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plspence
plspence asks:
Q:

How should I deal with my child being teased?

My son was going to a babysitter and travelling by bus to get there.  We recently changed after school arrangements and today he tells me that he's glad he won't be on that bus because some of the kids were teasing him every day.  It seems that it is always the same children that are giving him a hard time.  (a couple of them members of the same family)

This is the first I've heard of this and of course I find it upsetting.  My son wouldn't tell me the details and said it doesn't matter he just ignored them and now he won't have to deal with it any more.  

I know that it is pointless to speak to the children's parent as she is well known as having the attitude that her children can do no wrong.

How should I handle this or should I leave it in the past.
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 23, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

All types of kids and teens are bullied.  Bullying even affects those kids that are smart, funny, popular, and seem to have everything going for them.  If your child is being bullied, it’s important to build up their self esteem when they are away from school.  Remind them not to let a bully make them feel like they are different in a bad way.  They deserve respect, and nobody has the right to treat them badly.  Encourage them to get involved in activities outside of school such as music, art, or intramural sports teams where they will be consistently, positively reinforcement.

Since your son's bullying situation is in the past, it's ok to leave it there in terms of confronting the bully.  However, this is a great opportunity to teach them about asking for help when they need it.

Always encourage your son to talk to trusted adults around him about what he's going through.  This could be a parent, aunt, uncle, or even school counselor.  Explain to him that if he shoves his feelings deep down, much like a pressure cooker, they will eventually boil over and he's more likely to say or do something that will get him in trouble, not the bully.

We encourage parents and especially kids/teens to call our 24/7 hotline to talk to someone if bullying is affecting their life.  Bullying over a long period of time can cause damage to a youth’s self-esteem that can be hard to reverse.  Please feel free to call us at 1-800-448-3000 anytime.  

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (5)

kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi Paula,  That's really heartbreaking to think that he was struggling in silence all that time!  I'd be upset too.  

It sounds like your son handled it well though by ignoring them.  I gues the important thing now is to make sure he's as "ok" as he's acting.  How old is he?  One thing that may help open the door is for you to start the conversation by telling him how proud you are of him (didn't resort to violence or stoop to their level and tease back).  Then maybe you could just say something like "I know sometimes kids can be really mean to each other.  I remember how sad and angry I felt when I was your age and kids teased me.  How did it make you feel?"  Then just make sure that he knows it's really ok for him to tell you about these things when they're happening.  That you'll be able to help him, he won't get in trouble, you won't do anything to embarass him, etc.

I think you're right that going after the other kids probably isn't important or productive at this point since your son wasn't (physically) injured.  

I think it can't hurt and could help a lot to have another conversation or two about it with him though.

Good luck and Let me know how it goes!

> 60 days ago

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SarahRubar
SarahRubar writes:
I agree with you.  Speaking with the parents doesn't always work. It's an isolated time and the kids, even if spoken to by the parent, won't stop. You need to focus on the child/victim.   I wonder if it might not be a good idea for her to take a ride on the bus with the boy and confront the bullies, telling them to leave the boy alone or else she'll talk to their mother..or even do something so they're not able to ride that bus anymore. They're being disruptive to the passengers,so it is feasable that this could happen.

It's too bad there isn't some other bus he could take. I do hope that eventually the bullies just get bored and leave him alone. :(

Sarah
> 60 days ago

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michaelbartone
michaelbart... writes:
So glad to see you are supporting him! I remember being picked on and I just didn't want to tell anyone, and I never did. It's tough but I always knew that things would get better and they did. Children are ruthless, as are many adults, but if your son keeps in mind that not everyone is like them. Best to you and tell your son to keep his head up!
> 60 days ago

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NY MOM
NY MOM writes:
Hi,  please do not ride on the bus, that is only going to create more teasing from the bullies, they 'll say "there comes the baby that need his mommy" when you are not there.  Besides Sarah ( I know  you meant well) think about it, kids are not going to act the same if there is a grown up.  I read the article (Google it, if you wish) Helicopter mom, it said that it is good to let kids learn to deal with difficult situation, especially as they get older.  However talking with him about it like Kat Eden said might be great, Boys some how have a harder time than girls expressing their feeling.  Best wishes
> 60 days ago

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CreativeRachna
CreativeRac... , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
I'm really sorry to hear that your son is being bullied.  Teasing and or bullying is not something to be taken lightly.  Being teased or bullied on a bus seems especially scary, not knowing whether the teasing or bullying is involving pushing or shoving.  There are several articles which you may find helpful in regards to debunking the myths of bullying and how to approach the topic with your son.  

http://www.education.com/reference/article/bullying-myths-facts/

The next article discusses the "bully-victim," since your son has been victimized with the incident.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/what-is-a-bully-victim/

And lastly, know the signs of bully-victims and how to spot if your child  is frustrated, dejected, and or detaching due to being victimized

http://www.education.com/reference/article/identify-and-help-bully-victim/

I really hope these specific articles have shed light on a very traumatic topic.  
I wish you the best of luck,
Rachna
> 60 days ago

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