Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bullying


BULLYING

"EEwwww, get him away, he has a disease!"....My son recounted his day at school. "Then he pushed me against the locker and told me I was "disgusting". The kids surrounded me, laughing and pointing."

"I don't like taking my shirt off Mom. But they make us in gym class. The kids always laugh at me, when they see my marks." All I could do was hold him. Letting him feel, his feelings.

Flashbacks of when I was younger, fluttered in my mind. I remember, like it was yesterday. I was walking home from school, when some boys began throwing rocks at me, from behind. "Why don't you look like the other girls?" They yelled. "You're so weird!" A rock was thrown again and hit the back of my head. I felt the rage building inside of me. I was crying and began walking fast and and faster. "Dear God, make them leave me alone!", I prayed.

My NF hadn't even really begun to show yet, but I was different. I was the short-haired, chubby girl, who wore glasses. I never fit in, with kids my own age....but I was so desperate to find a place, that I would soon find myself mixed in with the wrong crowd.

I continued to hold Braden, telling how sorry I was, that his feelings were hurt.

School bullies are everywhere and no matter what the "school rules" are...it happens everyday. Kids get this rush of power, when they feel they can control another person's emotions. They think it's cool to be feared.

My talk with the school the following day, tried to assure me that this was NOT true....How the school has a "no - tolerance" bully rule. Well Golly Gee! Since it's a rule, then it must NEVER EVER happen, cause everyone obeys rules......

Braden had come to a point last year, where he was calling me from school on nearly a daily basis. He would tell me he was sick....and would actually make himself throw up, just so I would come and get him, and take him home.

On the drives home, he would perk up and ask to go to McDonald's....

The frequency of these calls, and the way Braden would react after being picked up, became so routine, that we began to question him. It took a while for him to open up and finally tell us what was happening at school.

Kids who bully, aren't going to do it, where the teachers can see. With Braden, the kids would do it in the bathrooms, or on the soccer field. Braden was tormented and teased. Bullies latch on, to anything THEY see as different. It could be NF, being short, chubby, having a limp.....etc. My son reacted in the only way he knew, would get him out of the situation.

As I look back, I may have missed some key signs.
According to www.stopbullyingnow.com


Some signs to look for:
  • The child comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings.
  • The child has unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches.
  • The child seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus or taking part in organized activities with peers.
  • The child appears sad, moody, teary or depressed when he or she comes home.
  • The child frequently appears anxious and/or suffers from low self-esteem.


If you suspect your child is being bullied, remember to support your child, inform others and take action.
  • First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying. Tell your child you are concerned about him or her and ask questions.
  • Contact your child's teacher and/or principal. He or she will probably be in the best position to understand the relationships between your child and other peers at school. Ask the teacher to talk to other adults who interact with your child at school to see if they have observed students bullying your child.
  • If you know your child is being bullied, take quick action. There is nothing worse than doing nothing, and bullying can have serious effects.


Be an informed parent. Stay involved with your kids.

More info from www.stopbullyingnow.com


Children Who Bully

Many children engage in bullying everyday. Although each child is different, those who bully other young people do share some common characteristics. Here are some things to look for:

Common Characteristics of Children Who Bully

  • Impulsive, hot-headed, dominant
  • Easily frustrated
  • Lack empathy
  • Have difficulty following rules
  • View violence in a positive way
  • Boys who bully tend to be physically stronger than other children.
There is no single cause of bullying among children. A host of different factors can place a child at risk for bullying his or her peers. However, it has been found that children who bully are more likely than their non-bullying peers to come from homes with certain characteristics.

Family Risk Factors for Bullying

  • A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents
  • Overly permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children's behavior)
  • A lack of supervision by parents
  • Harsh, physical discipline
  • Bullying incidences at home

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for linking this story from your facebook account.

    Jeff Greathouse

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  2. Adults can be just as bad as kids.. Thanks for this story..

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  3. I can def relate to your story kristi. I never fit in when I was going to school either. I was never friends with kids my own age and got teased constantly for my LD and for the way I looked. It got so bad in 5th grade I almost wanted to leave school, and I had to recieve counseling. It can be scary not having someone be there for and stick by your side.

    Kids in jr high are immature and they don't know how to act around kids who are different from them. Your son is a better person then they are and that is all that matters. When the right kids come along that is who he can call his true friends.

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  4. I remember this one time, in art class in grade school, this kid, Anthony was teasing me. I think it was fourth or 5th grade. And you know clifford, the big Red Dog? He sang "Jenn-ifer the spott-ed dog" and it made me so upset. I sat at my table, not looking up, and my face was hot with tears. I was so ashamed of who I was.
    I was teased my entire life. For being so weird. And different. I don't like to think of a lot of it, even to tell you, because it still hurts so much. I had high blood pressure and was on sleeping pills in the 6th grade I was so upset by it. I remember I had short hair my entire life, and in 6th grade, I grew it out really long, and for this black history project, I wore traditional African clothes, borrowed from a teacher my mom knew, and braided my hair in locks. And this black kid, Alicia, laughed her ass off at me.
    I was just so angry and hurt and frustrated at everyone....I did such bad things in relatilation; I had this BFF in Special Ed when I was 5 or 6, and we met up again in Middle School. and I was just so ashamed of my past. She was in Special Ed still, I was not (PS, she seemed pretty normal to me, so I don't know what was different about her) so I made her swear she wouldn't revel our past. Then I was just so mean to her. I ignored her, or teased her. I regret it so badly every time I think about it. I KNEW it was bad at the time, thats what makes it so much worse. I just wish I could find her and tell her how sorry I am. I wouldn't ever expect forgiveness, but I just wish she knew how sorry I am about it. I was angry at my own situation and she didn't deserve any of it.

    Sorry for going on and on, I wish I knew how to help your son. I'd love to say these things change with time, but I don't know. I mean, I don't know what to say to make it better. It sucks. I've been teased my whole life, and continue to be teased. I want to fix it for him, because I don't want him to turn out like me; having extreme difficulty trusting, being very insecure and have low self esteem.

    I hope some right kids come along. Have you guys done NF camp? I think that'd be great. I really wish I'd gone as a kid. NF pen pals might be fun, too. I'm 24 and have yet to meet ANYONE (ANY-ONE!!!!!!!!) with Nf in person. That, in my opinion, is pretty damn pathetic.

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  5. PS- Sorry for the long post.

    <3!!!

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  6. I was teased as a child especially late elementary and middle school but I thought to he-- with the bullies. Their victims turn out to be important people and the bullies nobodies. As for the LD part a lot of those bullies are special Ed students from my personal experience but do not want to admit so the pick on more disabled peers and it goes from there. I will not get into to the ld being over diagnosed issue.

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