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Bullying Advice

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posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:31 AM
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I have what I feel is a bullying problem and wanted to see if anyone had some words of wisdom as to how to handle this the best way. I know we have a good mix of ages and lifestyles on this board, so was hoping someone could help me out with this.

A bit of background first...my youngest son is 9 and is diagnosed with ADD/ODD. Up until say Christmas we were dealing with his poor choices, bad behaviours, and impulsiveness at school. If I had to make a choice, I'd say up until that point HE was probably more of a bully than any other. He hadn't necessarily targeted one particular child but he would cause havoc on the playground and if anyone got in his way he'd let them know. We'd been dealing with this for several years in many different ways with no success until December 2010. At that point we enrolled him in a program that took him out of his home school for 6 weeks and dealt with strategies and problem solving skills, anger management etc rather than academics. At the same time we were in the process of medication trials. About the time he graduated from the outside program we found a medication that worked amazingly for him. His new found skills coupled with the medication made him such a pleasant, happy kid again. We were extremely relieved and hoping his return to school would have him picking good friends, making good choices and just having fun as a 9 year old should...however..his return to school hasn't been quite that. I think he felt like the "new kid" all over again..his confidence was a lot lower and he'd lost the "i'm the king of the playground" attitude (thankfully).

Things have seemed to take an entire 180. One of the "bad" kids he used to choose to hang around with (and has now chosen to distance himself from), has now started what I feel is a campaign to embarrass, harass and make life miserable for my son. It's pretty much every day and it's outside of school as well. He will follow him home yelling things, calling names, making fun etc. If my son goes out to play in the neighbourhood he will follow him then and do the same. They both attend the boys and girls club here in the evenings and he will torment and make life miserable for my son. He chooses usually to gather a crowd just in time to yell something embarrassing. Last night it was about the little bottle of shampoo my son had brought to use in the showers after swim team. The "bully" waited until he'd gathered a crowd of both boys and girls and loudly informed everyone the shampoo was actually "penis cream" and my son had to put it down there because he didn't have a penis. Now, to us adults this is just stupid and silly...to a group of 9 and 10 year olds..this is funny stuff...and to the object of the embarrassment a death warrant. As I picked my son up from the club this boy put his hand in front of my son's face as he was walking down the stairs...almost like he was going to smack him but didn't quite touch him..and then yelled something I didn't hear. My son got in my truck and when I asked how his day had been he didn't answer. As I drove around the block with the intention of parking the truck and talking to him he burst into HUGE tears...it broke my heart
I just wanted to take him in my arms and protect him.

He is handling himself SO well in light of what is going on....I'll let you know that this kid that is bullying him is half his size literally..which makes it all the worse. I have honestly had the thought pass through my head "just beat the hell out of him!!!" But had to bite my tongue as this is the complete opposite of what we've been working on with him for so long. My son has and is working very hard to keep his cool and not strike out but is wearing thin..I can tell. One of my fears is, if my son "SNAPS"..this kid will regret it and then MY son will be the one punished. The other fear is that he's gone so far the other way on the spectrum that he will allow this kid to walk all over him. Unfortunately this kid is popular in school so he has a whole team of kids behind him to laugh at the jokes and stand up for him.

There is a part of me that feels...perhaps after 3 years of being the schoolyard badass...this is his karma and he'll have to get through it. And of course the mom side of me that wants to wait for this kid in a dark alley and show him a thing or two. The thing is I am watching his confidence and self esteem spiral downwards....the fun he's supposed to be having now that he's gotten himself under control is not there at all. This other kid is taking advantage of every crack in my son's "shell" to either goad him back into his bad behaviours, or knock his confidence down to nothing. I can sit and psychoanalyze this to the death....this kid used to be friends with mine...they did all the "bad" stuff at school together and he wants his old friend back etc etc...but I just want it to be done and over.

I know parents getting involved can be a social death at this tender age "you big baby..had to get your mommy to come to school...." type of thing. But I've heard enough stories about bullying going very bad very quickly that I don't want to do nothing. I just don't know how to proceed. The parents of the child in question (in my opinion) are NOT approachable from past experiences, so my only options at this point are to leave it alone, talk to the school, transfer him to another school or just go all out and get police involved.

Anyone gone through this, or have some words of wisdom for me?? Thanks

Michelle




posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:45 AM
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I feel for you. I am working with my nephew on a bully. In the "old" days, I would have encouraged him to attempt to kindly deter the bully and then if that failed, to punch him right in the face. However, that was before the onslaught of lawyers, twisted fascist policies and general decay of society. Here is some useful information that I found here.


If you suspect that your child is being bullied, take the situation seriously:

* Encourage your child to share his or her concerns. Remain calm, listen in a loving manner and support your child's feelings. Express understanding and concern. You might say, "I understand you're having a rough time. Let's work together to deal with this." Remind your child that he or she isn't to blame for being bullied.
Learn as much as you can about the situation. Ask your child to describe how and when the bullying occurs and who is involved. Ask if other children or adults have witnessed any bullying incidents. Find out what your child may have done to try to stop the bullying.

* Teach your child how to respond to the bullying. Don't promote retaliation or fighting back against a bully. Instead, encourage your child to maintain his or her composure. He or she might say, "I want you to stop now," and then simply walk away. Suggest sticking with a friend or group of friends while on the bus, in the cafeteria or wherever the bullying seems to happen. Remind your child that he or she can ask teachers or other school officials for help.

* Contact school officials. Talk to your child's teacher, the school counselor and the school principal. If your child has been physically attacked or otherwise threatened with harm, talk to school officials immediately to determine if the police should be involved. Don't contact the bully's parents yourself. You might also want to encourage school officials to address bullying — including cyberbullying — as part of the curriculum.

* Follow up. Keep in contact with school officials. If the bullying seems to continue, be persistent.
Boost your child's self-confidence. Help your child get involved in activities that can raise self-esteem, such as sports, music or art. Encourage your child to build friendships and develop his or her social skills.
Know when to seek professional help. Consider professional or school counseling for your child if his or her fear or anxiety becomes overwhelming.


That information seems wise in today's setting.

Peace.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:49 AM
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I know what I want to say - but - it will most likely get me the bully treatment.
Oh well, I'll not be a coward about it.

If you and your family, especially your son, doesn't have a belief system - find one.

Point out to him the number of people throughout history who were 'bullied' but became great men.

Teach him about Jesus - find out about Him yourself. Find yourself a church in the area that's sympathetic.

Honestly, there's nothing your son can do to change the behavior of others - but - he can change how he deals with it.

Sometimes all a youngster needs is something to believe in (loving your neighbor as you want to be loved yourself) and a mentor to look up to (Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi, etc) to realize they are not alone, their is hope and there is faith out there for them - only for the asking.

peace to you and yours
prayers too
gracie

Please feel free to U2U me if you'd like - I will not preach at you - only listen and offer hugs and empathy.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:50 AM
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Enroll him in Aikido. I am willing to bet that if you find a good instructor, within the year the ADD will be history. They diagnosed my son with that and instead of medicating him I signed him up for Aikido. Within 6 months he was much better. Much more attentive in school, much more respectful of people. It is my personal opinion that ADD is a crock. Our society no longer allows children to be children, most especially boys. My son now gets nearly straight A's and never went on any of that very dangerous medication(have you read the potential side effects of Ritalin?). Young children were not meant to sit at a desk 6-8 hours each day.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by Michelle129th
There is a part of me that feels...perhaps after 3 years of being the schoolyard badass...this is his karma and he'll have to get through it.

And of course the mom side of me that wants to wait for this kid in a dark alley and show him a thing or two. The thing is I am watching his confidence and self esteem spiral downwards.

..they did all the "bad" stuff at school together and he wants his old friend back etc etc...but I just want it to be done and over.

All of me feels that it is karma. Not trying to be mean here, but I honestly feel no pity for your son. If this other kid was his best friend, and going off a couple other details you have mentioned, then I am sure that there have been many other kids that went home and cried due to the way that your son treated them, and bullied them, and made fun of them.

an adult who says- "Waiting in a dark alley to beat up kid" shows me where at least a partial source of your son's behavioral problems originated.

Sometimes, the best way to find a cure, or resolve a problem, is to begin with the source.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 07:03 AM
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I don't care about being politically correct so bare with me.

Teach the kid to stick up for himself.
I think it would be better to let him deal with it rather than having the stigma of the boy who cries for his mommy to solve his problems.
Kids fighting isn't going to change so he might as well learn when its ok to stick up for himself.
I fought as a kid and so will your child's kids.

If he got punished from school but got support at home...I think thats ok.
School rules today are very lame and politically correct so forget that route.
Don't let the public education system turn him into a wuss.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 07:12 AM
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I think you are a great parent for the concerns you have for your son. Yes kids will be kids but the little things that occur when they are young will affect them in later life for sure. It will determine their confidence level and their own self esteem when they are mapping out their careers.

Getting in contact with the school as well as the bullying kids parents is important. Half the time the parent don't know that their innocent child is a little s*** that really needs a kick up the backside.

I don't understand why parents don't enroll their kids more and more in self defense classes. Yes aikido or brazilian jujitsu promotes confidence, discipline and self respect. Sports such as this gives them a way to channel their own frustrations in life. It isn't about being a better fighter and anyways you can always warn him that you will cancel his self-defense classes if he uses it in school.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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Alyosha, Thanks for the link and the information. Some of the suggestions we've already been doing..the listening and getting as much information as we can. Teaching him how to respond - I think in this situation him not retaliating is how it is going to have to be. I know in the "olden days" we were told to just stick up for ourselves and the bully would back down...but I'm finding in today's world that is going to cause more problems (school rules and more violent behaviours in children).

I talked with my son again this morning and asked how he wanted me to proceed and he wanted to go to school officials. I don't know if that got us very far. According to the principal my only option at this point is the police as "if it isn't happening on school property there's nothing they can do" Which, I know is not true. My understanding is if it affects my child's schooling it is everything to do with the school. I had approached the school prior to this when it was still just a kid "bugging" him and they say they did call the child's mom, so at this point they feel there's nothing more for them to do...(I'm still steaming from this and am figuring out what my next step will be).

Silo, thank you for your response...I find nothing wrong with it (although I don't feel it is the be all end all solution to be honest). Having said that, I do agree that in our son's case, this can't hurt and can only make him a better person. He has started attending Sunday school in our area and is involved in a community program that while is basically a fun time for kids on the weekend, is a christian based program that teaches kids some great things in the process of the playing and fun.

SonofLiberty, we had thought of that in the past..enrolling him in some sort of karate/judo classes but were afraid it would go badly with him using it against people improperly. I do agree that in a lot of cases ADD is mis/overdiagnosed. There is more to our son's story than what I've put on here. I didn't really want to turn this into a pharma/medical community thread...I only added the history to give the full perspective of the situation. Now that my son is in a "place" where he can possibly be respectful of rules and appropriateness, we may revisit the classes. Thanks for your input.

Brokencircles...I didn't take your post as mean. I asked for advice and am willing to take the good with the bad. Trust me, I've felt the same way that perhaps this is his "dues" for the trouble he's caused. Yes, my attitude of wanting to meet the kid in a dark alley is very inappropriate, but is coming out of complete frustration with this situation. I have in the past tried to be friendly with this particular child..hoping I could either get him on our team...come to play at our house instead of out in the neighbourhood and then I can monitor what was going on...who knows, maybe turn both kids around for the better. When that didn't pan out I told him to please find another place to play as he would stand on the outskirts of our property line and taunt my son. I was told "screw you b****" I can play where I want" That was the time when I approached the parents and was laughed at...hence my feelings that the parents are not approachable today with this situation. Trust me when I tell you I am not a violent person, nor do I teach my kids to be violent...exactly the opposite. If I was to teach them that, this probably wouldn't be an issue as my son would already have taken matters into his own hands.

Drums, I do appreciate your input as well but I think in this situation it will just make matters worse. We have been trying to teach a child that wouldn't ever keep his hands to himself to do just that. I know that kids fight, and will always fight..but I'm trying hard to keep my kids out of trouble. I know there may be a time where he will be pushed too far and that will just end him in trouble with the school and/or police..I'd like to avoid that.

nahsik, thanks for your reply as well. As I said above the defense classes had been a thought, but we were waiting for our son to be in a better place with his understanding, discipline and self respect before even entertaining the thought. I find this bully seems to be quite aware with how to be a troublemaker without actually crossing any lines. He has never hit my son..it's more of a psychological type of bullying. I don't know which is worse
So if my son were to ever physically fight back he would be the one getting into the majority of the trouble. I think I just want to let everyone involved know as much and often as I can so there's a "paper trail" and history rather than just my kid out of the blue beat up some poor innocent child.

I have informed the school and the boys and girls club this morning and they are both making reports of it...but unfortunately not much more seems to be getting done... Still unsure of how to proceed from here..

Michelle



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 02:35 PM
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From the story, sounds like the kid could easily "beat up" the bully, but chooses not to. A commendable choice.

It's a tricky situation. Chances are, the bullied kid was once either a leader or follower bully with the kid now bullying him....from the situation outlined above.

I know it's not the PC solution, but a good but kicking is probably what the bully needs (worked when I was a kid... I used my leadership skills to be a defender of the weak, and almost never had to actually get in a fight to defend others... Just me being there was enough, after one good staredown of the main bully).

However, I also know that you don't want to encourage this behavior again. I'd recommend telling your son to simply confront the bully with words. Snappy comebacks are one way. For the penis cream comment, I would have replied, "Why are you so obsessed with my penis, man, didn't know you were that way...", etc.

But, if this isn't your son's forte', he just needs to go up to the kid and say, "What's your problem? Is there something I'm doing to tick you off? I have to tell you, you've really been pushing my buttons, and I've been holding it in..but if you keep on, I'm going to go off on you, and I probably won't be able to stop until you're no longer conscious. So, lets just knock it off, huh?".

The touchy feely approach is likely only to increase the bullying. Sure, none of us want to resort to physical threats, but its effectiveness is hard to argue with.



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 03:25 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 27 2011 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by sonofliberty1776
 


See? He's got it.... Then the other kids are laughing at HIM, not you, and his little plan backfired. Do that a few times, and he'll think twice about gathering an audience for his own humiliation.




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