What to do about bullying? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

What to do about bullying?

Ladies my DD is being bullied at school, and iam at a complete loss as to what to do. It is one girl in particular that bullies her. They are both 8 years old, and the little girl calls her names, shoves her, and tells her she is going to beat her up. The latest incident happened yesterday on the bus when the little girl grabbed DD by the collar on her shirt, twisted it so tight she had a red mark, and told her to get the hell out of her seat. I have talked with the mother 2 times before about what is going on, and she has not done anything about it. Iam talking with the school principle tonight about it. That is all I can think of doing. Any ideas? Iam in the process of enrolling DD in Karate in case this girl decides to get physical so DD can defend herself.

Iam at a complete loss here because I thought bringing it up to her parents would help the situation, but it has not, so now iam taking to the school.

image

AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickersAlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

 image

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

"><a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com/weight-loss-ticker"><img border="0" src="http://tickers.myfitnesspal.com/ticker/show/825/1820/8251820.png" /></a><p style="text-align:center;width:420px;"><small>Created by MyFitnessPal - Free <a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com">Calorie Counter</a></small></p>

Re: What to do about bullying?

  • You need to deal with this decisively and effectively on two fronts:

    --You need to coach your daughter on how to deal effectively with a bully.  (You might already be doing this, of course!)  She needs to know what she should be doing to cope with the kid on her own by being assertive.  And she needs to know and understand when it's right to get help from an adult.  There's a line between "tattling" and "getting help" and she needs to know where that is.  Make sure she knows that she is not in the wrong.

    On the other hand, although this never excuses bullying, some kids walk around with a target on their backs. You can make sure your DD isn't doing this by encouraging her to associate with other kids and avoiding the bully.  This can be hard if the bully was once a friend, took a friend away, or if your DD would like to be friends with her.  If the bullying seems to be provoked by a certain situation (like seats on the bus) help your daughter figure out how to avoid that situation (perhaps by sitting in a different part of the bus, or whatever.)   One of the most important things a kid can do to avoid being bullied is to surround themselves with a supportive group of friends.  If your DD doesn't have this, or if the bully is part of her group of friends, help her cultivate some other relationships.

    --You also need to alert several adults at school that this is happening so that they can watch and intervene in the situation.  At a minimum, I would call or email your child's classroom teacher, the guidance counselor, and the principal.  If you have access to the bus driver at pick up or drop off, talk to the bus driver personally.  Just be very blunt with them.  "I'm calling/writing to let you know that my child is being bullied by another child, Susie Jones.  She has been both verbally bullied and physically bullied by Susie." Give a brief description of the incidents.  If you don't have access to the bus driver, be very insistent that the school work with the bus driver, and hold them accountable for this.  Insist that they keep you informed about what they're doing to deal with the problem and generally be a "squeaky wheel" about the problem until you get results.  The school should work hard to supervise the situation so that the bully has minimal opportunities to bother your DD.

    This is a miserable situation -- stay strong, mom! 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Great advice!! GL Mom!!


     image

     

  • Ditto the PP!  I'm not sure karate is really going to solve anything (even if this girl gets rough with your daughter, karate-chopping or roundhouse kicking her is only going to get your daughter in trouble, too) but it may help her build confidence, which goes a long way. 

    If you have a way to contact the other girls' mom, I would still keep letting her know what's happening.  Maybe she had a talk with her daughter and assumed that fixed it; if you keep telling her what's going on, as simply and directly as possible, at least she can't assume or pretend it's gone away.  Maybe if you word it like, "Today Sally did XYZ to my daughter.  I'm sure you know how hard it is to see your child cry or hear that someone is being mean to them.  I thought maybe together we could come up with some ideas for helping the girls to become friends, or at least to get along" then it wouldn't put her too much on the defensive (i.e. "Your kid is mean and I'm an angry mother lion ready to defend her cub!!" which is probably how you feel, and how I would!)

  • image lildevil968:

    Ladies my DD is being bullied at school, and iam at a complete loss as to what to do. It is one girl in particular that bullies her. They are both 8 years old, and the little girl calls her names, shoves her, and tells her she is going to beat her up. The latest incident happened yesterday on the bus when the little girl grabbed DD by the collar on her shirt, twisted it so tight she had a red mark, and told her to get the hell out of her seat. I have talked with the mother 2 times before about what is going on, and she has not done anything about it. Iam talking with the school principle tonight about it. That is all I can think of doing. Any ideas? Iam in the process of enrolling DD in Karate in case this girl decides to get physical so DD can defend herself.

    Iam at a complete loss here because I thought bringing it up to her parents would help the situation, but it has not, so now iam taking to the school.

    She grabbed her by the collar and pulled so tight that it left a mark on your child's neck? That is not acceptable. Physical acts of harm are a bad sign that the bully is out of control.

    I would not talk to the other parent as a solution. I think it is kind of you to let a parent know when there is an issue. However, it isn't an issue between the two of you. It is an issue with the student that is happening on school time. The school has procedures. They need to document the behavior and take appropriate action. IMO a kid who bullies does not only have one target. Because people do not report it properly, the school administrators may not be aware of the pattern. If they know the number of incidences, they can take action.

    By the time you read this, you must have already talked to the principal. What was done? Was the bully suspended from riding the school bus for a period of time? What do they say your daughter should do? In our school, there is no tolerance for bullying. Verbal insults are addressed before it escalates into something physical. If this kids threatens to beat up your daughter, have her report it immediately (to the bus driver, to her teacher, to the principal). Threats of violence are not to be taken lightly.

     

    image
    Newlyweds since 2007
  • The others gave great advice. I would add one thing: you need a paper trail. In many circles, if it's not documented it didn't happen. Before meeting with the principal, have prepared a letter briefly stating what occurred, when and who was involved. Limit what you write to the facts, and absolutely keep a copy. When meeting with the principal, stay as unemotional as possible - this will help you be taken seriously.

    Also document for your own reference what conversations you have, when, what was discussed and with whom.

    Documentation may make some people uncomfortable, but it's necessary to protect yourself (and in this case, your child). It may be the only leg you have to stand on should the situation escalate and the school denies knowledge (which has happened)

    Good luck. Bullying sucks. 



  • Thanks ladies for the advice. I had a meeting with the school principal on Friday afternoon. I learned that iam not the only parent whose kid has a problem with this other girl. The school is  discussing behavioral issues with the mother, and they could not go into detail about it with me, but I know they are working to get the mother financial assistance to pay for the girl to see someone about her behavior. I have started to save everything I have regarding conversations with the principal, and conversations with the girls mother. If I have to use them to get the bullying to stop, then I will.

    I also had a meeting with the director of the youth center where the girls go to before and school care (where DD says most of the bullying happens). The director seemed to be surprised that it is happening. She then called the mother with me in the room, and we had a long conversation. She told the mother that if this continued the girl would no longer be enrolled in the before and after school program, and the mother would have to find alternate care. I guess this is a start.

    The karate is really to build DD confidence in case she has to defend herself. She has very low self esteem because of the things this girl says to her, and I really just want to build her confidence. She has been interested in it before, and she asked to be enrolled after the last incidence. I believe it could really help her.

    image

    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickersAlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers

     image

    Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

    "><a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com/weight-loss-ticker"><img border="0" src="http://tickers.myfitnesspal.com/ticker/show/825/1820/8251820.png" /></a><p style="text-align:center;width:420px;"><small>Created by MyFitnessPal - Free <a href="http://www.myfitnesspal.com">Calorie Counter</a></small></p>
  • I just wanted to agree with some things that have already been said:

    1) 100% agree that bullies have something bad going on in their lives.  In fact, in one way, I think our culture gives too much "power" to bullies.  I really think the way to treat bullies is to say "poor little thing, what's going on in your life that you have to pick on other kids....." Not at all to treat bullies with kid gloves or excuse their behavior, but instead of seeing them as powerful people, as small, weak people / children.  The "bullies" in dd's school were all the kids who were crybabies when they were younger. 

    2) While I agree with karate if you want to do a self-defense thing, I think it is more important that you find something that your dd is good at, and encourage THAT.  There was a kid (on Oprah) who was bullied in High School - very bad.  He said the best thing his parents did for him was pay for flying lessons (ok, that is really expensive, but you get the point!) b/c it built his self confidence and he was really good at it.

    3) Encourage your DD to find other friends - nice ones! - on the bus and at school.  I know my own DD thought that if she tried hard enough, she could win kids who didn't like her over.  It doesn't work that way.  I really encourage her to stay away from bad kids, b/c even if she is not picked on, her reputation is going to suffer from hanging around from bad kids, and I don't want HER being the child that other mothers tell their children not to play with b/c she is always around drama.  I am always telling my daughter "your friendship is valuable.  Don't give it away to people who don't deserve it." 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • You need to talk to her teacher and the principal right away.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards