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LONG - Need advice about bullying - Page 2

post #21 of 26

 But if someone is intimidating a child, there is no way for the child to truly learn anything on how to avoid dangerous people.  


Do you really think it's this serious in 3rd grade? These other kids are dangerous? I disagree. I stand by my suggestion to get to know the family better. It's time to build real community not hide out in our own homes with our own group because we want someone else to solve the problem.

post #22 of 26


Have you been in this situation? I ask because it can be really serious even in 3rd grade. My little boy has been seriously changed from being bullied in 3rd grade. Someone he really trusted turned on him. The boys in class humiliated him at every turn. They eventually started to physically push him into walls and trip him on the playground. DS was falling apart. He couldn't sleep. He had nightmares. He started lashing out at his sister and at us. His grades slipped. It was really terrible. Even though the school took it seriously and put a stop to the bullies, the scars still remain two years later. He's more sensitive. He doesn't trust people. He's wary of new social situations. DS had NONE of these issues prior to 3rd grade.

 

I KNEW this family of the instigator. My DS was this boys friend! For 3 years, DS was the ONLY child that showed up to the birthday parties. Being community did nothing to make them reign in their child. In fact, they started making excuses to their child as to why it was OK.

 

My poor little brother was tortured for years and it only got worse and worse. He wasn't in physical danger in 3rd grade but by 6th, he was getting beat up on a regular basis by these same kids. The other parents did NOTHING to stop this.

 

Dealing with other parents on your own can put your own children in more jeapordy. I made the mistake of approaching a mom when our DD's were having trouble. The mom lashed out and spent YEARS telling other families really terrible things about my DD. Thankfully, DD is a stellar citizen and people figured out that this woman was lying. Still, in a large school, there are plenty of people who don't really know you and so DD spent all of middle school having to cope with these rumours passed around by an ADULT!

 

I'm all for community but be smart about it. We have formed a wonderful community of friends and family for our children. I just suggest going though teachers and principal first because frankly, I've rarely met a parent of a known bully who was reasonable.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elisheva View Post

 But if someone is intimidating a child, there is no way for the child to truly learn anything on how to avoid dangerous people.  


Do you really think it's this serious in 3rd grade? These other kids are dangerous? I disagree. I stand by my suggestion to get to know the family better. It's time to build real community not hide out in our own homes with our own group because we want someone else to solve the problem.

post #23 of 26

Bullying is not the same thing that we experienced growing up....its taken on a whole new context in the last 10+ years.  For whatever reason, some children's behaviors escalate.  My friends was such a case.  After months of pleading with the school, talking to the teachers, they were finally successful at separating their child from the other child.  When this happened, the bully turned onto another victim, and they watched how he slowly escalated his actions to the point of taking scissors to another child's skin.....and this was 2nd grade.

 

At the heart of it, bullies become just that because they seek control.  While some children display a strong desire to control over themselves (whether bad in the form of an eating disorder or good in the form of academics), some children seek to control their peers.    Regardless of its reasons or specific context, children today do not have the ability to "deal" with these individuals, primarily because the abusers abuse simply because they cannot deal.  It can have a traumatic effect on its victims.  Fortunately, most experiences never develop into the worst situations, but unless you are equipped at pushing and forcing the school to deal with it properly, an unruly situation can turn even worse.  So, arm yourself with all that you have and, if you are certain that you are judging the situation properly, then a parent must do everything in their power to protect their children when they are not yet able to do so for themselves.

post #24 of 26

Bullying definitely needs to be dealt with properly.

 

I think that in this case it is important to read the OP's later post talking about a more recent incident where four boys (including J and her ds) all admitted to being part of the current problem.  At this point it isn't just J who is saying and doing things that hurt other children and even if he was the one who 'started it' earlier in the year, all of the children and all of the parents need to take responsibility for what is happening right now.

 

Sometimes even the best behaved and well adjusted children will try out behaviour that isn't typical of them as they grow up, especially in this older age group. I think that just as we expect teachers and other parents to work with their children for bullying or unkind behaviour we need to anticipate that we will need to do the same at least occasionally with our own children. Bullying is one thing but this second incident does not sound like clear cut bullying to me. If all four of the boys involved are saying that they were excluding others and name calling and the teachers say that this is what they witnessed, then every boy involved is part of the problem and needs some sort of guidance. If they are all taught to perecive and present themselves as targets of bullying without acknowledging their own unkind or bullying behaviour, no one will get anywere. Severe threats, violence and intimidation are one thing - but a group of 5th grade boys all figuring out peer power dynamics in a similar way is not in the same league as outright bullying. The OP's ds has admitted that he was excluding others too. This kind of thing is common in kids this age and they need the adults around them to teach them the approproate skills for dealing with their feelings and the actions of others, not talking about legal action.

post #25 of 26

Shantimama....maybe and maybe not. It can be very hard to know what goes on with kids.

 

My experience with schools is that they try very very hard to get each child to take responsibility for their part in incidents.  I think they do this because a) they believe in personal responsability  and b)  they do not want it to be a bullying issue - that scares them.  So they focus on "what is your part in this" so they can make it seem like a more minor social/getting along issue.  Ironically, they push "personal responsability" partly so they do not have to take responsability for what they as adults have going on in their school.  I could be wrong, but I have seen this happen.

 

Quite frankly, I would be suspicious of the last meeting.

 

The OP's son has claimed to be teased and excluded since the beginning of school.  The Op reports that he is not usually an instigator in these type of situations.  All of a sudden he admits to being a part of it?  I think if he is a part of it, it is because he has been bullied for quite some time and is now sick of it, and is turning the tables on them.  Alternately, he does not really have a large part in this, but the school, in their desire for their not to be a bullying problem, has questioned the kids in such a way as it can be brushed off as "oh, they all have a part in it".

 

Let's face it: thus far the school has not responded well to the OP's concerns.  They have not shown themselves to be trustworthy and I would not trust their version of things unless I talked to my son and he really did admit he has played a large part in the issue since the beginning.  

 

post #26 of 26

 

 

I would ask how the OP's DS wants to be supported. As I wrote in my OP, I think I overstepped the line in my interventions. I DO think the OP's situation has gone on too long, but it now is what it is. I think it's important that he feel as little like a victim as possible, and feel empowered. Sometimes as parents it hurts us so much to see our children excluded or teased or hurt that we prevent them from trying to work it out, which is by far the best outcome. With our support, of course. 

 

I think I did my DS disservice by charging in and trying to "fix" the problem so tenaciously. I am NOT advocating neglect, or a "let them work it out" path, but instead of going into high anxiety mode (which is what I did, not the OP), letting my son lead the way. In our case, it was some normal kids behaving in an out-of-character way, being pretty mean. They eventually worked things out.

 

Often the "bully" kids are not hardened awful kids. They are regular kids trying out some pretty rotten behaviour that they have probably seen modeled to them, by siblings or on the playground. I suppose the behaviour was bullying, but I would not call those kids "bullies".

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