Posted by: Ask Arden | April 11, 2010

Questions and Answers for Parents of children who have been bullied at school

I won’t ever forget what it was like to be bullied in 5th grade. I had just transferred from a lovely elementary school where I had lots of friends to a school just a few miles away. Little did I know what was in store for me.Three tough females, one a year older than me, tried to push me around. They wanted me to smoke, don’t forget this was 1960, and if I didn’t the’y threatened to beat me up.

The following day, I told my Mom that I had a belly ache and didn’t want to go to school. My Mom, being the suspicious type, kept on questioning me, wasn’t I feeling fine last night.?Yes, I said. What kind of stomach ache did I have? etc., she finally asked me if something happened to me in the new school. I so did not want to tell her for fear it could all get much worse, but she wormed it out of me. I told her what happened and she said to me, You can stay home today. I am calling the Principal and we are going to get the mothers of those girls in for a meeting. OMG, this is before texting, but that’s what I felt. My mother was on fire, so mad and protective as well. There was the meeting with the Moms, the principal and my Mom. Later that afternoon she said it all was straightened out. That the girls would be apologizing to me tomorrow. OMG again.

As it turned out they did apologize to me the next day and wanted to be my friends. I have to admit on the surface I was friendly but I did not ever trust them after that, but they left me alone which was a good thing.

So this piece of advice is for every parent who suspects their son or daughter is being threatened, bullied, or hazed, and that is to be aware of nipping it in the bud as soon as you get wind of it.

Unfortunately some parents are met with lots of resistance from the bully’s parents, the school administation etc., I was fortunate, but lots of kids are not.

One such young man I know has been bullied since second grade. He has some mild tics and sometimes just has not been quite able to be as he puts it comfortable with peers his own age. He struggles with wanting to make friends, be pleasing, trying to fit in, but unfortunately rubs some kids the wrong way.

No I am not conerned that he will hurt himself in any way, thank goodness, but he has been in physical fights because as he puts it he can’t stand it anymore. As he has gotten older he now begins to see that the fighting is doing nothing but getting himself suspended from school and the bullies as well. That it’s a lose/lose situation.

So my question is how do we protect our children in situations like this where schools solution is to suspend all parties and nothing really is getting solved. Suspensions just serve to infuriate the scapegoat and the bully as well.

I would love to hear about your experiences with your child, friends children etc., and see if your school has alternatives and different options to quell and calm this situation.

Tune in for warning signs tomorrow.
Blessings from Arden


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