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No, You Can’t Punch My Kid

My daughter's brazen bully/friend's note.

The notebook lay open on the counter. I didn’t recognize Big Girl’s scrawl so I picked it up for a closer look. There, on the page, was the following:

“Bring it tomorrow and you said if you don’t I could punch you thank you good night.”


I called Big Girl into the kitchen. What was this, I wanted to know. Nervously, she explained that one of the little girls in her class told her to bring a specific toy to school. And if she didn’t, she was going to punch Big Girl.

“First off, don’t let anyone punch you. That is not okay,” I told her. Then I explained that she had to stick up for herself if she could. “You tell her no, it is not going to happen. That friends don’t punch friends for any reason.” (They only whip them with licorice — sorry, inside joke.) But my daughter wasn’t convinced she could do that.

I honestly forgot about it with the activities of yesterday: work, a book club meeting, Little Girl being tipped over in a shopping cart (that’s a whole other blog post). But Big Girl didn’t. It was the first thing she asked me this morning. “Mommy, can I bring the telescope to school because A. says she’s going to punch me if I don’t.” I explained that no, she couldn’t do that. She would get in trouble for bringing toys to school, but more important you can’t just give in to what is essentially a bully’s request. Instead, I told her, I would tell the wanna-be puncher that she wasn’t allowed to bring it to school. I wrote a note:

Dear A.,

We don’t punch our friends! If you want to play with the telescope, come for a playdate.

–Karen (Big Girl’s mom)

Big Girl was thrilled. We headed over to the bus, and I heard that little girl asking my Big Girl if she had brought the item in question. No, my daughter told her. And then she handed her the note.

I know that little girl. I like that little girl. I’m hoping a funny, direct message from someone I hope she knows and likes will drive the point home: We don’t threaten other children. It’s not nice. Still, it will be interesting to see what Big Girl tells me when she gets home.

Did I do the right thing? What would you have done. I am flying by the seat of my pants right now.

One Response to “No, You Can’t Punch My Kid”

  1. Katrina says:

    I am a mom of three, ages 3, 4, and 5. I am SO worried about other kids when they do go to school (my oldest has a late summer bday so he will start next fall). I think you made the right call here. You made your point clearly, but discreetly. The little girl probably needs to be around people like you so she sees this is not ok, so inviting her for a playdate gives her an opportunity to be around your family and helps her see that while you do not aprove of her behavior you still care about her and want her to be your daughter’s friend. Great call! How did it turn out?

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