Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm Rubber...You're Glue!

"I hate school Mom, PLEASE don't send me back there!" This was the text I got from my daughter this morning. It's the second week of school and already the vultures are decending on my 8th grader.

My daughter has always been socially akward. She doesn't fit in it and oftentimes can be found sitting alone. She is quiet and shy and has a hard time initiating any type of conversations.

The complaints I get from my daughter, have been the same since Kindergarden. "No one likes me." "No one wants to hang out with me." "They call me ugly." "The girls whisper and make fun of me behind my back."

This is all too familiar to me. I had a horrible experience in 8th grade. Being the new kid didn't help. I was always "different" than my peers. Chubby, with glasses, I was a prime target for endless teasing.

Until one day, I chose to stand up for myself. I was done with the rocks being thrown at me. I was done with the fat comments. I was done being the subject of many jokes.

I remember that day. Hot faced....I felt the power and courage fill within me. I whipped around, took my glasses off and asked this boy why I was so important to him, that he had to go out of his way to make me feel like crap.

He really had no responce, but I told him to grow up, and that one day he would be bald and fat, and may end up being on the receiving end of some cruel jokes. I told him to spend his time on something else, because I wasn't going to let him affect me anymore.

Eventually he did stop, and I had a pretty good year from then on. But did I really let go of him affecting me? To this day, I can remember how I felt...I relive the power this kid had over me over and much for letting go, eh?

Even now, I find myself wishing... "If only I could have flawless skin and be thin...maybe people would like me." "If only I could have enough money..." "If only I could have a better personality." If only....

The teasing and bullying never really stopped for me....because I still let it affect me. I let what other people think of me, control my attitude and even what I stand for sometimes. I find myself trying to live up to the standards that other people set.

As for Bailey, all I can do is love and support her. She has the strength to overcome this. I am trying to teach her (and my other kids) that they are beautiful and strong people.

When kids bully and tease, I want my kids to know that THEY aren't the problem. It's not their fault. Some kids just need to feel in control...they like the power they get from picking on someone. They think it makes them inportant...or popular. Sometimes kids do this, maybe because it's the way they are being treated at home.

*Create a buddy system (strength in numbers)
*Really listen to your child, let them vent
*Contact the school

I know that my daughter is in pain. It hurts me, that she is hurting. But as her parent, I have to help push her fwd, and continue to encourage her. (even though what I want to do, is pull her out of school and protect her)

Sweet Bailey, those that matter, know how precious you are. Those that matter love you and support you. Those that matter will be by your side.


  1. She HAS to stand up for herself! I wish so much that I had done that. I was even teased by the kids who only spoke Spanish. I had a falling out with my only friend (lasted a month, and I have no idea why) and I begged my resource teacher to let me eat in the resource room. Because I had no where else to sit.
    I'm still teased, still hurt, still treated badly by ignorant adults, or those who think things should only be a certain way. i still can't do it. It sucks, and I don't want that for her. I want her to get out and be happy.

    I don't want her to be like me! 24, no friends, and still have a hard time telling people where to shove it (to their face, at least). I was really lucky to find someone like Matt, because I'm so shy and weird and awkward and freak like. And I don't want her to feel that way about herself.
    We all need to find a female empowerment class or something. She's too fantastic, and it's not her problem if these pre-pubescent mean tweens are insecure about themselves.

  2. What i would do to take it on with those kids.

    i too experienced the relentless teasing etc.. and it happened till like you kriti. found the strength to turn around and finish it once and for all.

    bailey will find this. she has a great mom there to help her do it.

    And to you Bailey: you are truly a beautiful person. No mater what the kids at the school say. they will miss out on having a great friend, by not getting to know you .

  3. I just hate hearing stories like this. I was bullied and teased too and though I often stood up for myself it didn't really work. Fortunately most of them grew out of it by high school and I made a great group of friends. It was still cliquish and sometimes my feelings got hurt because of being excluded from certain parties, etc, but it wasn't even close to the bullying.

    I've done some research into bullying for an upcoming column and also just out of interest. One thing to remember is that the more you respond to the bullying, the more you're bullied. So openly defying a bully by ignoring or laughing along with them will sometimes work better than confronting them.

    As an example, if a bully makes a fat joke, smile and say "yeah and if you talk about it again I'll sit on you!" It's really hard to do, but laughing along with them will often take the fun out of it for them.

    Also, lots of people think that kids who are bullied don't have friend because of the bully, but often the bully has picked them out because they don't have friends. So if Bailey can find a way to get two or three friends who will also ignore the bullies she might see it end.

    Has the school stepped in at all. Soemtimes having the bullies sit down with their parents, and you and a principal and explain exactly what is going on (without accusing the bullies parents of raising a bully) and how it's affecting everyone will bring more awareness on the parents part to make their child stop.

    I don't buy this "bullies are victims too" crap, but being a bully does have a tremendous negative affect on a person's life and they end up lacking social skills as much as the awkward child, especially as they transition into adulthood.

  4. And in the meanwhile, Bailey, if these little you-know-whats had to go through what you go through medically they would turn into little balls of sniffling snot calling for their mommy. You are so much stronger and smarter than them. It's easier for them to demean you than admit you might be a better human being than them.

  5. Poor girl!!HUGS!!I too have the teasing and bullying for my children.We have told them others pick on you or are mean like that because they are not happy with themselves!!!!
    Tell Bailey she is a sweet girl and all you need is 1 friend and she always has her family too:)