This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison.  She asked our writers,

“If your child is having a problem (name calling, teasing, taking things) with other children at school, how would you handle it? Or how have you managed it if it has already happened? Is there an age when you stop interfering?”

This is how some of our World Moms have dealt with the situation…

Multitasking Mumma of Ontario, Canada writes:
“We don’t have this problem yet, but when I had foster kids I dealt with it by discussing their feelings first and how it was affecting them.  Then we went through how they can handle it next time it happens, ie: ignoring, walking away, addressing it.  Should it become aggressive or persistent then we would discuss telling an adult or involving parents.”

Mannahattamamma of United Arab Emirates writes:
“We have had this problem, although it took us a while to discover the problem. Son #1 was simply beastly at home – furious with everything, moping, glum. We asked and asked and finally he confessed that someone was giving him grief about being so small for his age and he hadn’t wanted to tell anyone because he “thought he should handle it himself.” (He was in third grade at the time).

After I got over my desire to go rip off the other kid’s head, we talked with Son #1 and explained that if his own attempts to stop something negative aren’t working, it’s his job to ask for help from a grownup: parent, teacher, counselor. We did the “it’s more mature to ask for help than to try and tough it out” routine. We talked with the teachers involved (teasing was happening at school), they talked to the boy who was doing the teasing, and the problem went away. And subsequently, when there have been problems (which, thankfully, have been few and far between), we get told and can help deal with them.

But I have to say–that first impulse? It was not at ALL mature.  It was “YOU ARE HURTING MY CHILD AND NOW I HAVE TO KILL YOU.” All mamma bear and whatnot. Yikes.”

Mamma Simona of South Africa writes:
“It’s hard to tame the “Mamma Bear” that wants to destroy anyone and anything which hurts our cub in any way! I’ve learned to listen and to ask them what they think they should do. You’ll be amazed at the wisdom and insight of a lot of young ones these days! I feel that the best way to help our kids to cope is by ensuring that they feel that you are their “safe place to fall” no matter what. Surprisingly most times they don’t want us to interfere or “give advice”, they just want to “vent” and feel validated!

My “cubs” are now 19 and 16 years old and the technique is the same! 🙂  I often offer to write a letter to the teacher or headmaster on my daughter’s behalf … but she never takes me up on it! Recently she broke up with her first boyfriend after having dated for 9 months. It broke my heart to see her upset, but I bit my tongue and allowed her to work through her feelings. She has now decided to avoid dating and rather enjoy spending time with the large group of friends (of both sexes) that she has. She told me that she knows that if she agreed to date any of her (male) friends it would only cause a problem for the group as a whole, and she loves them all as brothers! I feel blessed that my daughter has a strong enough self-esteem not to feel that she needs to rely on anyone else for her happiness. I believe that this has come from having allowed her to fight her own fights even when I desperately wanted to protect her!”

TwinMom112 of Pennsylvania, USA writes:
“Ahhh, the “hover-mom” title. I often find myself attempting to mediate between my daughters and always checking and rechecking how they feel or are feeling about a situation. I think that too often I don’t allow them to process their own feelings and learn to develop their own coping skills before I try to rationalize a situation to the extreme. Motherhood is a learning process and I am learning new lessons every day!”

Eva Fannon of Washington State, USA writes:
“I can already see how my big girl’s world is changing now that she is in Kindergarten.  She’s pretty shy and quiet, and has had a small tight group of friends throughout pre-school who she just adores.  Last September they all got split up since we live in different parts of the city.

I always ask her about her day when I first see her after-school.  If she doesn’t open up, then I ask her about recess and what she did, who she played with, etc.  I remember one time she told me she wanted to play with Mary, a girl in her class, and they were chatting, and then Susie, another girl in her class, came over, took Mary by the arm and said “Let’s go!”  My big girl said, “I was talking with Mary.  I want to play with her.” And Susie responded, “Well, we don’t want to play with you.” And Susie led Mary away.  Hearing that story broke my heart.  Who wouldn’t want to play with MY sweet girl?!?  I even cried when I re-told the story to my mom.  But, I held myself together, and used that as an opportunity to coach her.  As Mamma Simona mentions above, I asked her how she would handle that type of situation next time.  Thankfully, we haven’t had any repeat episodes.”

What about you…how do you handle situations when your child(ren) is/are having a problem with someone at school?  

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers?  If so, email us at to see what they have to say.

Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow to take a peek at the travel itinerary for next week!

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit to theirhistory   This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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