Defending my daughter from a bully

A really good friend of mine recently moved to the city. I helped her find a home and eventually was able to get her kids into the same school as my daughter.

Little did I know that this would end up being one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in my life.

My friend and I always had a relationship very independent of our children. I never even really had a chance to get to know her kids very well until last summer when they moved only a block away from us. It only took me a few days to realize that my daughter and her daughter would never be friends.

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For starters, they got into terrible fights which almost always ended with my daughter crying. It started getting uncomfortable when we were scheduled to meet. I could see my friend's daughter bullying my little girl while her mom sat by and did absolutely nothing about it. While I absolutely respect the fact that we have different parenting styles, it was hard for me to keep my mouth shut.

My kids know that if they do something wrong, there will be a consequence. My friend's daughter, on the other hand, gets away with much more than I would expect--which is fine by me, until it ends up hurting my daughter.

I pride myself on the fact that I'm pretty objective when it comes to my kids. My girl is too sensitive even though she's very outgoing and friendly--she's just not the most self-confident person in the world. My friend's daughter is the complete opposite and very precocious.

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Before the academic year started, I asked the school to please place the girls in two different classrooms.They not only refused, but also stood by idly while my daughter was bullied by her so-called "friend."

My daughter started telling us that she didn't want to go to school--which was odd because she used to love school--and eventually, she started showing mild signs of anxiety. She didn't really tell us what was wrong, so I called the pediatrician and he asked us to visit a therapist.

The teachers kept saying her confrontations with this other little girl were normal, but how could they really know? My daughter was being threatened with violence in Spanish, a language that none of the grown ups at her school understood.

About a  month ago, a fight finally landed both girls in the principal's office. After the school psychologist's evaluation, they realized what was going on and asked to meet with me. I told them I was enraged to see how far they let this situation go.

When I approached my friend and tried to talk, I realized she was not really seeing things as they where.

I explained to her that my daughter was hurt and that she constantly feels picked on and bullied, but friend simply answered, "Wll, my daughter feels exactly the same way."

There's not much more I can do but stay away from her and her daughter, which makes me sad because I love my friend very much. But it's like they say, you have to recognize the problem before you can really do anything about it.

I know that my daughter will eventually have to face situations like this on her own and learn to stand up for herself, but right now she's only six and I'm going to put her happiness and safety first.

Have your kids ever been bullied? What did you do about it?

Topics: educación bilingüe  español  hispanic children  multicultural kids  niños  on parenting  parents and children  raising bilingual kids