom...if she is present when her kid acts like that, you would be talking to the wind my friend. I had 2 boys (that thank heavens have moved) that used to bully Conner when they were YOUNGER than 8, I mean like from 5-8.
    And I knew that I could never approach the moms because one mom just plain didn't care and the other mom thought(and still thinks)that her son walks on water and could NEVER do anything like be a big fat ugly bully!
    I feel for you and for Thing 3.
    Where are the days when you could drag the naughty kid home to their mother by the ears?!

  17. Sher said...

    I have to agree with Kaye.

    I have felt in my personal experiences with said child that teaching my children how to react when put in that situation will empower them, and do more for their good that tattle-telling to the kid's Mom.

  18. JDaniel4's Mom said...

    Stopping from Mom Loop! I think I would tell the mom she isn't do disturb your family to tell them she doesn't want to play when she sounds like she really wants someone to play with. Maybe her mom does too.

  19. Annette Lyon said...

    Like others have said, you might as well try--that way your cards are on the table and the mother will know exactly why Thing 3 isn't playing with her or whatever else needs to happen.

    But I wouldn't expect much in the way of results, alas.