What to do when an adult bullies your kid, like what happened to Tom Brady

Elise Solé

Tom Brady is defending his daughter after the host of a radio show called his little girl an “annoying little pissant.”

On Monday, the New England Patriots quarterback called into Boston sports radio station WEEI, where he has a weekly segment, to address the comments made by employee Alex Reimer, toward his 5-year-old daughter Vivian whom he shares with supermodel Gisele Bündchen.

“I’ve tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect,” Brady said. “I’ve always tried and come on and do a good job for you guys. It’s very disappointing when you hear [the comments about my daughter], certainly. My daughter, or any child, certainly don’t deserve that.”

Tom Brady stuck up for his 5-year-old daughter Vivian after a radio show host called her “annoying.” (Photo: Getty Images)

“I really don’t have much to say this morning,” Brady added before ending the call. “Maybe I’ll speak with you guys some other time.”

Reimer, who on Monday was suspended indefinitely, made the comments (which have been deleted from WEEI’s website but can be heard on YouTube) on Thursday after the first episode of Brady’s Facebook documentary series “Tom vs. Time” aired, according to the New York Post.

In the audio, when asked for his opinion on the show, Reimer said, “I thought it was fine. It was OK…alright, I thought the first scene was so staged where Brady’s like, in the kitchen, his kid’s being an annoying little pissant…”

The show launched in January and in a six-part series offers a glimpse into the football player’s career and family with Bündchen. Aside from Vivian, the couple shares 8-year-old son Benjamin and a 10-year-old son named John from Brady’s former relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.

“Tom Brady’s response was measured, focused, and appropriate,” Sharon Silver, creator of Proactive Parenting, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Ultimately, this was about an adult bullying a child, which can cause particular harm, because, at age 5, kids often believe that who they are in any given moment is who they will always be.”

For parents in the position of defending their children against criticism, Silver advises staying calm and resisting the urge to yell or insult the other person. “A simple ‘Excuse me?’ will cause the other person to reflect on their words and offer some sort of explanation,” says Silver.

If your child was present for the remarks, it’s important to follow up with a conversation. “Ask him or her, what they heard and took away from the remark,” says Silver. “That way, you’ll know where the work lies in regard to building the child’s self-esteem.”

Deborah Gilboa, M.D., a parenting and youth development expert, also tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “If your child’s behavior is truly problematic, you can acknowledge it without excusing it.” For example, if someone at the grocery store says your kid is too loud, Gilboa suggests something like, ‘I understand this looks like a bad moment, but I trust that my kid can calm himself down when he’s ready.’”

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