I have an 11 year-old daughter who is very quiet and shy but also extremely intuitive about others feelings, fairly responsible and generally very kind to others. She's a great big sister now too -- after a rocky start. Plus, she does very well in school because she has a superhuman interest in learning! :-)
But she gets bullied at school. How can I help her?
(edited for TMI)
Why does she need the professional help when it is the others who are victimizing her? No one ever is willing to deal with or discipline the bullies. She should go back to home schooling or unschooling for a long time, not just a year. And people need to stop telling her that SHE is the one who needs to change or be different because she is a victim. It reminds me of when a girl is raped how she is blamed and punished. It used to be that way in this country and is still that way in many places around the world. But the bullied are still being blamed while the bullies are let off as if they are the good ones, "normal" ones, strong ones, etc.
May I gently state that I did not ask for your advice? And I do not blame my child for this but feel she needs help to overcome the wounds. Also, she has been given the choice to unschool next year or continue. For now, she has chosen to continue. If this thread becomes the usual MDC discussion, I will ask to pull it off the boards.
It's heart-breaking when your child is being bullied. How to help her depends partly on what form the bullying takes. In some cases, I recommend taking the child out of the school. Bullying can be that serious. But I can't tell from your letter how serious the situation is.
I would advise working on a three fronts at once.
1. Bully-proof your daughter. Here is a whole article about how to do this, including self esteem, role plays, what to say to the bully, etc.
2. Support her in working out her feelings about having been bullied, which otherwise she will carry. Here is an article about doing that. It is describing a younger child, but the process is the same. Basically, you want to play games with her to help her surface the feelings, help her cry and rage. These feelings will keep her feeling powerless and frightened if they are not expressed. Getting them out will help her claim her own power.
3. Call the school. They don't always help, but sometimes they do. School intervention almost always really helps the situation. That's because the bullies are just kids, also, and they are testing the limits. It is very important that the school sets up clear expectations that bullying will not be tolerated. And if they can go so far as to teach an anti-bullying curriculum, it has been proven to make a huge difference.
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