Name calling and teasing by neighbor - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 04-02-2013, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

I need some advice on how to help my 7 yr old son with this little girl who's been name-calling him.  This 7 yr old girl lives down the street.  My son is in the same class with her.  Earlier in the year, my son would come home telling me that she'd be following him around the playground, calling him an "idiot".  I'd tell my son to ignore it, or stay away from her and avoid her.  It continued  for a while so I called the school counselor and told her.  The counselor met my son and taught him to tell her things like "it bugs me when you call me names, I'd wish you'd stop".  Well, that didn't seem to do anything.  She continued but I felt like I couldn't do any more.  I told the teacher and she never saw anything.  Of course, this was happening when no adults were around or paying attention (recess and the school bus).  Months later, she found someone else to focus her attention on and my son said she didn't talk to him any more. 

 

A month ago he came home and said she's being nice to him but only in the neighborhood.  She was still being mean at school.  He really didn't understand why her behavior was different, depending on where they were.  I really couldn't explain either.  A few weeks ago, he said she's calling him a "blockhead".  I was at a loss on what to do.  I left it alone and hoped it would go away.  Unfortunately, the time away while they were on Spring Break didn't change anything between them.  My son came home today saying she called him a "blockhead".  Again, this only happens when no adults are around. 

 

Any pointers on how to handle this?  I'd like to help my son not be the target of this girl or any other kid who's bossing him around. 

 

Thanks!

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#2 of 6 Old 04-02-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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I would encourage him to tell her to stop and to walk away then to go to the duty teacher and say "i need help. I asked x to stop following and calling me stupid but she won't. I don't know what else to do." This phrasing is very effective for my DD. At home have him quietly come home without giving any reaction.

I also suggest the book The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. It really helped me move my DD towards being much more bullyproof.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-03-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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I'm actually a little surprised that the counselor taught him to say "It bugs me when you call me names", because I assume that's why she does it.  I would think a counselor who works with grade school kids would have something better up her sleeve.

 

She's not really being a bully.  She's being a pest.  Maybe she's boy crazy already, maybe she just likes being a pest.  But, either way, he needs to change his way of seeing her.  He can see her as a pest and not as a threat to him.  (not that he feels threatened)  

 

He could learn some "Cool phrases" to shake her off instead of telling her how it makes him feel, because she clearly doesn't really care how he feels.  He can say "O.K...thank you, now you can go back"  (flick of hand to shoo her away)   Or "Do  you watch a lot of Charlie Brown movies?..... I don't know, you just talk like them"   

 

Teach him the "Seriously????" look, "eye rolll and shrug" and quietly walk away.  Have him practice it.  If he obviously thinks she's weird, she'll stop taunting him, and go taunt someone else... Maybe the reason she stopped taunting that other boy, is he didn't give her the right reaction.

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#4 of 6 Old 04-04-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I would encourage him to tell her to stop and to walk away then to go to the duty teacher and say "i need help. I asked x to stop following and calling me stupid but she won't. I don't know what else to do." This phrasing is very effective for my DD. At home have him quietly come home without giving any reaction.

I also suggest the book The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander. It really helped me move my DD towards being much more bullyproof.

 

Thank you for your feedback.  We tried to have him tell her to "stop" but it seemed like that only made her want to bother him more.  For some reason, my son is not one to tell on other kids.  He doesn't want to get them in trouble.  I have encouraged him to go to the teacher and have even had the teacher talk to him so he'd be comfortable telling the teacher.  

 

I will look into the book you mentioned! :)

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#5 of 6 Old 04-04-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm actually a little surprised that the counselor taught him to say "It bugs me when you call me names", because I assume that's why she does it.  I would think a counselor who works with grade school kids would have something better up her sleeve.

 

She's not really being a bully.  She's being a pest.  Maybe she's boy crazy already, maybe she just likes being a pest.  But, either way, he needs to change his way of seeing her.  He can see her as a pest and not as a threat to him.  (not that he feels threatened)  

 

He could learn some "Cool phrases" to shake her off instead of telling her how it makes him feel, because she clearly doesn't really care how he feels.  He can say "O.K...thank you, now you can go back"  (flick of hand to shoo her away)   Or "Do  you watch a lot of Charlie Brown movies?..... I don't know, you just talk like them"   

 

Teach him the "Seriously????" look, "eye rolll and shrug" and quietly walk away.  Have him practice it.  If he obviously thinks she's weird, she'll stop taunting him, and go taunt someone else... Maybe the reason she stopped taunting that other boy, is he didn't give her the right reaction.

Thanks for your take on the situation.  I am still not sure if she's being a pest or if she's enjoying the power trip.  I've seen her interact with other kids and she's bossy, always leading the group, not very open to letting someone else be the leader.   She has some snarky comment to make to my son most of the time, making fun of the things he likes to do.  She's frequently trying to put him down. 

 

One time, she said something to him and he replied "whatever" and she came back with "is that all you can say?".  I have seen interactions like this a few times.  That's why I'm concerned.  My son isn't really prepared to spar verbally.  I think he freezes up when he's encountering an attitude like that.  This is where it's clear to me that girls are more verbal than boys.

 

He just needs more practice to learn how to stand up for himself.  I plan on practicing some of your suggestions with him.   He's great at giving me a ton of attitude at home, just wish he'd use that attitude with kids at school. 

 

I love the Charlie Brown comment, that's just great!!

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#6 of 6 Old 04-04-2013, 07:42 AM
 
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A lot of schools teach the kids to use "a bug and a wish" when they're upset. So, "It bugs me when you call me names and I wish you'd stop" would be exactly what lots of kids are taught to say. Whether it works is another issue.

 

I actually think "whatever" is sometimes a good response to someone who is verbally nasty. The more he looks and acts like he doesn't care, the less he'll probably be a target. I like the suggestion of "seriously?" with an eye roll too. But sparring verbally is probably what she's after. By not engaging that, he might be getting out of her line of sight.

 

Have you talked to their teacher? An email to the effect of "we're having a problem with Jane calling John names around the neighborhood and at school. Would you keep an eye on them and see if you notice anything?" can do a lot of help. I'd make it short and about enlisting the teacher for help rather than telling the teacher what to do - I find teachers respond better to short emails asking for help than any other emails. But she is with both of them together for hours a day, and might be able to steer this girl away from what she's doing.

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