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MOMMY2004
MOMMY2004 asks:
Q:

My son is being tormented. Please help.

i son accidently or on purpose,i dont know.threw  12 year old girls bag.her bottle leaked and her books were spoilt.and she beat my kid.its ok he deserved it.but after that she has started picking on my kid.when i called her mom ,she said that my kids jumps and is hyperactive,while school bus driver said he sits still.this girl calls him names and sings taunting songs.her mother is also not understnding and is blaming my 5 year old

what should i do?

rosy
In Topics: Bullying and teasing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 24, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello Rosy,

Thank you for writing to education.com with your question.  As a parent you are in a tough situation.  It is hard to know exactly what happens when your children are not under your supervision and even harder to know how to discipline your child for something that could have either been on purpose or by accident.

Regardless of the initial problem - the throwing of the backpack - your son (and really no child) should be punished through physical aggression.  The fact that this 12 year old girl beat your 5 year old son is quite concerning.  

Because the bus driver might have knowledge of the incident and the additional bullying that has been taking place, it would be best to speak to him about what he knows.  Armed with correct information you could then speak to the parents of the 12 year old and ask that she discontinue any contact with your child.  With children, anytime, there is an age discrepancy of more than a year or two, it is best to adjust expectations accordingly.  

It is understandable that the older child would feel upset or frustrated by having her books ruined however, it is not acceptable for her to continue to bully or badger the younger child - your son.  

Talking with the appropriate school staff might help you to know what more you can do to stop the inappropriate behavior of the 12 year old.  Don't hesitate to speak to your son's teacher or the principal to find out what type of policy the school has regarding bullying.  

In addition, there are several written materials for children that you may want to review and then read with your son including:

"Taking the Bully by the Horns" by: Jay Carter, Kathy Noll, and Flora Cusimano is the children's version of the best selling book, "Nasty People" by Jay Carter, Kathy Noll, and Flora Cusimano.

"Stick Up for Yourself: Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power & Positive Self-Esteem" by Gershen Kaufman.

"How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies: A Book That Takes the Nuisance Out of Name Calling and Other Nonsense" by Kate Cohen-Posey.

A book written for parents, "The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle" by Barbara Coloroso might also be a good resource for you.

Hope that this information is helpful.  

You are doing the right thing by attempting to get to the bottom of the situation.  Blindly accepting mistreatment tells your son that it is okay to bully and increases the chance that he will become overly aggressive as well.

Thanks again for your question.  If you feel like it might help to talk to a parenting counselor, please don't hesitate to contact the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000.  Trained staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you sort through the situation further and to make referrals to resources in your local area.  

Take care.
 
Linda, Boys Town Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
Resources:

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Additional Answers (1)

kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi Rosy,

I'm so sorry your family is having to go through this.  

There's been lots of research done on bullying recently.  These studies have taught us something that you're learning the hard way which is it's not always effective to deal directly with the other parents in a bullying situation.  We all love our kids (that's the good news) and we often have a hard time accepting that they're responsible for harming another child (that's the bad news).  So I think you should stop working with the other mom and go right to the school teachers/principal to talk about what your son is going through.  Of course it will be important for you and your son to take responsibility for his role in the situation (it sounds like you already are) but no one deserves to be treated like he's being treated and the school should be working with both kids to stop it.


Education.com has a great resource center on bullying.  I'll put the link below.  You may want to read some articles there to get more ideas for how to help your son get through this tough situation.

Good luck!

Kat

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