bullies 1“Who is this student’s mother? Where is she?” A large man with a deep voice yelled. “I need to speak with her now.”

Claire knew that no matter what  that man was angry about, her son, Roger,  was the target of his rage, and that his mother; ME, was the person he was searching for. She would have loved to run away and hide but her sweet, fair-haired son, Roger, was approaching and the red-faced, enraged father was grasping him by his collar. Claire breathed deeply, aware that other mothers were holding their children’s hands, relieved that their little darlings were not the culprits. “I’m his mother,”  Claire managed to say before the tirade began. “What’s wrong with your son?” the father yelled. “I was walking  along, holding my daughter’s hand and chatting to her when your aggressive son came out of nowhere and hit her without provocation. What’s the matter with him? Do you and your husband or boyfriend beat him up?” Claire glanced at her son who was wearing that now familiar expression of sheepishness and defiance while the angry father was probably waiting for me, his mother, to get my Roger to apologize. BUT,  I knew that it was not  going to happen. I blurted out ”I’m so sorry. I will talk to my child,” and looked into my son’s eyes wondering for the 100th time what was wrong with him and what made him hit other students?” I was angry too, because I was no longer an ordinary mother. I was the mother of The Bully, a title I’ve lived with for years. When my toddler  was barely three years old, my girlfriend’s husband said that my darling child had intimidated their son and was too rough. Then I was asked  to remove him from the playgroup because he’d boxed a child there and was no longer welcome. After that, angry mothers, raging fathers and tearful schoolchildren came to complain. I sought the help of a therapist and did my best to implement what I’d learned there. To no avail. As Roger grew older, there were less complaints.

One day, soon after my younger son had started  school, he came home sobbing. “What happened?” I asked. “He, he, he took my lollipop.” “Who did?” “The big boy.” “Did you simply give it to him?” “Yes.”  “Why?” “He said I had to.” And Claire felt  more relieved than she had felt her whole life. Her younger son, the Bully’s brother, was now the victim. She and her husband had one son who was a bully and the other, a victim.

Both boys came from the same parents and lived in the same house so, how could they have produced two sons so different?

Can anyone explain this phenomena?





4 thoughts on “The BULLY’S MOTHER.

  1. Julian Brook

    I have a friend who has three children, two boys being the oldest and youngest, and a girl in between. The same dynamic exists, where the oldest is the bully. The youngest is very gentle and kind, but also timid and insecure to the point where the parents have sought therapy for him. I wonder how your oldest son felt when you had your second child, if the shift in attention hurt and confused him on some level? How old was he when you had your second son? The thing is, when he started acting out from a place of hurt, instead of receiving validation for his pain, it seems like he received a lot of judgment and blame in situations where he was acting out, something which likely made him feel even more alienated and confused inside. I see that with my friend’s boys, the oldest one became very domineering over his siblings, something which has inevitably nurtured that timidness and insecurity in the youngest one. The daughter gets special attention from the mother and so has managed much better, while that dynamic may also contribute to issues in both boys. Neither the bully mentality or the victim mentality are healthy at young ages, so I hope you pursue therapy (with reputable therapists, as there are plenty of ineffective ones) or keep a compassionate and intelligent conversation going with your kids in an effort to understand their needs and underlying hurts. Children are no different than adults in many ways, they crave security and validation. Bullies are understandably seen as the victimizers, but underneath there is usually some sense of victimhood driving that behaviour. They are insecure, and bullying becomes a way of securing a sense of self in relation to others when inside their image of self is not strong, or intertwined with some story of being cheated by others (something that can begin very early, for instance when parents have more children and the quality of attention the child receives changes). Those are just some thoughts. I wish you and your family the best, and hope you all get the support, and validation, that you all deserve.

  2. Ina Library

    Thank you so much for sharing such personal experiences. I think you are so brave and strong to face such challenges, and I commend you! Bullying (both as a bully and a victim) is a learning experience. These days, there are so many factors that determine how children react to their environment and whether or not they choose kindness. The media (television, movies, Youtube..) has a huge part in this! Sometimes I feel like when our kids absorb the crap, we can’t be surprised, and when they choose the moral high ground, we can’t help but be relieved. Take one day at a time, mama! Even if it takes a while, your sons will take your love and care and it will mold them into the wonderful gentlemen they are meant to be. 🙂


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