I want all parents to start paying attention to how their children interact with other children. In the wake of the bus attendant incident, we all need to make sure that our children are not one of those "Mean" kids. Make sure that your kid is being nice and plays well with other children. I don't believe for one second that those boys have never bullied before.
If your small child takes something from another child don't just stand by and wait for the kids to work it out. Children need to learn about taking turns and sharing at an early age. They need parental guidance to do it properly. Children need parents to teach them how to compromise. If you don't provide this guidance at an early age, this behavior seems normal to your kid which will make him/her a bully or the mean kid. When kids get guidance at an early age, they will be more comfortable and confident in solving their own issues with their peers as teens.
I have encountered mean children whose parents don't seem to care that they are mean. Maybe they just don't know what to do. Some have even enabled the mean behavior. Here is a play date scenario where the parent enabled the mean behavior.
Child A: I don't want you to sit on the couch with me, you need to sit on the floor.
Child B: Why do I have to sit on the floor?
Mother of Child A: Can you just sit on the floor so that she can stop acting up?
Needless to say, Child B is no longer friends with Child A. Child A was involved in another mean incident with Child B years later. She is now a teenager and I am worried about her meanness and how it has progressed with other children.
Child A has a sister that was good friends with another child. The sister wanted a picture that the other child made in school. When the child told her that she could not have it, she declared that she was not going to invite the child to her birthday party. Even though they had been close friends for years and there was no other incident, the child did not get invited to the party. The fact that the parents allowed this was very disappointing. Here is how I handled a party situation.
My older daughter was having some issues with a friend and she said that she didn't want to invite that person to her birthday party. I told her that they had been friends for years and that by the time her birthdate arrived they would be friends again so she should invite her. We invited the child to the party and they were indeed friends again at the time of the party.
I teach my children how to be a good friend. I also teach them how to know what a good friend is. Parents need to talk to their kids about their friendships. Talk to them about what to expect from their friends and don't be afraid to tell them when they are not being a good friend and when others aren't as well.
Parents, it's up to you to make sure you don't have a mean kid. Lead by example, teach your kid kindness and respect. I know this saying is as old as dirt, but it still rings true today. Treat others the way that you want to be treated! It's simple people!!