My son is being bullied by a group of kids inside and outside of school. How do I deal with this?

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Tracy - posted on 10/26/2009

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Everyone that has posted to your question has given great advice. I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that open and honest communication between you and your child will allow you to be able to deal with each and every situation as it arises. Immediate action will show that the behavior is unacceptable and won't be tolerated. This will also show your child how much you love and care for him and creates a strong bond between the two of you. Your being there for him now will allow him to feel that he can come to you with anything. Best of Luck!

Kim - posted on 10/24/2009

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My son went through this from grade school until 11th grade when he dropped out. He was hit, called names and once someone even wrote on his locker in blood. Once, when he hit a boy back that hit him first on the bus, both boys were suspended from school and the bus, even though the other child was the aggressor. They said that it was school policy and had to be done even though they were quite aware of the situation. School was torture for him and I can't express how important it is for you to somehow address this now. He is now 28 and I believe that this treatment has made him make some very poor personal choices that are still effecting him today. At that time, the school district, principal and guidance counselor weren't any help and told me that if they or I got involved, it would just make the situation worse. Yesterday though, I just saw a commercial for Blue Cross where there are actually group meetings that your son can attend, or private counseling sessions, that address this problem and teach coping skills and they also will educate schools on how they should respond. Sure wish this was around when my child was in school, but was thrilled to see this being so publicly addressed now. Please continue to advocate for your son because the bullying will not stop until it is made to stop. I know how heartbreaking this is and my heart goes out to both of you.

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Nikki - posted on 11/04/2009

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Definitely alert school authorities. I know our school district employs a program called Olweus, it was started in one of the Scandanavian countries. Anyway, we've had it in our district for at least 7 years. My oldest is in Middle School and these guys have been 'indoctrinated' since the 1st grade, I'm sure there's still bullying, but the program has given the kids the tools to be able to deal with it appropriately and themselves which I think is empowering. The other part, is that I know this will echo one of the other posts I saw, and this may sound bad, but I've told my boys don't you ever start a fight, but you better finish it, don't back down, because bullies will feed on it.. I want them to be able to stand up for themselves, and taking abuse from someone is not acceptable. I remember having a boy bully me when I was in elementary school, he used to always throw my book bag on top of the adjacent church's roof, among other things. One day I had enough and clocked him in the privates with my lunch box (metal). He left me alone after that. :-) It's a tough call. But you've got to get the counselor, principal and the teacher involved now before it escalates into something regrettable.

Angela - posted on 11/03/2009

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Start by talking to the school. I know our school has a Bullying policy. Bullying will not be tolerated at school or out of school. Also, if these are kids in your neighborhood, school, etc. it may also be helpful to see if you can speak with those parents of the children, maybe a meeting with the school/principal.

Kristal - posted on 11/02/2009

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My girls had this problem when they were in Kindergarten and first grade. The kids were in one of their classes. I had a bunch of neighborhood kids at my house and they were all scared of this group as well. My suggestion was for them to look out for one another, letting a child who is being bullied know that they are not alone and have other kids (friends) going through the same thing helped. I also discussed the situation over with the school principal in his office and he paid more attention to the goings on at the school.

Cassie - posted on 11/01/2009

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If you are a stay at home mom I would definetley think about homeschooling him. At home you can build his self esteem and teach him how to be strong when this happens again later in life. But with it happening right now it's only going to destroy his spirit. Our kids do not need to learn from experience they need to be taught how to deal with a solid upbringing

Lyn - posted on 11/01/2009

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tell the school authorities about it asap...then assure your kid that he can tell anything to you and that you will "fix" any problem. The xtreme solution...teach him how "bully back" those nasty kids...but of course remind him to stay cool to kind kids...goodluck!

Tracy - posted on 10/31/2009

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You should definitely contact the school. I teach, and often times bullying takes place in the hallways or cafeteria, out of my radar. I can only intervene when I am aware of the situation. Sometimes many different children are being bullied by the same child, so notifying the school could help out everyone involved. Good luck!

Claudia - posted on 10/29/2009

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This is a very tough subject. The most important thing is to assure your child is fully aware that whatever is being done or said doesn't define them. Kids can be very cruel. We just need to teach our child skills on how to blow off hurtfull comments. Enroll your child in a defense class like karate or something. This is not for them to fight but rather to gain the skill in case worst comes to worst and also to give them the reassurance they need to not feel scared. Try to get your school involved and if possible the parents of the children that are doing the bulling. If you can then go at it with a calm attitude. Sometime we want to confront with arguing and will get argued back at. Just try to get an answer to WHY?

Krista - posted on 10/28/2009

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My son and daughter get picked on but it seems to mostly work with my son maybe due to his personality. I teach them not to show that it bothers them and to come and talk to me because if they react the bullies will keeps doing. If they stick up and either wear what they like or be friends with who they want and let no one tell them or bully them because they don't like it they are more likely to move on. I use to be picked on as a kid and the biggest problem is showing them that it bugs you because thats what they enjoy the most and thrive off it. GOOD LUCK I think it is a process and getting to know the parents helps but it depends on the age of the child too.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/28/2009

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I recently had the same problem and I called the school's assistant principal who put me in touch with the dean of students. I must say he was remarkably resourceful in hansling the situation that arose. My son was being bullied in gym class, at lunch and at other classes. When I relayed the information to the Dean, he spoke with my son, and then spoke with a few other children both boys and girls. Overall there was a lot of pushing, shoving and trying to make each other fall. I even offered that my son may have instigated some bullying in retaliation. Overall the Dean held a meeting in the gym and went over school policy and all the boys agreed that there was alot of bullying going on and they would cease immediately. Believe it or not - there has been peace. No more bullying just some playful pushing in gym when they are all going for the basketball. Your school probably has a code of ethics for the students and being reminded of the consequences maybe all it takes. GOOD LUCK

Juanita - posted on 10/27/2009

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I think it depends on the age of your child on how you handle the situation. Last year my 7 yr old daughter was being told inappropriate sexual comments by a boy. When I found out I immediately called her teacher. If it is a young child I would definately talk to the teacher. This helped my situation.

Avis - posted on 10/27/2009

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My son is now 31 yrs. old, but when he was in that situation, I had him bring the boy to the house for dinner. He couldn't be beating up my son while he is eating. Once he got to know us and see us as a family, I think we reached his heart and it stopped. On the other hand there are some hard rocks out there, that you have to take down the biggest and then the rest will leave you alone. The school told me that they couldn't protect my son off school grounds. You used to be able to talk to the parents, but I don't know if that is a good idea these days. You have to feel your way, protect your child. You can't let him lose faith in you, that you'll protect him. Love him up and pray. Stay close to your faith, because it will be tested. You are in my prayers Delanie, I know how frustrating this can be.

Pauline - posted on 10/27/2009

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My son has had a similar experience for the whole of this school year. He has suffered loss of confidence, loss of self respect, he was angry all the time & we were constantly at the school, for resolution that was only ever short term. This school term we asked for him to be changed to a new class, he has been doing Korean form of karate for the last month & a half.

We have made sure that all the adults in his circle know what is going on & the greatest benefit has been the karate, the head has taken him under his wing he has show him how to defend himself, he has shown him that the other kids that do this are weak people. He has not taught him to fight just how to get out of a situation that he where afraid.

We have made sure that there are enough people around him that know what has been going on for him to talk to anyone at anytime. Most of all house rules must stay & be enforced with love & firm understanding

We are gradually getting back our boy. We did also have him see the school counciller, you would be surprised at the number of things that your troubled child will tell to someone that they know will not judge them

Kristen - posted on 10/26/2009

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Is the bullying physical or just verbal? either way your child has a right to defend himself and you have a right to protect your child reach out to the school or even the other kids parents.

Cathy - posted on 10/26/2009

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I have always told my oldest child that if he is being bullied that he needs to make sure they understand that he isn't going to put up with it. It can be difficult for him to understand this at times because the school, teachers, etc. tell him if he touches another student he will be expelled from school. I tell him if it is self defense that he will not be in trouble. The school issue can be controlled by the school. You must get the teachers and the staff involved so they know what is going on. Once they are aware it may be easier for them to spot. Outside of school is the difficult issue. I'm not sure how old your son is but I've tried to make sure I keep my son out of situations where people might be trying to pick on him. My husband is also an School Resource Officer and he has given good advice. If you want to get more specific maybe I can help out more??!! Feel free to send me a message. I'm not sure if I'm any help but I have been in your situation. I've had to go to school and be involved with it and the other kid that was causing the problems, was kicked out of district because of it.

[deleted account]

Talk to the school....unfortunately this doesn't always help. Arm your child with the ability to defend himself or herself (whether it's self defense classes or Dad teaching him/her). Then let him know that if he's bullied/provoked, it's OK with you for him to protect himself. In other words, if someone hits him, he can hit back.....he may get in trouble with the school....but assure him he won't get in trouble with you. Of course, you have to make it clear that he cannot instigate a fight. However, we ALL have a right to defend ourselves. This happened to my daughter ( a boy hit her in the face) and the school did nothing. So, I gave her permission to not only defend herself, but to fight back if need be.

[deleted account]

Quoting Delanie:

My son is being bullied by a group of kids inside and outside of school. How do I deal with this?

School bullies.


STOP it NOW...go to the school and get invovled with them if they don't help go to the school board, tell the school that if it doesn't stop you will get legal action against them. All schools have a no bulling rule, it is usually sent home the first week of school with all the rest of the paper work you fill out. Next go the the parents and deal with them directly,



Parents have to be respondsible for their children's actions and behaviors. Most importantly tell your child that what they are going through is wrong, and mean. They don't have to put up with it, Make them aware that their are adults in the school that can help just ask.



You might want to look into karate class too. This is great because it gives children self estem and builds their confidence up if he or she is approached by a bully. Tell the sinsa why you choose Karate and they will make your child into someone who respects others and respects themselves

LILLIAN - posted on 10/25/2009

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i had a similar problem with my daughter\depending on the childs grade,elemetary speak to school, junior high have a conferance with the parents and the school its call mediation,high school the same and if that doens't work then,have him though self defence and of cause talk to him,so you could really find out whats exactly going on,and try to have someone take him to school and have him pick up and not by you, depending on the grade, this is a big problem in school today,especially in junior high and high school,my advice is, have a mediation with school and parents if they have any, two" have him take self defence classes,like i said before, three: are the kids outside part of the school, if so take active in a discrete way, they don't know its u, yeah you could always confront them,and handle it,but it might also get worst,one thing you can"t show fear,thats is my advise for now, i pray for your family for things could get resolve,

[deleted account]

I would not take this lightly. I am in Miami and we recently had a boy killed AT school by the guy who was bullying him, this was at High School level. The other case was a boy that was set on fire, which I am sure you have heard of on the news. This last one avoided going to school bc of the bullies and they caught him outside of school. I would immediately address the issue with the principal and all the teachers AND file a police report for the cases outside the school. Unfortunately, when kids behave this way at school, where do you think they get the example?? their parents are not much better, you can try talking to the parents but I would have a police officer present so they know you mean business. This may sound a bit HYSTERICAL but I'd rather be called hysterical than have to deal with something worse. Good luck to you.

Sara - posted on 10/24/2009

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How old is your son? I think it differs on the age group as to what you can do. One thing for sure is to get your son help! He needs counsling by the school counsler or an outside professional. It wouldn't hurt for you to sit in on some of the sessions. Bullies can leave horrible emotional scars and you should give your son an outlet before he potentially turns suicidal or worse Columbine-y. Also, have you thought about enrolling him in Taekwondo, Karate, self-defense? These classes can really build a boys self confidence and self esteem. Good luck.

[deleted account]

I am and education assistant and my advice is when you are present with your son and the bullies observe what is going on and talk to the kids who are bullying. Don't be afraid to ask those children to stop bothering your son. Ask them questions like " Do you think that is Star behaviour?" or a simple " excuse me that behaviour is unexceptable." will give that child a very clear message that you know what he or she is up to. If that doesn't work call the principal.

Beth - posted on 10/24/2009

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Hi Delanie,

I just joined & saw your post. I don't know where you are but in Delaware, it's not taken lightly. In school there are serious repercussions to bullying that extend outside of school. They can be expelled from school, charges can be filed etc. I would demand help from the school-attend meetings, write letters of the seriousness to your state representatives & anyone else who will listen. Years ago, our then Governor Ruth Ann Minor, helped to implement the "No Bullying Policy." Look into online & implore to the school etc. the importance of nipping these crippling tactics in the bud! I hope that you can effectively convey the message-get with other parents who may be experiencing the same thing-form an organization! Everyones child deserves to be able to go to school everyday - without terrifying threats being tossed at them. Goodluck.

Maribel - posted on 10/24/2009

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This is one of the tuffest questions ever. I know things are hard and probly scary, since you don't know exactly what to do. But I try my best to teach my kids how to fight, I know that may sound bad but it's not so they can be start trouble, but for this case in general. I've always taught my kids if someone messes with, you always try to tell them to stop or even tell a teacher, but there comes a time and a place when your child is gonna have to learn to defend them selves. I know it's hard but we have a saying in my house. If you ever hit someone, expect to get hit back. I wish there was other ways but the way things are now a days. It can also be very dangerous for a kid to go throu the psycological torment of being picked on or being bullied. There's many examples, some of which I'm sure you know. So do what you think is best and maybe you should placing your child in self defence classes, boxing or even karate. This way, they learn how to defend them selves while actually having fun and not realizing the puepose of the whole thing.

Andrea - posted on 10/23/2009

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my son had a problem with this too. I spoke with the teacher and the principal. It went on for a bit but my son takes karate class offered throught the school district and has been in it for 3 years now I finally told them either they take care of it or I would tell him to defend himself the way he was taught in karate class. It stopped right away.

Jana - posted on 10/23/2009

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I took a class on bullies at school last year. I didn't realize how big of a problem it is. You need to let the counselor and the principal know immediately. They need to step in and help. They should talk with the bullies and then with your son and help him come up with some strategies. It is good to deal with it early before it gets worse. You have the right to be your sons advocate. It is good he came to you and let you know what is happening.

April - posted on 10/23/2009

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I would talk to the guidence councler and see if you can have a mediation for all kids involved. If that doesent help have a meeting with the school and all parents of the children and the kids

Angela - posted on 10/23/2009

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Try talking to the parents, they might or might not understand or talk to the teachers at school . Sometimes it pays to talk to other kids at school they might be getting bullied too and together you might be able to come up with a solution.

Tracy - posted on 10/23/2009

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I would suggest talking to the school, they sometimes will prove helpful. Also if you know the family of the bully it might be worth calling and talking to them directly. Unfortunately not all families are helpful.

The only thing you really have control over is reassuring your child and making him feel confident and happy.

Stacey - posted on 10/23/2009

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I had an issue with this in the school. i spoke to the teacher,principal and then the guidance counselor followed up with the other person and a parent. I know it is an awful and scary feeling. I feel you should keep on this and not let it go as best you can. I hope this helps.

Melissa - posted on 10/23/2009

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You know it may sound bad, but I have always told my son that if someone is messing with you, just let it go unless they do not back down. If someone comes nad pushes him, I told him to tell the kid to stop it, and if he does it again, you have a right to defend yourself. Now I don't expect him to go around hitting kids. But I don't want him to just stand there and take it. Know I know this doesn't sound right, but kids these days are sooo bad and if no one stands up to them, they will never stop. If you do not think this is something your child can do, then I think you should talk to the school board and the parents of the children doing this to your child. However, be careful, because if you talk to their parents they may come and retaliate more against your child. It's such a hard thing to deal with. I widsh you the best of luck!!

Magen - posted on 10/23/2009

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I wish that I had some wonderful advise, but I really don't. All I can tell you is to try talking to the school. That may help with what is going on at school. And to tell your son to avoid places he knows these kids will be if he can help it. Then just try to help you son deal with the feelings he is going through. Help him feel strong in himself no matter what these kids say or do. Good Luck.

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