XP please help with 9 yr old being bullied. — The Bump
School-Aged Children

XP please help with 9 yr old being bullied.

Hello I usually lurk but I am in desperate need of some advice. My 9 year old son is getting bullied by a kid in our neighborhood. Last night my son came in crying because this kid had pushed my son down and started throwing dirt and pine cones and rocks at my son. My son had several cuts on him and was very upset.

I didn't want to over react so I got my son to tell me the whole story and basically this kid and my son were playing they had a race and this kid pushed my son down and my son pushed him back. The kid didn't like that so it escalated to him pushing my son and throwing things at him.  Then this kid took my sons shoes and hid them. 

 I decided to go talk to the kids parents to try to get them to just keep their kid away from mine and I would do the same since this was not the first issue with her son and mine. Well that did  not go well she called me a *** and told me my kid was just a whiny pu$$y and it wasn't always just her kid. Then her husband came out and started yelling at me so I called my husband because I was uncomfortable but I wanted to resolve the situation. This man proceeded to yell at me to " tell him to come on. I'll beat his ass too".  All of this infront of my kid, her kid , and the neighborhood kids that she called to over to verify who started the fight. 

 At that point I decided that these were not rational people and I reiterated the point to keep her son away from mine and I would do the same and I walked away as they continued to yell at me. 

Now I am actually kind of nervous about these people. I am actually at a loss for what to do now. I don't want my kid to be tormented by this child and his parents are obviously not going to do anything.

Anyone have any advice for me?  

Re: XP please help with 9 yr old being bullied.

  • JMayJMay member

    Wow.  Well, I guess you now know why the kid is a bully.  It's almost always tied to the parents and this is just a blatant example.  I'm so sorry that you and your son have to deal with this.

    Personally, I feel that it's important to always bolster my DDs self esteem in any way I can, which includes reminding her that not everyone will like her or be nice to her, and that's ok.  It's their loss.  (My DD had tried on several occasions to befriend her bully, but it did nothing but make it worse. She felt terrible that someone out there didn't like her, so we had many talks about how it wasn't about her, but rather, about the bully.)

    As for how to deal with the bully in the neighborhood, I wish I knew more about how they interact.  If it's just that they play outside together, you can direct your child to play with other kids, or play in your backyard where you would have more control.  If it's impossible to removed him from the other child's presence, try to involve your son in other activities (soccer, baseball, karate, hockey, etc) that fill his time and keep his interest while enabling him to form healthy, stable friendships with other boys who share the same interests. 

    While you want him to be able to face the issue and not run away, I would hesitate to throw him into the lions den.  With parents like the ones the bully has, there really is no solution your son could provide, other than to become a bigger bully, and that promotes solving problems with violence.  Not good.

    If this child is present at school, make sure all relevant teachers and staff are well aware of the issue.  Document anything that occurs at school so the principal and other appropriate parties can enact their bully prevention protocol, which every school should have.

    Chances are your child is not the only one who has an issue with this bully.  Talk to other parents - do not stay silent.  There is power in numbers.  Be bigger than and stronger than this threat - have confidence in your familys right to be safe in your neighborhood and you will probably shame them into the background.  Call the police if necessary.  And GOOD FOR YOU for standing up for your child - he's lucky to have a mom like you!!!  Also, please update on the situation... I hope all goes well for you.  GL.

    "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

    Miracle DD born 12.2005
    TTC #2 since Dec 2008 w/ PCOS
    ***P/SAIF Always Welcome***

    Keep it Natural, Baby!
  • WahooWahoo member

    When I read your post I am remineded of the saying "Apples come from Apple trees." 

    You know the parents.  They are not going to mold their son into a fine young man.  However, I cannot say HOW MUCH it means that you actually went to the parents house to talk things over.  One, because you didn't know what they were like (so you had the potential to solve the problem), Two, because it shows your son that you are willing to stand up for him.  I have stood up for my dd and her friends when boys tease them at the pool (saying "you're ugly," - they are beautiful girls!  - etc.) and all the girls thank me and say "my mom wouldn't do anything, they just say 'it probably means they have a crush on you.'"

    But - now you know what the boy is like and what the parents are like.  It's time to tell your son that this neighbor is not a good guy to play with.  This didn't come out of nowhere - - the bully didn't jump your son - - it started because they were playing together.  So tell your son to find better friends to play with.  Tell your son that no matter how nice he is to this guy, he won't suddenly become a great guy and a great friend, so his best choice is to avoid the bully.  Your son needs to meet other friends in the neighborhood - - or in surrounding neighborhoods (a 9 year old should be old enough to ride his bike or walk to the next street if you call a mom ahead of time and say he is coming over).

    And I agree with a lot of what the PP said - build your son's self esteem.  Find out something your son is good at (track? lol).  Baseball, Karate, art.  Whatever - and encourage him to excel in that.  He will meet friends who have the same interests and that is really more important than being with a guy who lives 4 houses away, an accident of geography.



    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
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  • I think you've gotten excellent advice from JMay and Wahoo.  I just wanted to chime in with a heartfelt "sorry you're dealing with this."

    Also, I agree that the most important thing is to help your son understand that it's the other kid who has the problem.  Physical conflicts between kids are a problem, but where it starts to get scary is when the kid who is being pushed around physically by another kid begins to feel shame and despair -- to believe that, at some level, the bullying is justified.  

    Make sure your son knows that it's the OTHER kid and his parents who are in the wrong, and that kids like this one will pick on any other kid who doesn't give way before them.  I agree that sports can raise self-esteem, but involving your kid in bunches of activities in an attempt to make sure he feels good about himself is far less powerful than how you react.  If he sees you react with assertive confidence, he'll model that in his own interactions with other kids.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Just a question from a lurker...does the bully go to the same school as your child?  Do they also have problems at school?  Schools are really taking anti-bullying pretty seriously these days, so it wouldn't hurt to mention something to the counselor or teacher just to have an extra set of eyes.  They could also be valuable resources to you in terms of how to deal with the other parents.  Just a thought. 
  • imagexoexpat:
    Just a question from a lurker...does the bully go to the same school as your child?  Do they also have problems at school?  Schools are really taking anti-bullying pretty seriously these days, so it wouldn't hurt to mention something to the counselor or teacher just to have an extra set of eyes.  They could also be valuable resources to you in terms of how to deal with the other parents.  Just a thought. 

    Usually you can request that they not be put in the same class at school too.

    siggy1-16-13_zpsbc591894 photo siggy1-16-13_zpsbc591894-1_zpscf1469c3.jpg
  • So sorry you're going through this!

    I used to be a school counselor and dealt with a lot of out-of-school situations. If the kid is in school with your son I would definitely recommend that you take the advice of the previous posters. Talk to your son's teacher and counselor to let them know what's going on. Even if he's not in your son's class or school, they can be fabulous resources for you and your son.

    Did you talk to your son about the situation after you left their house? When children come from homes where family members treat each other with respect it can be shocking (to say the least) to witness the type of situation you describe.

    Does your son participate in any sports or martial arts? Even if you don't want him to strike back those activities can be big confidence boosters.  

    I would also suggest that you keep a record of EVERYTHING that happens to yourself and your son that involves this family. Keep track of times, dates and exactly what happened (a notebook will keep it all in one place and in chronological order). You never know if things will escalate and if, heaven forbid, you do have to involve law enforcement- you'll be prepared.

    Good luck! 

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