we shopped at the mall yesterday and took a lemonade break near the indoor playground to enjoy the children playing and laughing… noticed a small child, probably 4 yrs old who displayed a pattern of behavior with others both smaller and larger than herself… she’d push them, scream into their faces with Red-faced scowls I, as an adult, thought were fierce! Even the older larger kids were intimidated and felt sorry for the smaller-younger little ones who had to encounter her!! The mom was always nearby the little bully, smiling the entire time and we were shocked… left wondering if her parents were actually nurturing their toddler’s bullying behavior.
In our minds, when parents do nothing to DIScourage bad behavior, they are encouraging it. How can parents think bullying behavior is “cute” or “funny”??? It’s certainly the impression we got by observing both the bully and her mom’s reactions.
In many cases, children learn their behaviors from their environment (monkey-see, monkey-do). In some others it is innate (bad monkey!). In either case, the parents need to be bitch-sla… er, sternly reprimanded for not curbing this behavior early and often. Bullying children grow into bullying adults.
You can’t teach the Mom values, it has to come from the heart - planted by hee parents. Chances are the Mom is just as ugly a person from a lousy upbringing of her own. Being nice is not hardwired within us, although we’d like to think so.
<Playing devil’s advocate> Maybe the child is not developmentally normal and what you were seeing was actually relatively good behaviour for the child? Or maybe Mom was just too tired to enforce proper behaviour at that time.
well if what I described could have possibly been her “relatively good behavior,” I hate to see what her bad behavior looks like! What sort of developmental abnormalities could she possibly have to cause her to behave that way? Btw, by all other observations, she seemed to be a healthy kid… she played with another child who I think may have been a cousin (I noticed the mom talking to the mom of this other child about an upcoming birthday party)… anyway, the bully child was very friendly to this other child (a cousin or close friend) so I gathered the bully child was intelligent enough to decide who she wanted to be “nice” to and who she wanted to bully.
I’m 4.5 years older than my first brother, and I liked to wrestle him. The church nursery had to put him in with the 3-year olds when he was 2, because he thought that you played with people by wrestling them.
Mind you, this was just for play. If he’d been mean about it, my parents would have quickly solved THAT. He’s actually pretty hard to get mad as an adult.
I did say I was playing devil’s advocate. Given that the child knew how to choose who to bully and who to be nice to, I think you are right.
Children with PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) because they have difficulty relating to others and understanding how or why their actions are prompting negative reactions, can behave in very socially inappropriate ways. Helping them modify their behaviour takes a lot of patience and repetition.