Question of the Day: How Do You Handle A Little Bully?

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous sent this question to RF:

Robert, I know you are busy but would like to ask your opinion on how to handle a situation. My daughter is four years old in a private pre school. There is a boy there (not pictured above) that plays a little rough and I have spoken to the teachers about her coming home complaining about him being mean to her. Today I pick her up at their play time and see the boy being a little aggressive towards another kid, but not physical. I get in the car with my kid and ask her if that boy has been playing nice she tells me that just today he pointed his finger at her and says “I’m shooting you dead” . . .

These kids are four years old. I know you have daughters and wanted your input on how I should handle this with my kid and with the school. I’m obviosly pro-2A and don’t mind kids playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. I just feel that they might be a little young to understand these things fully and she’s a girl. I appreciate any insight you provide as to how to handle this.

comments

  1. avatar dom says:

    .17HMR’s ?

    1. avatar Hinshelworld says:

      ^ this guy

    2. avatar Nine says:

      I’m partial to .22WMR myself.

  2. Talk to the kids parents is the most civilized and least cowardly thing to do.
    If the parents fail to set him straight about consensual play, tell your daughter
    to stay away from him because he doesn’t respect individuals and neither do his parents.

    1. “If the parents fail to set him straight about consensual play, tell your daughter
      to stay away from him because he doesn’t respect individuals and neither do his parents.”

      That is easier said than done in the confines of a small school. If the parents fail to make the child behave the only choices are to get the administrative staff involved or find a different school.

      1. avatar DB says:

        Teachers won’t do jack to stop them and the aggressive kids always seek out the timid. Enroll your kids into self defense class and tell them the next time he attacks them kick his ass and even if they can’t get the job don the first time never back down and the guy will leave them alone. I was a skinny little kid that got picked on a lot. One day I said screw it and laid into one of my tormentors. I kicked his butt. Got into another fight a few weeks later. I dint win but I didn’t lose either. I was surprised my imagination had made these guys out to be tougher than me. No one ever picked on me again. Other kids were easier pickings. My wife had a similar experience in grade school. However all of the other girls in the class were as fed up with the guy as she was and they all jumped him at the same time and beat the crap out of him. He bothered no one after that.

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          What DB said. My daughter just turned 6 and has periodically had issues with bullies both in pre-k and kindergarten. She and I have spent a lot of time working through bully-psychology, how to deal with them verbally, and eventually how to deal with them physically. Bullies look for victims, and personally fussing over some punk kid making finger guns at your daughter makes me wonder if you aren’t raising a victim.

          Have your daughter thump the kid’s ass and be done with it.

        2. avatar Mina says:

          Seconded. Kids need to learn early to settle these things themselves. A very good lesson.

          Even for girls.

        3. avatar Oddux says:

          +1 for self defense classes.
          -1 for kicking his ass.

          The key to the self defense classes will be the confidence she gains. Bullies target the timid. Learn what he says too, so you can counter his influence. Keep talking to her, positive and negative talk are all taken in by the subconscious of young impressionable minds.

          Always tell her how strong she is, how smart, how kind. She’ll start to take on those attributes. Most self defense classes are designed to help build confidence as well (this is why they always break boards, it’s a silly but effective way of making kids feel powerful).

          When she’s not the vulnerable target he wants, he’ll move on. If he doesn’t and tries to escalate things, well then she knows how to fight back if it becomes physical.

        4. avatar Stinkeye says:

          I’m on board with this. No amount of being talked at by his parents and teachers will stick with this little turd quite like having his ass kicked by a girl.

        5. avatar EagleScout87 says:

          @Oddux…

          read the post. “The next time he attacks them” DB didn’t say “go find him and kick his ass”. It’s a self-defense situation, even at 4 years old. If the boy attacks, kick his ass. Bullies only learn one way.

      2. avatar R says:

        My experience with bullies is that they are always bigger, stronger and more aggressive that the victim. I never saw a small, skinny kid win against a bully,
        that’s all BS. The way to deal with them is suspension, then expulsion. Then let their parents deal with their little creeps by paying for private school that deals with miscreants.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          +1,000,000,000!

          “always bigger, stronger and more aggressive that the victim.”

          Sounds sickeningly like the US Military-Industial complex. Ike tried to warn us, but we didn’t listen. Sigh.

    2. avatar Jim says:

      Try to talk to the parents first. We live in a world full of pussies who run to an authority figure to solve their problems rather than talking directly to the person they have issues with. It is much more kind to quietly talk with the parents first. Then later, if the problem persists, involve an administrator.

    3. avatar Mike Crognale says:

      The cure is in the kids. Have your daughter get all her friends to shun him. Nobody plays with him. When he tries to get involved have the girls, just the girls, holler at him something like, “Go away, we don’t like you. We won’t play with you.” If he persists get the boys involved. This has to be nipped in the bud, right now.

      1. avatar Chip in Florida says:

        This!

        Take away the bullies audience and you take away most of the bullies power.

    4. avatar CoolBreeze72 says:

      …and keep talking to your daughter about it. I have found that preschool teachers are intimidated by the bully and the bully’s parents. You may have to “intervene”.

    5. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Do NOT go directly to the parents! Go to the responsible individual at the school and let them deal with it. They are the employee of the author after all, and the one who pays the piper calls the tune.

      But I’d strongly recommend against going directly to the parents. That will only set them off, as parents like that always believe that their little angel could do no wrong. That’s how the little rat got to be that way in the first place; similar to the way that pit bullvicious dog owners should be held accountable for any damage their pet causes.

      But be sure that the school folks are tightly involved in any action you take.

  3. avatar peirsonb says:

    “Aggressive but not physical”

    At 4 years old I’m tempted to chalk that up to “kids”.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Pretty much. My 10 month old whacked my Weimaraner in the face when she went in for an enthusiastic sniffing. The dog wasn’t happy, but she’s fine. That’s a kid being a kid and a dog being a dog. Back in the day, we played rough as kids. I’ll bet kids still knock each other’s block towers down. The treachers should be perfectly capable of giving a child a time out if they get too rough. If you ask me, we could use a whole lot more olde school resilience and a whole lot less sensitivity.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        I plainly remember, at the age of 5 or 6, my mother getting a phone call from my older brother’s school. He was being running around, yelling, and wouldn’t sit in his desk. My mother’s response, to the teacher: “Hit him.”

    2. avatar PeterK says:

      Hard to help without being there I think. My daughter talks about killing all the time, haha. She plays with a boy who sounds a little like that, but it’s all real silly. No malice.

      She also got bit at school which is not okay. If you and the teachers aren’t on the same page about what is okay then you need to get there I think, otherwise you will never have peace of mind.

      Kids are complicated. Probably try not getting swept up in the blame game and just try to get your daughter comfortable. She may just have to tell the kid to back off, though.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        “it’s all real silly. No malice.”

        You nailed the “bigger” problem in that there are FAR too many people in this country who are incapable of making that distinction.

  4. avatar Stephen M. says:

    Teach her about boy parts and how to throw a solid knee. It’ll only take once….

    1. avatar B says:

      I taught my littlest sister to do a pinkie lock. Its kind of scary how good she is at it.

  5. avatar jimbthepilot says:

    Educate your child at home. And, start them in the ongoing “Applied Ballistics” class early.

  6. avatar gloomhound says:

    Reason number #2426 as to why I homeschool.

    1. avatar Mike says:

      this. And all the kids I’ve met in the homeschool groups act like kids and their parents are nice too and this isn’t an issue…

      It is worth sayin that at this age, the parents might have something to do with this, and unless your daughter can confront him on his own terms, then the school should be involved with the bullying aspect. Its a private pre-school, and they have the obligation to ensure the welfare of each student is loooked after. Otherwise, its a business decision to find a better environment for your daughter, because in most cases (not all, but most), if the kid is a little shit, the parents arn’t any better either.

    2. avatar S.CROCK says:

      so they don’t interact in regular encounters with other children?

      1. avatar jimbthepilot says:

        Here we go… the old “lack of socialization” myth…
        Yes, they have regular interactions with other children.
        And adults.
        Teens.
        Grandparents.
        Volunteer at nursing homes, church nurseries, etc.
        Learn how to interact appropriately with people of all ages.
        Our aim is to raise a child to a functioning adult.
        Most schools now raise children to be children in adult bodies.
        Big difference.

        1. avatar brian says:

          @jimthepilot +1000

      2. avatar brian says:

        @Crock. Yeah because the only way they can socialize is with the Fu<ktards at school who are under supervised and often under parented at home. Yea!!! for socializing. #hashtagsarelameandsoisyourcomment

        1. avatar S.CROCK says:

          @brian
          i am used to getting flack from my anti homeschool comments. i just know to many homeschoolers who are just weird and have horrible social skills. learning how to be a good person even around idiots is a valuable lesson.

          #icouldntcarelesswhatyouthink

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          The reason you’re getting flack for your homeschool comments is that they are by and large out of date.

          When I was in school 20+ years ago, the homeschool kids were often shy and socially inept. But that’s no longer true today unless the parents want it that way. When I was in school, the homeschooled kids were the extreme exceptions, and the parents were often a little weird, too. They were frequently the type of people who didn’t just shun the public school system, but shunned the entire modern world for reasons moral, religious, or philosophical. Thus, the kids were denied virtually any social outlet. Also, because home schooling was relatively rare, there was very little support structure for those parents or kids.

          Nowadays, you’ve got lots of otherwise perfectly normal families deciding to pull their kids out of school. Often those families have normal social interactions with the outside world in every other way, they’re simply pulling their kids out of public schools because, and only because, they disapprove of the curriculum. Because there are so many more of them today, there are whole (large) organizations that have grown up around them, such as parent/teacher support groups and even groups with the specific goal of socializing the kids. Also, while 20 years ago most student-age recreation and sport revolved around schools, now there are many opportunities for kids to engage in those activities without a school affiliation.

          The point being that yeah, 20+ years ago, the homeschool kids weren’t well socialized, and you had to work hard to fight that. Nowadays, you almost have to work just as hard to keep them unsocialized. Your comments are fairly outdated, and simply show that you are unaware of the situation as it exists today.

      3. avatar Drew says:

        You teach them how to act, respect and confidence largely. You do this by example and consistency. And when they are exposed to people who act different they will have the ability to maintain their sense of self. They will be less likely to either tolerate abuse be pulled into inappropriate activities or feel the need to use abusive persuasion when confronted with views and ideas not in line with their own.

        1. avatar S.CROCK says:

          @ Matt in FL
          I agree that over the past 20 years homeschooling has been becoming a better option. But my comments are based on current experiences (with two of my neighbors).

          P.S. I love your daily digest articles.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Your neighbors are doing it wrong. 🙂

          And thanks.

      4. avatar Karina says:

        Being homeschooled doesn’t necessarily mean becoming an antisocial fuck with little social experience.

        Your experience may have taught you that the homeschooled people you witnessed are weird and asocial, thus leading you to think: “homeschooling is a bad idea”.

        My experience taught me: Quality of education is everything. You are entitled to your own opinion, but it is respectfully that I will tell you that the flak you receive is deserved because your opinion is legitimately misguided.

        Homeschooled people turning out weird and/or asocial underline other problems, not that homeschooling is inherently bad. Blame the inept educators turning up the weird kids you met… not their choice of letting their kid go to school or not.

  7. avatar WoodyTX says:

    “That’s a rude thing to say,” followed by ignoring him.

  8. avatar Kyle in CT says:

    +1 on talking to the parents first. If that doesn’t work talk to the administration and tell them in no uncertain terms that you are teaching your daughter self-defense (also follow through with that) and if she feels physically threatened she is to do what she needs to in order to halt the threat. Also follow it up in writing to the appropriate person via certified mail with a letter detailing what has happened, what was discussed, and what action is expected on the school’s part. That sends a clear message that if something happens between the kids, the school had ample warning, and their lack of action opens them up to liability. It also gives you good ground to stand on to defend any of your daughter’s actions, because it shows pre-existing problems, making it hard for them to make the case that she is the aggressor. Nothing says “I mean business” like a legal-ese worded letter informing someone of their exposure to liability.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Teaching a four year old “self defense” and how to “stop the threat?” Really?

      I’m torn between “kids being kids” and “nip it in the bud,” but teaching a four year old to “stop the threat” is definitely not on my list of possible solutions. It’s a four year old. It’s your job to protect them at that age.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        One could argue that teaching your kids how to handle themselves IS protecting them, unless you’re a helicopter parent and can be present for every interaction your child has with any given person you can’t actively protect your child 24/7.

        And to cut you off at the pass, if you don’t think 4, 5, 6 etc is a good age to teach a kid to defend him/herself then at what age? 12? 16? Start young, spend a lot of time with it. Take the mystery and the “fun” out of fighting and they won’t be as inclined to knock somebody’s ass around for kicks. Strangely enough, I approach my children scrapping and their ability to do so much like firearms. Baby steps and loads of education.

      2. avatar Kyle in CT says:

        I’ve personally taught kids as young as 5 in taekwondo classes. Obviously, at that age it’s very different than teaching a 16 year old. Self-defense for them is bending back a finger if someone grabs you. “Stop the threat” is adult language, I was assuming someone would have the sense to phrase it appropriately for the situation. No one is suggesting the kid learn krav maga, just age appropriate ways to stop other kids from hurting them.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          OK, I guess I understand where you’re coming from. I didn’t really take issue with the “physically threatened” part, because kids know when they’re scared. On the other hand, I’m not sure a four year old can differentiate between physically threatened and just scared. The big scary monster on the movie screen is scary because you think it’s going to come get you, in real life.

          As to the rest, if you’ve trained kids that young, I’ll bow to your superior knowledge. I haven’t done that, so I don’t know at what age they’d be receptive to “self-defense” type training. My concern, I suppose, would be their ability to recognize situations and respond appropriately. When is it “OK” to do this, and when is it not? I suppose if I had to make a choice, I’d choose to err on the side of “protect yourself and we’ll sort it out later.”

      3. avatar Cliff H says:

        “It’s a four year old. It’s your job to protect them at that age.”

        Here’s the issue that is frequently missed – Bullies, at whatever age, tend to be aggressive/dominant/extrovert personality types. They seek out and bully passive/quiet/introvert types, or those who are physically small and seem unthreatening from that standpoint. To advise that a passive/introvert “stand up to” the bully is to simply pile another “lose!” on the poor kid’s plate, because that is not their forte. This is the VERY SAME reason we have police and that we as a society look with favor on Good Samaritans, because some people cannot either physically or emotionally defend themselves against domineering bullies. Since this little girl is not mature enough to bring an “equalizer” to bear other than some form of greater authority such as school admin or parents, that must be the reasonable choice.

        And there is a good life lesson to be learned in this: Handle the situation yourself, if you are able, but there are people who can and will help if you need them.

        Oh, and kicking a 4 year old boy in the nats is going to be entirely ineffective as the testicles do not descend until puberty. Would be a really good way to piss him off and escalate his aggression, however.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Uh, no. The testicles should be outside the body at birth. If they’re not, there’s an issue. The scrotum might descend away from the body upon reaching puberty, because that’s when sperm production starts and must be temperature regulated, but everything that’s going to be outside the body should be outside the body at birth. If not, it’s usually corrected surgically very shortly thereafter.

      4. avatar Rich Grise says:

        +100000!. It’s not the job of a 4-year-old kid to deal with the crapola of life – their job is to run and play and learn how to climb on the monkey bars without hurting themselves too badly. It’s the job of responsible adults to keep them safe while they learn how to live in the real world.

        1. avatar Tarrou says:

          Umm, that IS the real world. And that is how they learn.

  9. avatar Orton Fallswell says:

    Get his autograph, he will be president someday.

  10. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    How times have changed. I am remembering gun god Jack O’Connor in his autobiography. Kid bullying him at school, goes to grandpa for advice. Get a club and wait for him in the bushes Jack. OConnor did and beat the kid senseless. I guess turn of the century Arizona was different.

    Horse and Buggy West: A Boyhood on the
    Last Frontier (1969)

    1. avatar Alaskan Patriot says:

      I have read many books written about Jack O’Connor’s hunting successes, and it’s some of my favorite reading of all time. He twice made a Grand Slam on North American big game with a .270 Winchester, which I love to point out to people touting their shoulder-cannon calibers.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        I know a lot of hunters that operate under the notion that hunters need anti-aircraft weaponry to take down game.

        A hunting deer buddy scoffed at me for suggesting the 30-06 to a new hunter in the market to down some hogs.

        He touted the 300 win mag, or nothing, for pig hunting, all I could say was,”Dude, it’s a pig, not a buffalo.”

        I don’t know, maybe I’m just old school, but I’ve never put a 30-06 round through an animal without it dying immediately after.

        1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

          “I don’t know, maybe I’m just old school…”

          Old school is the only school. After a half century of gun stuff, I realize that the latter half of the 19th century probably saw the most creative time of cartridges. They were coming out of the blackpowder front stuffers. Within a couple of decades they quickly had classic rounds like 6.5x55mm, 7x57mm, 7.62x54R, 30-30, 30-06, 270, 45-70, etc. All of which as you said, made lots of animals (an quite a few humans) expire on every continent in the world. I love to sit down and spend an hour or so browsing “Cartridges of the World” for the so-called out of date rounds. LOL

      2. avatar Jeff says:

        Just anecdotal.. My dad hunted with a .270 Win for nearly 30 years, until he bought into the hype and bought himself a .270 WSM about five years ago. He took that rifle hunting one season and immediately traded it in for a nice new Browning in the good old .270 Win.

        I shot the .270 WSM once, not a fun rifle to shoot. Way too much muzzle blast, rise, and recoil. Ammo and reloading components priced sky-high. Magazine capacity sucks for almost all commercial rifles in that chambering.

        I can’t complain because I got my dad’s very nice 1970s BSA CF2 .270 out of the deal.

        The range of loadings in .270 Win is so huge, it can do almost anything you want it to do, from varmints to very large game.

  11. avatar dwb says:

    Not sure why being a girl has anything to do with this. I have not found 4 year olds to be particularly reasonable people, nor do they come with a built-in sense of appropriate boundaries.

    Seems to me, on a scale of what I have seen 4-year-old do, like tantrums and biting, this is pretty benign, which in no way is to dismiss the girls feelings.

    Personally I want my daughter to stick up for herself, because school is not the first, last, or only time she will encounter a bully, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Also, parents have a blind spot for their own kids, and I’ve found that a lot of the bullies have issues at home, so talking the the parents does not really work. Teachers and parents are not there 24/7 to monitor kids, or keep them separate.

    There are lots of ways she can turn the tables, staying under the radar, without getting in trouble. She can pretend shes a character with special powers to repel bullets. She can give the boy a great big smooch and say now you have cooties (that’s my favorite actually). I tend to discourage getting physical though in schools. While I am proud that my daughter knows how to throw a punch if needed (taken martial arts), usually the teachers get there late, its a he/said she said situation, and there is at least a 50% chance they punish the wrong person: they focus on the loudest, or if they are there late, the last and maybe only things they saw.

  12. avatar JoshuaS says:

    I sometimes think that there was a good reason for having single sex education in younger years.

    Boys are supposed to get aggressive at times, take risks, get hurt, and a little bit of bullying (and I mean the everyday sort, not the egregious examples) is natural. But I am not so sure that such is true in a girl’s development.

    The problem in many schools is a very stupid policy called zero tolerance. It hog ties the teachers and administrators. We love to go after them when they call the cops or expel a student for a minor offense. We forget that under the rules set for them those are often the only options. So much of the time, at best, they will ask the bully to apologize and have no punishment, even when such behavior is clearly more than your normal childhood tauntings and fights. Take a student that is constantly bullied and harassed, but where each individual instance falls short of physical abuse, and you will often find teachers/admins sweeping the behavior under the rug. Because they get in the habit of doing so for individual cases, because they are hog tied by zero tolerance.

    1. avatar juliesa says:

      Single sex ed is wonderful for both sexes. The schools I went to separated the sexes from third to twelfth grade. Those schools are coed now, so the options are reduced.

  13. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    This is a great time to talk to your daughter about being self reliant, and tolerant at the same time. To teach the lesson of be nice…until its time to not be nice. You would be surprised how kids grasp a simple concept like that. Avoid if you can, confront if you must.

    Talking to the parents would be of no use, since little Billy is probably mirroring his parents and escalating up to the administration would be premature.

    Kids will be kids, it will sort itself out. Just give her the tools to make her own decisions and be supportive when she does. Tiger parents do their children no favors.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Is this the proper time to point out that Adam Lanza was bullied in school and no one did anything effective to either acknowledge it or deal with it?

      1. avatar Mina says:

        Boys being bullied is a bit different because boys know in their hearts that being able to fight back is part of being a man. Boys being bullied gives them a sense of desperation and belittlement that a girl won’t feel.

        OTOH a girl being able to put back a boy bully will teach them both a good lesson. The boy will learn that bullying little girls gets him nowhere the little girl will learn that defending herself is not a bad strategy.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “boys know in their hearts that being able to fight back is part of being a man”

          That never worked for me. The authorities never saw the bullies bullying me, but as soon as I tried to fight back, THAT’s what the authorities saw, and I’m the one who got in trouble while the bully sits and gloats.

  14. avatar Kendahl says:

    Have you discussed the problem boy with other parents? Just asking them if their children have trouble with him should be sufficient to plant the thought. It’s easier for the school to ignore one complaining parent than to correct the problem. Ignoring several is harder especially when they risk losing several clients instead of just one.

  15. avatar Don Urbatsch says:

    I have a hard time understanding the methods being pursued by the anti bullying crowd. I’m not condoning bullying by any means. It just happens to be my opinion the our society as a whole would be a lot better off if we focused on teaching all children how not to be a victim. If they learn how not to be a victim as children I am speculating that they will grow into adults that are not victims. Bullies and criminals can spot a victim a mile away and chose those soft targets as their prey.

  16. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Tell her to wait until no teachers are looking and then slap the shit out of the boy. Bullies pick on easy targets, don’t want to be picked on, don’t be an easy target, that what I tell my kids.

    If she gets narced on by the bully, tell her to just say, “my daddy said I could do it…”

    You will no doubt get a call from school, and you can simply explain you teach your child to defend herself against bullies. She may get in some trouble, but it will no doubt take care of the bully problem. Sometimes you gotta get dirt to get stuff done.

    Don’t treat your kids like the anti folks want to treat us, gun owners- don’t fight back when attacked, just sit there and take it, tell a grown up, and we’ll make up rules to stop people that don’t give shit about rules- its bullshit.

    How is a bully any different from criminals, both want to impose their will upon weaker people by force.

    An ass whoopin’ is universally understood, some time the good guys (and girls) gotta throw down, rules be damned, it’s just the way of the world.

    1. avatar Alaskan Patriot says:

      I second this concept whole-heartedly.

      In my grade school days there were more than a few times that I got into fights. Sometimes a kid just didn’t know when to leave me alone, and sometimes it was mutual conflict between a friend and myself, and that’s how it was resolved. Either way, it worked.

      Parents were called, but when my father asked if everyone survived the ordeal and the principal reluctantly admitted that we were not in fact the little juvenile delinquents he wished us to be, my dad would say “so what’s the problem?” and hang up.

      My, how times have changed.

      1. avatar JoshuaS says:

        I am not so sure about that course of action. Do we wish to teach children that when someone harasses you verbally, you should resort to physical violence?

        Don’t get me wrong. There are times when a punk deserves it. The last time I hit someone in school was when the guy was trying to goad me. I was ignoring him. So he decided to make an extremely offensive comment about a girl that I was friends with. I hit him so hard he drew blood. He never did that again…

        I am not so sure I was right to do that. But even if I were, there is a big difference between taking offense over someone insulting you, and taking offense when they harm another. A thick skin served me far better than lashing back through most of my years. And I was constantly, unceasingly bullied because I was handicapped. Only time (other than the HS incident) I threw punches was when the bullying became physical. And in elementary school most bullies know nothing about fighting (whereas I did and was used to taking punches due to a devil of a brother). So when they went physical, I put a quick stop to it. And they never tattled because, as the handicapped bullied child the teacher would probably take my side and perhaps out of shame.

        But when the bullying is less than physical…no. I don’t think hitting is the answer. Bullies want a reaction. Don’t give them one.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          “Bullies want a reaction. Don’t give them one.”

          Hear, hear! Don’t try to wrestle with a pig. You get all covered in muck, and the pig enjoys it. (no offense to actual swine intended).

        2. avatar Troutbum5 says:

          I was a scrawny 4-eyed bookworm until puberty and contact lenses. And being a military brat, was frequently the new kid in school. So I was tested by bullies quite a bit. Dad’s rule was, no swinging until they touched me or got up in my face and threatened me. At which point I was to finish the fight, win or lose. I lost as many as I won, but the bullying stopped, from all of the little assholes. And I developed a pretty tough skin from ignoring the taunts…except for the kid who said something unacceptable about my Mom.

          I say clear her in hot to deck him IF he so much as touches her, then threaten the principal with a lawsuit for failure to protect your daughter if he wants to call the cops or pull some of the other gutless crap they like to pull to avoid doing their jobs.

          If that doesn’t work, call the principal and DEMAND a meeting with him/her and the parents, and the kids, first thing the next morning. Take control at the meeting, and make it perfectly clear that the situation is unacceptable, and you won’t tolerate it. I works. The one time I couldn’t dissuade a bully on my own, my Dad did just that, showed up in uniform, and went all Colonel on the principal and the kid. I rather enjoyed not being at the blunt end of one of his awesome (in the true definition of the word, he could, and probably did several times, put a tough old E-8 in tears) ass-chewings for a change. At which point his mom grabbed him by the ear, pulled him up to her face, and ripped him a new one. Problem solved, and I actually gained a friend.

          Bottom line is, a bully, and school administrators, tend to respond to direct and assertive action. Bullies are essentially cowards (as are more than a few principals these days), and once properly cowed, go away.

        3. avatar DB says:

          Guys all of you have good points. My girls will be enrolling in martial arts classes. A big problem with teachers today is they get no training on how to deal with aggressive kids. They want them drugged out rather than do behavior modification even when other kids are getting injured. It might hurt the shitheads self esteem. I have personally spoken to the teacher and the principal. Nicely but directly. Basically said the violence against my girls is going to stop as they don’t want to see me again about this.
          Troutbum5, I’m an ex Army officer probably cut from the same cloth as your father. Do your job and stay out of trouble and life in my unit will be wonderful. But don’t ever piss me off. Kids will be kids but some of these little shitheads are crossing the line.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      If you promote this sort of response, even assuming your child has the emotional character to follow through, do not be surprised to see that child return home from school bruised and bloodied. Unless a counter-attack against a bully is “speed and violence of action” the chances are that a less aggressive individual will make an ineffective assault and get their ass kicked for their troubles.

      You cannot make a blanket statement that the correct solution to bullies is to counter-attack since all people are different, THAT’s why some of ’em are bullies! And never forget that some of the people who aspire to and attain administrative positions are also bullies and may not react as you would hope in response to physical altercations, no matter how justified you or your child may consider them to be.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        I spent a large portion of my youth in a predominantly Mexican area, as a half white, half Latino kid (that looks white with a white boy name), let’s just say I had to fight once or twice.

        Win, lose, or draw, get in trouble, or not, sometimes you gotta take a stand, or you spend lot of time getting run over by people who are stronger.

        1. avatar DB says:

          You are right. At some time you have to take a stand. You may have gotten you butt kick a few times but in the end people started leaving you alone. They would rather go after someone who was afraid to fight back.

    3. avatar Mina says:

      yep and the chances are good that once she breaks the flood gates, one of the boys will stand in for her and take over. there is little chance she will be left to fight on her own. unless we have succeeded in grooming out all of the cojones from all of the boys country-wide by now.

  17. avatar Paul B says:

    Talk with the teacher and engage the parents. Also teach the daughter what to do, and after everyone is involved let the kids duke it out. It is amazing how much of this can be stopped when kids are allowed to actually defend them selves.

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    1. Talk nicely to parents of offending boy. If that doesn’t work,
    2. Talk nicely to school administrators. If that doesn’t work,
    3. Ask family lawyer to write a nice letter to administrators. Okay, forget nice. Good lawyers don’t do “nice.”

    1. avatar dwb says:

      If you give a person a fish, you feed them for one day. If you teach them to fish, they can feed themselves. This will not be the first and only time the child encounters a bully, and the parents and teachers will not always be around (plus, parents have a blind spot for their own kids). Helicopter parenting produces children who get to be 30 and cannot make decisions without consulting Mommy and Daddy. As for getting the lawyers involved, the legal system is not the solution to every problem, and it will get pretty damn expensive to litigate the disputes of every 4 year old.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        it will get pretty damn expensive to litigate

        There won’t be any litigation as none will be required. Bureaucrats often soil their panties when the word “lawyer” is mentioned. A letter should do the job. And if it doesn’t, the school will end up paying the lawyer’s fee.

        As for the girl who is getting bullied, she’s four years old and she’s a girl. Ninja training is out of the question for now.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I have grand daughters living with me. The great thing is that at that age the girls have better hand eye coordination and are just as developed as the boys physically. When my 7 yo was 5 she curb stomped a bully, a boy, to the point that the yard duty had to pull her off him.

          The duty, a large Samoan looking dude, still gives her props and she has never been bothered since. And the little snot, I mean boy, has to share school space with a bunch of kids that know a little girl kicked his ass.

          I patiently awaited an encounter with his angry parents or admins. Neither came.

        2. avatar Cliff H says:

          No need to pay a lawyer at this point. Pick a legal firm from the phone book (remember those?) and write the letter yourself:

          I have been in contact with my lawyers (place the name of the firm here) regarding this matter of (Johnny Doe) bullying my daughter at your school. If the school administration fails to address and resolve this matter in a timely fashion I will instruct them to draw up a suit against your school and the school board.

          Sincerely,

          That would probably elicit a response.

        3. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I would advise against using “The Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe” in your letter, though.

  19. avatar ChuckN says:

    Given that she’s 4 I’d start with something simple(er) like Judo.
    Leave the more complex/aggressive/dangerous forms (Krav
    Maga, Systema etc…) until atleast middle school.

    On a more serious note on legalities, don’t stop at talking to
    teachers, administrators or the parents if the problem remains.
    Send a written letter. If anything escalates send one return
    receipt or better yet from an attorney’s office. And don’t stop at
    one either; anytime there is an incident send something.
    A letter(s) make it far harder for a school to ignore or, if
    necessary, weasel out of their own culpability in a court room.
    Multiple letters will establish a pattern of behavior issues and
    also show a failure to correct. Yes kids will be kids and schools
    do overreact from time to time; however they also often ignore
    true bullies and actively kick the can down the road rather than
    deal with any serious behavior issues. I’ve seen far too many
    kids with minor issues turn into terrors later on simply because
    they received zero discipline and guidance during their formative
    years.

  20. avatar lolinski says:

    I will probably be called old-fashioned and bloodthirsty but I will say my opinion:

    Teach your kid to beat up the bully, dont encourage her to beat up the bully. But if push comes to shove its better to be expelled for a couple of days than becoming a weak person.

  21. I had a situation like that last year. My 4 year old was riding the bus to speech therapy when a 7 year old started ripping her clothes, spitting on her and touching her crotch. The school will ignore it, so you have to pursue it ruthlessly but calmly. The calm part is crucial. The little bastard got the terribly harsh punishment of coloring her a picture from their principal, so I found out who his parents were, asked around and found out that he was a student at a dojo in town and that dad was just as bad as son. I went in and talked to his Sensei and senior instructors and the end result was that he was thrown out of the dojo and stripped of his membership with the governing body for life after it was determined that he used his training to assault her. Gotta play dirty sometimes. Or just even the odds a little…

  22. avatar sbk510 says:

    My wife and I had a similar situation with our 4-year-old son. We both ended up telling our son to beat the kids ass. Then we told the teachers at school that we had given permission for our son to beat the kids ass. That pretty much took care of it.

  23. avatar Will says:

    Boys are always mean to girls until puberty. Then things get turned around. If you think a four year old wants to shoot her talk to his dad.

  24. avatar Will says:

    Haven’t you heard of the “He-man Woman Haters Club – Spanky, President – Alfafa, Vice-President – Buckwheat, Secretary?

  25. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    My solution when my son was a scrawny little 8 year old.

    Whilst meeting with the teacher and principal, I openly told him to wait till the teacher wasn’t looking pick up the biggest book you have, and beat the bully in the back of the head until you are too tired to beat him or someone pulls you off.

    The bully was in a different classroom the next day.

  26. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    If she were to give him a good kick to the *@#* while all the other little ones watched, the little brat would most likely move on to another easy victim. I was always much smaller than the other kids, but I never backed down even if I had to take a beating. The bullies would then move on to someone who wouldn’t fight back. Bullies don’t like being hit, because they enjoy watching you cower while the others watch. Violence isn’t always the answer, but sometimes it’s a solution.

  27. avatar Shaky Dave says:

    Be careful. Depending on who your administrators and juvenile officers are, you can wind up hiring that lawyer anyway just to defend your daughter in juvenile court. I had a client back in the early 1980s whose 8 year old hit a 12 year old thug with a stick and was charged with assault with a weapon. The juvie officer kept going back to “he used a WEAPON!!!”

    There was a satisfactory outcome but the parents and child had to sweat removal for six months and a judicial hearing, all because of a witless ninny with a badge. I’d bet my last buck if she takes classes and whips this jerk before going the admin route the po po will howl that was the wrong thing to do. Nanny society has it’s tentacles everywhere.

  28. avatar Brooklyn in da house says:

    This is a gun blog right? Did everyone who commented miss the part where it says “he pointed his finger at her and says I’m shooting you dead”. Everyone is commenting about bullying but no one is addressing that a 4 year old is talking about shooting another dead. It doesnt seem like a bullying issue rather a troubled kid issue. Also its just silly to say that a 4 year old should use physical violence to solve the problem. Thats why the antis think we are a bunch of nut jobs.

    1. avatar Mina says:

      kids do that shit all the time. so what?

      1. avatar Brooklyn in da house says:

        You realize they are 4? Theres a difference if both kids are just playing and messing around. If the kid is a bully and talks about shooting kids dead thats not good. In my opinion a 4 year old shouldnt even know what that means. Its one thing if you want to teach your kid about life and death its another when the kid is talking about shooting someone to death.

    2. avatar ChuckN says:

      Then again many of the antis, who absolutely abhor violence in
      any form (unless it’s against civil rights advocates of course), are
      the ones who think they can reason with a toddler instead of
      using a judicial spanking when needed. But we’re still the ones
      who are crazy. Granted effectiveness of certain punishments
      vary from kid to kid, but discussions of consequences are
      usually too esoteric for young minds (or many adults for that
      matter). Here’s an activity for you; ask around about bullies at
      your local school. It’s a safe bet that at least one is from a family
      that only talks things out rather than using any other form of
      discipline (time-outs, spankings etc…). It’s also a safe bet that
      the family will go into complete denial and swear that the
      hooligan they’ve trained is a model child.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      The proper response for her would then be to clutch her chest, say, “Aaaugh! OK. I’m dead. You win. You don’t have to shoot me any more. Have a nice day.”

      It sickens me to see the number of people who would train a 4-year-old kid to respond to “bang bang you’re dead” by initiating violence.

  29. avatar Jason M. says:

    Grab your AR-15 and teach that little son of a bitch a lesson! Just show him what ‘I’m shooting you dead’ means. I bet he won’t have the balls saying this again after you put a cap in his little sorry ass. Back then we beat the kids with our belts for saying such stupid things, guess we should reintroduce that or better just get rid of those little fuckers completely, Mr 5,56×45 does the job quickly and effectivly. I don’t want such kids around, today they say that they shoot you dead and then they become Mass Murders and Rapists at Highschool age. Better get rid of those piles of human waste before it’s not too late.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      “Mr 5,56×45 does the job quickly and effectivly.”

      On what, paper? How many kids have you shot with yours?

      When you combine crazy with poor spelling and grammar, all I can visualize is some pathetic soul pounding away at his keyboard, pausing only long enough to wipe the spittle from his screen so he can read his own fevered words.

    2. avatar Jim R says:

      Thanks, but we’re all stocked up on crazy. Go peddle yours somewhere else.

      1. avatar Duncan Idaho says:

        Whoa, Jason, don’t cut yourself on that edge.

    3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Normally, I try not to feed the trolls.
      But whoa.
      You need to go somewhere else Jason.
      That was some vile spittle.

    4. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

      Swing and a miss, and that’s being generous. Ths bizarre post was more like stumbling from the dugout, wetting yourself, then mooning the mascot before asking “Did I win?”

      Utterly unfunny attempt at being edgy. Poor timing and poor taste. We’ve all laid an egg or two in our time in here, but kidding about killing kids constitutes laying a big heaping, steaming pile of something else entirely.

  30. avatar Jim R says:

    Talk to the parents first. If they say they’ll do something about it, wait and see if they actually DO before popping the champagne.

    If the parents insist that little Jayden or Brayden or whatever his name is is “a perfect little angel who’d never ever do ANYTHING like be mean to someone and how dare you accuse my little snowflake” (the far more likely scenario), go to the administration and explain what’s going on–and have PROOF. Otherwise it’s your word against theirs and they’re going to side with whoever gets there first.

    Teach your child to stand up for herself. Either the bullying will stop, or she’ll learn to ignore the little punk.

  31. avatar lowhouse5 says:

    It’s pretty simple.
    My 19 year old daughter has had this drilled into her head since she was little…
    “Boys are stupid”
    Her two older brothers and dad agree with this statement.

    Ignore the boy and walk away.
    If he gets physical with you, kick him.
    Hard.

    Encourage her to play a sport and as she grows she will become very confident in her abilities.
    13 years of extremely competitive soccer and I worry a little less about my daughter.
    I’ve seen the cleat marks.

  32. avatar James1000 says:

    I have two girls (7 and 4.) They are in martial arts classes. Daddy will not always be there to take care of them. It sucks, but it’s reality.

  33. avatar brian says:

    Am I the only one to notice the pictured kid is rocking a mullet. WTF?

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Yup. The one and only. What picture are you looking at?

  34. avatar Cknarf says:

    Next time you drop your daughter off, when no ones looking, rip a big fart right on his head.

    If the problem persists, do the same to his father.

    1. avatar Matt in Maine (formerly SD) says:

      Now that’s funny.

  35. avatar Matt in Maine (formerly SD) says:

    As a dad of 2 girls, 15 and 6, life isn’t always rosy. My approach has been to say sometimes you roll with the punches and sometime you need to stand up for yourself.

    It’s been my experience that in most normal circumstances little is accomplished by seeking out the parent of a bully or troublemaker. Apples don’t fall far from the tree or there maybe other underlying issues at home that the behavior could simply be a symptom of. Unless it’s very serious it’s best to use these annoyances as a life lesson and help your kid develop skills in how to effectively and efficiently deal with these kinds of things.

  36. avatar MerryXmas says:

    My 6 year old daughter is in the same class this year as a bully who did beat up another kid last year in the toilets (yes, at 5, kindergarten). He’s been very annoying, won’t shut up in class and the teacher seems to have no authority. My daughter asked me what to do next time he would be unruly and I said:” you look at him straight in the eyes (very important) and you repeat exactly this “Bobby, you’re gonna stop right now or I’m gonna tell my dad and he’s gonna mess you up!” and then I told her to follow by making a fist and smacking it in the palm of her other hand. 2 weeks later, she came back from school very happy and said in front of my wife: “it worked dad! I did exactly what you said and Bobby is not bothering me anymore!” and then my wife asked “what did daddy asked you to do?”…. that’s when “I” got in trouble 🙂 It has been 2 Months now and she has had no issue with the boy who actually seems to now like her a lot… here’s another very different issue brewing right there! 🙂

    1. avatar Salty Bear says:

      BEST. STORY. EVER.

      This is filed away under “Teaching My Daughter to Deal with Morons.”

      Thank you!

  37. avatar Jason says:

    My wife is a teacher in a state run low income school. Most of the children come from rough lives, rougher than I can imagine. I have volunteered there quite often and I must say bullying happens a lot. The teachers can’t even use time out anymore. My daughter is 3 this year and has been pushed around by a couple of kids. I told her, when it comes down to it, hit them. Everyone has been bullied, its a part of life. I played football all through Jr high and high school. We got the living crap beat out of us. More often than not we’ve been bullies too. Mental or physical. It doesn’t matter if its just laughing at some poor kid or beating on some kid, we’ve been a bully. It will make you stronger, its a part of life. Boohoo, get over it. Either kick the shit out of the kid or take it. Make an example. I beat up two people that wouldn’t leave me alone. But the best thing I ever did to beat them, I got the hell out of that shit hole town and hot a college education. You teach your kids to get something no one can take away from them.

  38. avatar Pascal says:

    This is private pre-school, your paying money, go direct to the head administrators and tell them you pay money to have your child educated not bullied. Ask your daughter who are the other kids being bullied and get those parents involved too. These bureaucrats may brush you off but they hate publicity and if more than one set of parents is complaining they will listen.

    The one and only mistake you can make is to do nothing.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      “These bureaucrats may brush you off but they hate publicity”

      Oh, BS. You just said, it’s a private school, IOW, they are his employees. They won’t “brush him off” because they know where their paycheck is coming from. The customer might not always be right, but right or wrong, the customer is always the one who puts food on my table.

  39. avatar Haiku Guy says:

    My daughter is in her teens now, and I am still thankful for her grade-school bully. She learned how to deal with the pressure and intimidation, and how to value herself and stand her ground. These are lessons that are even more valuable now that she is in high school.

    So, whatever juvenile detention center you now reside in, Raymond… Here’s to you!

  40. avatar tommyr says:

    Kick the PARENTS ass. For not doing their jobs.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      It’s the job of the school people to maintain order.
      He should talk to them WELL before confronting another customer.
      It’s a private school.
      If OP is not satisfied with their product or service he should take his business elsewhere or merely remind them that he has that power, as the one who pays their rent, i.e, the Customer..

      Hope This Helps!

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