My family recently moved to a new area and my 12 year old started a new school just after the holiday break. He is a great kid who has always had no problem making friends and getting along well with other children. However since going to this school some things are troubling me.
He has come home many days and when telling me about him day gets very emotional. He is and has always been a sensitive boy but he seems to really be one the edge. After digging and pushing we have discovered that he is dealing with some bullying issues. There have been a few different situations that he has talked to us about-boys pushing/bumping him in the hall, making fun of his hair, teasing him about being the new kid etc. DH and I have been a supportive listeners with the advise that it is an adjustment period etc.
Today he came home from school and he was rubbing his thigh alot. I asked him what was wrong and he said he had a bruise...Of course I inquired further and got him to show it to me. It is a HUGE bruise black-purple-red on his upper thigh. The tale unfolds and it turns out it was given by another boy in the school yard when he KICKED my DS.
I am feeling just horrible about this and don't know what to do. My son doesn't want me to talk to the teacher/principal etc because he thinks that it will just make things worse for him. That one kid will tell another and all of a sudden he is the kid who cried to his mom. I asked him what he did and he said he just stopped playing ball and sat down 1-because his leg really hurt and he wanted to cry 2-so that there wasn't any further problem.
I don't know how to react, we haven't ever dealt with anything like this before. I feel so sad for him Please help!
I would recommend two things. The first would be this link http://www.bullies2buddies.com/?q=node/154 I like it because it talks about your son's behavior. I am not saying it is right he is being a bully but he needs to make sure he isn't triggering. The down side to the sight it almost makes all your kids fault.
So balance it would with stuff from the Anti-Defamation League. There is a lot of good stuff there.
Make sure your home is the safe place...and please do something. At least be his rock. Don't allow the teasing at home.
Oh that sounds awful. I'm so sorry.
I think in your shoes I'd find out what the school district's approach to bullying is and figure out who can help. Is there a school counsellor or a teacher your son feels connected to?
I would talk to him about developing a plan. The bullying won't stop on its own and so if he doesn't feel comfortable with you talking to the school can you put a plan in place that he speaks to someone there he trusts? I think I would give him some time to work it out on his own if that what he wants but I think I would make it clear that as his parent you need to make sure he's safe. Can you give him some tools - ie words to say, a cell phone so he can contact you if he's in danger etc.
Has he connected with any other kids at the school? Does he have connections outside of the school on sports teams, groups etc?
Poor kid - that totally sucks.
Good luck to you both.
Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha
Have you talked with your DS about violence and the fact that it's illegal? Have you mentioned that we should report violence because it's wrong and just ignoring it lets it continue? Your DS has been assaulted. He has a severe bruise. If you do nothing it will get worse. It sounds like it's already been escalating. Most schools have procedures in place for dealing with bullying. I'd go to his teacher and principal before he goes back to school. You should cross post in 'learning at school' or do a search there on bullying. There are parents there who've dealt with bullying successfully.
I haven't read "The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander" by Barbara Coloroso yet but I've heard good things about it. Here's a link http://www.amazon.com/Bully-Bullied-Bystander-Preschool-HighSchool--How/dp/0061744603/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296185604&sr=1-3 .
I have two DDs, one 24 years old and the other 5 years old. With my oldest DD I wasn't an adequate, informed advocate and I feel really guilty about things I should have done especially with bullying situations. I've already started preparing my 5 year old to not tolerate violence or abuse of any kind.
I would also document/get a picture. Frankly, I'd be tempted to take my child to the doctor or police for documentation. What happened to your son is considered an assault. Here it would result in suspension, and the police would become involved. It's really serious.
I understand your son's reaction. BUT-it may happen again, and it sounds like there is a clear cut pattern of intimidation going on. While he is at school, the school is responsible for his care and safety. He can't be safe if they aren't aware. I would talk with the guidance counselor. There has been so much in the news of late about bullying, and angst about where the responsible adults were when bullying happened. They can't help if they don't know.
Thank you all for the responses.
I did take a photo of it as soon as I saw it. I agree 100% that something needs to be done and wouldn't just sit and hope it goes away. I just want him to feel as though his voice is heard and respected in the matter. Obviously he doesn't want to be bullied and I know that he doesn't have the all the tools to make decisions on his own-it is my responsibility to protect him. It is a terrible trap that has been set for children-fueled by fear. Fear if they tell-fear if they don't. So sad. He just keeps saying to me-"why don't they like me, they don't even know me?"
I am going to call the school this am and go in and meet with the principal. I will report back. Thank you again for the support!