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My daughter is a bully 😢

 
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amother




Magenta


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 2:44 pm
My 6 year old daughter is bullying her 4.5 yr old brother. I used to chalk it up to the usual sibling rivalry/ fighting, and repremand her in the usual way- reminding her to be kind, inclusive, helpful... but in the past few weeks it’s gotten really bad. And I’m not sure how handle it.
She makes clubs with her older brother or younger sister and excludes him, calls him names, mocks his clumsiness, insults his physical difference (bh something minor that he will bzh outgrow)
She is a smart sensitive girl who is kind and considerate to others. I know that she is struggling with the lack of self direction that comes with being 6. I try to offer choices when possible and include her in my life. I am careful to give her some 1:1 time at some point every day. Bh she is doing well in school and has friends.
Occasionally she’ll flip the script be kind to my 4.5 yr old and bully her 7.5 yr old brother instead.
Help me fix this pls
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 2:51 pm
Maybe you can start the process by reframing?

Calling your DD a bully puts her as the bad one. The good side, and the bad side. When she excludes others, she is making the same mistake, seeing the person she is hurting or leaving out as Different, Other, Unworthy.

Sometimes people who work on developing their own sense of inclusion find it carries over. See yourself as her coach and supporter at all times.

From what you post, she may need more space from her siblings, especially the 4 year old. Make sure everyone knows that you are aware that sometimes she needs not to play with him. That way, when you have to insist at other times, she'll know you get it.

Does she have female friends she can play with in the afternoons and on Shabbos?
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 3:45 pm
OP is allowed to her words. Many kids bully, and are bullied... She needs to be made to understand how it feels. In the meantime intervene every time it starts and make it safe for her brother to talk
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amother




Magenta


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 6:07 pm
imasinger wrote:
Maybe you can start the process by reframing?

Calling your DD a bully puts her as the bad one. The good side, and the bad side. When she excludes others, she is making the same mistake, seeing the person she is hurting or leaving out as Different, Other, Unworthy.

Sometimes people who work on developing their own sense of inclusion find it carries over. See yourself as her coach and supporter at all times.

From what you post, she may need more space from her siblings, especially the 4 year old. Make sure everyone knows that you are aware that sometimes she needs not to play with him. That way, when you have to insist at other times, she'll know you get it.

Does she have female friends she can play with in the afternoons and on Shabbos?

Tx for responding. I am so upset and at a loss for how to deal with it. So I appreciate any support.
Ur answer confused me. Are u suggesting that if I do not identify my daughters behavior as bullying she will stop the behavior?
Also she has her own bedroom. And there are two separate areas where the kids hang out. So aside from mealtime she has lots of opportunity to be alone- she usually prefers to be where the action is
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amother




Magenta


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 6:21 pm
So it just happened again. All 4 kids were sitting at the dinner table. My oldest started singing a song I use for praise and inserting his siblings name. My daughter joined in and sang the song separately for herself and 2 of her siblings. Then she switched the song to negative about my 4.5 yr old (s is the worst..🎶 )
I tried to correct the song. But she sang louder. So I interrupted and told her I would only allow kindness at the table. She persisted. My son silently looked at his plate. I told her to sing a nice song about him or leave the table. She mumbled a nice song. I sent her to her room. And told her siblings that she must’ve been upset about something but it’s not ok to hurt other ppl ever.
Later while my kids were busy I asked my daughter if she knows why I sent her away. She did. Does she know how hurtful that behavior could be. She did. Why did she do it. Cuz she doesn’t like him. Does she understand that as a mom it’s my responsibility to protect my children from physical and emotional harm. She did. So if I c someone intentionally hurting my children I will remove them from the situation. Even fits a different child that I love. Do u want to tell me what’s bothering u that would cause I to hurt someone’s feelings. She hates s.
Maybe I’m makimg this too personal. But I kinda feel like her intention is to hurt me as much as it is to hurt her brother.
This definitely needs professional intervention. But in the meantime I really need any and all advice. Sad
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nchr




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 6:23 pm
If I saw this I would tell her it is not acceptable to talk that way and place her in a time out situation again and again and also offer ideas of how to play together or reframe her words
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 6:27 pm
catch her being good and praise praise praise
when she is even being quiet (not negative) praise

if she "bullies" send her out and give tons of attention to the brother and the other children-- you can discuss this plan/consequence with her and all the children without singling anyone out in advance in a calm time

you can set a rule for everyone not singling out that this is what will happen, bullying behavior person gets sent for a time out, other child and all the other children who did not bully get tons of positive attention, treat, etc.

rules for the whole family
consequences not talk
no one is a "bystander"
no one is intimidated
mom/parent is in charge
everyone is protected
everyone learns what is tolerated and also to stand up for someone else who is being bullied too
id take a hard consistent line right away
calm and matter of fact

hugs and hatzlocha
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imasinger




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 6:55 pm
amother wrote:
Are u suggesting that if I do not identify my daughters behavior as bullying she will stop the behavior?


Wouldn't life be nice if it were that simple? No, this didn't happen overnight, and it won't get resolved overnight.

I'm only saying that a good first step is not to think of her as a bully, but as your little girl who is struggling with something. Right now, she's successfully pushing your buttons. It would help if you were aware of your own childhood history and sensitivity towards hurtful behavior, because if you react emotionally, she gets a lot of attention for this undesirable behavior, and that might encourage it.

Your initial response in the moment, to insist on kindness at the table, was good. But if she "mumbled nice song" and you sent her away anyway, she didn't get rewarded for cooperation. If she feels like she can't win by doing what you ask, that may drive her to further meanness.

When you spoke to her later, you don't mention whether you asked her why she doesn't like her brother. Maybe he is doing some things that really bother her?

Let her know that you will listen sympathetically, and you may find that the things that annoy her are things that can be resolved. She's 6; her resources are limited.

Since this feels so uncomfortable for the family, you may want to seek some parenting classes. It sounds like the 4 year old has some issues, and that can make life difficult for everyone; it's worth getting good advice and help from a parenting coach or therapist.

Please understand that none of this is to criticize or blame you. We all have our quirks and areas to grow. Becoming more aware is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Hatzlacha!
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amother




Cobalt


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 7:15 pm
I think your daughter is jealous of her brother. Usually children are most jealous of their next sibling.
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tigerwife




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 8:19 pm
Maybe focus on your 4.5 year old and teach him to complete ignore the bullying (while assuring him of his good qualities and self worth). Perhaps if your daughter gets no reaction from him then the bullying will get boring.
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amother




Powderblue


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 9:13 pm
I'm more worried about your little boy right now than your daughter.

I don't have good advice but until you get professional help for her I would keep her far away from him.
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familyfirst




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 9:20 pm
Personally I would've reacted way stronger and sent my daughter away from the table the second she started.
Without rachmanus and without discussion. Your first priority is to help your defenseless son. Discussion can follow later in her room. I'd be pretty strong. Your poor boy. Awful😢
She's still young enough to respect a no non sense attitude from you.
Then in the privacy of her room when you calmed down as did she, you can reiterate your stance that this is a no bullying zone and if she ever does that again she will face consequences.
Then you can discuss possible reasons for her bullying and what SHE would do if she were the mom and one child bullied the other.
Her insight may surprise you.

Quite possibly she is being bullied herself and is passing it along...
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amother




Orchid


Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 9:21 pm
imasinger wrote:
Wouldn't life be nice if it were that simple? No, this didn't happen overnight, and it won't get resolved overnight.

I'm only saying that a good first step is not to think of her as a bully, but as your little girl who is struggling with something. Right now, she's successfully pushing your buttons. It would help if you were aware of your own childhood history and sensitivity towards hurtful behavior, because if you react emotionally, she gets a lot of attention for this undesirable behavior, and that might encourage it.

Your initial response in the moment, to insist on kindness at the table, was good. But if she "mumbled nice song" and you sent her away anyway, she didn't get rewarded for cooperation. If she feels like she can't win by doing what you ask, that may drive her to further meanness.

When you spoke to her later, you don't mention whether you asked her why she doesn't like her brother. Maybe he is doing some things that really bother her?

Let her know that you will listen sympathetically, and you may find that the things that annoy her are things that can be resolved. She's 6; her resources are limited.

Since this feels so uncomfortable for the family, you may want to seek some parenting classes. It sounds like the 4 year old has some issues, and that can make life difficult for everyone; it's worth getting good advice and help from a parenting coach or therapist.

Please understand that none of this is to criticize or blame you. We all have our quirks and areas to grow. Becoming more aware is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Hatzlacha!


You are so wise! I think imasinger hit the nail on the head. Why was her singing nice words, even mumbled not good enough?
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amother




Azure


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 6:06 am
imasinger wrote:


Please understand that none of this is to criticize or blame you. We all have our quirks and areas to grow. Becoming more aware is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Hatzlacha!


Sorry that this is off topic from the OP, but I feel compelled to write it.

Most of us already know that imasinger's posts are consistently amazingly insightful.

But everyone . Everyone. Read this last section I quoted. This is what makes her advice so palatable. The idea, firmly rooted in her soul, that seeing someone else grow, and being a part of it, is a privilege for BOTH PARTIES. There is never ever a reason to criticize someone just for the sake of knocking them down. if we could ALL respond to posts with this attitude in mind, this board would be an even happier place. This is in NO WAY intended to denigrate anyone else on the board. Everyone's contribution is important and vital. But I kind of feel that if all of klal Yisrael acted in this way, with consistent kindness to each other, moshiach would be here.
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gande




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 8:14 am
I am thinking an idea would be to try show the 4 year old tons of affection and attention keep telling him how you love him after he is being bullied. Just tell the 6 year old firmly, we dont do that; and that's it. The results would be twofold. The 6 year old will be jealous of all his attention hes getting because of her and that can compell her to stop bullying and your love can mitigate the damage she is doing to him.
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amother




Orchid


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 9:37 am
gande wrote:
I am thinking an idea would be to try show the 4 year old tons of affection and attention keep telling him how you love him after he is being bullied. Just tell the 6 year old firmly, we dont do that; and that's it. The results would be twofold. The 6 year old will be jealous of all his attention hes getting because of her and that can compell her to stop bullying and your love can mitigate the damage she is doing to him.

It sounds like the 4 year old already gets a lot of love from mom and the 6 year old is jealous. So could make it worse.
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amother




Aquamarine


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 10:11 am
Why isn't the 6 year old being disciplined? What are the consequences for her bad behavior?
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ShishKabob




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Feb 05 2019, 11:11 am
Imasinger, I love the advice that you gave. So many times we as the mothers complicate the situation by involving ourselves too much emotionally. They are both our children and both need to be dealt with, with rachmanus and chochma.
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