Originally Posted by Maluhia
I think it's hard - some parents may just not know. In the end two kids tell their stories, both stories go to the principal and then the parents hear what they hear. I think it's hard in that kids tell one another things different from what the parents hear.
My daughter has told me that her friends have done/said things I know where things she did herself, it's her way of telling me the story and gauging my reaction. I often find out when I react well she'll admit it was her, but that is just normal 5 year old behavior to give a better story to her parents.
I think some of these kids may be telling their parents different, and sometimes children who tell about what happened to them are actually telling about what they've done. No children are angels, no children are devlis, they are children learning to interact.
I agree with this.
My DS is the one more likely to get bullied, though there's only been on physical incident we know of. He tends to be excluded or shut out of groups, probably because he's not a rough and tumble 'boy's boy' and is quiet, sensitive, artistic, and not athletic.
However, what I've seen is that they parents of the kids who shut him out or exclude (and also physically bullied him the one time we know of) him are good parents. (we go to a small community/neighborhood school and I've known most of the parents since the kids went to daycare together). I'm actually very good friends with the mom of the "leader of the pack." The stories they hear are different from what I hear.
For instance, in the one physical bullying instance that I know of, my DS told me the kids surrounded him and pushed him down. What the other boys told their parents was that my DS wanted to play but wasn't 'doing it right' and then go mad, ran at them, and fell.
So . .. what happened? I suspect that the kids were excluding my DS and he desperately wanted to play. Either he tripped or they pushed him (they're all 6-7 years old). He felt bullied. They felt like he was a clumsy pest.
I talked to all the parents, they all talked to their sons. I also mentioned it to the teachers. I felt like it was taken care of well. I realize, though, that having this sort of relationship with parents isn't always possible.
What I am saying, however, is that kids this age are testing limits of power, leadership, exclusion, and learning how to be social. This certainly doesn't justify bullying! I was livid when I heard what happened to DS. It does mean, though, that not everyone behaves perfectly all the time and we, as parents and as a community, have to teach our kids and model for our kids.
in the case of my son, I'm taking him to a training class on how to be bully-proof. he's learning to be more confident by making better eye contact, looking at people when he speaks, standing strongly and projecting confidence, speaking with strength, and interacting well with other kids. Is it his "fault" he's bullied? NO! but we can do things to help him learn to project more confidence and strength -- and we hope make him more attractive as a friend.
I know my friend, the mom of the leader of the pack, is really working with her son. But she doesn't always know what's going on every single day in every reaction and interaction at school. She also loves him and can get understandably a bit defensive when she feels that he's being labeled as a "bad kid." I approached it by saying, "DS told me this. We're trying to figure out what happened because it's so difficult to know what actually happened with 6 year olds. We want to help DS deal with these kinds of situations. Did your DS say anything? Would you ask him and let me know? That way we can better work with DS." This worked *so* well. I wasn't putting the blame on her DS (was internally but didn't let her know!) and was presenting it as something we were all working on together. I know this is not always possible and that we got such a good outcome because I know the parents on some level personally, and she is a good friend. But my point is more that no one wants to hear their kid, whom they love, accused and blamed. It's just not an effective starting point for conflict resolution. It's necessary some of the time, but not as a starting point.
anyway, I realize this is a bit long and rambly and I know there are just not nice kids and parents out there. but I think most kids are ok and just need guidance in learning to deal with their interactions.