Bullying. Dobbing. What would you do?

Kahlei has been out of Day Care for two weeks now, it’s exhausting to not have that little break from her, but at the same time I know this is what she needs. We’ve been spending some good quality time together and I am trying to do what I can to build her back up.

This week, Ellie came home from Day Care somewhat upset, having been told by the same boy that he doesn’t want to play with her and that he doesn’t like her or Kahlei. Even though the week before, he said he wanted to marry her when they were older. And then he follows her around all day.

Last night, she told me that she’s a ‘dobber’, which shocked me somewhat. I try not to use that word and asked her where she got that idea only to be told this same little boy calls her a ‘dibber dobber’ and that it upsets her.

I have to admit, that James and I have been encouraging her to tell the carer when he says things or pushes/hurts them. Given that the response she gave me when I brought up the issues Kahlei was having was “Oh, I never hear him say that.” and now Ellie’s paying.

We’re at a stage where I simply have no idea what to do. I know there’s a stigma around ‘dobbing’ but I thought it important that our carer become aware of what was happening. I know she tells him that what he’s doing or saying isn’t nice and moves away from him, as we’ve suggested.

I know she’s more confident and socially aware than Kahlei and able to look after herself in a way that her sister is yet to master, but I also know that she is a little girl. Words hurt. Being left out hurts. And now her sister isn’t there for her to go and be with.

I’m heartbroken about all of this. And the prospect of school for Ellie next year is giving me some anxiety. More anxiety. I’ve been feeling pretty good as a parent lately, but suddenly I feel I am floundering and failing. My poor babies.

Are we to continue encouraging Ellie to tell the carer what’s happening? Do we talk about dobbing, what you should tell and what you shouldn’t? Do I even know the answer to that myself? What can I do to build them up after this? What can I do to build them up to a point where they know their worth in a way that these things barely register? Is that even possible?

So many questions. What would you do?


Linking up with Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBot


  1. I’m all for the “dobbing”!! No one should have to keep quiet about words or actions that hurt emotionally or physically or especially both.
    I’m so sorry to hear that this little boy continues to bully and worse- continues to get away with it!!
    Can the day care people step in and take action? Surely they can find another family with NICE kids?
    I hope there is a great solution for you hunni.. You all don’t deserve this! Xxx

    • Thank you sweets. I don’t know if we should move them so close to actually moving and I worry about the message we’re sending that you change/leave/run when people are mean. They’re young and I want to just pull them all out, but then I know that next year when Ellie’s at school I won’t be able to just take her away when things are tough.

  2. Oh, I am totally in favour of “dobbing” when it comes to preschoolers. They do not have the maturity to deal with ongoing negative behaviours without adult support, and nor should they have to. I want my girls to know they can *always* tell a trusted adult when things aren’t going well, and that they’ll be supported. Sometimes that will mean “helped to resolve the situation on their own”, and sometimes it might need grown-up intervention.

    Your poor girls πŸ™ This whole story just makes me very sad to hear.

    • Thank you, Kathy. This is what I think, too. Unfortunately, I think our carer is looking at them coming to her to talk about the problem as dobbing, too, and not taking the time to hear what they’re saying.

  3. It sounds like a very perplexing situation. It’s awful when we can see our kids having difficulties. Teaching your child to be open and talk about things is healthy though. I like Kathy’s comment above…just knowing they have support is important. I hope it works out for you.
    Dropping by from IBOT. x

    • It is very perplexing. And difficult. Thank you, Zanni.

  4. πŸ™ I have no idea what to say… my daughter just started daycare and was told she pushes back when the boys push her – I do find that the girls don’t play with her as much as the boys do (will she become a tomboy?)

    I hope you get this sorted out soon!! xx sending u hugs!!

    visiting from #teamIBOT πŸ™‚

    • When my son started, I felt happy knowing that he was in a stage of pushing back when pushed as I knew it would show he was willing to stand up for himself. That sounds a little terrible, but at an age where he couldn’t vocalise, I thought it was the best he could manage!
      I hope your daughter is enjoying day care. I used to only have friends who were boys, too!

  5. I really feel for them, I am for them telling an adult if something was happening so it can be sorted..sending hugs too xo

    • Thank you x

  6. It’s defiantly not ok for that little boy to be calling her a dobber. I think it’s great they are telling their problems. I think there is a line though. If the child is dobbing the other child just so they can get in trouble and enjoy the other child getting in trouble then thats when its a problem. I know my 9 yr old does this to her sister and it’s frustrating. I will tell her to stop dobbing when I see it. But when its things like the other child is hurting them then yes they should speak up.

    • I agree, though, at the moment I don’t know how to make that line clear to my girls. And, I feel like the carer is seeing her need to talk and ask for help as ‘just dobbing’ without really paying attention.

  7. Oh Becky, that is just heartbreaking for all of you. I am a big advocate of being open and telling a trusted someone that another’s behaviour – especially if it’s of the bullying variety – is unacceptable. It makes it so hard – I wish I had all the right answers for you.

    • Thank you. It’s so hard and I would do anything to have the answers just pop up.

  8. Oh the poor love. Yes definitely dob away, this boy sounds just awful. Hope it sorts itself out sooner rather than later.

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

    oh and congrats on the Blogger of the Mo award at Diary of a SAHM, so very deserving

  9. I think at this age when the kids need a lot of feedback about their behaviour and guidance then “dobbing” is necessary. The day care carers have a role to play in teaching children how to resolve issues, and they won’t know about the issues unless they hear from the children involved. Perhaps you can explain to your little one that if she can’t sort it out with the little boy, if she has told him to stop or whatever, and he keeps doing it, then she can go and ask the teacher to help (as opposed to “dob”)

  10. Oh dear it certainly is heartbreaking to know when your kids are being bullied. It certainly is good to teach them to tell an adult and ask for help but maybe you can talk to the boy’s parents too?

    Congrats on being Blogger of the Mo’ as well. Hope things will work out soon.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  11. I have always told my girls to tell a teacher if it hurts your feeling or physically hurts them. Not for smaller annoyances or bad manners. It’s hard for a kids to tell the difference. The boy calling her a dobber is just an extension of his bullying behaviour. Go talk to the daycare and have them take care of the boy. I hope it gets sorted out soon. Rachel x

  12. I’m so sorry you’re girls are experiencing bullying at such a young age. When my children were in daycare, they were taught to extend the arm/hand and say “stop, I don’t like it” when another child bullied them. It worked for our children because it gave them the power back. Your daughters should be able to confide in her carers without being branded a dobber. I would suggest you arrange another carer/parent meeting and discuss your concerns. Take heart that school is a totally different environment. If this boy and your daughter are going to the same school, you can request that they be in different classes. They do not tolerate bullying at all. Have a read of this article, it might help…

  13. Oh gosh my heart goes out to you all. My boys have been bullied and then turned around and gave it back ~ getting caught out by the teachers and getting into trouble for it.
    I so feel for you on so many different levels. Is there a possiblity that you could change child care providers?
    Or even look at homeschooling options? If I could do things differently with my boys, it would be to encourage them to stand up for what they believe in, and to never let anything but being safe stand in there way.
    All i can say is do what feels right for you and your family. xxx

  14. Oh Becky. My heart goes out to you. When your children are hurting, it hurts you tenfold At least. My eldest is in school and they firmly advocate reporting these kinds of incidents to the teacher. And if there is anything I’m unhappy about at all, I’m there with my roaring lioness hat on. If it doesn’t feel right then don’t be afraid to stand up and say so. The daycare staff have an obligation to attend to the childrens emotional welfare as much as their physical welfare. You are such a caring mum – I wish you luck in trying to sort it out. xo

  15. Dobbing is such a hard thing. I’m pretty sure most parents struggle with it an one time or another.
    Our rule is Dobbing is for health and safety. But there is a lot that falls into that category….

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