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Oh Kid, You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With


I know I’ve told you about the nasty note that I got when I was in 3rd grade. It was from my friend Becky, and while she wasn’t actually mad at me, it was kind of mean. I may never remember my phone number properly (also: bite me Topamax), but I can tell you that her note read:

Dear Becky,

I like you a little bit, but it grows smaller every day.



That she signed it “Love, Becky” proved that she didn’t really mean it and we were friends again within a couple of weeks, because that’s life when you’re 8.

Throughout the years there have been plenty of people who didn’t like me, and mostly, it hasn’t bothered me. I took great pride when I found “BECKY SHERRICK IS A BITCH” written on a desk in high school, because who wouldn’t? I mean, I consider that sort of high praise, which is probably what the writer intended, since it was written on the desk I always sat in.

Occasionally, my ass will chafe when I’m accused of something I didn’t do or someone will blatantly say something they don’t think I’ll see (note to Twitter: @-ing me means I see it). But if you don’t like me, well, that’s well within your right. I don’t have to like you either.

But I’m 29, not 8, and having people be MEAN to me isn’t something that ruins my day.

Turns out that my kid, my sweet autistic 8 year old, the kid who was born without a mean bone in his body, is being bullied again. And that, well, that chaps my balls and makes my blood boil.

Perhaps, I wasn’t suited to be the one to have the conversation with my son.

Aunt Becky: “So what’s this punk doing to you?”

Ben: “He’s trying to upset me. He’s mean to me.”

Aunt Becky (rifles through empty brain cavity trying to match this with a solution): “Okay, so here’s the thing with bullies: you have to figure out what they’re trying to do, okay?”

Ben: “…..”

Aunt Becky: “You know, if they’re trying to make you cry, or make you feel bad, or make you mad or whatever. Right? Because he’s trying to get a reaction out of you.”

Ben: “OKAY! I get it!”

Aunt Becky (thanks God for having an older brother and therefore frame of reference): “Once you figure out the reaction, DON’T GIVE IN TO IT. Don’t bother getting upset. That doesn’t do any good. Being mad? What good does that do? Nothing. Crying? Solves nothing.”

Ben: “Okay, so the first step is to figure out what they’re trying to do.”

Aunt Becky: “Yes. Then, don’t do it.”

Ben: “Okay.”

Aunt Becky: “Then? You get even.”

Ben: “….”

Aunt Becky: “Not like, being mean BACK, but by telling the teacher or telling your mom, or telling the playground monitor, or telling an adult. You can’t let him get away with it! You have to stand up for yourself, Ben. You HAVE to.”

Ben: “Step one, figure out what he’s trying to do, step two, don’t do it, step three, get even. By telling an adult!”

Aunt Becky: “Yes.”

Ben: “I got it!”

Ben scampers off to play with his siblings.


Aunt Becky: “So I told Ben how to deal with his bully.”

The Daver: “Oh yeah?”

Aunt Becky: “That bullshit our parents always spouted about ‘walking away’ was such crap. I mean, it never helped us learn anything about handling conflict. Kids can be such assholes.”

The Daver: “No shit.”

Aunt Becky: “So I taught him ‘don’t get mad, get even!'”

The Daver: “WHAT?”

Aunt Becky: “Well, yeah.”

The Daver: “Becky, you didn’t.”

Aunt Becky: “Not like with a machine gun. More like as a catch phrase. ‘Don’t get mad, get even by telling the teacher.’ You know Ben, he won’t tell the teacher anything.”

The Daver: *phew*

Aunt Becky: “Besides, he can remember phrases like that.”

The Daver: “Good call.”

I also put a call in to his teacher and am waiting on a call back. You know, this is the kind of stuff I always want to tell the new parents I see worrying over the car seats in the baby aisle at Target. Like, ‘ENJOY THIS!’ because it gets so much harder.

Colic was bad, but this, this hurts your soul and there isn’t jack you can really do to make it better. There’s no zantac for the heartbreak.

So Bully-Kid, wherever you are, you’d better lay the fuck off my kid. Because I don’t care what weakness you smell in him, he’s a thousand times stronger than you’ll ever be.

So back off.

136 Comments to

“Oh Kid, You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With”

  1. On February 4th, 2010 at 10:58 am Coco Says:

    Seriously? Does this little punk ass bitch not know that Ben is backed up by Aunt Becky’s Band of Pissed Off Pranksters?

    We will hunt him down and give him wedgies AND swirlies.

  2. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:01 am Jill Says:

    My 5yo was being bullied at his after school program by one of the older kids and it just broke my heart. Fortunately, it was minor and the bully seems to be over it, but man I did not expect to have to be dealing with that stuff before he even started Kindergarten!

  3. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:01 am MK Says:

    I was bullied as a kid. It sucks. Big time. But if it ever happened to my kid I have no idea how they’re going to hold back my Momma Bear instinct. So true about the car seat and colic – that shit is easy compare to raising empathetic strong human beings.

  4. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:01 am Sarah @ Says:

    Here’s hoping the bullying ends soon!

  5. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:02 am joann Mannix Says:

    I feel you, Becky. Man, when someone messes with one of my girls, I have to be held back from kicking, the bully, asshole twit-kid’s ass!

    I, too, am a mother bear. It kills me in this day and “enlightened” age that there are still kids around who have never been taught kindness and empathy. It also saddens me to think that at that age, some kids are already filled with hardness and hate.

    Instead of risking felony charges for assault and battery on a minor, I do the same thing. Teachers get an email or a little visit from me and if that doesn’t work, it’s the principal.

    Oh, I was also usually the homeroom mom, so at cookie time, it would just coincidentally happen that little punk-ass got the broken, messed up half a cookie…with a smile.

  6. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:16 am BrilliantSulk Says:

    Your son sounds like he’ll be able to handle himself just fine.

    Add more crap to the giant pile of crap I already worry about. Why? Why did I have to have sex? Twice!

    At the playground, my 3 year old daughter was bullied by a large 10 year old boy with a bristly moustache.

    She couldn’t tell him to fuck off so I gave him a wedgie. That’s my advice. If all else fails give a wedgie…

  7. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:27 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bwahahahaha! I love you so much.

  8. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:16 am a Says:

    Good advice, Becky.

    I’m so afraid of school years, and my daughter making friends, and how to teach her some empathy so she won’t be the bully. And what to do if she can’t make friends. Aaaaah!!!

    I hope Ben’s bully gets what’s coming to him. Or her.

  9. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:28 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s making me miss colic, man.

  10. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:20 am Mrs Soup Says:

    Dude, my heart hurts for him. I’m getting all Mother Bear and it’s not even my kid! Actually, I’m getting all Momma Hippo! Because Hippos are BAD ASS creatures. They attack lions and crocodiles and whatnot.

  11. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:27 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I’ll sit on the kid.

  12. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:27 am MinivanSoapbox Says:

    I am SO not looking forward to this one. A little girl was mean to mine the other day – and it was the CONFUSION that broke my heart. She just couldn’t understand why anyone would be so mean…When she didn’t DO anything to deserve it. Kids suck. Well except for yours. Well and mine. πŸ˜‰

  13. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:24 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    OUR kids are awesome. I’m trying to remember that other kids must be hurting to lash out like this. That’s what I’m trying to do.

  14. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:28 am Patty Punker Says:

    imma cut that scrawny little pencil dick.

  15. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:24 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    imma beat you to it.

  16. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:30 am Ellen M Says:

    I swear, this and homework were the two reasons I was scared of having a kid, and the homework thing was just about how stupid it is, not someone hurting my baby.

    I have an autistic nephew, and I worry about this for him all the time — that it’s even worse than the teasing and bullying that “typical” kids get, because he’s an easier target and can’t give as good as he gets. Boils my blood, actually. I hope the teacher gets back to you soon with something helpful.

  17. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:23 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I’ll keep calling and calling and escalating. If I can do anything in life, it’s annoy people to death. Heh.

    And this is awful. You’re right, it’s what hurts most about having kids.

  18. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:36 am Anjali Says:

    I feel like I’m going to puke.

    Hugs to you and Ben. This shit is beyond difficult.

  19. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:22 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It’s killing me. I cried off and on all night. Should have taken my own advice, you know?

  20. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:39 am patois Says:

    My spectrum daughter, who is 11, doesn’t often catch on when others are picking on her or making fun of her or just being fucking bitches to her. On the one hand, good in the sense that she’s not bothered. On the other hand, I want her aware so she isn’t the butt of jokes. (Heh heh. I wrote “butt.”) She’s finally getting to a level of understanding of what “friend” in particular is doing. And I’m telling her the same thing: don’t let her get a reaction and get even. Walk away? I’ve yet to see that work.

  21. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:21 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Ben didn’t realize he could tell the teacher. He didn’t REALIZE he could stand up for himself. What did I do WRONG?

    *head desk*


    I hate this. I’m glad your kid is like mine because I feel less alone.

    Walking away is bullshit.

  22. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:41 am The Mommy Says:

    You did the right thing, Momma Bear. Don’t get mad, get even is much better advice than walking away. Seriously. My boys are learning this with each other. In other words, if I take my brother’s stuff, he’s going to take mine, and Mommy’s not going to do a damn thing about it…Hmmmm. Maybe I should BE NICE so he’ll BE NICE back!

  23. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:22 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I hope this works. I really do.

    Thank you. I hope this helps. My poor baby.

  24. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:42 am MFA Mama Says:

    Ohhhh I feel you. MY sweet 8-yr-old who is on the spectrum gets nonstop frienemy grief from another kid, we’ll call him “Kennedy” (not his real name but it’s equally apropos for an eight-year-old). Kennedy is his best friend! Kennedy was lying, he hates his guts and now Johnny does too except not really but Kennedy will kick Johnny’s butt if he doesn’t say he hates my kid, too. Kennedy believes in Jesus and says Jews are going to hell so my kid is a Christian now. Kennedy is his friend again! He’s going to invite him to a party! Kennedy lied about the party, everybody is going except for my kid, even Johnny. Kennedy says McCain should have won the election because Obama wants to let the bad guys take away our guns and other important rights. YES, REALLY.

    I don’t think I hated even my OWN eight-year-old frienemesis this much. Kennedy’s mom called me to invite my kid to the party and seems like a total sweetheart. The guidance counselor has tried kiddy relationship counseling and offered conflict resolution tactics. The teacher knows the situation well enough that she said “oh, *KENNEDY* god I’m sorry about him” when I brought it up at a conference.

    I kind of want to go looking for Kennedy on the playground. I wouldn’t *do* anything (because, you know, WITNESSES) but I want to know what the little punk looks like. And maybe take a covert phone-pic for a dartboard or something.

    My husband assures me that is not appropriate, so I won’t do it.

    But still. Sorry to hear you have a Kennedy.

  25. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:21 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I hate everyone. Why can’t we all get along?

  26. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:45 am Kerri Says:

    I can only hope when my son gets to that stage, that I too will be a rocking mom like you!
    I am full of the rage if someone is mean to my kid, and he is only 3, I don’t know what it is going to be like when the bullies up the stakes!

  27. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:20 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    What worries me is when he realizes that Mom can’t make it all better. Because I can’t always call a parent and rip them a new asshole, you know? (he was impressed that I could call their parents)

  28. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:46 am Tracy Says:

    Poor Ben. As you’ve said…bullying incidents can stay with you a lifetime. Kids can be mean….and high school is brutal. gah.

  29. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:19 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It kills me to watch this.

  30. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:26 pm Tracy Says:

    awww Becky…I KNOW. It’s a helpless, crushing feeling. You don’t ever want to see your baby’s feelings hurt. Especially when they’re so tender hearted as it sounds like Ben is. I had a daughter first…and girls can be SO MEAN. Luckily …she’s one tough cookie and takes no shit. My angel boy …on the other hand…is such a tender hearted soul…his dad says it’s cause I made him a mommy’s boy…either way….when he relays mean things said to him at school…it’s heartbreaking.

    As a mommy you want to protect them from every hurt they could ever have…but you know you have to prepare them for the real world where they’ll have to deal with this shit. I wish crotch parasites came with manuals on how to address these issues.

  31. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Ben’s just such a sweetheart. Alex would kick anyone’s ass without thinking twice, but Ben is just a gentle soul. It wouldn’t even dawn on him to hurt someone or defend himself. Which? GONNA CHANGE.

  32. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:51 am Cyndi Says:

    Wow, you did a lot better than I did! I told LJ (in front of his teachers) that if the teachers wouldn’t stop it to punch the little cunt in the nose. Then, if he got suspended from school for standing up for himself that we’d eat ice cream and watch movies all day.

  33. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:19 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    There appears to be a no tolerance policy for bullies in my school system. We’ll see what happens. There will be ice cream and movies if this doesn’t stop STAT.

  34. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:53 am linlah Says:

    If only there were zantac for the heartbreak because no matter how old they get there’s always a tough new lesson to learn.

  35. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:18 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Doesn’t it make you want to bundle them up and hold them tight forever?

  36. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:55 am Heather Says:

    Ugh! I recently had to deal with my 9-year-old daughter getting teased for her name, Phoebe, on the bus. At least I had a story in my pocket that I used to get teased for my name too, but to ignore them and it would stop. She did tell me a month later they weren’t doing it anymore.

    I do love your approach and to be honest with you, I’ll probably steal it if we have problems like bullying again. Thanks for sharing!

  37. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:17 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It kills me. IT KILLS ME. Her NAME? What the HELL is wrong with PHOEBE? That’s an AWESOME name!?!

    I hate kids. I hate mean kids. Now I want to go sob. TOO LATE.

    (I cried on and off most of last night when Ben wasn’t looking. Figured it would be easier on him if he didn’t see me weeping for him)

  38. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Tracy Says:

    I think the one that I’ll never forget is when my daughter was in middle school and a kid had her father die. THEY TEASED THIS CHILD FOR HAVING A DEAD FATHER. Seriously….are you fucking kidding me? I could not believe it. And people wonder why children snap and come to school with guns.

  39. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:35 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    *sputters* You’re fucking kidding me. I mean, I know you’re NOT, but holy fucking shit. What assholes. That’s the worst thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Like, my mouth is actually hanging open, drool coursing down.

    Imma ready to kick some ass now. But your daughter is older now, right? Aunt Becky doesn’t need to regulate?

  40. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:04 pm Tracy Says:

    I know…I couldn’t believe it either. I mean…I know kids usually tease or bully kids that they see as **different**….but what kind of heartless bastards are being raised that tease a 13 ish year old child that has suffered the loss of a parent? Good God.

    And my Princess is now 19…she would have been the one kicking the ass of the bullies. She takes no shit…and will defend a friend to the end.

  41. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:56 am daisybv2 Says:

    I am tearing up for Ben I feel so bad for him I hope it ends soon poor kid!

    I was bullied and it sucked… my daughter was bullied this year in pre-school I mean come on already starting at age 4!

    But the worst is when my family member told my 4 year old she was coming to pick her up for the day my daughter packed her bag and waited all day for my aunt to call and say she was not coming. My daughter cried for 30 minutes and kept asking and saying it was her fault cause she fell asleep. I totally agree picking a car seat, teething, and potty training are nothing compared to whats in store.

  42. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:16 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I know. I wish I could go back to those days with Ben. I just do.

  43. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:03 pm Elly Lou Says:

    Now I’m all worried that you can see all the trash talking I’ve been doing on Twitter about the Becky Booshit. Guess I’ll just have to bank on that Topamax making you forget.

  44. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:16 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Wait, what was I saying again πŸ˜‰ ?

  45. On February 5th, 2010 at 8:26 am Elly Lou Says:

    Read this last night and I thought of you…you and your JT cover entitled, “I’m Bringing Becky Back.”

    There is this enigmatic space between who we are and who we must be. All our lives we seek to cross it, to bridge it, to follow, apostolic, the image we see in our soul’s mirror. A thousand daily distractions and derelictions keep us from our goal, from the great work, from the best self, but, in the end, we are all on a journey toward that secret soul or away from it. It stands waiting, indigenous, on the continent of our hopes. And like those explorers who first discover’d the Indies and the Orient and other far-flung places besides, I, too, had set a bold booted foot on a new land – in me.

  46. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:42 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Ooooh! That’s going to be printed out! Loves it! Thank you!

  47. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:08 pm Sara @ Life With the Two Says:

    Makes me want to send my 5 year old bully to come kick some arse. At least she’s a bully only to other bullies! She won’t stand for other kids getting picked on. It’s kinda fun to watch.

    I agree about the parents who worry about their babies. So many other things to worry about when they are older. At least when they are babies you don’t have to allow them out of your sight.

  48. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:09 pm Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Most of the advice out there from conventional sources is aimed at the bullied child. There is very little that so-called professionals employ to change behavior in bullies. Does anyone else resent that? You’ve got to consider the bully’s self-esteem, too, I was told. He’s coming from a place of hurt. Well, I’ll give him a visit to the interior of hurt, yanno?

    Some of these little assholes never grow up, much less are they ever called out. They just turn into narcissistic adults if they manage to finesse their behavior. Others go into politics.

  49. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:15 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Exactly. The kid has to have issues if he’s lashing out. Doesn’t help much, but you know.

  50. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:10 pm Anna Lefler Says:

    Oh, man. This is a tough conversation – and one I’ve had to have with both kids.

    Having grown in Texas in the 70s, the “remedies” that come to mind when my kids talk about being bullied are [ahem] not very PC, to say the least.

    I know what you mean about it hurting your soul. It’s excruciating. And it’s all I can do not to go all “Uncle Buck” on those little terrorists at school.

    See? And now I’ve said too much. Happens every time.

    πŸ˜‰ Anna

  51. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:14 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    OOOOH! Uncle Buck! Good idea! I think I love you. Like a lot.

  52. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:18 pm Kristine Says:

    My heart aches for Ben. I have no idea how to handle that kind of thing.

  53. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:23 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    I’ve had this problem with Havoc, who wears glasses, before and no doubt will again. I’ve said ignore him, don’t react, tell on him and then finally when nothing seemed to be working I said stand up for yourself. Tell him off. Don’t throw the first punch but lay him on his ass with the second. My specific advice, from a female perspective, was “Stand up to him, don’t touch him but if he lays a hand on you kick him between the legs hard.”

    Yeah I told my 5 year old to kick another 5 year old in the nuts. Not my proudest parenting moment ever. I don’t know if the bully got bored, adults finally intervened or maybe Havoc threatened to kick him but a few days later I stopped hearing about the kid.

  54. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:31 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    And that? Is good advice. The bullying thing got how many kids going into schools killing people? I mean, come ON. Standing up for yourself is important. Obviously walking away from an 8 year old just doesn’t work. Period. So, yeah. Exactly.

  55. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:27 pm Fawn - Like A Deer Says:

    Whenever my 7-year-old tells me someone at school has been mean to him, inevitably my first words are “OK, whose ass do I need to kick?”

    OK, maybe not setting the best example.

    But I like the idea of promising ice cream and movies if he gets suspended for sticking up for himself or his sister at school.

    Poor Ben. Hugs for you both. πŸ™‚

  56. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Hahaha. You and I are friends for a reason.

  57. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:27 pm Jen Says:

    SAD!!! I am pissed off. I dont have kids but I would really like to know where it’s written that you CANT call this kids mom???? If my kid was being a little fucker I would want to know. But if he is a fucker I bet that means his moms a fucker?? AWWWW!!! This is crap. Total crap!! I wish you the best of luck working this one out.

  58. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Oh, I will call his mom. HAVE NO FEAR. I will. I’ll let the school handle it first, then I will be calling dear old Mom.

  59. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:54 pm Melissa Says:

    Be prepared for that NOT to work. My sister is having problems with bullies (the girl kind) and its nasty. People she thought were her friends. The adults have banded against her. One went to the police saying that my niece scratched her kid all over the place and made an assault report. My niece scratched her on the neck when she stumbled into her at gym, so either the girl scratched herself up or God forbid the Mom did. But the coach went with my sister to validate, nooo this did NOT happen. The band of bullies moms have banded as bullies towards my sister. Its SO fucking strange.

  60. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:31 pm Nancy C Says:

    You are an awesome mom, and this is good advice, truly. It’s especially good that you know your kid and give him exactly what he needs.

  61. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:40 pm GingerB Says:

    Ooooh, I’ve just been stewing over this problem: how to control my inner Mama Bear when something hurts my child. I nearly killed my stepson this weekend for mocking his sister, what will I do in the future? What? But if other commenters here are giving kids wedgies, at least I won’t stand out, right? It won’t just be me?

    Oh yeah, I was supposed to be working on teching tolerance and niceness. Hmph.

  62. On February 4th, 2010 at 12:45 pm Vinomom Says:

    I hope Ben remembers to tell an adult. That really does break my heart that he didn’t realize he COULD tell.

    What sucks worse than your kid being bullied is being told your kid is bullying someone else! Then sob and shake your head and wonder where you went wrong. It’s usually a peer pressure thing, and not that my daughter hasn’t ever been teased BUT I guess I failed at the whole “two wrongs don’t make a right” lesson.

    I hope they lay off Ben soon.

  63. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:08 pm Mama Says:

    My spectum son also has had many issues with being bullied. I used to make regular appearances at the school to catch the little fucker in the act so I could not so nicely point it out to the teachers and principal so they would take care of it. The response? He was mean to everyone, not just my son. So that makes it alright? WTF! Eventually he was asked to leave the school, but not before my son no longer went there. My son knew he could tell the teachers because I had told him that at the start, but unfortunately the only response my son got was to suck it up, it would be okay. I swear I don’t know what the hell was up with that school, but am glad my son no longer is in that hell-hole.

  64. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:08 pm Weezie Says:

    My son was (and is) a small framed person. As a grade schooler, he was able to deal with the bullying (at that point all words), but in middle school it got physical. After calling and talking with teachers, then the administration, and getting nowhere, it all came to a head when he was body-checked into a locker by a kid 40 lbs. heaver than he was. I called and talked the principal and said, “My child is done dealing with this. It’s no longer my problem. You know who is responsible and you know what needs to happen to keep my kid safe. If it happens again, I am calling the police and getting them involved. I don’t care if you have to have an aide follow the bully around all day, but my child better never come home with another story involving bullying and bruising.” Guess what? It never happened again. Teachers are well capable of keeping an eye on situations if given the proper motivation. You are your child’s advocate. I can’t blame you for being upset, because I shed many tears for my son as well. As a footnote–he’s grown up now and is a very well adjusted, compassionate adult.

  65. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:08 pm Chris in Phx Says:

    Aahhh memories, I remember being pushed around by one kid in grade school and coming home crying. My Dad told me to punch him right in the face as hard as I could. This worked, until high school when my daily tormenter was about a foot and a half taller than me.

  66. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:19 pm Brooke Says:

    I think you should teach Benner the art of the reverse wet willy. Perfect for a situation like this.

  67. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:23 pm Jenn Says:

    Poor Ben! Like Ben, Monkey is super sensitive and goes out of his way not to upset anyone – even people who are picking on him. So we went through a similar situation. I told the teacher to deal with it or I would be going over her head and then over the principal’s head and then over the school board’s head. As far as I had to until it was resolved. It was hard because I don’t want to turn Monkey into a bitter fighter or anything but I REALLY don’t want him to let people walk all over him his entire life. Kent was that way as a kid and he is STILL that way. I have to threaten that man before he will stand up for himself.

  68. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:26 pm Mikey D Says:

    Oh no, you are making Ben turn into a tattle tail! What if he gets picked on even more once they find out he told on them?

  69. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:12 pm Melissa Says:

    Firsr off a tattle TALE is someone who tells on someone for doing something like passing notes in class, or that they misbehaved on the bus, or said the F word. A tattle tale is NOT someone who is sticking up for himself.

  70. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:51 pm katryn Says:

    my ASD boy (12) is having a difficult transition into high school (senior school in the US?) at the moment. he finds the neurotypical world hard to understand at the best of times, and when he asked a teacher recently to repeat a confusing instruction he was told to “open his ears”. now how the fuck is that helping?

    what breaks my heart is that our school system insists on forcing square pegs into round holes, and our awesome, unique, original, brilliant spectrum children are made to feel inferior because they don’t fit those round holes.

    btw: does anyone know of an upbeat blog aimed at parents of ASD kids?

  71. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:53 pm Sam Says:

    I feel like a stalker-commenter, but I’m sure you’re cool with that. I mean, I hope you are. Ahem. I totally understand and I hope things get better for your kiddo. My daughter (she of the “spirited” and the “challenging” and the EIGHTFUCKINGWEEKSOFNONSTOPSCREAMINGCOLIC but I digress) finally felt okay enough to go to a school-age program for an hour while I had a class. And then a kid started name calling. I’m still trying to figure out who this kid is. I’ll let you know how the beat-down goes. Because yeah. Picking on kids who have a hard time any way (in whatever way) sucks. It sucks HARD. Good luck.

  72. On February 4th, 2010 at 1:58 pm existentialwaitress Says:

    I wanna kick this kid’s ass myself!!! I know how heartbreaking this is – just last week we had an incident with my 6 year-old son at school and I cried all night. I still wanna cry just thinking about it. My hubs says this is life and my son is going to learn eventually that not everyone is nice all the time and that he will get his feelings hurt sometimes – but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to kick some kid ass! Hugs.

  73. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:01 pm gaylin Says:

    When I was 11, my younger brother was 8, our older brother died of leukemia. My younger brother was tormented at school for having a dead brother.
    In Grade 9 he was again tormented – by a group of girls. He finally quit school and got his GED – can you blame him!
    This was back in the 1970’s where the response to bullying was to learn to deal with it. Or in today’s vernacular to grow a pair . . .
    I could have been bullied in school but I was so fucking oblivious to the world around me I wouldn’t have noticed unless it got physical. Oh wait, I was continuously teased for being too skinny! Like that would happen today.

    Poor Ben, glad he has the Beckinator for a mom. All will be well or she’ll be back.

  74. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:08 pm Chibi Jeebs Says:

    This makes me want to kick 8-year old ass. *CHIBI SMASH* Poor Benner. πŸ™ I’m glad he’s got you on his side.

  75. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:09 pm Mwa Says:

    That is terrible!

    I was bullied, and I just don’t know what I would do if it happened to my child. Your tactic sounds great, though. I’m remembering that one.

  76. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:17 pm Angie Says:

    hate bullies! Both girls have had some issues in school with bullies. I said once before having lil man I wanted to raise the mean kid just once and not the one that gets picked on. I know that is not possible from me but it felt good just to say it.
    Great job with what you did tell him that is some great help to him and not just BS

  77. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:27 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    When kids were mean to my kids I would always ask in my sweetest voice, “Oh honey. Do you want me to go shoot his butt off?”
    They always said yes. And laughed. And knew I was on their team.
    Your way is probably more practical.

  78. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:32 pm margy Says:

    I had to have this talk with my 12 year old (prompted because he was being teased yet again and responded by pulling the bully out of his chair by his face, I know you may be thinking “crazzzy, it’s your kid that sounds like the bully” but J just couldn’t take it anymore and snapped, and it didn’t look good on tape when I saw it), but after the crying stopped, we had a talk about coming up with things to say that get the teasing to stop. I used to tell him to say “Whatev, someday you will be working for me, and won’t that be fun for you” that quit working after the 10000 time. So now we have come up with a few other dandy sayings that seem to work but it still sucks that I had to teach my kid to be more manipulative than the other kids to get them to leave him alone. There is just under 5000 days of childhood, and I kills me that even one of them is spent in pain. There is plenty of pain that comes later, which reminds me gotta get back to work. Love the blog………

  79. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:36 pm amy d Says:

    You’re totally right. Whatever annoyances I have with my toddler at the moment, it is nothing in comparison to what you’re going through with Ben. It breaks my heart.

    Fucking bullies, dude!

    I like how pragmatic Ben is though. Repeating the steps and all;) What a cutie! This too shall pass Bex! Give sweet Ben a hug from the Internets, huh:)

  80. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:49 pm Kelly Says:

    There have been some issues lately with my second granddaughter. She just turned 6, but is about the size of a 9 or 10 year old. Super tall, solid muscle. I don’t think that she has been “trying” to be mean, but her size makes her much rougher then the other kids her age. Her mom had a baby last week, and she ended up staying with us, while my step-daughter was in the hospital.

    I watched her shove my 3 year old out of the way to go to the bathroom, after I had said that Mea was to be the first to go. Mea’s head nearly slammed into the sink.

    I nearly flipped my fucking lid.

    I sat her down, and gave her a huge lecture, about why she doesn’t have friends, and why she keeps getting in trouble at school, and that if she ever touches her “aunt” that way again that she will have to deal with ME bullying her, and did she want that to happen?

    Needless to say, she got on green light the next day at school, which apparently hadn’t happened all year, and she was nice as pie to her little auntie the rest of the visit.

    Some kids need to have a foot planted in their ass.

  81. On February 4th, 2010 at 2:54 pm Tracie Says:

    Your pranksters need their own island. Then our kids could all go to school together – no bullies allowed!!!

    Then again, what kind of super-human race would we be breeding with these offspring. Could go either way. *shrugs*

  82. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:33 pm Alexis Says:

    Holy. Crap.
    Our second girl had colic. It was, surely, the WORST THING I’ve ever gone through. But reading this post about the bullying and not being able to do jack about it, and teaching them to stand up for themselves while you wait at home, wringing your hands, hoping for the best…..uh, oh my god. I’m screwed.

    And here’s the thing, I’m well educated, reasonable and all that, but it’s only just becoming clear to me that too soon, they leave my constant supervision and protection.

    Yeah. I’m one of those moms. The one that pored over car seat reviews, and searched high and low for organic soothers, etc. Here’s hoping that by the time they encounter this, my ativan is topped up and I won’t have to bust any kneecaps….but I will if I have to.

    Thanks Aunt Becky. Real mom experiences. That’s what I love about you.

  83. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:35 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    Why do there have to be bullies in the world?? I can’t imagine anyone not liking YOU. I mean, come on. And kid bullies? They’re the worst!

    Glad you gave the teacher a heads up. I’d probably be waiting at school to kick some bully ass.

  84. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:42 pm SuperDixieKitten Says:

    Dear Auntie Beckster,

    This part of being a parent does suck balls. I’m going through it with both of my kids. Threatening the teacher is a good approach. I also got the kids social worker (read old skool guidance counselor) involved. I advised that if this were a work place, this behavior would be considered harrassment and someone would be fired. FUCK THAT sending your kids to school for it to be Hell for them.

  85. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:45 pm foradifferentkindofgirl (fadkog) Says:

    Reading this gives me a stomach ache because I want to step in for every kid being bullied. Last year when my youngest was, he was scared and he didn’t realize he could say anything to us or his teacher, and because we’d never dealt with a bullying issue before with my oldest, it sadly wasn’t even on my radar in this case and that pains me because I could SEE something was wrong with my boy, but I didn’t know how to help him. I hope this issue gets nipped for Ben and fast.

  86. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:48 pm KeepingYouAwake Says:

    I might or might not know someone with a pig farm, if you know what I mean. I think we can take care of this problem and leave nothing behind but a couple teeth and a picture on a milk carton. Unless that’s too much, and if so I’ll help out by thinking of mean names… You know, whatever.

  87. On February 4th, 2010 at 3:58 pm Rebecca Says:

    When did the bullying start with Ben? I think it’s pheromone related, I swear….you’re either born with a non-bully attracting pheromone or you’re born with a major bully attracting pheromone.

    When my son was about 18 months old (and still wasn’t TRULY walking due to his leg problems!) he was holding my hand at the bookstore and walking with my help. This smaller boy walks up to him (about 12 months old??)and naive me thinks the kid is going to give my adorable son a hug…..what does that little rat do? He leans back and then lunges forward and pushes my son really hard………..I remember thinking “What just happened here!” I swear to you, I wanted to kick that little boy back up into his mothers uterus!

    Then sometime shortly after my son had turned 2 and was only JUST starting to walk…..we were at a DIFFERENT book store and we were playing at the train table…there are like 20 trains at the table….4 kids, each of my kids had 2 trains……the other child had 2 trains…….so there are close to 15 trains to choose from……big bad bully boy comes up to MY SON and yanks both trains out of his hand and screamed a horrible sound………….This child was also much smaller than my son!!!

    Then, just this past Tuesday my nephew who just turned 1 year old on that very day…..cornered my son against the wall and was trying to take something away from him……

    All three times gave my boy a nightmare that very night!

    I swear……..I think it’s hormone related…kids just smell something and go for their target. I need to figure out a way to change my little guy’s pheromones or something!

  88. On February 4th, 2010 at 4:05 pm Jennifer Says:

    Man, I feel your pain. It gets better. In the meantime it really sucks that we can’t fight their battles. (Caveat: Sometimes we should. I’ve kicked my share of teachers’ and other pathetic adults’ substantial asses in my time on my daughter’s behalf. No kid is equipped to deal with adult bullshit. But I digress).

    I think you handled it perfectly. I also think one of the best things you can do for Ben is help him see it is not his problem. There is something seriously wrong with the bullies/catty bitches. They have their own self-esteem problems and misery really does love company. Kids don’t have the emotional development to figure that out on their own but a few well-aimed questions can get them thinking along those lines:

    Ben: “Mom, Asswipe (say with a French accent) is trying to upset me. He’s being mean.”

    Mom, who’s blood is boiling while she silently counts to 10 and fantasizes about giving Asswipe the Mother of All Wedgies: “Weird that Asswipe would do that. Would you ever be mean or try to upset another kid on the playground?”

    Ben: “No! That would be mean.”

    Mom: “Yeah. Why do you think Asswipe is such a mean person?”

    Ben: “Ummm [*lights come on*], because he’s an asswipe (lose the accent)?

    Seriously, kids are smart and when my daughter and I had conversations like this — lots of them and all the way into college where the bitches can be even more vindictive — the light would come on in my daughter’s eyes as she recognized it was not her problem.

  89. On February 4th, 2010 at 4:06 pm Michelle Says:

    My family is “cute”. It’s the bane of my existence. That means that my brother and I got picked on a lot, and it started early. I walked home from my second day of kindergarten with this fifth grader throwing rocks at my head. My locker was broken into four times in the first semester of eighth grade.
    Apparently, someone said something about me to my younger brother once (who is mildly autistic). He ended up with his bicycle in a tree. The best thing he ever taught me, though, was that he had pride in himself and his family. Considering that he was six years old, he wanted everyone to know who mattered to him and that his life was his own, bully be damned.
    As for me, I took up martial arts, and that solved the whole problem by reputation alone. πŸ˜‰

  90. On February 4th, 2010 at 5:35 pm Julia Says:

    Growing up on the spectrum (before anyone outside of Austria knew there was a spectrum), with thick glasses, buck teeth, a lisp and frequent moves to new schools, I faced a lot of bullying and such, but each of my parents gave me tools to deal with it.

    My mother taught me four lessons which I still use to this day:
    1. You can always come to me to talk. (It helps having a NT who can explain things, like idioms, slang, and people’s possible motivations.)
    2. Sometimes, if someone teases you, they actually like you and just don’t know how to tell you. (If not, see lesson 3.)
    3. If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, that’s their loss. (One of the best lessons EVER! Take that, office politics!)
    4. The art of sarcasm and the well-timed rebuttal. (Despite what some may say, Aspies can learn sarcasm – in fact, we’re often sarcastic without even realising it!)

    My father taught me four other lessons which were also very useful:
    1. How to do a hip throw. (Tossed a kid head-first into a snowbank once with this one.)
    2. How to punch/kick like you mean it. (None of that sissy catfighting!)
    3. Where the most sensitive parts of the body are that can be hit lightly with great result, and usually won’t leave a mark. (My favourite is the throat, but the solar plexus and kidneys work well too.)
    4. How to keep your balance, or to fall without hurting yourself and bounce up, ready to fight.
    (PS – he was a judo instructor…)

  91. On February 4th, 2010 at 6:06 pm Antropologa Says:

    You’re such a mama bear!

  92. On February 4th, 2010 at 6:56 pm Lisa Says:

    What I have found in my experience as an elementary teacher and now parent is that it is very important to teach your child that getting bullied happens to everyone at one time or another.

    Tell Ben stories (make them up if you have to) about your experiences. Have The Daver do the same. You can read books about kids who are being bullied. Kids need to understand that EVERYONE gets picked on so they do not take a fatal hit to their self esteem. Bullying can happen (and will happen) at school, at daycare, in sports, on playdates, at work, etc…

    IMO kids need to learn that this is a universal problem, so they do not have to feel alone or that there is something wrong with them. Then they need to learn strategies to diffuse the situation. Make them feel connected and empowered.

    TaeKwonDo is also a great help. A child who knows that he is physically capable of defending himself has a certain confidence. That confidence almost acts as a bully deflector. Bullies often pick the path of least resistance.

    Finally, Ben will read this post when he grows up and he probably won’t even remember this event. All he will see is the fierce love that his mother has always had for him, and isn’t that what it is all about?

  93. On February 4th, 2010 at 6:56 pm Dawn Says:

    Ask my kids what used to happen when another kid bullied them. Let’s just say, it doesn’t happen twice…

    My brother was my bully and I learned early to hide my real feelings.

    It wasn’t good for my emotional development.

  94. On February 4th, 2010 at 7:09 pm Pamajama Says:

    Oh Becky, this is why I could never blend into the background and not be “that mom” from the first time my kid cried (because of a kindergarten teacher). Bitch!

    I remember my friend at her daughter’s Burger King birthday party grabbing the boy being mean to her daughter — the sweetest girl in the world, who hung from her ceiling fan and screamed for her brother to turn it on, who cried when she put a carpet at the end of their driveway and couldn’t make it fly — well, Jeannie whispered something in this boy’s ear & I just had to ask her what she said. It was, “If you hurt my daughter again I’ll fucking kill you.”

    Call me for bail money and I’ll come in a heartbeat.

  95. On February 4th, 2010 at 7:12 pm Fanning Flashes Says:

    Sounds like bully needs to be signed up for historic plate of the month club – that’s what I used to do to get even. What’s his address?

  96. On February 4th, 2010 at 8:28 pm Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Love the name of your site..

    So this feeling never ever goes away. One time I was jogging with my son and we made a neighbor’s dog bark. The neighbor was sitting on his front porch and he was drunk, so he started yelling at my son. I walk up this guy’s sidewalk and tell him that he better not yell at my son or I will beat the crap out of him. We get home and my son (who is over six feet tall and about 185 lbs), sits me down and tells me that old drunk guys really can’t hurt him and in fact, if anyone was going to have to beat the guy up, he would probably be better at it than I would. They are always your babies, no matter how big they get!

  97. On February 4th, 2010 at 8:45 pm Terry Pounds Says:

    I could easily write a book about this but you get a lot of mail so I’ll keep this very brief.

    I was horribly unpopular as a kid and was bullied regularly. By junior high it turned physical and by senior high it was violent and after my nose was broken I dropped out. I became a wild self destructive adult, ripped apart by self loathing.

    Eventually I did get help and was shocked to learn that I had developed the exact same mental disorder as kids who are chronically abused by their parents. Neither I or anyone I’d ever talked to referred to what I’d gone through as abuse.

    My point? You are right to be concerned and you are doing the right thing. People are incredibly dismissive about the effects of bullying in schools but I can tell you first hand that the effects can be life altering. I had told every adult I could think of but nobody could or would help. Thankfully, those were different times and now schools are starting to recognize the issue. Keep on them, don’t stand for it, and good for you for being so supportive of your kid. I can tell you right now that you being there for him makes the biggest difference of all.

    Personally, when my oldest got bullied on the bus last year, I called the bus company and the principal and got the offending kids kicked off the bus.

    Let us know how it all turns out.


  98. On February 4th, 2010 at 9:03 pm ash Says:

    I don’t know you personally, but I wanted to let you know I really feel for you, and this almost made me cry. Poor Ben! Good luck..

  99. On February 4th, 2010 at 9:03 pm moonspun Says:

    That’s pretty darn savvy of you. And yea, I know that feeling of don’t hurt my kid. It’s intense.

  100. On February 4th, 2010 at 9:05 pm blueviolet Says:

    I have no tolerance for bullying either. I am a naughty mom and I always told my son, if anyone ever hits you, you have my permission to hit him back and make it a good one! I said he may get in trouble with the school but he wouldn’t get in trouble with me for defending himself. It was never necessary but I knew he’d handle it if it was.

  101. On February 4th, 2010 at 10:29 pm shiznee Says:

    Aunt Becky,

    I think it would be a good idea to contact that mom and dad. No matter whether the school says they’re dealing with it or not. You’d want to know, right? I say that because I have what I consider a super sensitive son, who about 5 years ago was accused of bullying. Background: my son was born with a congenital heart disorder, multiple surgeries, and accompanying learning disabilities that go with that…he was teased quite a lot when younger, and I think that he is very sensitive to the feelings of other children.

    Anyway, in my circumstance, my son had been a part of a group of boys who were playing and they were throwing balls and one of the boys ended up feeling like he was being singled out and bullied. I never found out about this until the end of the school year, 6 months after the altercation occurred. The school never notified me of my son’s involvement in the incident. When I finally found out through a mutual friend, I was MORTIFIED. I freaked out on my son (6 months late…not really ideal), called the mom and apologized and told her that would NEVER happen again, and she was so relieved and appreciative. I felt like such an **shole, I had seen her every morning in the carpool lane and waved and smiled, and she was probably thinking, “You and your kid are such dickheads.” After we talked, she felt better, I felt better, but more importantly, our kids totally started hanging out, and we had a Hallmark ending.

    My son is now 14, and was recently singled out twice in one month for coming to the rescue of kids who were being bullied at his school. TWICE IN ONE MONTH! So, I really think that you’d be doing the family a favor by letting them know what’s going on with their kid. It truly does take a village.


  102. On February 4th, 2010 at 10:33 pm uthostage Says:

    I hope if I ever have to deal with something like this with my daughter, that I will be able to give her similarly awesome advice. YOU ROCK!

  103. On February 4th, 2010 at 10:45 pm Krissa Says:

    Oh, honey. I SO know where you are coming from. We wanted girls both times and, just luckily, we got what we wanted. So here they are, all sweetness and love and hugs and kisses. Then the older one, that took more after John’s Hispanic skin tone and less after my German/Irish skin tone, rode the bus home in pre-K and asked me what the word “Taco” meant. A boy had called her that on the bus. I wanted to die and had a hard time controlling my emotions. John certainly handled it much better than I did.
    The strange thing is that this happened in Pre-K and nothing like that has ever happened again. They both have become very popular and accepted in their circles. Circles of mixed nationalities and higher learning.
    I feel for you and what you’re going through. Huggs!

  104. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:48 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    My big brother and The Daver were both picked on mercilessly. While they’ve maybe gotten over it, I never have. I hear about other kids being bullied, and it hurts me so much. Like this? I cried. I did! Like, I didn’t have an issue with bullies, but I sob over everyone else’s. I’m so sorry.

  105. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:02 pm Angie Says:

    You are a fine, fierce, wonderful mother.
    As the mother of two sons, I can tell you for sure that what Ben may not say is, You kick ASS and we all love you for it.

  106. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:46 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I hope so. Because I love him so fiercely that it hurts.

  107. On February 4th, 2010 at 11:40 pm Venti Vixen Says:


  108. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:46 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Heads are going to roll.

  109. On February 5th, 2010 at 12:30 am Amy Says:

    My little girl has a port wine stain on her cheek and gets grief sometimes about it, especially after laser treatments when it’s bruised. I just want to go to the school and confront the kid myself when she has come home crying. I ended up going to the teacher and she was extremely supportive, luckily. I hate bullies!

  110. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:45 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Bullies are assholes. I’m sorry you’re daughter gets it too. Mimi has some angel kisses on her face and I’m gonna guess between those and the big huge scar on the back of her head, she’s going to deal with her share of it, too. I’m going to have to give her ass kicking lessons from about 18 months on.

  111. On February 5th, 2010 at 4:14 am Kelley @ Magnetoboldtoo Says:

    Little fuckers.

    Let Auntie Kelley get on a plane and sort him out…

    (and DUDE I am so lucky that Boo has no concept of friends or such things and that The Damn Emos are well beyond that shit. Sending you HUGE lime infused vodka soaked smootches)

  112. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:44 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    Tonight, I will drink heavily. Teacher was gone yesterday. Ben started standing up to him because “the sub can’t do anything.”

  113. On February 5th, 2010 at 11:01 am Melissa Says:

    Go Benner!!

  114. On February 5th, 2010 at 8:25 am Fizzle Says:

    Go, Aunt (Momma) Becky! Kick some tiny person-booty! Those little shits are evil.

  115. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:43 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    It kills me that he’s going to have to learn what shitholes other people can be, you know?

  116. On February 5th, 2010 at 9:37 am Amanda@LadyScientist Says:

    I’m so angry on Ben’s and your behalf. I could seriously go for kicking some kid’s ass right now. Bullies are just awful. I got bullied a lot as a kid and walking away never did crap. I think you handled the situation very well. I hope that Ben’s teacher gets back to you soon with good news! (Like the little tormentor will be out of the country until school ends or something similar.)

  117. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:40 am Your Aunt Becky Says:

    I hope so too. Ben stood up to him yesterday and the kid said he wouldn’t leave him alone. But it’s a step.

  118. On February 5th, 2010 at 10:53 am Holli Says:

    My son is such a gentle kid. He just doesn’t have it in him to be mean to other people. We had a problem with this when he was in 4th grade. It was the worst year of my life. It was the most painful thing to go through. I couldn’t stand to watch it. In the end, we switched schools. (I know you’ve done that before). It was the best decision we ever made. My son is a whole new person. He has truely found himself.

    Watching your kid go through any kind of pain is a million times harder than any physical pain I’ve ever experienced.

    Hugs to you and Ben.

  119. On February 5th, 2010 at 11:06 am Suzanne Says:

    I always laugh when people talk about sweet, innocent kids. Some of them are flat out mean. Hope the bully backs away.

  120. On February 5th, 2010 at 11:20 am amber Says:

    Oh great. So what you’re telling me is, it never gets easier? Ever? because this seems pretty hard. Tell me you at least get to sit down every now and then?

    I think you did the right thing – telling Ben to get even. Those damn bullies deserve to be tattled on. I spent my entire childhood slinking away and it never did any good.

  121. On February 5th, 2010 at 12:14 pm mysteryj Says:

    Twenty years ago, when my daughter started first grade, she was picked on by a much bigger boy. She was small for her age, and it was suggested that she might do better to be held back a year, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea because her friends were in first grade. I didn’t realize that this boy continued to pick on her. Years later, when she was taking Psych 1, she heard that this kid committed suicide.

  122. On February 5th, 2010 at 2:54 pm Cupcake Governess Says:

    I worry so much aboutΒ these things when my daughter gets older. I mean how do you as an adult refrain from beating some kid’s ass?!?

    Or at least their parent’s ass!

    I think your advice was perfectly sound…and rational. Bravo!

  123. On February 5th, 2010 at 3:13 pm Wombat Central Says:

    When my son came home telling his “friend” was punching him on the bus (some with fists, and some in the stomach with a small pumpkin)I wanted to go all Chuck Norris on the little shit. Isn’t it amazing how parents of these monsters think they’re angels?

    And who knew it would be sooooo much more painful to see someone be mean to your kid than anything anyone ever did to you? Good for you for teaching him to stand up for himself.

  124. On February 5th, 2010 at 3:16 pm Wombat Central Says:

    When my son came home telling me his “friend” was punching him on the bus (some with fists, and some in the stomach with a small pumpkin), I wanted to go all Chuck Norris on the little shit. Isn’t it amazing how parents of these monsters think they’re angels?

    And who knew it would be sooooo much more painful to see someone be mean to your kid than anything anyone ever did to you? Good for you for teaching him to stand up for himself.

  125. On February 5th, 2010 at 3:16 pm Wombat Central Says:

    sorry–tried to make an edit and double-posted!

  126. On February 5th, 2010 at 3:18 pm PrincessJenn Says:

    I think that’s where my parents went wrong. They skipped over the ‘walk away’ crap and went straight to ‘hit them back twice as hard’. And what did I learn from that? That I have a mean right hook.
    I might be borrowing your strategy once V is school age. Either that or start enrolling her in UFC classes now.

  127. On February 5th, 2010 at 3:48 pm Sharon Says:

    If you ask me, a bullying problem needs to be solved by the whole class. They key is the bystanders- the kids who watch, relieved that it’s not them under attack. If they can be mobilized to stand up for a friend or a classmate, it makes a big difference.

    In a perfect world, we could count on working with those responsible- the bully and his or her parents. But that often doesn’t produce results- at least not in the short term- and our kids need results in the short term. I think teachers need to help kids create environments where bullying is not tolerated.

  128. On February 5th, 2010 at 4:57 pm Cat Says:

    If you need me to come up there and take care of that punk, I’ve got your back. Sounds like you’re giving Ben some good tools though!

  129. On February 5th, 2010 at 6:04 pm Sunday Stilwell Says:

    Amen! You tell em sister!
    What pains me is my boys can’t verbally express when someone is mean or hurts them…that makes it even harder and me even more vigilant in fighting for them…or FOR them if need be.

  130. On February 6th, 2010 at 9:18 am Nicole Says:

    I am a playground monitor at an elementary school. And yes, some of these kids that are bullies come from a bad home life, it is sad. Doesn’t justify that kind of behavior, but it is still heartbreaking.

    Role play with him, find out what the bully is saying and give him some phrases to use during the encounter. When the bully sees that it isn’t bother him, he will find someone else, or something else to do. Still have him go to the teacher, usually this is a red flag for other behaviors that need to be watched. Explain to him that he is helping all the other kids that are too scared to say anything.

    And most of the time, the kids standing around are just too afraid to do anything, they don’t want to be the focus of the bullying.

    You should also take pride in the fact that your son felt confident enough to approach you about this. A lot of times kids are unable to approach their parents, or any adult, until it is really bad. And even then they are sometimes still to ashamed to say it out loud.

    I hope it gets better, and I agree this is much worse than anything else we’ve had to deal with by far.

  131. On February 6th, 2010 at 12:36 pm Lippy Says:

    Oh that sucks. As a teacher, I just have no tolerance for that bullshit. Just this week Owen told us there are one or two kids who have been mean to him. It was hard getting info but they seem to be pushing him down on the playground. He thinks maybe they are trying to be funny. I think they are probably assholes. Owen is one of those kids ripe for the bullying. Let us know how this works out.

  132. On February 7th, 2010 at 6:02 pm Kendra Says:

    My son was picked on a lot by one particular kid at the beginning of this school year, which is first grade for him. There were lots of calls back and forth with his teacher, talking with my son about how he handles the situation, talking with the teacher about what she’s doing about it (everything right, by the way. As a first-time school parent, it means so much to have a teacher who listens to him and to us). And now it seems they’re friends. But oh, god, I think those first few weeks were harder on me than on him.

    We were at a birthday party yesteday for a girl in his class, and there were a hundred or so kids there, and I knew none of them. Her friends, her cousins, her cousins’ friends, etc. And there was a clown. My 6-year-old darling boy got this very elaborate balloon animal and was running around with it when he tripped and one of the four balloons it was made from popped. This boy standing between me and my son started laughing. I went and reassured him, and this kid kept laughing–and kept laughing. Fortunately we were able to move on and keep playing, but it wasn’t until last night that I realized that if we had had a problem, I would not have hesitated to tell this kid (7 or 8 years old) to KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF. Because this is my kid, and you do not laugh at him and make him cry unless you want me to bring my mom voice at you, and I may not have much, but I have mega Mom Voice.

    It was kind of empowering, to realize I would not have hesitated to stand up for him. And it was nice realized I didn’t actually have to–at least not that time.

  133. On February 8th, 2010 at 12:35 am Lola Says:

    Poor Ben and you!! I’ve always hated bullies. They were the only kids I ever actually picked on. Even though my son is well liked, mainly because he’s a class clown, there are times that he gets his feelings hurt by his friends not including him in their new cliques. Third-grade boys of today seem an awful lot like the mean girls of my day. I can’t stand half of the little bastards!!!

    Of course, I’ve been known to tell my son that they’re a bunch of whiny pussies and he should be glad that they don’t want to hang around with him. He thinks that’s hilarious, and he moves on to other friends for a while.

    We’ve always told him that bullies are bullies because they feel bad about themselves; to never let them get to him, and we’ve been arming him with smart-ass remarks since kindergarten. Lastly, I tell him that I’ll beat the crap out of him if he is ever a bully.

    Create a shitstorm at the school if you have to. I would. Hell, I’d have no problem pulling that little fucker aside at the next school play if he keeps it up πŸ˜‰

  134. On February 8th, 2010 at 1:46 pm SoccerMom Says:

    I also am a mom of a child who has been bullied thru grade school and Jr. High. He is now in H.S. Ulitmately there is nothing you can do, cause if you interfer you just make it ten times worse for your kid. All you can do is help teach them be more confident so that they can stand up for themselves. Eventually it will stop.

  135. On February 10th, 2010 at 9:00 pm mumma boo Says:

    Way to help Ben stand up for himself! There’s a fine line between being passive and being victimized. Cheeks knows that she’s not allowed to throw the first punch, but if she’s being bullied and the adults around aren’t doing anything about it, she’s within her rights to pop the little brat right in the kisser. I’d rather have her in trouble for defending herself than getting victimized.

  136. On February 27th, 2010 at 1:01 pm John's Mom Says:

    OMG – Nothing pisses me off more than the bullies who make my kid cry, it breaks my heart. In addition to what you have already done, teach Ben about karma, and to watch for it – it’s very satisfying. For a time in summer camp, there were two brothers who absolutely terrorized my 8 year old son, made fun of everything about him and got others to laugh at him. I spoke to teachers, administrators, and left messages for the parents (who never returned my calls). Then one day he he was just glowing with happiness when I picked him up. He said he didn’t have to worry about them bothering him anymore because 2 other kids pulled down their pants and EVERYONE saw that they wore BRIEFS (as in tightie whities.) So these two unfortunate brief-wearing bullies had suddenly become the victims, all because their mother did not buy them BOXER BRIEFS, the preferred undergarments of really cool kids. AND the younger bully also had cartoon characters on his briefs… a definite fashion faux-pas after first grade because, well, OBVIOUSLY!

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