The term “bully” has recently been used as a blanket statement for any kind of conflict. It seems that any time there is a conflict, especially between young children, people in authority automatically jump to the word “bully.” Last week, I made a post on Facebook about bullying. It feels to me that legitimate bullying situations are losing the focus and attention they deserve. Instead, claims of bullying are often kids just not being equipped to handle conflict.


My daughter got into the care after school and had a tearful confession for me. It is important to note that she never has conflict with others. She truly is a kind and sweet soul. Everyone lovers her, and she’s just “nice” to the point that I sometimes scratch my head wondering how she turned out this way. I was in shock to hear the confession that she got into a fight with a boy at school.

Her Version of Events

The boy called her names and threw a rock that hit her in the shoulder. She got mad that he was calling her names and chased him down on the playground. She then threw a rock at him and kicked him. Kids on the playground rallied around her, and the boy ended up in tears. He went to find a teacher and told on her.

I haven’t heard from the school, although I hear everyone (except her) got called into the principal’s office. She has only ever been in the principal’s office once before, to get her birthday pencil. In her mind, this is a huge deal. She is terrified to talk about the possibility of going to see the principal, or that the principal might think negatively of her.


As a teacher, I think this is more of a “spring is here,” or “boy/girl” issue than she might be letting on.

Our daughter was nervous that she had let us down, and that her father would be mad. I assured her everything was fine and that there are some lessons here to be learned. This exchange with my husband gave me a few chuckles.

I decided to take my daughter out and train with her to get more information. I also wanted to make sure that she was okay and that the situation is over. She needs to know that if she gets called into the principal’s office tomorrow, she needs to tell the truth. Everyone else has already been called in. At this point, there was a good understanding of what happened. Training with her would give us an opportunity to “talk” without it looking like I was digging.

I found one old workout and decided to give it a go with her. Man, I have some work to do. My knee was about to split wide-open from the burpees — but dang it, I held in there with her. I finished up with ten minutes on the treadmill.

The Things We Discussed While Working Out

  1. The chances are slim that the boy will mess with her or call her names again.
  2. If there is a consequence tomorrow, she needs to accept it with her head held high. She learned a valuable lesson about standing up for herself. She is learning how to identify and stick with her own personable boundaries for how other should treat her.

You all know that I always end these kinds of conversation with awesome parenting advice. My words of wisdom this time:

“Suck it up and accept responsibility. Keep your chin up. Things could always be worse.”

For instance, she could be a fifth-grade boy who messed with a girl, got chased down and beat up, and then left crying to tell on her. Socially, he’s probably not going to move past this situation for a long time.