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  • Beating the Bullying Blues: Part II – When Your Baby is the Bully
  • Jennifer Aline Graham
    Jennifer Aline Graham
  • Bullying

Beating the Bullying Blues: Part II – When Your Baby is the Bully


Photo credit: Jennifer Aline Graham

This thought can crush a mother’s soul. When she hears or witnesses her little one bullying another child, her heart can completely crumble. It’s not an easy picture to face and it’s an even tougher situation to explain – especially if the toddler doesn’t fully understand the scenario. This is when a mom really has to step back, redirect her emotions, and figure out how the heck to confront her child, the other children, and the other parents.

Mothers truly live up to the phrase “strong as a mother.”

Bullying is a touchy topic. It’s touchy because while some parents or caregivers have a good approach going for them, it may not always be the best approach for you. It’s also tricky facing other parents. 

The nice thing is – you’re not alone in the battle. Even though you feel as though you may be the only mom dealing with a child who has “bullying behaviors,” it’s important to realize that isn’t the case. Many, many moms have faced this challenge and you too will find a positive approach that works for you.

Below are some stories and suggestions from moms who have experienced their child being the bully and what they have learned from those situations. 


Photo credit: Amy Amell

“I Make Him Apologize First”

“Yep [my son can be a bully]. I make him apologize first and then explain to him why it wasn’t okay and ask him how he’d feel if that were him.” - Stephanie Newman, mother of three 

Suggestions for parents:

  • Work on genuine apologies together
  • Discuss what an apology is
  • Explain why it is important 

“We Will Go Home and Talk About It”

“I know Brynn is still very young but there have been times that she was being a bully to kids at daycare. It breaks my heart hearing that because my husband’s side is full of bullies and I swore up and down that I will not let my child belittle others or be mean to them. Heartbroken is definitely how I felt.

“The daycare will let me know what happened and we will go home and talk about it and I won't scold her because I feel she is still understanding what it all means. She has a bully in her class and she follows him around but I have explained to her that just because he does something doesn’t mean she does. And we are nice to our friends and share and give hugs. When she pulled a girl’s hair, I made her do an ‘I'm sorry’ card where I had her give the card to her in front of me and the teacher. Haven't had too many incidents since then but we try to make seeing friends as exciting as we can.” – Cherie Bealer, mother of two

Suggestions for parents:

  • It’s okay to feel heartbroken and you’re not alone in feeling this way
  • Be creative with the apology (‘I’m Sorry Card’)
  • Maintain a positive relationship with the teacher or daycare provider 

“We Try Very Hard to Explain”

“Grey can be a bully at times with her almost one-year-old niece by pushing her or grabbing a toy away. We try very hard to explain that that’s not nice and to give it back or not to push as it hurts feelings. We do have to do time-out to think about it sometimes.” - Gretchen Granholm, mother of five

Suggestions for parents:

  • Repetition and modeling of good behaviors
  • Discuss feelings and how it feels when they’re hurt
  • Sometimes, you just have to try time-out


For the first "Beating the Bullying Blues: Part One - Educators and Mothers Share Advice" please read here.



 Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, mama of twins, and a passionate freelance writer and author. She writes for Moms.com on a regular basis and has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, and In Good Health Newspaper. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings, and caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.

Social Media:

Instagram: the.write.mom

Facebook: Momhood Mayhem 

  • Jennifer Aline Graham
    Jennifer Aline Graham
  • Bullying

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