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UpsetMom
UpsetMom asks:
Q:

Why is my daughter always being teased?

My daughter is 12 year's old and comes home everyday telling me the nasty thing's the kid's at school say to her. It start's with one child and soon the whole class is teasing her. This hurt's her and it hurt's me even more. I love my daughter so much and hate to see her suffering like this. I tell her it's not her fault. I tell her to ignore the teasing and that it's not the kid's fault they are bullies but rather their parent's for not teaching them any better. Is that wrong? What else can I say to her? I tell her that when she is teased, to remember all of us here at home that love her. This seems to make her feel better but the next day it's the same thing. I have went to the school numerous times and complained to her teacher's but it seem's to do no good. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jan 6, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I'm so sorry to hear about what your daughter has been experiencing at school everyday. It must break your heart to hear what she's going through. Watching your child cry is one of the most heart wrenching things about parenting.

It must be extremely frustrating for you to know that nothing has changed even after you have discussed this issue with the teachers. State law mandates that schools take action to deter bullying behavior. It's the teacher and the administration's job to ensure that every child has a safe environment in which to learn, one that is free of ridicule and shame. If you feel that the teacher is not doing all he/she can to ensure your daughter is safe, it's time to take your concerns to the principal. Set up an appointment with the principal and as a courtesy indicate that you have concerns about what has been happening. During the meeting, do not hesitate to share your concerns that the problem has continued despite numerous discussions with the teacher. In addition, prepare some ideas as to what you would like to see the teacher implement.

Studies of bullying behavior indicate that bullying is almost instantly squelched when a bystander child intervenes. A bully engages in the behavior most often when other people are around most often as a means of gaining attention and approval. If a bystander shows disapproval the bullying behavior stops. Perhaps the teacher could begin to provide classroom instruction to all students indicating the need to stand up for anyone who is being harassed or teased. This lesson could be expanded to include writing assignments such as "Write about a time when you were teased. How did you feel and what did you do?" Another writing lesson could be "Have you ever been a bully and if so, how do you think it made the other person fee?". Students should then role play what to say if they find themselves in the role of the classmate being picked on or that of a bystander.

The students must know that the teacher and other adults will provide support and encouragement for the child being teased and the bystanders and that the bully will receive a consequence.

Helping children to develop empathy (an understanding of how that other person might feel) for others can help all involved, the victims and the bullies. You are doing a great job of helping your daughter to feel loved and supported at home and giving her a great strategy to cope by remembering that she has family members who really care for her. You can take this a step further by helping your daughter to develop strong relationships with a few of her classmates. Encourage your daughter to invite others to work on homework after school, get together on the weekends for play dates and to develop common activities to engage in during lunch, recess or any other free time periods at during the school day. The more connected she feels to others at home and at school, the more positive the school experience will be for your daughter.  

In addition to helping your daughter by all of what you have done already, continue to help her see that a bully is only trying to make him/herself feel more in control and dominant over another person. This behavior indicates that that person really is not as strong as others might think and has some self esteem issues.

Thanks for writing to education.com with your question.  

Boys Town National Hotline
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Additional Answers (4)

Windy1
Windy1 , Child Professional, Parent writes:
When Your Child Is Being Teased
The Scene
Eight-year-old Derrick is barely eating. When asked what's wrong, he bursts into tears. "The kids at school keep calling me a dork," he sobs.


The Words You Need
Children may have strong feelings about being the victims of teasing, and that can make it hard to talk with them about it. Here are some suggestions to keep the conversation going.

The words: "I'd like to understand what happened. Why don't you tell me about it?"

The reason: Listening respectfully to children -- hearing their experience of events and interactions -- is one very important way to give them your support. Remember to listen before offering advice.

The words: "That must have felt awful..."

The reason: Acknowledging children's feelings without judgement is a good way to help children feel safe talking with us about difficult and embarrassing topics.

The words: "I remember being teased when I was your age..."

The reason: Feeling alone, or singled out, is one of the more painful aspects of being teased. Hearing that you had difficult times when you were a kid will help children feel less alone -- and most children love stories!

The words: "Let's think about what we can do about this..."

The reason: It's best not to start problem solving until your child feels as though you understand, or are trying to understand, his or her experience. Engaging children in the problem-solving process helps them feel competent and helps them build important skills.

The words: "You know, it's hard to believe, but lots of times people who tease are really unhappy."

The reason: It's helpful if children begin to understand that kids who tease may have problems and are less than all-powerful.

The words: "Would you like me to do something about this?"

The reason: Children may or may not want parental intervention, but it's important to offer it as an option. They may feel that talking to other parents or teachers will make things worse instead of better.

Conversation Tips
Some people are more sensitive to teasing than others. How we talk to our children about it will depend on what we know about them. Ask yourself these questions: Are my kids especially sensitive? Can they laugh at themselves? Has this kind of thing happened before? How do they generally get along with their peers?

Beyond the Rap
Most children are occasional targets of hurtful teasing. How you and your children approach teasing will depend on your culture and your family's style of interacting. Encourage kids to avoid games that involve coming up with increasingly gross, or nasty put-downs. These can lead to hurt feelings and even fights.

If children are persistently the victims of teasing, in a variety of situations, they may be sending out signals that encourage it. In that case, it may make sense to seek professional help through your health plan or school.

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4childrenga
4childrenga writes:
sadly my daughter who is 14 is going through the same thing,  it started last year and now this year when she stands up for her self she gets in trouble.  Not only has student bullied her now a staff at high school is allowing it to happen.  I have complained since school started 7 weeks ago, I have keep a journal of who and what happens to her.  I am concerned about my child emotionally.  This abuse is really conerning me I have even advised my child who is a little heavy if the bullying gets physical to take the beating.  Because if she stands up and fights back she gets in trouble.  The school adminstration has let me down.  The only solution they have given me is that my child can be escorted from class to class, sit alone or with a couple of friends apart from the main lunch area. Then leave school a few minutes early to avoid being approached after school.   She does not ride the bus, I am too afraid for her.  My child is the victim and she is in prison.  I pray God will help me and my daughter with this problem because the school adminstration does not care.
> 60 days ago

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lawanz
lawanz writes:
I had the same problem last year with my nine year old daughter. I went to the school and talked with the teacher and principle nothing happen. So I took it to the Board of Education we than got all of the parents involved and the counselor of the school. Sometime if its not the teacher child they are not concern as they should be. They may treat you like your over reacting, but your not that's your child, so you show all the love and support you need to get this situation resolved. If all else fell consider changing your child school. Bullying and Teasing could mentally destroy a child. Don't let her hate facing the next day. It's defeating the purpose for her going to school, "how could she learn"?
> 60 days ago

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teachinggranny
teachinggra... writes:
If the teacher is not willing to get this matter under control then you really need to speak with the parent advocate of the school if there is none then go to the principal.  If you still don't get any satisfaction write a letter to the District Board.
> 60 days ago

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