Children and Discipline – If You Love Them, You Break Them

My middle kid is kind of a bully.

This grieves me greatly.

The victims of my son’s “I take amusement in cruelty” episodes are generally his brother and sister.  They tell on him and complain, but they don’t really fight back.  I don’t condone fistfights or violence as a first or second resort, and they really are good kids, so they try keep calm.

As a (mostly) peaceful parent, an experience-er of child abuse, and a mom that would kill-or-die for her kids, I have tried EVERYTHING to make this behavior stop.  Every single thing.  ALL THE THINGS.  From talking to restricting privileges to time out to spanking to toy removal to everything you can think of, I’ve tried it.  All of it, and more than once, and for at least a month at a time.

Nothing makes a dent.

Yesterday just after I arrived to pick up my kids from school,  Kid 1 and Kid 3 told me “Today, Kid 2 punched Sister in the face, then tripped Brother on the blacktop.”  All of this happened just as they arrived, three minutes after I’d dropped them off that morning, and before they were even in the building to start their day.

I sighed.

My heart said, “uugh.”Read More

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