Anyone dealt with bullying in MS? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 05-20-2010, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is the target of some bullying at school. We are German, our children attend an international school in China. The child in question is my oldest son K, 12y old and in 6th grade. The "bullies" are mainly German-speaking but meanwhile some other groups seem to have jumped on the wagon.

From what I know it started like this: my son was hanging out with his friend (J) from school in our housing compound. J tried to talk him into giving him money to buy some alcoholic beverage (alco-pop style). My son refused to do so and told me about the incident some days later.

After thinking back and forth I decided to let the friend's mom know what happened. I really want to emphasize here that I didn't do this to "badmouth" the boy or to show the mother what a "bad kid" she has. (I just felt that if it were the other way round I would like to know.) There were no unfriendly words or feelings between us. Obviously, I wasn't present when J's mother brought the topic up with her son but I know that he didn't get in "trouble" for it - it was more a general discussion at the dinnertable.

Still, J concluded that K had been a "tattle-tale" and claimed that he had gotten into serious trouble at home. He recruited a few friends who seem to be cornering my son at school ("You know, nobody here likes you.") and have established what they call the "Anti-K-Club". Another friend (who used to come over a lot and even had a few sleep-overs with my son) from our housing compound doesn't sit on the bus with him anymore. My son avoids his classmates in the canteen and on the soccer field, so he usually spends his lunchbreak at the library. In other words: my son is pretty isolated.

In the meantime, I alerted his homeroom teacher. She obviously told the other 6th grade homeroom teachers about the situation. Again, it seems to make matters worse. Just the general mentioning of the concept of relationship / friendship was enough to get him another round of "tattle-tale".

It looks like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of thing. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation?

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#2 of 8 Old 05-21-2010, 07:06 AM
 
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I just had respond to your post. I taught middle school for 12 years, so I know the pattern. My advice would be that it will eventually pass. Something else will come up and the kids' attention will focus on that and less on your son.

I would, however, keep a really good eye on him right now. Some kids are really cruel, so I would definitely watch out for anything they might do.

You did the right thing, but I know, it didn't work out for you guys. I don't know what to say. Being a parent is so hard! Traversing the waters of their friendships and your interactions with their friends' parents are hazardous!
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#3 of 8 Old 05-21-2010, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your kind words.
I got the MS counselor involved today and she talked with my son. So we'll see.

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#4 of 8 Old 05-23-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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It looks like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" kind of thing. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation?[/QUOTE]

I would agree. Personally I was bullied as a teen. My parents never advocated for me, advising me to stand up for myself. As an adult both my older children have experienced bullying. Much as the pp (the teacher) said the aggresser moved on. I feel better having tryed to help. Likely because I wish someone would have spoken up for me.
Sooner or later they'll reap what they have sown.

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#5 of 8 Old 05-25-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Someone on another thread posted this; it may or may not be helpful...

http://www.bullies2buddies.com/How-t...-Really-Trying

Joy, mama to Aquaboy (10), Goldilocks (8), Squidge (4)
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#6 of 8 Old 05-27-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your responses!
After the MS counselor talked to my son he wanted one of friends in her office, too. Obviously, they talked a few things through and things improved dramatically in the meantime. I'm really glad this worked out.
Still, he was very upset and mad when he realized that I had informed the counselor. (I had told him that I would if things wouldn't get better by last weekend.)
Somehow I've got a feeling that some issues would be easier to settle via a nice fistfight on the schoolyard with no adult involvement?

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#7 of 8 Old 05-30-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I strongly recommend Barbara Coloroso's book http://www.amazon.ca/Bully-Bullied-B.../dp/0006394205

I think that as a society, emotional evolution is needed, not going back to an archaic idea of the strongest will survive.

-Melanie
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#8 of 8 Old 06-03-2010, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I should just order that book. I think I'd like it, so thanks for your suggestion, sebandg'smama.

A friend of mine (who doesn't have children of her own but has worked as a child psychologist for a long time) told me that I as the mother would really have to "stay out of it". She interpreted the situation as a fight about the "rank within the pack". In a way it makes sense, of course. On the other hand, I strongly feel that there are situations which are too much too handle for 12y olds - so I still think it was right to get the MS counselor on board.

I guess I'm still a bit confused - see my last post.

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