I just heard about a mom in New Jersey who allegedly smacked the 4th grade student who was bullying her daughter. I'm alternately impressed with her for her amazing momma bear moment, and embarrassed for her for her lack of self-control.
My son was bullied at a playground once. I gave the kids a stern talking to, and also gave the mother a piece of my mind after she said, "kids will be kids" like it was OK to repeatedly tell a boy with a disability that he's "stupid." I held myself back from throttling the miscreant who was bullying my son, but I wanted to. So, I went so far, but nowhere near THAT far.
Do you think the mom was justified in going after this kid, or do you think she went too far?
Read the article here: Mom smacks 4th grade bully
The way they worded the article made it sound like the girl slapped the boys while her mother yelled at them. ...either way, the mom should have dealt with the parents.
Absolutely not- it's not justified. In fact, it teaches these other children that it's okay to go around smacking others. Children look to adults for guidance, and for an adult to step over the line and show zero self-control teaches this kid that it's okay to act out like this.
The story does remind me of my daughters first day of K5 though... she came off the bus crying, and my Mom and I were waiting excited to hear about her first day of school. Apparently, my daughter was bullied on the bus, but Grandma saved the day- walked (or stomped) right over to the 'bully' and told her not to do it again. So, this story kinda makes me laugh b/c it was a similar scenario lol... except we didn't put our hands on anybody!
The school should have done more to fix this problem. I am in constant contact with my daughters school when it comes to issues like this. Just 2 days ago I emailed my daughters teacher b/c other students are making fun of her for having to repeat 1st grade. It's definitely tough as a parent seeing your child go through things like this and not being able to protect your child 100% from the terrible things others kids can do or say. I will do whatever I have to do, speak to whoever I have to speak to, and say it however I have to say it to ensure my daughter is not bullied at school. If I have to march up there every day, I will do it until these type of issues are resolved. Whatever it takes, I am willing to do it... it's sad kids have to go through this, but we are their protector and we should stop at nothing to fix it- of course, slapping around other kids is not such a good idea though :)
No one is justified to lay hands on someone elses child. However, I understand the frusteration this mother might have felt. My daughter was BRIEFLY bullied in preschool. We gave the school an opportunity to "fix" the problem. When that didn't work I waited for the parents. They gave me the "kids will be kids" deal too. Then their little boy pushed my (then 1 yr old) down and my little girl snapped! The little boys parents started towards my girl and their son. I then picked my son up from the floor and accidentally-on-purpose thru my backside into the other parents sending them into one another and the wall. After stiffling a giggle at the almost cartoonish sight of the parents, I said don't think about touching them... Kids will be kids after all. After getting his tail whooped by my little girl, the little boy no longer bullied anyone. Ironically the same boy has been in my daughters class from k up to her current grade 5. She has stated that they are and have been friends since the incident and he hasn't bullied anyone since. Although I wanted to be the mother bear and take care of the situation myself, my little girl turned into the hero when her little brother was targeted. To this day she is super protective of both her brother and sister.
I have to admit that my initial reaction to the mother handling the bully was "good for her", but after some coherent, non-primitive thought, I realize that this wasn't the right way to go about it. That's not to say that if I saw some little brat bullying one of my kids, that I wouldn't do the same thing. But thinking about it rationally, it's not right to become violent with the child. The parents should be addressed, and if they are unresponsive, then perhaps some higher authorities need to be spoken with. I would think a home visit from some police officers might put both parents and kids on their best behavior. That aside, my children will know how to defend themselves, and I will not tolerate them just sitting there and taking abuse. They will know how to stand up for themselves, and maybe if these bullies got a taste of their own medicine from some of their victims, it would make them think twice about doing it again. For kids who are unable to defend themselves, such as this mother who said that her child was disabled, I don't think it's too much to ask of one of the child's friends to be able to stand up for them. If a child who is mentally handicapped or physically disabled is unable to defend themselves, I feel it's only right that someone else should be able to do it for them.
Bullying has become such a horrible problem. I think part of it is because of the economy - both parents are forced to work, and leaving kids to raise themselves or be raised by strangers. Part of it is our country's insistence on being politically correct, and we are no longer allowed to spank or otherwise physically discipline our children. And they know it - they know they can run the house because there is nothing we can do about it. I think another part is adult's blind ignorance and their refusal to accept that there is a problem, whether it is the parents of the bully or the school where the bullying is happening. How many suicides have we seen from children who simply couldn't take being bullied anymore? How many could have been prevented if the school, or the parents, or ANYONE had just stepped up and done something about the bullies?
This is problem, becoming an epidemic, and maybe if more little snot-nosed brats got smacked for picking on kids, especially disabled kids, maybe these bullies wouldn't continue because they know they can't get away with it.
She was absolutely not justified. While she did what I'm sure most mothers would want to do and would have to restrain themselves from doing, the situation definitely needed to be handled differently. Me personally, I would have first attempted to take that opportunity for my daughter to learn self defense. To stand up for herself in a positive manner and handle the situation herself, which ultimately would give her so much more than having her mom do it for her. I know that's not always possible, depending on the type of bullying and the sensitivity of the child, so my next step would be to talk to the bus driver, and then the parents of the bully, and then the school board. I don't really feel like it's my place to raise someone else's child, so I would initially avoid confronting the bully myself. I can only assume that the bully does not have parents who teach him/her compassion like my children do and will have, and for that I would feel pity.
My mom gave me a more humorous approach to self defense. When I was in 2nd grade, I was tall and thin, and had knobby knees. I remember one day this kid called me Spider Legs, and I retorted "Yeah, you should see the webs I can spin!" and it made everyone laugh. It diffused the situation, and I went to school with that kid through high school and I don't recall him ever bothering me again. I hope that I can instill this trait in my children, so they can take the "I'm rubber, you're glue" type approach. We'll face the more serious incidents as they come, but in no situation would I ever lay my hands on any child.