Every parent likes to believe that their children are always kind and compassionate, but sadly that sometimes just isn’t the case.
“I had a problem with my daughter beating up kids in preschool, of all things. I guess it can happen at any age. We had some major changes at home at the time and she was acting out. The teachers brought it to my attention and it was handled right away.
“Thankfully this was years ago and we haven’t had problems since. I will tell you that I was strangely grateful my daughter was the bully and not the victim―but probably for a different reason than you would expect. Because she was the bully, I could correct the issue. I can’t control someone else’s kid when I’m not around.”
“My eldest daughter, a few years ago (she was nine), decided to hang around with the wrong crowd. After a week or so, her mother and I got a call to come in for a chat, and we learned that she’d been joining in the bullying of another girl in the same class and how the other girl had ended up breaking down in tears at the thought of going to school.
“When we got her home that afternoon, my daughter and I had a brief discussion about respect and morality (read: I asked her if she’d enjoy receiving the same treatment she’d been giving, elaborating somewhat on the details). After crying herself to sleep that night, she woke up early and spent two hours making an apology card.”
“In kindergarten, my daughter’s teacher approached me after school one day when I was picking her up. She said how normally my kid was helpful and fun, etc. But today she seemed distant and kicked another child during a colouring. I told the teacher that her mum and I had just separated and that I was thankful for her telling me.
“On our walk home my daughter and I had a really long chat about things at home, her mum, me, life in general. She had lots of questions and we hashed everything out. Next day, she got her little gold stars for good behavior and we haven’t looked back.”
“I received a call from another parent when my daughter was in third grade. Apparently, she and a few other girls started a ‘mean girls’ club. They hung out in the bathroom at lunch and refused to let this little girl join. They also refused to let other little girls use ‘their’ bathroom. I called the other mums and let them know what our daughters were doing, and I also talked with my daughter about being a nice girl, who people like and respect, vs. being a mean girl who people hate and make fun of behind her back.
“I then drove home the grossness of hanging out in a bathroom of all places. The club disbanded, and I made a point of inviting the little girl over quite often. The other mums did similar things, and she became part of the friend group. I still tease her about her little club occasionally.”