How I Handled “Away-Bata” in My Daughter’s School

Aug 20, 2018 | Mom Life

My youngest daughter has a strong personality. She’s not the one to back down or stay on the side when everyone else is playing. She’s the type who would like to dictate how the play goes, knows what she wants, say no to someone when she feels like it, and stands up for herself when the need arises. I always see this in various situations and surprisingly, she has stronger personality than her older sister. 

It was a typical day in school, well at least for me.

When I picked up my daughter in school, her teacher talked to me and another co-parent (who happens to be a friend). Apparently, our daughters got into a fight. It was the other kid who started it actually. According to her teacher, my daughter didn’t line up immediately when asked y the teacher. This irked the other kid and pushed my daughter, who was obviously caught off-guard and fell on the floor. My daughter, on the other hand, decided to fight back and (almost) punched her classmate. My daughter was so frustrated because she wasn’t able to hit her classmate that even if the other kid said sorry, she refused to back down. 

Don’t worry. We’re still working on her anger management issues, so don’t judge me. 

Anyway, we went home and I asked her what happened. A part of me was happy because I know that my daughter can stand up for herself. At least I know that she is not the one who starts fights, although I can sense that she wants to finish it. On the other hand, I don’t want her to have those violent tendencies because you’ll never know what could happen. 

On handling “away-bata”

I am not the type who would confront parents or scare the kid for hurting my daughters. I think it helped that I am friends with the other kid’s mother, so things didn’t turn out that bad. The mom apologized for what her daughter did. I said sorry as well because of my daughter’s intention to hurt her daughter, to which she was very understanding since it was her daughter who pushed first. 

I’m not really sure how to handle situations like this since this was actually the first time it happened to me. It was a good thing that the teacher settled the issue immediately and talked to us both and let us know what happened. I remember a co-parent from Gymboree telling me how annoyed she was with another parent when she was confronted directly because of what her daughter did to the son. She was so annoyed by the gesture that she stopped talking to that parent. 

In case situations such as this happened, here are some things to remember:

  • Never confront the child or the parent. For starters, confronting a little child will be traumatic for him/her so this a big NO-NO. Confronting a parent as well is not advisable because you only have your child’s version of the story. Talk to the teacher, ask what happened, and let the issue end there. Bringing the “fight” outside and even in social media will only ruin relationships. Having a mediator is important because this will create a peaceful and more effective dialogue than directly confronting the parent involved. 
  • Don’t fight all of your child’s battles. One of the things school teaches our kids is how to socialize. Our kids will be surrounded by different people with different personalities, with some clashing with our child’s; hence the fight. Allow the kids to experience that because surely, they will have more fights than they could imagine as they grow up. Let them stand up for themselves because they will learn from it eventually. Of course, it’s a different case when things get physical, so you have to intervene, which leads me to this next tip. . 
  • Never encourage the use of violence. Have you heard of the news  about a young boy who was “accidentally killed” by his friend because of away bata? It’s one of the parents’ worst nightmares and we don’t want that to happen to our kids or even anyone else. As a parent, it is our role and responsibility to discipline our kids and discourage any form of violence. A simple act of pushing or hitting may only mean an act of retaliation for them, but freak accidents happen in the most unexpected situations. 
  • Keep communication lines open with the child. Regardless of who started the fight first, it is important to talk to your child. Ask his/her version of the story, why s/he had to do such acts, and any lessons s/he learned from it. Remind the child that either starting or finishing the fight and hurting other people re some things they shouldn’t do. It is imperative to hear your child’s side to understand why s/he reacted that way. Avoid shouting since this will only tolerate aggressive or violent behavior. 

The bottom line is don’t tolerate bad behavior. Let’s discipline our kids as early as now before it’s too late.  

How about you mommas? Has your child been involved in away-bata? How did you handle it? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 


  1. marichu

    so far, mabait pa si baby ko and iniignore nya mga medyo nang aaway sa kanya. btw he is just 2 yrs old. sana magtuloy tuloy

    • Ayi

      As long as we instill the right mindset, I’m sure iiwas siya sa gulo but knows when to stand up when needed šŸ™‚

  2. Czjai Reyes-Ocampo

    This is one of the reasons why I enrolled my son in karate – so he can defend himself and know when he needs to defend himself or simply walk away from a fight. Effective naman so far. šŸ™‚

    • Ayi

      We’re thinking of enrolling them in Taekwondo actually. Let’s see if schedule permits šŸ™‚

  3. Ma.Me.Mi.Mommy

    Wow, I love your daughter’s feistiness! šŸ™‚ I totally agree with your tips. Number 1 is a constant reminder in our parents’ group. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any incident involving my kids yet. Whew!

    • Ayi

      Ayaw magpatalo. Hehe. But yes, never confront the parent or child directly.

  4. tweenselmom

    Sometimes i’ts inevitable na sumali sa away bata, when you think your child is being taken advantage of. But I agree with the points you mentioned and we should take our patience sometimes.

    • Ayi

      That’s true, especially when nabu-bully na or it’s getting physical or attacks in social media. That calls for intervention na.

  5. momi berlin

    I dealt with an away bata, too in school about a year ago. The parent was kinda pushy that she even bullied my son. She also sent messages to me which are way way offensive. My husband and I went to the school director and reported the incident. Turned out, the mother got a lot of complains from fellow parents and even teachers for being so overprotective of her son and bully people just to protect her son. Anyway, I agree with all your pieces of advice here.

    • Ayi

      Ay grabe yan. I wouldn’t allow our to be “victimized” by that kind of parent. I mean fine, all of us are protective in our own way, but we need to draw the line as well.

  6. Celerhina Aubrey

    Agree with not confronting the child. Kelangan talaga sa teacher tapos mag mediate si teacher bet you and the parent of the child.

  7. Kaycee Enerva

    I love how detailed your write up is mommy!

  8. Pam / Hey, Miss Adventures!

    Buti na lang, all’s well that ends well. So far naman I haven’t encountered a situation at this level. My daughter can be bossy but she’s also non-confrontational. She usually goes home if inaway xa and nagsusumbong, and then we tell her to just stay away. After a few minutes, ayun naglalaro na naman sila.

  9. May Arcenal

    I actually experienced this two weeks ago when my 4-year old son was being “bullied” by a bigger kid in our village’s playground. I think the important thing here is to make sure our children know how to properly “defend” themselves when someone oppresses them. And also how to manage their anger when these fights happen. I agree that we shouldn’t fight all of our children’s battles.

    • Ayi

      I think situations like this could be inevitable. As much as we teach our kids to be patient or to use gentle hands, meron talaga iba na may “violent tendencies.” it’s up to us parents on how we can help our kids stand up for themselves šŸ™‚


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