My Daughter is the Bully

Apr 11, 2000

I confess, my daughter is the “bully”. Okay, she doesn’t hit or tease them, but when she plays she is the one to take charge and wants everyone to play her way. She usually sets the rules and has been known to change them to her liking whenever she feels like it.

My husband and I have questioned her many times on why she is so “bossy” and her comment is, “Someone has to be the leader, so I am.” Okay, she has a point. (She is 8 years old, by the way) There are leaders and followers in this world and she just happens to be the leader. Before I go much further with this, let me explain, we have talked with her teachers and Brownie Leaders and she is not this way at school or Brownie meetings. We are told, she gets along well in a group and is very cooperative of other’s decisions. So this is only when she is playing with her brother and friends at home. Most of her friends will go along with whatever she says, but there have been a few occasions when they have spoken up. This is when the trouble begins.

My husband and I try to stay out of these little spats between her friends and her, we feel it is important that she learn to work things out without us always trying to solve it for her. Again, she is not hitting, teasing or screaming just disagreeing. Not to say she has never hit, as a toddler she tested her boundaries with hitting and biting, thankfully this stage only lasted a short while. When she asks to play with her friends, we always remind her to play “nicely” and to let her friends decide what they will play that day. Not to say that we don’t ever intervene, because there have been times when we have had to punish her because she had gone too far.

We moved to California and the neighborhood we are now living in just over seven months ago. We had only been living in our house a month or so, my daughter and son had made friends with the neighborhood kids and as usual all the kids were in my yard playing. I say as usual, because for some reason since my kids were old enough to go outside and play, they and their friends always end up playing in our yard. My husband teases me about being the “Kool-Aid Mom”. The mother that has all the kids at her house and doles out the drinks to keep them hydrated as they play. This suits me just fine. I would rather have all the kids here so I know whom my children are playing with and where they are at all times. Okay, back to my point. My daughter was playing with the girl across the street, who happens to be three years younger than my daughter. They had been playing for about 20 minutes when my daughter comes in and tells me the little girl had gone home. I think it was about 10 minutes later that I get a knock on my door. The little girl and her father are at the door really upset. I have met the father before, but only briefly, I asked what is wrong and he pulls out a note my daughter had written. While playing “Stacy”, (name changed), decided she didn’t want to be the teacher, she wanted to be the student, and my daughter didn’t like that. So, she wrote a note to “Stacy’s” parents saying, “Stacy is being mean and selfish.” She didn’t sign it though so he wasn’t for sure it came from her. The father was upset because “Stacy” was crying and he wanted to find out why my daughter would write this. My husband and I have made it a point to always get both sides of the story, not just jump to conclusions. I did not want to confront her in front of him, so I asked for the note and told him I would talk to my daughter and let him know what I found out. Turns out, she was the one being selfish and mean! I waited till my husband came home, told him the situation, we both talked to her again and then told her what her punishment would be. We made her write a note to “Stacy” and her parents telling them she was sorry. We also made her hand deliver the note and explain that this would not happen again. We try to make the punishment fit the crime.

Handling it this way also helped “Stacy” parents to realize that even though our daughter was a bossy, bully, that we did not condone her actions. I will be the first to admit, before I had children, I would see a kid do something mean and my first thought would be, “what must his parents be like”. I want my daughter to learn that being so bossy is not right, but I also do not want to stifle her thinking that someone has to lead, so why not her! It is thinking like this that might make her PRESIDENT one day! I can see it now, “Ms. President, we have here the letter that you wrote to your friend’s parents back in 1999, what do you have to say for yourself?” (teehee)

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