Grabbing the BULL-y by the Horns

Probably one of the hardest skills a mom should master is hiding her emotions.  It’s putting on a façade of strength when inside, her spirit is crushed to bits.  I was faced with that challenge last week, when my daughter came home from school, crying.  She said that one of her classmates- I’ll call her K- broke her rosary.

It broke my heart to see my daughter sobbing.  Inside, my blood was curdling.  I pulled out all curse words I knew from my vocabulary, and mentally hurled them at K, stabbing straight through her heart.

It’s not so much about the broken rosary as it is about what my daughter was feeling.  She treasured that object, and seeing the beads fly all over the classroom simply shattered her.

My daughter went on to cite instances when K would forcefully demand her to lend her a pencil, etc.  There was also a time when K scratched my daughter’s forearm, for what reason I don’t know.  What set me off what hearing my daughter tell me that she’s afraid of K.  I now have a new name for K … Bully!

In the school I work at, I’ve seen bullying in all its forms, and educated myself on how to react and what to do if and when that happened to my daughter.  Now that it’s finally happened, all I feel is anger.  All sanity is lost.

I’ve written my daughter’s teacher about it, and we’ll take it from there.  I know this incident may pale in comparison to other cases of bullying, but when it happens to you, it’s simply the worst.

Do you have a bullying tale you’d like to share?

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Oh I have a bullying experienced when I was just in Kindergarten. My three table mates were all boys and they always teased me and even get my baon. Also, when they are very noisy, I was also being included with their punishment since we belonged in one table. I told my mom and she talked to our teacher. So what they did was they distribute the three boys in different tables. From then on, I enjoyed the school. Anyway, I can’t imagine how will I react if this will happen with my son. I will definitely fume in madness, haha. I wish I can control my emotions to..

    Mommy Maye (

    • Do you sometimes wonder where those three boys are now? :). So sorry you had to go through that in Kindergarten.

    • I like being bully to bullies but I only fight back at the right ones, you know the smart ones AMOR POWERS type… even up to this day. LOL. But to male bullies, I don’t rip them apart cuz they don’t deserve not even a miniscule of my attention. I’ve learned to deal bullies like such since grade school. You just can’t level the playing field with the boys in terms of verbal and physical prowess. It’s best to report them to parents if you can’t handle the beating. Bullies in primary schools are predominant and what Pepper did was just fair and square. However, if I was the parent, I’d picky up the phone and lash at the parents cuz they’re the prime reason why their kids’ horns outgrown them.

  2. anne lei says

    what a coincidence! my office mate went to her child’s school to report to the guidance office one CAT officer because of bullying her child. So far, it was resolved.
    Personally, I have not encountered it but sometimes my nieces were bullied by some of their playmates. I always tell them to make a stand.

  3. It makes my blood boil as well when I hear of things like this. When I was a kid, I almost got in a fight because some girls were bullying my younger sister. I threatened to report them all to the guidance counselor who happens to be our neighbor. My warning must have scared them off hehehe. Now, I always tell my nephews to stay away from bullies and if necessary, they should inform their teachers about it.

  4. My heart goes out to your daughter. My son experienced this in fourth grade. We did have to meet with the parents and it all worked out. You’re taking the right step.

  5. I hope the teachers react quickly to the situation to stop it escalating. I am not looking forward to situations like this with my own child(ren). I feel for you and your daughter! Well done for keeping cool on the outside at least.

  6. Well, I remember when I was a kid. I always get into fights because of my bully classmates. Well I guess in every school, there is that person or there are persons like that.


  7. Hi pepper my daughter has a little person in her class who is particularly bossy with her. I hope it won’t resort to bullying which is essentially defined as consistent harassment/physical/verbal abuse /blocking or ignoring (as opposed to a one off event.)
    My daughter, though, seems virtually obessessed by her – she was worried about this girl saying something to her for being late to a party the other day, for example. Or what she wears to ballet … Or just about anything.
    I’ve told my daughter to resort to the tactics she learnt at preschool where the kids were taught to hold their hand out and say: stop ‘so and so’, no ‘so and so’.
    It was such a simple and effective way for these little children to get their point across when they felt another child was violating their space, taking their toy etc.
    I tell my poppet she needs to understand that this other little one doesn’t have power over her, and to walk away from her if she’s not making her feel goo, like friends should.
    For me, I want my daughter to learn to be assertive and not to feel intimidated or robbed of her joy or sense of peace from the bad behaviour of another peer. It’s an ongoing lesson that will take a long time to develop because it involves courage and wisdom in the face of something that can be Frightening. It’s one of those lifelong lessons too because unfortunately bullies don’t go away as adults, they just get bigger.

    • Thanks for the wonderful insight :)
      I should teach that to my daughter too… to hold out her hand and say “stop” and “no” when needed.
      Yes, bullies are like wine- they only get better with age…
      I hope your daughter sticks up for herself like you’ve taught her. Maybe she can also channel her “obsession” with that bully someplace else?

  8. This is so sad to hear, I hope the school helps you get it all sorted out.

  9. i hope the school will immediately have action on this! i hate bullying that’s why when someone bullied me i fight back.

  10. My life has taken a sad turn in which we no longer feel safe in the neighborhood in which we live. Every since the weather has turned hot, we have had kids being jumped, my son has been in an attempted mugging, and some grown men followed my teen son and daughter when they were walking to a children’s program. As soon as my lease is up, I am out of here. In fact, I have already given my landlord a heads up!

    • Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that. It must’ve been traumatic for your son. Yes, get out of there fast!

  11. I’d definitely grab the BULLy by the horns if it were my daughter. HAHA. But kidding aside, moms can take everything but their kids in pain. You did the right thing by informing their teacher first. I hope everything will be okay soon.

  12. Haven’t had to deal with bullies yet but I know it will happen at some point and yes totally dreading the day. I used to be a foster care worker and got really good at shutting off my emotions and masking them as I saw and dealt with a ton of awful stuff. After I finished that job I felt like I could cry so easily and all of the time– I think shutting it off for so long just made me a mess.

  13. It’s so hard to be a parent, even if we want to grab those bullies by the horn we also have to consider being a good model to our kids, right?

    You did the right thing. Now, I hope the school will do too.

  14. Ughh…I’m terrified of this. I can recall several instances of thing..just mean things that people did and I’m not looking forward to hearing about it.

  15. Hi Pepper, I’m so sorry that your daughter, and you, had to go through this. Hopefully, her teacher was able to sort this out. Also, do you know the mother? Maybe she should be aware of this too.

    • I somehow managed to get the mom’s phone number, and texted her what happened. She went to see my daughter at recess in school and personally apologized to her (together with K). Now, I feel better :). I hope nothing like this ever happens again.

  16. Tama yung ginawa mo Sis! It has to be briought sa attention ng teacher coz eventually it might affect the confidence and social life of your kid at school. :) Pasaway naman yan si K! :)

  17. These situations are really hard to handle. Nasaktan ako when you said your daughter was sobbing. If I were in your position, baka sumugod na ako sa school. But good thing you have the patience to handle the situation. Bullying is really one of the things that should be put into consideration in the school.

  18. bullying is one i fear the most everytime i think that my son will be going to the big school. i have observed that he’s a sensitive boy and has little self confidence. in addition we are in a foreign country so just imagine my fear. i pray that he can cope up in his environment.

  19. Carla Barilá Karam says

    Awe, Pepper… my heart aches for your little girl. What amazes me is the strength you found within yourself not to start voicing your thoughts. Great job. Personally, I think that writing a letter is a great first step… hopefully this will stop K from growing into more of a bully than what she already is. I wonder how her home life is… more often than not these bullies are being bullied themselves at home by people (family) who should love them. May God always walk with your daughter! Blessings to you and yours.

    • Thanks, Carla. Yup, K’s home life may be a mess, that’s why she’s like that. I fear for all kids out there…

  20. I’m a special education teacher and I often hear of my students being bullied at school. They all know I have an open door policy where I will listen to what they have to say and talk to the appropriate people if they want. If not I’ll just listen and then contact their parents about what is happening. I’ve had instances where my students are afraid to go to lunch or on the playground. My schedule is flexible enough that it allows me to go out on recess or lunch duty for a few days to observe what is happening. I’m often times able to stop the bullying in its’ tracks and start a group game where both children can be on the same team and work through things.
    I also know that most schools have a bullying form you can fill out and that goes in the child’s file. It will keep your child away from that child in the future. Just something to think about.

    • Thanks for sharing this. I believe my daughter’s school has a “bullying procedure” written down somewhere in their handbook. I’ll look it up. Thanks very much for the insight, really! :) Oh, you must be doing a really good job with those bullies. You are every parent’s hero!

  21. Sadly I think we all face some degree of bullying in our lives, and it doesn’t stop in grade schools. Recently, I have watched it played out in the Oncology department where my son has been treated. Parents being bullied for even suggesting a second opinion, or making suggestions for patient care etc. Sometimes bullies grow up and become doctors with god complexes. :(

    • That’s scary- being bullied as an adult. We should know what to do if and when that happens. Thanks for sharing :)

  22. I think any form of bullying is a cause for alarm. It doesn’t have to be severe to justify action from a parent. I think you handled it well actually. Going through the teacher first.

    I used to have a classmate in elementary and she’s nice when she wants. But she is a bit of a bully. One day she just stabbed another classmate with a pen because she didn’t get what she want :/

    I hope the girl’s parents are level-headed as well.~
    Good luck! :)

  23. genefaith says

    when I’m in grade 1 there’s a boy who likes to tease me and follow me all around and poke me with anything..i get so angry one day that I punched him on the face that cause a nosebleed! Since then, he stopped bugging me.

    I just hope that my son will stand up against bullies and that he himself will not be a bully.

    • Way to go! You were one spunky first grader! That’s why I want to sign up my kid for martial arts classes :)

  24. My daughter is only four years old and she’s already being bullied in PRESCHOOL! There’s are only 5 girls in the class and they all follow the bully girl. When I pick my daughter up, she says “bully” had to go into time out again today. I ask why and she says, “She was yelling at me again.” It’s terrifying to think of what has happened to the victims of bullying.

  25. oh yes…my hearts breaks when things are not right with my kids. I hope you can get to the bottom of this and stop it right in its tracks. good luck!! You can still pray the rosary without the beads!

    • It was touching how my daughter’s other classmates helped gather the scattered beads for her :). You’re right, we can still pray without the beads :) thanks

  26. I was bullied in middle school and it was horrible. I didn’t really tell anyone though. I just stopped eating lunch and focused on making myself smaller.

    My kids are little now, and we haven’t gotten there yet, but they are beginning to see the power of words, and excluding people. Although with 3 year olds they go from bully to victim in a matter of seconds.

    I do have to say at this point that I am just as horrified to hear that my child is being hurt by another as by the fact that s/he is hurting another kid. I am amazed by parents who sit idly by when their kid is being an a–hole.

    • Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your middle school experience. Yes, I bet it was horrible for you. I hope your kids wouldn’t have to go through any form of bullying in the future. God help us…

  27. My oldest had a bully experience a few years ago when he first entered middle school. Actually it was a group of 4 bullies that tormented him on a daily basis. He kept thinking to himself that if he would ignore them that surely they would stop. After a week or two they were still at it. That is when he told us what was happening. We immediately scheduled a meeting with his teacher, guidance counselor, gym teacher, and principal. The other boys were suspended as there is a “no tolerance bullying rule” at the school. Ever since then he hasn’t had a problem with them. It was a rough couple of weeks for him though. So sorry that your daughter is going through this. Will be praying for her and for you as well. Blessings!

    • Thanks, Wendy :). Oh, it’s good that there’s a zero tolerance for bullying at his school. Serves those bullies right!

  28. Bullying , at whatever type, whether one think it’s a small thing or not, is unacceptable. I hope your daughter’s teacher will be able to handle this in a proactive manner.

  29. Ohhh!!! I feel so mad whenever I hear stories like this. Maybe your daughter is scared, but she needs to stand on her own especially that you’re not always there to monitor her. Go teach her how to defend herself! :)

  30. That is just awful!! I hope this is worked out asap. I think that bully should be expelled from school!

  31. Nakakagigil pag nakakarinig ng ganyan di ba? Buti nagsabi si daughter mo ang mahirap kasi pag hindi nagsasabi then malalaman mo na malalala na pala ang ginagawa. That’s what i don’t like about school – bullies. Sadly, parang reality na siya ng school life.

  32. Something similar happened to my son when he was still a junior kindergartner. He had a much older classmate and a foreign student at that who bullies almost every one in class when they’re playing in the school playground after class hours. She punched my son once, and I immediately let my son’s teacher know about this. I simply wouldn’t let this incident pass. I also told my son to learn to defend himself when he’s being hurt and to tell his teachers and school administrators that someone is hitting him.

    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’d love to punch that girl in the face myself! Yes, we should teach our kids to defend themselves. We won’t always be there for them.

  33. I am so glad parents are taking bullying more seriously these days. I think any form of bullying is unacceptable. I get frustrated when I see a kid hurt my feelings even at the Chickfila playground! I think we have to take action, appropriate action, but we have to do something so our children feel like we care and they are not alone.

  34. Single Dad says

    I’m glad that the teacher already apologized and hope it won’t happen again…

  35. Kerrie Woollhouse says

    I’ve been fortunate to not have bullies as I’ve always stood up for myself, however, many friends and my sister was bullied a lot and it has a huge impact on a person many years later. I used to try protect those that got bullied. We need to stand up for ourselves and each other! :)

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