Friday, 03 December 2010

Bullying -

As a mother of a child experiencing bullying at school I think it is vitally important that parents are aware of the signs that a child is being bullied, as well as how to prevent it and what to do if it happening to your child.
This is what I have experienced and information that I have found to be very helpful.
When I first heard that my son was being bullied at school I was horrified. It took me back to the days when I experienced school bullies while I was still at school.
Bullies made my school life really difficult. There were days that I didn’t want to go to school, just so I could avoid having to deal with the children who were harassing me.

I was verbally bullied, bullied by being excluded, as well as being threatened.
Having a difficult home life, I never had the coping mechanisms instilled in me, to deal with bullies and I crept further into my shell. Years later I found my strength and I will no longer allow myself to be in that situation again. There is no way that I will allow it to be a factor in my children’s lives.
My son’s experiences have been different.
The latest bully has been picking on him in the classroom as well as seeking him out at break time to continue harassing him.
The bully:
·         harasses him on his way to his desk,
·         steals his stationery and refuses to return it,
·         hits him with rulers and other objects,
·         pushes him around, (on one occasion into the hook for the classroom door)
·         slaps and punches him,
·         tells my son that he can’t do things - that he has already cleared with teachers,
·         laughs at my son for no reason,
·         resorts to name calling,
·         he lies when he is confronted,
I realised that this is typical behaviour for a bully when I read an article forwarded to me by a friend.
So as not to repeat any of the information here is a link to the page. It describes types of bullying, why students bully and the impact of bullying.
The Result:
I had a meeting this morning at my son’s school. The class teacher is at her wits end with the bully. The Head of Department for grade 4 and the Principal are all dealing with the issue at hand. The parents of the bully have been contacted.
I have ensured that they have all the info that I could possibly give them, so that they could deal with each problem area effectively.
I now hope that the bully’s parents take action and work with the school. I am taking my zero tolerance approach, and I hope that you would do the same for your child.
My tips would be that you always speak to your child. Have an open line of communication.
My son and I have our time in the kitchen every evening. He has a passion for food so while we are cooking together he talks about his day. It’s a relaxed atmosphere so it is easy for him to talk about anything that is bothering him.
Go with your gut. If you feel that something is not right – it probably isn’t.
You’ll know when to push your child for answers.
Don’t leave the situation at educating your child on how to react.
Always take things further.
Go to the school prepared. (In my meeting today I was able to enlighten the teacher as to problem areas that had not been addressed)
You can’t be sure of what will happen in the future, but making sure that everyone is aware of the issue at hand is a vital step.
Ensure that you and the class teacher have a clear plan of action and ask the teacher to explain this plan to your child as well as you explaining it to him or her. It leaves your child with peace of mind.
One tip from the articles I read that resonated with me was not to allow a meeting with both children in the room. I had been down that road before – and the outcome was not what I wanted or expected.
Thank you to Soooz for all the information.
I learned earlier this year, that it helps to share your story with others. Your story may just help someone else who is in the same situation. I will post updates of any new developments...

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