Hey girl in dance class, keep your hands off my child’s butt!

I’m waiting for Rosie to come downstairs from dance when her teacher looks at me funny and says, “She wasn’t herself tonight. She was very mopey.”

Hmm. I thought. Not like my kid although with this puberty thing going on you never know what you might get. We got to the car and I asked what was wrong.

“I’m being bullied Mama,” she said and looked away.

“In class? Tell her not to talk to you at dance. Tell her she’s not nice.” I instructed my child.

“No. Not like that. I’m being bullied. Physically,” she said as she looked out the car window.

“What do you mean physically. Did someone push you in class? If so, you need to tell Marissa.” I said.

“No. This girl keeps pinching my butt. I’ve told her to stop, but she won’t and Marissa won’t believe me when I tell her anyway. ”  Tears begin to roll down her cheeks.

As pregnant pauses go, that was one of my finer moments. I was completely and utterly shocked. Searching my brain for what to say next. And, for what seemed like an eternity, nothing came out.

I’ve been waiting for the day that I’d have to have the inappropriate touching conversation with Rosie. I just thought it would be when she came home from school one day complaining about a boy who pinched her tushie or brushed her breast. I really hadn’t ever taken a moment to think that the conversation would surround another girl. It never crossed my mind.

We’ve exposed Rosie to all kinds of people. People of different races, religions and yes, sexual orientations. So, she knows that there are kids out there with two moms or dads and she’s not uncomfortable with that concept at all. She knows that some girls like other girls and that while it may be different from what she feels (which right now she doesn’t like boys either but she thinks she might soon), that it’s okay. So, the good news was that I didn’t have to introduce the topic of being gay for the first time. That was a blessing.

And, somewhere along the way, I must have done a good job talking about how you could only touch someone with permission because my child was smart enough to identify this as unwanted behavior. It must have gone on for a while for her to describe it as bullying because I’m sure the first time it happened she probably thought it was an accident. Obviously, now it was not.

And, to be honest, I was livid. Dance is my child’s safe haven. The one place she can go and forget about her troubles and cares. The only place she’s truly free. And, now it’s been violated (and so has she).

I took a deep breath, wiped my child’s tears and mustered up all the courage I had to say, “You’re right. She shouldn’t pinch you or even touch you. And, we need to find a way to make it stop.”

She reached out her hand to me and locked her fingers in mine. The hopelessness she had when she got in the car seemed to dissipate. She knew I’d do anything to protect her. I just needed to figure out how.

So I called dance and asked for their advice. They’re going to be proactive. Now, let’s see if it stops.



About debcb

All Deb wanted to do was work, until she had Rosie. For the past decade, she's juggled a full-time career, high-profile volunteer work and mommyhood.


  1. Angie Jamison says:

    Deb I had to deal with a Bully at school with both kids. The school didn’t get involved the first time so I got them involved and also let the parent know what was going on to stop the situation from happening any more. The kid will tell their aprent they didn’t do it and they will completely trust their child so keep a close eye on it to make it truly stop. This is especially hard for girls!

  2. I actually did have to deal with girl-on-girl bullying of this sort with my daughter last year. I had a hard time getting the teachers to take it seriously, but the girl was making my daughter feel uncomfortable. It made me upset that the school didn’t think this sort of same-sex harassment could occur. Take some sensitivity training, folks.

  3. Morgan’s always faced these kind of situations given her “features”. Whether it’s a foul comment or that uncomfortable closeness charateristic of 13 year old boys. I’m glad Bud told you so soon. Taking my daughter to the hospital for rape kit and pictures of scars far too deep to see literally ripped my heart out. “Why didn’t she just tell me?!” “I thought we talked about everything!” “What did I do wrong?” All these questions and more ran wild through my brain. I figured out quickly that shoving her in a closet and guarding the door was not going to be a productive option. Its been 3 years and Morgan still struggles with relationships and reacts violently to unexpected physical contact. that beautiful Bud will only bloom with water from your tears of happiness and sadness; sunshine from your smile and pride; your tender touch to weed out the tough choices and trash that litter her lifes garden with sorrow and anger.

    You are one of my dearest friends, so I won’t lie to you. The next few years are critical for you and Bud. Taking the time to go have your nails done, grab some soupage, lay in bed and have morning breathe pillow talks. Choose your battles wisely; they are not all worth the energy it takes to heat up the battle. Sometimes the best thing you can do is crawl in a blanket with her, a big bowl of popcorn and Sunny D for a Brat Pack marithon. Hang in there mommy! This too shall pass!

  4. midwestmomments says:

    Wow – that’s terrible! I can’t even imagine. Good for you. You gave the perfect answer. I hope I can be that clearminded when the day comes that we have something tough present itself.

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