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Bullying my daughter

Community Member
I have a 4 year old daughter, and she gets bullied a lot by my niece, i look after my niece in the afternoons so my sister can work.i get a used a lot by my sister cause im to soft and wont say no to her. Ive tried to get my niece to stop bullying my daughter my niece has a lot of emotional problems. Now my daughter loves my other niece as shes gentle and plays with her. But when my two nieces get together they are 7 and 8, they both bully my daughter they tell her to go away, they wont play with her and its really nasty. Like on Saturday just gone i actually witnessed my niece pick my daughter up and take her out of the bedroom and my daughter was saying i wanna play with you. My daughter ends up in tears in the end and i do too as its cruel and i dont know how to stop it. I have spoken to my sisters about it i told one of my sisters that if they are together i wont be going over there im not putting my daughter through it anymore her response was ok your choice so in other words she dont care.. I suffer from depression and anxiety. It really makes me so mad cause its not fair and not right and nothing gets done to stop it. Any advice please its to the point i wanna pack our bags and disappear so noone knows where we are.
2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Libby, can I welcome you to the forums and thanks for posting your comment.

I'm very sorry your 4 year old daughter is treated this way because I've got a granddaughter the same age and it would hurt me so much to see this happen.

There are a few ways to cope with this, and as hard as it is, you need to tell your sister that you can't look after your niece, that may sound to be difficult, but tell her on the phone that she needs to find someone else to look after her, don't put up with any criticism.

Kids helpline 1800 55 1800 will certainly help you discuss these issues and also talk with your daughter about what's been happening.

Can I also suggest that you go and see your GP and ask them to refer you to a psychologist using the mental health plan, this entitles you to 10 free sessions per year.

They will teach you how to gain your strength in being able to say 'no' to your sister.

It's not so much about your sister working, it's about your daughter not being bullied because she is only 4 years old.

Take care.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Libby81

As a mum, my heart truly goes out to you!

Given much of the interaction happens in your home, you have an opportunity to lay ground rules. Instead of just disciplining your niece when it comes to positive interaction, you can also be disciplining your daughter. For example, when things start getting out of control, with an open mind you can say to both:

  • What are you trying to achieve, right now? I'd like you to think about how you could achieve this in a more thoughtful way while you are together
  • Is your behaviour positive or is it unfriendly? To your niece: You have the power to change your behaviour, I'll help you
  • What responsibility do you take for this behaviour? For your niece, if she does not take responsibility then I suggest you take it by removing her from the room where your daughter is playing. This will also teach your daughter that taking responsibility for poor behaviour is important
  • Perhaps you could take the opportunity to encourage self-assertiveness in your daughter. Maybe your daughter's mantra could become 'I am a kind person who deserves better than this behaviour!' She could even assert herself by leaving the room if need be
  • If creative and thoughtful play can not be achieved, consider removing your niece from the environment for a period of time. Continue encouraging your daughter to play creatively and thoughtfully, commending her on her wonderful imagination. You have every right to tell your sister to find another baby-sitter. Not having your niece over shows your daughter that tolerating poor behaviour is not something she must do. Arrange some play dates with kids who have a positive influence
  • Ask the girls if they are proud of their behaviour, if they are happiest being thoughtful caring people

Of course, by becoming a teacher, you'd be putting all that sort of stuff into kid terms/talk.

Greatest book I've ever read on self-esteem is 'The 6 pillars of self-esteem' by Nathaniel Branden. Highly recommend it! The above ideas I mention consider The practice of living consciously, whilst addressing self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and personal integrity.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with suggesting to your sister that she be more conscious of her daughter's behaviour, accepting it and taking responsibility for it. If the purpose behind you being baby-sitter is selfish on her part, I would question her personal integrity.

Take care of yourself and your daughter Libby81