My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

Aimee the Baby Bully


My Mommyology Bullying Toddlers

You'd think they were really innocent...

Sam got bullied (again) today at the Chick-Fil-A play area (same place as before!  That play area is cursed I tell you).  But this time, instead of two older boys who were trying to scare her away, the unsuspecting enemy came in the form of a 17-month old girl named Aimee.  Sam was victimized twice; the first one I assumed was an accident, because they were inside the slide tunnel and I didn’t see it happen.  Sam just came crying back to me, so in my head, either she didn’t get what she wanted or Aimee did something to provoke it (note, I don’t know Aimee and her mother from Adam — it was just one of those, “chat-with-your-fellow-mom-while-watching-the-kids-play” moments). Either way I thought it was harmless kids’ play (Aimee is younger and smaller – so how could she intentionally hurt another toddler?).   I didn’t think anything of it either, when her mom called up to say, “I’m going to buy food — you be gentle!” and then she left Aimee in the care of her 3-yr old brother, who was busy playing elsewhere.

The second time, I saw Sam coming down the steps.  I could only see her feet, so I watched when she stopped and stood.  Then I saw an extra pair of little feet walk towards her before I heard the squeal.  Another parent in the area had apparently been observing Aimee’s interactions with the other kids (he saw Aimee push his daughter or tap another child present from the back), and he said quietly to me, “She likes to hit.”  That’s when I stood up, and I caught Aimee reaching behind Sam’s ear, squeezing it with her little fingers with all her might (Filipino vernacular term: nanginginig sa gigil).  Of course without hesitation, my big belly and I squeezed through the opening of the toddler staircase to push Aimee’s hand away  (I now wished I knocked her senseless.  Sorry.  Just being honest).  I picked up Sam who by then was crying in pain.  I got her some water, calmed her down and we left.  Aimee’s mother was no where in sight (probably still buying food).

I didn’t know who I wanted to punch first, the little girl or the absentee mother.  Moreso when we got home, upon further inspection, I noticed Sam had a nasty scratch at the back of her ear, a little scratch on her face and some dried blood on her upper lip, which may have been a result of a hard scratch to the face.

When my initial anger had subsided I began to think of how children like Aimee develop these bully-type habits.  Even at 17-months, what she was doing didn’t look innocent, and it fit every definition of what a bully is.  But how do they get to that point in the first place?  And is that a precedent of becoming a bully later on?

Based on an article I looked up on baby bullying (and further reinforced by the TLC blog I just found) I presume that:

My Mommyology Baby Bully

Click on the photo to read about baby bullying from TLC and Jim West

1.  Her parents are too lenient with her:  She does have an older brother, so could she be left to fend for herself? Or are they just too busy to notice? Is it something that she sees, like on TV (I can only imagine the violence in the cartoons that she is exposed to because of the older brother) but is not corrected because they think it is harmless?

2. She is calling for attention:  Maybe her parents negatively reinforce this behavior.  When she hurts her brother and he complains, suddenly her mom is all over her and she realizes that.

3.   She is mimicking what she sees:  Could it be her parents’ disciplining method of choice?  Because it honestly surprised me that she picked the ear (or the back of it) to squeeze, and not a more obvious body part to poke.  The way Annie was taught a lesson at the orphanage.  So again could she have seen that on TV somewhere?

At the end of the day, Sam is fine and the scratches are fading.  No permanent damage has been done and it’s playtime as usual.  The incident of Aimee the Baby Bully is forgotten.

I on the other hand, have it stuck in my head —  I want to believe no parent will deliberately teach their children to hurt others, and will raise them right, the best way they can.  So as a parent (about to have another child!) how do you know that what you’re doing is enough, too much, or too little?  And if in case this type of behavior still prevails, how do you not see it and nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand?

Author: mymommyology

I am the mom that I am because of my two wonderful little girls. They teach me everyday.


  1. I hate bullies!!!

  2. Dalhin mo dito yan at pingutin ko rin yang pumingot kay Sam! #@#!@# Grrrr!!!!

  3. Hhrrmmmphhh. When I get there, show me that mother and that little troublemaker. I will pinch the mother’s ear and step on her toes with my size 8 foot!

  4. I am so afraid of the day i have to deal with this.

    Right now, Benito is 21 months and have no constant play date. I bring him to the mall gym or play area and i realized very early on that he can actually be obnoxious ( he would usually go to a group of older children playing house/doctor and he would mess with the toys that they have laid out… and like a tornado, leave the mess he has made, while the kids are screaming and wailing in protest). He also as become possessive of toys and i know now that its precisely the environment i had put him in… where very early on he has learned that it is survival of the fittest. He has not harmed anyone (since every child in there is with a yaya or guardian), but since he is bigger than most kids his age, he tends to gravitate to the older children. stronger, street-wiser, experienced bullies. so it worries me.

    And i have no idea how i should deal with it.

    • Ceej! Benito has such sweet parents, by nature I highly doubt that he’ll turn into one! But this other article that I read said that the first step is parental awareness, and if parents were a little less lenient about wrong-doings or actions that hurt others, then there’s less of a chance of them turning into bullies. And for as long as they don’t physically seek out to hurt others and take pleasure in it, then maybe sometimes it’s just excess energy they need to release!

      Hugs! We do what we can yes? =)

  5. Ako rin minsan gusto kong patulan yung mga bully talaga. Recently, DH was with DD in Toy Kingdom in Mega Mall and 3 incidents happened on the same day:
    1. This boy just went up to her and pinched her
    2. Another boy kicked her in the shin
    3. Then when we were walking and DH was holding this huge TK bag, this boy comes out from nowhere, grabs the bag handle, looks inside and says “Barbie yan?”. Because we were quite shocked, we just stared at him while walking and then he bumps into a giant post in the middle just like some slapstick comedy scene.

    Major bullies and total disrespect for personal space. DD was quite shocked really.

    • Oh my God! I hope DD is okay.
      I think that was Sam’s initial reaction too — that this person is smaller than me, no way can she hurt me, and she did it twice!

      Hay, I hope it makes them stronger. DD should have kicked one of them, hahaha.

  6. The mom is probably a bully too! And what’s up with her leaving her two kids unattended while she goes to buy food?!

    I’d avoid that place from now on! Poor Sam! I would have wanted to knock little Aimee senseless too!

    • I don’t know how they can really. I mean, it’s nice that I know we should avoid that place from now on, and find another indoor play area to go to during the winter months. Thanks Christina! Next time we can team up, heehee.

  7. wawa naman c sammie . . . i could only suggest that you enroll her in a karate or kung fu class for kids. . if only to get even with some bully playmates. hahaha.

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