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Are homeschooled kids really bullied any less than kids that go to school? - Page 2

post #21 of 95

Rain says she's never been bullied. I don't think I've ever seen her bullied, or bully someone else. That doesn't mean that social interactions always went smoothly - there were moments of "You can't play with me!" and "You're not invited to my birthday party!" (which was, for a time, the worst thing she and her friends could think of to say to each other), and kids made fun of her and were unkind, and she made fun of other kids and was unkind. The difference with homeschooling was really that the adult: child ratio was usually higher than at schools, so adults could more easily see what was going on and were able to step in and help the kids negotiate solutions if it seemed warranted. Sometimes that happens in schools, but often it's just not logistically possible. 

 

I also think that functional homeschooling groups tend to set up a dynamic of problem solving early on, so kids expect that they'll either need to resolve their issues among themselves or that an adult will step in to guide them. In the groups we belonged to what Rain was young, the kids were pretty good at working things out themselves... except when each new school year started and a new group of kids who had just started homeschooling joined up. Every year, there would be squabbles and more exclusionary play, until things sort of reached a balance. 

 

In school I was a bully, and I was bullied, at different times. I remember sitting in the principal's office and lying to his face when I was 11 or 12 about some bullying I had been doing, and he believed me because I was a good student and looked him in the eye, A  couple of years later there was a group of girls who followed my around and mocked my clothes and wrote nasty things on my locker door, and I had no idea how to deal or what to do, and I never told anyone. In retrospect, I don't know why no one - a janitor, maybe? - saw the stuff written on my locker and stepped in, but I guess back then bullying was considered normal. I do think schools do a lot more now to combat bullying.

post #22 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

 In retrospect, I don't know why no one - a janitor, maybe? - saw the stuff written on my locker and stepped in, but I guess back then bullying was considered normal. I do think schools do a lot more now to combat bullying.

 

When I was in grade 7 I was bullied rather severely.  I remember writing/doodling  all over a paper how much I hated this school, etc, etc.  It turns out I hand to hand in this paper (I did not know this when I did the writing) and the teacher corrected my spelling.  She did not ask me why I was miserable - she corrected my English.  Talk about turning a blind eye.  
 

post #23 of 95
Well, we don't go to a homeschool group. But I was bullied as a public schooler, but never outside of school. Same with my oldest dd. In karate they were not bullied, but harassed by an annoying girl but we left that class because it was poorly taught and poorly supervised.
post #24 of 95

 

Quote:
One of the boys he likes the most is always mean to him, excluding him, hitting him, telling him he can't play unless he follows this boy's rules. 

 

Have you talked to this boy's mother about the behavior? I know if my kid were the one acting that way, it would be dealt with immediately.

post #25 of 95

A child absolutely does not need to be bullied to learn how to deal with bullies that may come along sometime in life or to know compassion for others. The pain and confusion of being bullied early in life is an experience that can distract from the sense of self confidence that works quite well in dealing with later bullies in a way that can deflect or neutralize such dysfunctional behavior. A child who has a chance to develop comfort, compassion, and self confidence in social situations will fare much better if he should ever be faced with challenges. I think your son needs time and space to develop away from those kinds of irrational encounters.

 

I know of a couple of situations where my son encountered attempts to bully him, and he found that behavior so comical that he assumed they must be joking - the bullies just gave up. In one case, in 1st grade, I saw them simply stop it and become friendly. In one later case, a notorious local bully he didn't know tried to bully him when he was out with some friends, but the guy gave up and made a gesture of conciliation in front of the whole group by picking up and handing to my son something he'd purposely grabbed from him. Everyone in the group was stunned, except for my son, because he didn't know the boy's reputation. I think the common element in each case was that the bully was being treated like someone who was more than he thought he was. That social sense comes from having had a chance to develop healthy self confidence, humor, and compassion. 

 

I see no reason why bullying should be allowed in a homeschooling group - it certainly wasn't a part of the one we belonged to. I'd keep looking for social situations that are fun and supportive, and you can probably find those by arranging your own small group get togethers with compatible children. One on one play can be very rewarding, but it takes work - persistent, ongoing phone calls to make arrangements - and it starts to build its own momentum once bonds get formed. 


Lillian

post #26 of 95

Oh! I forgot to mention this, but I now that my daughter has defended kids who were being bullied, too, when she was 13 or so. 

post #27 of 95



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post

I've encountered a few bullying situations with both younger kids and teens in the homeschool community over the past few years. .


 

We homeschooled for years, and now my kids are in school. I saw bullying in homeschool groups, and I saw parents ignore it. Because no one was in charge, there wasn't an authority who could step in and deal with it. It was really up to the parent of bully, which, for the most part, was a bit of a joke. So the parent of the bullied child can stay home and isolate their child, or put up with bullying. Those are both, IMHO, crappy options.

 

At school, even public school, there is a neutral party to ATTEMPT to deal with the situation.

 

I think bullying can happen more hours a week at school than in a homeschool group, but it happens both places.

 

The best situation for our kids has been a private alternative school, where the staff really stay on top of things. They work with the kids, but will eventual require a child leave the school if they continue in bullying behavior.

 

We found it's better when its NOT just the parents getting decide what the rules and consequences are for their kids. Parents have very different ideas about what is OK.


my dd has been bullied by another hser.  and i watched and when i realized that it was over dd's ability to cope, i stepped in and would intervene - basically trying to redirect the bully, or letting her know that is is inapproriate behavior.  then i would let the mom know that her dd was being unreasonanable.  i would try to put this delicately and everyone can play along that they are shocked that their wonderful dd would ever act that way.  i would also let the bullly know that i was watching her.  if it continued, i would make a point of totally stepping in.  and then, yes, we don't hang out with that kid much anymore.  luckily we live in an area with TONS of hsers, so socially, we aren't tied to only one group.  also, the social co-op we are part of has a really good policy about parents watching their kids and that the bully won't be allowed to come back if there are complaints about behavior. 

but at school, i don't trust a teacher to necessarily see what is going on.  there is lots of bullying that goes unnoticed. there are just too many kids.  all the hs stuff we go to i am part of there are not drop offs, so i get to step in when i need to.  and later, dd and i can evaluate the situation.  if she was in school, i may not see it or know what is going on- i would have to depend on her to fill me in and i'm not sure she would.  how much did i keep from my mom and we are very close?

no, i would much rather be there and deal with the whole family and be able to step in than hope that the school notices or that dd tells me.  in a school situation, it becomes so normal to be bullied and then what is there to tell? it was just a normal day.

to the OP - if this is a co-op situation is there a coordinate you coiuld talk to about it?  maybe they could gently remind all parents that they need to prevent bullying.
 

post #28 of 95

I'm going to hazard a guess and say that statistically, there MUST be less bullying amongst home-schoolers.  More involved parents on average, fewer kids in the group, around fewer kids for less time every day.

 

However, I think homeschooling out of fear is not a good idea.  There are lots of ways to deal with bullying including making sure policies that punish bullies are enforced.

 

I think some schools are far worse than others.  I was not at all in the popular crowd--band, bookish, you name it--but I was only teased briefly.  I don't know many people who were bullied.  It all depends on the school.

post #29 of 95


You look so joyful and free! I love this picture!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by objet_trouve View Post

I was homeschooled and was rarely bullied. Even in my high school years when I was at my most bipolar, street preaching obnoxious, I wasn't bullied. Every single public and private school kid I knew was being bullied (one girl's family was even having to file lawsuits for sexual harassment when she was age 14), but I wasn't. My lifestyle was envied. I was free to be anti-conformist, free spirited and true to myself. I was allowed to let my eccentricities run wild, so long as I never made permanent marks on my body like tattoos or piercing until I turned 18. Being myself was easily the most valuable lesson I received.

 

If you do homeschool, please let your kid be himself!! Here's a picture of me in high school to give you an idea of how I was allowed to grow up: http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z203/lofnmusic/DSC04844.jpg

 

I looked like that, and grew up intelligent and confident and full of hope and passion. I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world.

post #30 of 95

Before I had children of my own I was a teacher.  When I was out on recess supervision I was responsible for one side of the playground where about 70 children played.  I did my best to be proactive, but it is not possible for one person to take care of so many children.  There is a lot going on in schools that teachers, and parents especially, know nothing about. 

 

I do think that homeschooled children are bullied less,  but that doesn't mean that they are never bullied.  They can be bullied by other homeschooled children, neighborhood children, or even cousins.  My children have been (mildly) bullied by other children, but the difference is that they have the freedom to avoid these children and situations.  I was bullied by a boy in 7th grade by someone in my homeroom classroom.  I developed anxiety and depression as a result of this bullying and I had to spend time in the same classroom as this bully ALL DAY LONG, for 5 days a week.  He didn't bully me when the teacher was around, he bullied me in the hallway when we changed classes, when the teacher stepped out of the room, or he'd whisper something rude as he'd walk by my desk.  It was very harmful for me (emotionally and spiritually), and I would have been far better off without the bullying.  It did not "strengthen" me in any way, in fact, I would say it tore me down terribly.  I never told my teachers or parents about it.

 

In contrast, my children live a very different life than I did at their age.  They are happy and excited about life.  They don't dread every day, or worry about what other kids are going to think, do, or say to them.  I don't homeschool them to keep them away from bullies, and I don't homeschool them out of fear.  And I know some public schooled kids who are very happy and well-adjusted and love school.  Not ALL children in school are bullied and depressed, and I know my children could have been happy and excited about life AND gone to school, too.  But it's nice as homeschoolers to be able to have the freedom to make choices about where and with who we spend our days.

post #31 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

A child absolutely does not need to be bullied to learn how to deal with bullies that may come along sometime in life or to know compassion for others. The pain and confusion of being bullied early in life is an experience that can distract from the sense of self confidence that works quite well in dealing with later bullies in a way that can deflect or neutralize such dysfunctional behavior. A child who has a chance to develop comfort, compassion, and self confidence in social situations will fare much better if he should ever be faced with challenges. I think your son needs time and space to develop away from those kinds of irrational encounters.

 

I know of a couple of situations where my son encountered attempts to bully him, and he found that behavior so comical that he assumed they must be joking - the bullies just gave up. In one case, in 1st grade, I saw them simply stop it and become friendly. In one later case, a notorious local bully he didn't know tried to bully him when he was out with some friends, but the guy gave up and made a gesture of conciliation in front of the whole group by picking up and handing to my son something he'd purposely grabbed from him. Everyone in the group was stunned, except for my son, because he didn't know the boy's reputation. I think the common element in each case was that the bully was being treated like someone who was more than he thought he was. That social sense comes from having had a chance to develop healthy self confidence, humor, and compassion. 

 

I see no reason why bullying should be allowed in a homeschooling group - it certainly wasn't a part of the one we belonged to. I'd keep looking for social situations that are fun and supportive, and you can probably find those by arranging your own small group get togethers with compatible children. One on one play can be very rewarding, but it takes work - persistent, ongoing phone calls to make arrangements - and it starts to build its own momentum once bonds get formed. 


Lillian


This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.

post #32 of 95
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses.  I never really experienced bullying myself in public school, but I can see how it would be quite different having to deal with it everyday in a situation you can't get out of.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

 

Quote:
One of the boys he likes the most is always mean to him, excluding him, hitting him, telling him he can't play unless he follows this boy's rules. 

 

Have you talked to this boy's mother about the behavior? I know if my kid were the one acting that way, it would be dealt with immediately.



Fortunately, we rarely see him anymore.  They were mostly hanging out when my son was 3 and the other boy was 4, but now the other boy is in full time school.  I did talk to her, and she's actually a friend of mine and a wonderful person, but we weren't ever really able to resolve things between the kids.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

A child absolutely does not need to be bullied to learn how to deal with bullies that may come along sometime in life or to know compassion for others. The pain and confusion of being bullied early in life is an experience that can distract from the sense of self confidence that works quite well in dealing with later bullies in a way that can deflect or neutralize such dysfunctional behavior. A child who has a chance to develop comfort, compassion, and self confidence in social situations will fare much better if he should ever be faced with challenges. I think your son needs time and space to develop away from those kinds of irrational encounters.

 

I know of a couple of situations where my son encountered attempts to bully him, and he found that behavior so comical that he assumed they must be joking - the bullies just gave up. In one case, in 1st grade, I saw them simply stop it and become friendly. In one later case, a notorious local bully he didn't know tried to bully him when he was out with some friends, but the guy gave up and made a gesture of conciliation in front of the whole group by picking up and handing to my son something he'd purposely grabbed from him. Everyone in the group was stunned, except for my son, because he didn't know the boy's reputation. I think the common element in each case was that the bully was being treated like someone who was more than he thought he was. That social sense comes from having had a chance to develop healthy self confidence, humor, and compassion. 

 

I see no reason why bullying should be allowed in a homeschooling group - it certainly wasn't a part of the one we belonged to. I'd keep looking for social situations that are fun and supportive, and you can probably find those by arranging your own small group get togethers with compatible children. One on one play can be very rewarding, but it takes work - persistent, ongoing phone calls to make arrangements - and it starts to build its own momentum once bonds get formed. 


Lillian


I completely agree.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

Oh! I forgot to mention this, but I now that my daughter has defended kids who were being bullied, too, when she was 13 or so. 


Yes, that's usually the role I played in public school, Defender of Bullied Kids. 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raelize View Post

to the OP - if this is a co-op situation is there a coordinate you coiuld talk to about it?  maybe they could gently remind all parents that they need to prevent bullying.

 


It's an informal group, so not really.  But it's not that bad with the other kids, mostly just older boys not wanting a 4 year old to play with them, and the parents do step in and talk to their kids.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

However, I think homeschooling out of fear is not a good idea.

 


This may sound like a silly question, but why not?  For instance, if my son had to go to a school that was known for gang violence, and I chose to homeschool rather than risk him being shot, why would that be a bad thing?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
 


This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.


I know you weren't asking me, but I'd like to address this.  Your argument sounds an awful lot like parents who say that they don't want to spoil their baby with too much affection, or let their toddler have too many freedoms, because then they won't be ready for the "real" world.  I really think our kids will have plenty of opportunity to experience emotional pain, no matter how much we try to protect them.

 

Also, I think the type of bullying we are talking about is unique to public (and private probably) school.  Once a child hits 18 years old, they really aren't going to encounter anything like the artificial environment of public school.  And even if, for instance, their coworkers follow them around and ridicule them and give them wedgies, they could just tell their boss, or go the the police, and it probably wouldn't affect their self-esteem all that much. :)

post #33 of 95

 


Quote:
This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.

 

Here's an interesting study about the results of bullying: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/702560

 

Sounds real healthy.

 

post #34 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post

This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.



Botanically speaking, my experience with trees that were planted in adverse conditions has been that they grow up gnarled and misshapen and are often stunted.... and often their roots are shallower, because they aren't able to dig deeply into soil that is very rocky or full of clay.

 

I don't go around trying to put myself in situations where I know I'll be treated poorly to grow my character, so why would I expect my kid to do that

 

I think life provides enough pain even when we try our best to help our kids avoid. To me, oversheltering our kids would be not allowing them to chose situations because they might risk getting hurt - not allowing them to audition for a play or a sports team because they might not be selected, for example, or not giving them opportunities to meet new kids because those kids might not like them 

post #35 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post
Also, I think the type of bullying we are talking about is unique to public (and private probably) school.


no, I strongly disagree with this statement. 

 

The nastiest bullying my special needs child has ever received was from one of her COUSINS at an extended family get together.  (the cousin is homeschooled, BTW). The second worse incident involved a neighbor, who wasn't in the same grade as my kids and didn't have any contact with my kids at school.

 

My kids attend public school briefly and now attend a private school, and we haven't had any problems with bullying either place. Nor girl scouts, not in any situation where there is an adult who is an authority figure. Our problems have ALL happened when parents where supposed to be monitoring their own children.

 

Some kids glide through childhood without every being bullied, some don't The same kid who is most likely to be a target in one situation, is likely to be a target in another.

 

post #36 of 95

Sorry - I couldn't get the quote box above this response without this becoming part of it.

 

I don't see it as OT, but I think the term "sheltering" tends to bring up an unhealthy image. I think parents can provide a safe and healthy environment without being overprotective - although a 4 yr. old requires much more protection than an older child. I have a grown son whom I've always heard extremely positive comments about from both sexes of all ages, and I know of no painful experiences such as bullying that were part of his character growth. People seek him out for his kindness, wisdom, and good humor, and that was all nurtured through positive experiences rather than from getting toughened up by misfortune. Some of it may have grown from having the opportunity to witness the misfortune of others when working in a soup kitchen that was part of a shelter and social services center, but that's a whole different thing. Trees have pretty limited experience compared to people - people have lots of ways to grow strong without being battered around. What I've seen is that people who are bullied tend to have wounds that make their relating to others more difficult rather than easier or deeper. I can see absolutely no advantage in ever being bullied. - Lillian

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post




This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.

post #37 of 95

 

Dar wrote:

Quote:

 

Botanically speaking, my experience with trees that were planted in adverse conditions has been that they grow up gnarled and misshapen and are often stunted.... and often their roots are shallower, because they aren't able to dig deeply into soil that is very rocky or full of clay.

 

I don't go around trying to put myself in situations where I know I'll be treated poorly to grow my character, so why would I expect my kid to do that

 

I hadn't really thought about it till reading this, but the tree comparison brought to my mind the kind that are noticeably misshapen, some of which tend to fall over easier because of being so unbalanced. In fact, I planted a grove of gorgeous trees that grew huge and lush, except for three that grew lopsided and finally fell over - at which point, I realized that those were the ones that had been above the area that had rocks down below the surface. When they younger, by the way, I'd had earlier had to wrap some fence around each tree to protect them from deer who were sharpening their antlers on them and making huge gashes.  

 

As for putting children in situations in which they'll be treated poorly, or in situations that will be unpleasant for them for other reasons, that was actually one of the things that got me looking into alternatives to school - my son has a teacher who felt that kind of thing was character-building, and I was sick and tired of having to deal with various teachers' personal beliefs being imposed on my family. That was in a small private school, by the way, and I haven't heard of children in public schools having to put up with as much what I witnessed in the private ones my son attended.  

- Lillian

post #38 of 95

I think there's a large spectrum between "overprotected" and "bullied." To me, bullying is a chronic problem. Somebody being mean to you one time is not really bullying, the way I see it. Bullying is something you are forced to deal with on a regular basis.

 

Just because a kid is never bullied doesn't mean he's never experienced pain or mean people. Unpleasant people are everywhere, and unless you truly keep your kid home 24/7, they will encounter those people. 

 

No, I don't believe that experiencing bullying is valuable for anyone. Do you think a kid needs to be spanked regularly as a child so he can figure out that hitting hurts?

post #39 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

A child absolutely does not need to be bullied to learn how to deal with bullies that may come along sometime in life or to know compassion for others. The pain and confusion of being bullied early in life is an experience that can distract from the sense of self confidence that works quite well in dealing with later bullies in a way that can deflect or neutralize such dysfunctional behavior. A child who has a chance to develop comfort, compassion, and self confidence in social situations will fare much better if he should ever be faced with challenges. I think your son needs time and space to develop away from those kinds of irrational encounters.

 

I know of a couple of situations where my son encountered attempts to bully him, and he found that behavior so comical that he assumed they must be joking - the bullies just gave up. In one case, in 1st grade, I saw them simply stop it and become friendly. In one later case, a notorious local bully he didn't know tried to bully him when he was out with some friends, but the guy gave up and made a gesture of conciliation in front of the whole group by picking up and handing to my son something he'd purposely grabbed from him. Everyone in the group was stunned, except for my son, because he didn't know the boy's reputation. I think the common element in each case was that the bully was being treated like someone who was more than he thought he was. That social sense comes from having had a chance to develop healthy self confidence, humor, and compassion. 

 

I see no reason why bullying should be allowed in a homeschooling group - it certainly wasn't a part of the one we belonged to. I'd keep looking for social situations that are fun and supportive, and you can probably find those by arranging your own small group get togethers with compatible children. One on one play can be very rewarding, but it takes work - persistent, ongoing phone calls to make arrangements - and it starts to build its own momentum once bonds get formed. 


Lillian


This may be OT but what is your take on sheltering kids? I don't want my kids to miss out on painful experiences in life because so much character-growth can happen through the pain. Do you believe that homeschooled kids have enough opportunities to stand up for their faith and values outside of the school setting? Trees that never experience wind have much shallower, weaker roots than those that are planted in more adverse conditions. Would you agree that being bullied can lead to character growth in some situations or is it all bad in your opinion?  Thanks.


It's all bad in my experience. Being bullied since 4th grade certainly didn't "strengthen my roots". It made me shy, untrusting, depressed, and killed my self-esteem. Nothing like being knocked around for 8 years to beat the joy right out of your life. Just someone saying that bullying can be ok or strengthen you is disgusting and disturbing to me. Obviously whoever thinks this has never been bullied.
post #40 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post

Just someone saying that bullying can be ok or strengthen you is disgusting and disturbing to me. Obviously whoever thinks this has never been bullied.



Yup. My DH was bullied terribly all 13 years of school. Actually, his Kindergarten teacher was also a bully, so he was off to a stellar beginning. 

 

He has had three failed attempts at going to college. Classrooms and schools give him anxiety attacks. 

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