Thursday, August 21, 2008


Sometimes my children with RAD are bullies. They try to dominate others kids, our pets, me, each other. Sometimes they use posturing. They try to get in the face, in the case of Bear now he tries to tower over me. They disagree with much of what others say and then try to prove them wrong in a condescending voice. They will punch, slap or spit. They walk around sniffing loudly, picking their noses and will belch in your face. They call kids names and make fun of them. Then when kids react negatively they come home and say in a weepy voice that someone is threatening to beat them up. "YA THINK?" Then they claim they have done NOTHING to this child and that they are threatening for absolutely no reason. I tried to explain how what he says may be leading up to this behavior (turns out 3 different kids have come up to Fish and said they with they could beat up Bear) . I have counselled Fish to just say nonchalantly "Just ignore him." Siiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhhh. Unfortunately, by the age 16 our children should have some form of social grace. Not so for Bear. I hope his day is better today.

Oh and I should add what I do when he bullies me. I have to admit there are days when I am weak and I just get back in his face and actually say "bring it." He always backs down but it is not good parenting. Instead I get a much better response when I put my hand gently on his arm and soften my eyes. I say "I know you are scared. It is hard to make friends. Do you want to talk about it?" Today maybe he'll do better. Maybe I will do better. I know I have to try.


Christine said...

Ds12 has just entered the youth group at church. He's a 6th grader. Not only is he one of the younger kids, but he is - by far - the smallest kid out of everyone, due to his nutritional history.

So, when he is with the "big kids" he is completely out of control and comfort mode. There is no one to bully. In fact, I know he looks around and realizes that he, in fact, is the most vulnerable kid in the whole room.

The first week was awful (ya' know - at home - he let us pay for it). This week was better. The older kids are very kind and encouraging. I think he expected to have to defend himself constantly. Right now he's in a "What the heck?" stage - trying to accept that he can actually feel safe there.

And quietly I enjoy the fact that he is in a place where he can't use his RAD Tools-o-Safety. He is just having to learn to either survive or trust. Period.

Well, that, and I don't have to worry about him bullying anyone during those times. It's like vacation! ha!

Unspeakable Joy said...

boy i know that "some days i do this right, but some days i do this wrong" feeling! i LOVE when it's the right one and you get a great result tho, so encouraging. but some days are just "bring it" days, shew!!

familygregg said...

Yah, I get the "bring it" reaction. My girle struggling w/RAD doesn't bully necessarily....but she does get overexcited and forgets/ignores her boundaries and gets in everyone's "circle/space" which feels like bulling.

Coffee Bean said...

Oh my gosh! I love the, "bring it." Imagining you saying that is a hoot! I don't care that you said it is bad parenting. I am going to try it one of these days!

Brenda said...

Coffee Bean,

OK now I am giggling thinking of YOU saying it. At least we make each other smile! : )