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gaming_momma in big_kids

Playground Bully

 My kids play across the street at the school playground a lot in the summertime. It's not the school my kids go to so I don't know many of the kids. We've had a few small instances before but nothing horrible. Someone tried to take my son's scooter and basketball. I scared em off and same with a kid who was swearing at the kids. But now we have a problem. There is a Grade A bully. He started by breaking my son's water gun on the pavement. Threw his baseballs on the school roof. And more recently punched him in the mouth.  I just found out about all of this when he tried to hide his fat lip telling me he had a cold sore. My son is 8. My daughter is 10 and said the same kid has been mean to her and taken or broken her things. Apparently all the kids they know at the playground are too scared to stand up to him, except for 1 6th grader who isn't always there. The bully is 7 btw. So now its my turn to confront him. His mother is never around. Otherwise I would just talk to her. My mother and my FIL said I should just call the cops and really scare him straight. But I don't know if I wanna go that far. What would you do?

Comments

I'd spend the rest of the summer at the playground with them and correct the bully every time he does something wrong.
TBH that just wouldn't work. I plan on spending some of the time at the playground but I won't be there 24/7. And I don't think that is teaching my kids any kind of independence either. I will do what I can about this kid and if it all fails I am just gonna have my kids come home when he is around. But I don't think it will come to that. If I inform enough parents he will back down.
I'm all for independance but safety trumps independance. I may want my 4yo to walk without having to have his hand held, but if he's the type to run into the street I'd hold it. Independance comes in baby steps and regardless of age they will need their hands held through certain situations.

We had a neighbor kid picking on everybody last year. He lives right next door so there isn't much we can do about him being around. If he was outside and my chidren wanted to leave the porch, I sat out there with them. If I couldn't, they couldn't leave the back yard or the porch. If he did something wrong, I corrected him (politely, like I would my own). "Ryan, watch what you're doing. You're going to lose friends if you treat them that way". If he didn't knock it off, I made my children stop playing with him. After a while he knocked it off. He's actually a really great kid now and we spend a lot of time with him.
that sounds fine and dandy but around here when you correct a kid that doesn't know you, they laugh or even worse, swear at you. Especially when their parents are nowhere to be found. That is far from anything I would think to do honestly. We are talking about some older kids, from 6-13. My biggest concern is can I find out where he lives to talk to his mother. The only reason it worked when I had problems the other 2 times is that I proved the stuff the kid had taken was mine. Getting caught always stops a kid from doing it again. And with the swearing... I think that kid was there once to watch a tee-ball game. Not a regular.
If the parents are no where to be found, what makes you think they'll do anything other than punish their child at home once they know? Then, the bully resents your child for getting them in trouble and the bullying gets worse once they're allowed back at the park. And since your child now knows telling you won't solve the problem, it'll only pause it while the kid's in trouble, they won't tell you if/when it happens again.

By placing your trust in the hands of this mother (which you already can't trust to even properly supervise her child), you're going to lose the trust your child has in you to protect them.

Its a neighborhood playground. Most of the parents including myself just let the kids go play and don't babysit them, unless they have younger kids. I can see them out my window. So I don't count that she is not there meaning she's a horrible mother.
First of all, I think calling the cops on a 7 year old is excessive. I agree with mydwelling: I'd confront the kids. I also don't think it's unreasonable to find out where the kid lives and talk to his parents directly. You say his mother is never around, but she has to come home eventually. Be there when she does and tell her about her kids unacceptable behavior. He shouldn't be allowed to terrorize the neighborhood.
Also, have you talked to the parents of the other kids who are being bullied? It might help to find out if they've tried to talk to the parents and what kind of response they got.
I know the parents of only 2 other families so I will check out what they have noticed and possibly done about it. As far as where the kid lives, I have no idea. He rides his bike to the playground. I live right across the street but some of these kids come from a few blocks away.
follow him home.
better get my runnin shoes. I don't have a bike and I don't drive.
The neighbourhood kids will know, If your kids can't even go across the road to play, there is a big problem.
My daughter is saying that they don't know. The only kid that knows is the his lackey.
then go to the lackey's mum, or give his details to the cops. Next time it could be a broken arm or worse. Mother Bears unite.
Oh man... my daughter just said his parents are in jail. His grandma does watch him, but apparently he is detention all the time for fighting with kids. I'm talking about the lackey.
Tell this kid you demand to speak to whatever adult is in charge of supervising him. And he will say. He's only seven. And when you do, be sure to only speak factually. Don't interject any emotion or judgment. (It's hard, I know.) Let them know there are possible financial consequences. After all, broken toys and fat lips (read medical attention) spell a need for compensation. Talk events and money- very easy to understand concepts.

Good luck &hearts
I had planned on having my kids go through each item that was broken or stolen and make a proper list so if by chance I could speak to his mother she would know exactly what he has done and owes my family. My biggest worry is that he will have those parents that don't care. I am not saying I NEED compensation, just that they won't do anything to stop his behavior.
Second everyone above. And thanking my mother right now for being the kind of parent who always stood up to bullies, setting a great example for a similar adult today. I wish my Dad had done the same, but he didn't, his thing was standing up scholastically.
The kid is SEVEN? If kids that age laugh at you when you correct them, you need a meaner mean face! Possibly he is acting out because his home life is messed up, and that's also why his mom is never there. In San Francisco, tbh, people would be calling CPS, but that's because it sucks here.

You could get some other moms together and follow the kid home and the group of you confront the mom, but not in a confrontational way. Just in a "we need you to know this" way.

Meantime, get your kids into some martial arts classes and suggest that they get the other kids together and shoo him away. There's safety in numbers. If they keep letting him get away with this, it will only escalate and you'll have an actual hardened criminal on your hands in the future.
I have talked to my son and told him when its summertime and not school time, go ahead and hit the kid back. Defend yourself! We are pretty laid back here. Most parents trust their kids to play at the playground. So no one is up in arms that there's an unsupervised kid out there. There's about 20 kids and this one little jerk screwing it up for everyone. I am going to talk to the 2 other moms I know. My mom and I were talking this afternoon about the safety in numbers idea. So I think I will have a talk with the kids about that. come Monday when they are back playing I'm gonna get the ball rolling.
he broke toys and bashed your kid, Why has it taken so long to call the police. This needs dealing with today, not tomorrow.
It hasn't been so long. I found out at like 9pm on Wednesday night. And we have been busy since then. So the kids haven't been hanging at the park. Trust me I will be addressing this as soon as they go back.
Meantime, get your kids into some martial arts classes...

Speaking as someone who was bullied himself, it's unfortunate, but yes, your kid needs to hit back.  Just.  Once.

Remember, bullied are actually cowards.  They seek power and control because it provides them with a sense of order; something they don't have order in their home lives.

I'll tell you a story:

The whole neighbourhood decided one day to gang up on me.  I was the new kid and a nerd.  I was also one of those kids who carried all his books in his bookbag.  Anyway, one of the bigger neighbourhood bullies tried to jump me on the way home from the bus stop.  I turned and threw my book-laden bag into his stomach.  Hard.  He went down.  The next one came at me.  He suffered a blow to the solar plexus from my right kneecap, and a repeat blow combined with a blow to the back of his neck.  Took him ten seconds to resume breathing.

I was eight.

No one bullied me again.
I have given my blessing to knock this kid out. And my son has been in tackle football for 2 yrs, going on his 3rd in the fall. You would think he wouldn't be afraid. He's been getting tackled by 90 lb kids since he was 6! But I think he is. =(