A bully is a bully is a bully?

Yesterday (OK, so I didn’t publish right away) my babies got bullied.

It was the physical kind of bullying, the kind I’d never encountered before, and it threw me for a loop.

I watched it happen, and now that the situation has passed, I’m not sure how I feel.


No.  I think I’m sad.

Is a bully just a bully?  Or is he/she just a kid acting out because not-so-great-things are happening in their lives?

When my twins ran off to play upon dropping them off at school, I stayed and watched them, like I always do.  It’s HARD for me to just walk away when I can catch of glimpse of them making choices on their own in an environment that “belongs” to them.

I watched the little boy go up to my kindergartners…..and hit them.  Out of the blue.  At first I was confused.  Was this some kind of game?  And then my boys looked for me, saw me, and ran towards me.  And the little boy followed them, hitting and pinching all the while.  When we reached each other, I firmly told the boys, “tell him that you don’t like him touching you and that hitting is not OK”.  The boy ran off and John burst into tears.  “He was hurting me”, he sobbed.

It was just plain sad.

I expected anger, but all I felt really, was sadness.

Sadness that my sons’ were the victim of this little boys obvious emotional turmoil, and sad considering that the little boy was probably in a less than desirable situation making him act out that way.

I’ll probably never know if he’s just a bully, or a hurt little boy, but one thing I do know, is that I don’t like my kids being bullied.

At all.

If he tries that routine again, they know what to do.

And, just in case you are wondering what happened after I gave John a great big hug and we found the teacher for intervention?  The teacher sought out the bully-boy.  Hitting another unsuspecting child.

Speaking of school, if you haven’t nominated your teacher to win a $100 gift card to Office Max, now is your chance!

About Angie

Angie is a CRAFT dabbling, recipe making, WORD loving, sunshine hording, book DEVOURING, Mama to a lot! She's kind of in love with Instagram right now, so if you want her attention, go find here there. {smiling}


  1. Oh my Angie its so hard to send our babies out into the cruel world. Sheesh! It’s sad because I am sure if a kid is acting out that way at that age worse things are to come! ((HUGS))

  2. We have had many issues with bullies over the years…to the point we had to change schools to get it to stop..
    some are bullies because they don’t know any better, but some are bullies because they can be…as was in our case..The 3 boys who were bullying my son for the last 5yrs were all from good homes, straight A students..BUT they were bullies..they hit, kicked, spat at and called my son names for 5yrs and no one at the school would do anything about it. Then 6mths ago these 3 boys picked my son up(he was 11) by his legs and shoved him head first into a toilet..still the teachers/headmaster did nothing, so we did. We took all our kids out of that school and they are now in a school that does not tolerate bullying of any kind…EVER..
    what am I trying to say? hhmm well I think Im trying to say there is never ever any excuse for bullying…if you are a bully you are a bully, no matter your background..

  3. Heartbreaking! I’m sure it makes you feel similar to what the boys feel.. vulnerable and hurt. It’s so hard to have to watch something like that and know that you’re not always going to be right there when something like that happens. It just isn’t right!

  4. We have had to deal with bullies in the past, it was a short term problem that did long term damage. That is why a couple of years ago I made the decision to homeschool. It was frustrating trying to resolve the situation at his school when the teacher and principal said “The parents are just as bad” So the parents bully the staff so their kids can bully the other children without consequences. Absolutely crazy!
    I am so sorry that you experienced that. It is heartbreaking when it happens and hopefully you won’t come across it again.

    • Darla that is exactly the reason I am going to homeschool my Little Bit. I was a public school teacher and there is no excuse for bullying! Unfortunatly red tape binds teachers hands. At home I can give my Little Bit an awesome education and there will be no bullying.

  5. Being a parent stinks sometimes and this is one of those times. Where my biggest issues come in with bullying is how the schools handle it. Or don’t handle it as seems to be the case all too often. Sometimes kids are just being kids testing their limits and sometimes it is so much more than that. I hope your little bully has this nipped in the bud now and isn’t on a lifelong path of bullying.

  6. This is such a tough situation and so sad that your boys are experiencing it so early. I think that all school need a strong and fully enforced anti-bullying policy. If they responded strongly to every bullying report every time, the problem would diminish immediately, but it just doesn’t seem to be importantenough and that’s just tragic.

  7. Ugh. It makes my stomach drop just reading this. I think I would feel sadness rather than anger too. The whole situation is sad. While my girls have never encountered physical bullying {of course, they are home-schooled, so that may have a little something to do with it}, there have been other instances ~ emotional bullying ~ that have been heartbreaking. And I’ll admit, have left me a little angry. I’m so sorry that you and your precious boys have had to go through this.

  8. Good luck.
    I hope it works.
    I’m working on the swearing part of school now.
    It’s tough to go in and tell your teacher that taking the lord’s name in vain is offensive to you when other’s don’t see it as offensive.
    Wish me luck.

  9. To my knowledge, my daughter has not been attacked (verbally or physically) by a bully, but I know a few kids in her grade who are bullies. She’s in 3rd grade.

    It really is sad that such a young child can be a bully and I often wonder if they are coming from a bad environment, but that still doesn’t excuse the behavior. I’m sorry your little ones had to go through this.

  10. What a tough situation. I think you handled it perfectly. I hope that bit gets the help that he needs singe doesn’t turn into a full time bully. That would be so sad.

  11. I’ll be mad for you! Want me to sweep his leg?!

  12. SO sad, but true that it happens much more that we think. It is sometimes hard for me to let my kids go into the WILD.

  13. So sad that hitting/bullying is probably that kid’s default action. It happens to all kids at one time in their lives, but it is very sad…I’m with you.

  14. ooooh! That’s one thing I don’t like about sending my girl off to school. I’m not in contol any more. (well I’m not anyway, but I really like thinking that I am!)
    I’m sure when I see that in my kindergartner’s life I will turn into Mama bear!
    In a way, I kind of hope it happens this year instead of later when she’s older. Because I can give her the tools now when it isn’t so dangerous! And as she learns to use those tools, she will grow into them as times allows!

  15. My daughter had a bully in daycare, and I KNOW he was having problems at home. You know what? I didn’t care. That did not give him a right to take out his issue on my kid. Period. He was asked to leave the school.

  16. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. You handled the situation beautifully!

  17. Moose told our neighbor boy “hi” the other day. The boy said “don’t touch me.” I was sad enough at that. I can’t imagine if he would have been hit 🙁

  18. I had a similar situation happen with my little girl. I too wondered what had happened to that little boy to make him act so mean to someone he didn’t even know. That kind of bullying is a little easier for me to understand. What I don’t get at all, is the emotional kind of bullying from kids who would be classified as “mean kids”. Who don’t let your children play with them because they aren’t good enough. Who truly seem to think they are somehow ‘better’ and ‘deserving’ of things your kids don’t deserve. That kind of bullying makes me mad. I guess I need to remember that ALL bullies are probably hurting in some way.
    Great Post.

  19. I think almost always such behavior in a young child is the result of that child hurting in some way and all too often the child that bullies is the child who is in turn bullied or mistreated at home. But whatever the circumstances it does not make it any easier to see the impact of such behavior upon your own child nor should it be tolerated. All young children can lash out if they feel their personal space is being invaded or things that belong to them are being taken away but an unprovoked onslaught such as this is very extreme. I think you handled things so well with your sons in front of this boy but if I were you I would if you have not already done so mention this to the teacher as this little bully needs help as if left unchecked things will only go from bad to worse.

  20. first of all, you have a very mature attitude to this angie. as parental and motherly as i feel in the instance where my children are or have been bullied, i am immediately left wondering what is going on in the life of the bully. at 5 (not having boys) – i know that they are intensely physical and may not know the difference, maybe it was this child’s way of ‘greeting’ them (in a very inappropriate way!) because he didn’t have the vocab? i don’t know, i wasn’t there, but it certainly sounds like u and your boys did the right thing, and the teacher was right there too.

  21. That is a very Zen response. I’d be livid. Good job handling that situation. It’s a hard hard thing when it’s your child being bullied/made fun of. I don’t deal well with it.

  22. This is one of my biggest fears for my son, and well, for all kids. Having been a teacher, bullying was one thing that really made me angry and I didn’t tolerate it one bit. I hope things are looking better for both your boys and the situation. I really feel for that bully too, wondering what his home life is like. I think you did the right thing!

  23. Such a sad story.

    Last year, my son was bullied (not physically, though) in Kindergarten. The schools response? So-and-so has uninvolved parents so we aren’t going to press the issue. While I did feel very sorry that a little 5 year old had to be subjected to such a shitty life at home and was clearly acting out at school because of it, I was very disappointed in the school. There will always be an excuse, and they need to make a bigger deal about bullying in school at a much younger age.

  24. My youngest is getting bullied right now in first grade! I contacted the school in the hopes to get some skills for my daughter to deal with this kind of stuff better (she is really sensitive). They were so great and responsive. I love that our school wants to work with us to make her life at school better:-)

  25. I really like the way you discussed this post and shared it. It is sad to see other children hit and bully like you said who knows what this boy is going through. At least he got caught which rarely happens. I hope your boys are okay and are able to do what you taught them. It must be hard to grow up in this world now and have little children like that out there. Which in turn may turn them into a not so fun adult. Great post..

  26. Wow. I can’t believe he was chasing them as they ran away and still hurting them. It would have taken everything in my power not to take matters into my own hands. I seriously hope your boys are never at his wrath again and it was dealt with. That is just unacceptable.

  27. I can’t stand bullys. It’s really sad to see it happen to your own kids. I probably would have ripped that boy a new butt hole.

  28. I can’t stand bullies either – we’ve had a few issues over the years – the worst was a kid stuffing rocks in kids mouths. It was horrible – Hubby was so mad he made the mistake of saying something to the child’s parent in the parking lot and thus started quite a long standing grudge of hers – she’s one of the Mother’s in my baby tap class – it’s quite uncomfortable – but I wondered then was it really just being a bully of taking out emotions in the wrong way.

  29. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with this. I may just end up in prison.

  30. I think I would feel so sad and heartbroken for my child. I am dreading this! My oldest is only in pre-k but I have seen some mean kids already and I wish I could be with my kids at all times to protect them!

  31. You are much much more patient than I am.

  32. Oh Angie. This made me so sad. And see the thing is, you are so right, most often the kids hitting and pinching and being creeps are not getting love and attention at home. They want love too. They just don’t know how to get it.

    How terrible for your babies though. I am glad you were there to intervene. I am so thankful your boys have a safe place to run! : )

  33. Well, you’re probably a better person than I am. We’ve been in this situation, and it’s the final straw that broke the camels back.

    My daughter was threatened on the bus….the little girl told my daughter that she was going to kill her. The principal did nothing….AT ALL!! He didn’t even take the girl off the bus. It wasn’t even her bus to ride as she lives a couple streets down and that’s a different bus route. She rode my daughter’s bus to ride with a friend. My daughter was told to be nice to this girl no matter what because I knew she didn’t have a good family situation and other things had happened in class, with NO protection for my daughter. Then this incident. The principal said “it won’t happen here” and my only reply was “that’s what all the other principals have said that have blood on their hands”. The school counselor said that the little girl was “too young to follow through with such an action”, but that’s what you get from someone like that.

    Upon talking to a professional about what happened to my daughter, they said that for that girl to make that threat, she’s fully capable of following through with it. They said that kids that age are able to reason and know what they’re doing and have the means to do it.

    So we finished the last 2 weeks of school with ME driving her to school and walking her to class and picking her up. She did 2 years of private school, which was a different type of bullying. Power and money!! Been homeschooling since and haven’t looked back. It’s the best decision that we ever made and she’s absolutely thriving. She’s got more TRUE friends than ever and growing in every way imaginable without the stresses of what school does to our kids.

    Good luck to you on this one and I pray that the bullying situation ends.

  34. Oh man….I don’t like this one bit! I’d be mad AND sad….in fact, they’re not my boys but they’re Momo’s like my girls, so I’m feeling like an Auntie Bear right now – I want to go tell that boy where he can put his naughty behavior! (Hawaiian’s use Auntie as a term for close friend of the family – I don’t officially know your family, but you know…feeling protective over here! LOL)

    I actually wrote an article about this issue and it was published in Hawaii Parent Magazine in the August/Sept 2010 issue. With all your extra time {enter sarcastic tone}, you should check it out. Head here: http://www.hidili.com/harringtonPublishing//hawaiiParent/

    Go to the August/September issue in the archives, Pg. 28

    I wish I had all the answers too….but short of just plucking that boy up by his collar and asking him how he likes being hit…..you did the right thing. 😀