Have you been a victim of a bully mum yet?
Whether it is a snide remark or snicker about the way you have dressed your child, a rude comment about the behaviour of your child, or a blatant attack on your opinion about parenting, bully mums can leave you feeling hurt, embarrassed and self-conscious of your parenting skills.
The Mum Bully
A mum bully can make you feel uncomfortable and inadequate about your parenting. She may spread rumours about you, call you names or rudely put you on the spot. She may even go so far as to try to convince other mums that you are in the wrong or that you are not to be trusted and shouldn’t spend time with. Bully mums are persuasive, bossy and controlling. Just like in school, these women tend to be the ‘Queens’ of their own group.
Mum bullies can sometimes typically be one of the leaders of the P & C meetings, the organizer of the school events program or the planner of social activities. They will most likely want to not only be involved with all decisions but be the ones to make the final choice. You may feel pressured by them to participate in certain things or conform to the way they want things done.
It sounds downright childish and ridiculous right? But mum bullying really does exist. And it happens more often than you may think!
One of the best things about getting older is that we do get wiser with age. Many mums are simply not willing to tolerant bullying behaviour the second time around and will walk away without a second thought. This is one of the best ways to handle the situation. If you find that you are feeling bullied, then don’t associate with that person. However, there are other ways to approach the problem as well.
You don’t want to stoop to the same level as the bully, talking bad about that person to other parents, but you may find that if you breach the subject, others will agree with you. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but if you find that a mum is trying to force her parenting habits and approaches onto others in a rude and negative way, then this can be considered bullying. Admitting that you would prefer to stay away from these strong viewpoints is not a crime and as long as you are doing it in a way that is honest and respectful, you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
Stand Your Ground
You want to be a part of the school mum community but you don’t want to be bullied. So stand your ground. Attend the things you want to attend but try not to cross paths with the bully. If she does approach you and start barking orders or putting you down, call her on it. You can expect her to get defensive and possibly downright rude but hopefully it will open her eyes.
How to Avoid Conflict in the First Place
- Try not to add Mums to your friends list on Facebook unless you are friends outside the school.
- Teach your child to come out to the car – so you avoid the ‘Mummy Group’ waiting inside.
- Let the ‘hands on’ parents be ‘hands on’. If you want to help out, do things that don’t involve actually being at the school.