Could MY Child Be the Bully?

Signs That Indicate Your Child is A Bully from my segment on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook.

No parent wants to believe that their child who they raised to the best of their ability could possibly bully or physically hurt another person, but it happens.

It does not indicate that you are a bad mom or that it is a bad home situation, your child could just be poorly responding to conflicts that are happening at school.

I want to emphasize though that all children can show signs of bullying and not actually BE a bully or a danger to others.   Most of the time- the name calling and sticks and stones ARE just a normal part of growing up.

But, there are certain characteristics that can be seen in many children and teens who bully others.
Here are a few signs to watch for:

•If your child has a bad temper and seems to fly off the handle easily then they are likely also blowing up at school. Tempers can easily flare and lead to violence if someone doesn’t know how to deal with anger or frustration.

•A child or teen who bullies often sees violence in a positive light. They may think that fighting and violence is somehow “cool” and will talk about it like it’s no big deal.

• If your child often tries to dominate those around him/her (younger siblings, neighbors etc) then there is a chance that they are showing that same dominance at school.

•A child who is constantly getting into trouble and doesn’t seem to follow rules is likely to bully others and even become violent. If your child gets into trouble regularly for things like skipping class, fighting or disrespecting his teachers then bullying is a huge possibility.

• Anti-social behavior, while this sign may not indicate bullying, it is a warning sign that we shouldn’t ignore because it could lead to violent behavior on themselves or others.

I know it’s hard to imagine that OUR kids could be the ones bullying other children, but Moms, we have to keep our eyes open and pay attention ….and if you have noticed any of these signs and suspect that your child may be a bully, it’s time to sit down with your child and talk to them.

Find out if they are angry and why. Sometimes just talking to your child and giving them the chance to express themselves makes all the difference in the world.

Sometimes using word pictures to encourage compassion. Ask them, “how would you feel if…kids laughed when you read out loud in class?” Talk about specific situations in which you think your child might feel bullied in.

If talking to your child doesn’t seem to be making an impact and you continue to see the signs of bullying, it’s time to bring in some outside help. Talk to a school counselor or a therapist. There is no shame in helping our children navigate these difficult years.

Real moms know that our kids are the most valuable gift we’ve been given, let’s make sure we do all that we can for them!
I do the ‘Real Moms of West Michigan’ segments on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook every Tuesday morning around 7:05 AM. If you are not in the West Michigan area you can listen on iHeart radio

If you missed this segment, you can listen by clicking on the Star 105.7 tab.

Signs That Your Child Is Being Bullied

This is taken from my segment on Star 105.7 in West Michigan with Tommy and Brook.

I recently read a study that said that 160,000 kids are skipping school every day because of intimidation and bullying. This is not going away Moms, we need to know the signs to look out for in our kids. Sadly, our kids probably won’t come out and tell us so we need to educate ourselves.

Here are list of possible warnings that a child may be bullied and needs your support. Of course, these signs could indicate other problems, but any of these give us reasons to dig a little further.

Warning Signs:

  • Consistently losing things…toys, school supplies, clothing, lunches, or money
  • Or things coming home damage
  • Child comes home starving…bully stole their lunch.
  • If your child doesn’t want to go to school or ride the bus anymore.
    ~Your child complains of stomach aches or head aches when they have to go to school or school functions
  • Withdrawn, talks about feeling lonely
  • Their emotions are all over the place, moody or constantly sad
  • Marked change in typical behavior or personality
  • Your child begins bullying siblings or younger kids. (Bullied children can sometimes flip their role and become the bully.)
  • Waits to get home to use the bathroom. (School and park bathrooms, because they are often not adult-supervised, can be hot spots for bullying).
  • A sudden drop in grades. (Bullying can cause a child to have difficulty focusing and concentrating.)
  • Talks about feeling helpless or about suicide; runs away.

If we see these signs, what do we do?

Ask questions and watch your child’s reactions. Often what a child doesn’t say may be more telling than his words. Pay attention to your child’s body language. If they refuse to talk about it, there is probably bullying behind it.

If you suspect bullying and your child won’t talk to you, see if they will talk with a trusted adult who knows them well. A school teacher, aunt or uncle, friend of the family.

The trick is to figure out if your child is bullied and then where and when it is happening so you can get the right help for your child.

Often you will get more information out of your childs best friend. If you feel they are safe to talk to, ask a close friend of theirs how they are doing.

Make sure your child knows you are concerned and willing to listen whenever they need to talk. Emphasize that you believe in your child and what they are saying.

If the signs continue or intensify, please seek the help of a trained mental health professionals!


Next week we’re going to talk about the flip side of this, the signs that your child IS the bully…

I do the ‘Real Moms of West Michigan’ segments on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook every Tuesday morning around 7:05 AM. If you are not in the West Michigan area you can listen on iHeart radio

If you missed this segment, you can listen by clicking on the Star 105.7 tab.

I Prefer Nice People

I like nice people. They’re easy to get along with; they don’t stomp on your feelings by calling you a bad mom. They don’t eat your sandwich at the office or talk to your coworkers behind your back. They don’t tell you that you look nice on Sunday morning and then inform everyone in your Bible study that you dress like their Grandma.

Nice people are nice.

But then there are those others in life, there’s one in every office, family and small group. They are not nice. They hurt out feelings on a regular basis and make life miserable every five minutes they are around us. They get under our skin with condescending remarks about everything from the project we’re working on to the style of our hair. We don’t like them; we want them to go away. We wish they would move to Bangladesh or on really bad days we’d like them to be stuck in the woods with a pack of angry wolves like in the movie “Grey.” THAT would be awful for them, almost as awful as having to watch the movie, which was 2 hours past terrible. I’m a huge Liam Neeson fan and I still hated the movie.

Sadly, I have to inform you that we won’t have a life filled with nice people. The mean ones are out there and scouting new ways to make us want to curl up with a blanket and a gallon of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream while watching reruns of The New Adventures of Old Christine. Which never should have been cancelled but that’s another post.

The moral of this is that mean people are not going away so we may have to put on our big girl pants (unless you are a man, and in which case, please do not do this) and deal with it. You can’t wait for them to be nice to you; it’s not going to happen. Stop blaming them for your bad moods and hang nails. If you need to address a situation, do it. Be all Sally Field in Norma Rae and start a fire, but if your in laws or the lady in the choir are keeping you awake at night, it might be time to stop giving them that much power in your life. Let go of what you can’t control and don’t let their smallness make you small too. You’re better than that! You drive a (insert brand of car, and it really doesn’t matter what it is because cars don’t make us better people, but this is a rant so go with it)!

I can get 100 sweet comments on Facebook, but it’s the one negative one that spins in my mind like a gerbil on a wheel. Over and over until the squeaking makes you scream at your kids because they forgot to empty the dishwasher.

If we’re going to be happy and successful in this life we have to stop letting mean people take away our joy. They do not define us…unless we let them. The choice is ours. When we find our worth and value as a person, from the God who created us, we will not be so quick to forfeit our peace.

Dare to make today different. Dare to believe that you are loved and cherished by God and that He is right there with you. Don’t let feelings dictate your day.

C’mon girls (and guys), we got this!

Understanding the Difference Between a Lonely Kid and Loner

Another segment of the Real Moms of West Michigan with Tommy and Brook at STAR 105.7

I was listening to a report about the recent school shooting and they described the shooter as being “another loner” type child. It gave me chills and I wondered how we could do better at identifying these kids and getting them the help they need. I did a little research online and found some information.

Do I have a Lonely Kid or a Loner?

Some children prefer to be alone, they more of an introvert and that’s just part of their personality. We tend to call them shy.

Or there are children that go through rejection or they have what we call fren-emies and they have relationships that go back and forth between having friends and then not getting along, and that’s quite normal for kids.

This child might be upset when they feel rejected but it’s usually resolved in a matter of time and they have great days too.

But then there are children who are alone because they can’t seem to break the barriers of social circles. They rarely feel accepted or included and it bothers them. They hurt from the rejection.

They face one episode of exclusion after another. They could be the ones who are at risk for serious problems – depression, anxiety, even suicide or homicide.

A child facing normal social pain might be miserable because he’s not part of the “in-crowd,” but they’re not as at risk as the child who is not a part of any crowd and doesn’t have any healthy friendships.

We tend to think that it’s about being popular but it’s actually more about just being accepted.

Warning signs of these kids are:

  • They feel helpless and unhappy
  • unable to handle the ups and downs of daily life at home or in school
  • when faced with stress, say things like, “I hate my life” and “I wish I were dead.”

Obviously, these are huge red flags and we need to get our kids some outside help.

Some of the ways we can help our introverted children is:

  • Provide a variety of group opportunities. Offer them more “circles.”
  • Church groups, scouts, drama club, sports teams, karate – these all provide an alternative to school as a place for a child to make friends and gain acceptance.
  • Teach socially awkward children basic skills for getting along, such as how to guess what other people are feeling, how to join a group and how to make friends.

When students were asked what parents or teachers should do to help with social problems like teasing and bullying. They all shout, “Nothing! Stay out of it! You’ll only make things worse!”

However, if I ask the question a little differently, and invite them to think about anything an adult has ever done to help them thorough a difficult social situation, they will often say, “Someone listened to me.”


Moms, be vigilant, pay attention. Listen to your child.

If you need outside help, places like Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services are a great resource and they can point you in the right direction for getting help.

I also found a lot of great info at:

 And most importantly, pray. The Lord loves our children more than we do. He created them.
Psalms 46:1  God is our refuge and strength,  always ready to help in times of trouble.


Listen in West Michigan at STAR 105.7 on Tuesday mornings at 7:05 or listen live online at iHeart radio: STAR 105.7 on iHeart

Find Tommy and Brook online:
STAR 105.7
Twitter: @TommyAndBrook


What Can Moms Do About Bullying

Maranda had an excellent program this weekend on “Where You Live” about bullying.

I encourage all moms to check out her blog, she has some great insights from parents, kids and professionals.

One of the girls on that show said something so eye opening about the core of the pain these kids feel. Her name was Karleigh and she said: “when you feel worthless, all you want to do is die”

And I thought, THAT is the heart of what these kids are feeling when they are bullied, they feel worthless and de-valued. And I’m not a professional but as a MOM, I can help my child feel worth. I can show them that they have value.
I can validate them by encouraging them, praising them for accomplishments, telling our little girls that they are beautiful.

Our youngest daughter was adopted from China and she was born with a cleft lip and palate and her scar is very obvious and her little nose is flatter and kids say things to her that break her heart. I talked about it in this post: No One Else Looks Like Me

So we continually tell her she’s beautiful and how precious she is to us and to God, and I see that lift her countenance. It really makes a difference.

Our kids need us to fill their tanks.They need to know that they are an important part not only of our family but of the world. That they have a place, and they have a purpose. They are not here by accident.

And on the other side of this, we can talk to our kids about how we are all different and just like we encourage our kids- that the other kids in their school have a purpose too- and teach our kids to be sensitive to the differences in all of us.

It’s as simple as:
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Real moms can make a difference when we show our children their value and worth.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio: STAR 105.7

And visit Tommy and Brook at:
STAR 105.7
STAR 105.7 on Facebook
@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

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