Bullying: Your take.

Tara - posted on 11/28/2010 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I know several parents who believe that being bullied in school is normal and a healthy part of childhood. They believe it builds character and leads to the ability to rise above the rest etc.
They have told their children to either fight back, ignore the bully or just 'deal with it'.
So far no physical harm has to come to the children of these parents, however I know for a fact that one girl, age 8 feels afraid of a boy who is a year older than her. He has called her all kinds of crude and rude names, and has threatened to kick her dog. The mom told her to "Tell him that his words can't hurt her. And that there is no way this kid will really kick her dog, not to worry about it."

I personally feel this is unfair to this little girl. She has to take the bus with this boy every day. Her parents honestly feel that she isn't being harmed by this and it will make her resilient and stronger.

So... were you every bullied? Were you a bully? How do you deal with it with your own children?
How does your school deal with bullying?

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Esther - posted on 11/29/2010

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Did any of you see this story on the news lately?



I applaud this dad for sticking up for his little girl and I think that mother of the bully should be ashamed of herself for only focusing on the (deserved) talking to her son got - obscenities or not.



Fortunately I was never bullied and I was actually the one to always stick up for those kids in my schools that were (even to teachers). There is nothing to be gained from being bullied. My husband was bullied in elementary school and even today as a 37 year old man, his self esteem is a hell of a lot lower than mine and that affects him every day. If your self esteem is low, it affects how people respond to you on a subconscious level even in adult life. He's obviously no longer bullied, but because he's always soooo accomodating and modest people take him for granted all the time, including at his job (which affects pay increases, promotions etc.). Bullying has long term consequences and they are not positive ones. For the person who said that if you are not bullied you will end up being a doormat; that is the biggest load of crock I have ever heard. I'd argue it is quite the opposite. If you get to grow up with your self esteem in tact, you will do a lot better in life. I personally think that the parents of bullies should be held responsible too. They get a pass all the time. Who is teaching these kids their values? My son's world would fall to pieces if I ever found out he was bullying another child. That video game you love so much? Gone. That basketball game you were looking forward to? So sorry, not happening. The parents should be held accountable as much as their kids are.

Hannah - posted on 11/28/2010

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What is Bullying?
Many children have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves. So, everyone needs to get involved to help stop it.
Bullying is wrong! It is behaviour that makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time. Some of these include:

Punching, shoving and other acts that hurt people physically
Spreading bad rumours about people
Keeping certain people out of a group
Teasing people in a mean way
Getting certain people to "gang up" on others
The four most common types of bullying are:

Verbal bullying - name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making negative references to one's culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted sexual comments.

Social Bullying - mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.

Physical Bullying - hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted sexual touching.

Cyber Bullying - using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone.

What are the effects of bullying?
Bullying makes people upset. It can make children feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It can make them feel unsafe and think there must be something wrong with them. Children can lose confidence and may not want to go to school anymore. It may even make them sick.

Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. Some of these include:

Withdrawal from family and school activities, wanting to be left alone.

Shyness
Stomachaches
Headaches
Panic Attacks
Not being able to sleep
Sleeping too much
Being exhausted
Nightmares
If bullying isn't stopped, it also hurts the bystanders, as well as the person who bullies others. Bystanders are afraid they could be the next victim. Even if they feel badly for the person being bullied, they avoid getting involved in order to protect themselves or because they aren't sure what to do.

Children who learn they can get away with violence and aggression continue to do so in adulthood. They have a higher chance of getting involved in dating aggression, sexual harassment and criminal behaviour later in life.

Bullying can have an effect on learning
Stress and anxiety caused by bullying and harassment can make it more difficult for kids to learn. It can cause difficulty in concentration and decrease their ability to focus, which affects their ability to remember things they have learned.
Bullying can lead to more serious concerns
Bullying is painful and humiliating, and kids who are bullied feel embarrassed, battered and shamed. If the pain is not relieved, bullying can even lead to consideration of suicide or violent behaviour.

How common is bullying?
Approximately one in 10 children have bullied others and as many as 25% of children in grades four to six have been bullied. A 2004 study published in the medical Journal of Pediatrics found that about one in seven Canadian children aged 11 to 16 are victims of bullying. Studies have found bullying occurs once every seven minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom.
In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behaviour.

Students are most vulnerable to bullying during transitions from elementary to junior high school, and from junior to senior high school.

There is a correlation between increased supervision and decreased bullying. Bullies stop when adults are around.

What are the myths about bullying?
Myth #1 - "Children have got to learn to stand up for themselves."
Reality - Children who get up the courage to complain about being bullied are saying they've tried and can't cope with the situation on their own. Treat their complaints as a call for help. In addition to offering support, it can be helpful to provide children with problem solving and assertiveness training to assist them in dealing with difficult situations.

Myth #2 - "Children should hit back - only harder."
Reality - This could cause serious harm. People who bully are often bigger and more powerful than their victims. This also gives children the idea that violence is a legitimate way to solve problems. Children learn how to bully by watching adults use their power for aggression. Adults have the opportunity to set a good example by teaching children how to solve problems by using their power in appropriate ways.

Myth #3 - "It builds character."
Reality - Children who are bullied repeatedly, have low self-esteem and do not trust others. Bullying damages a person's self-concept.

Myth #4 - "Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you."
Reality - Scars left by name-calling can last a lifetime.

Myth #5 - "That's not bullying. They're just teasing."
Reality - Vicious taunting hurts and should be stopped.

Myth #6 - "There have always been bullies and there always will be."
Reality - By working together as parents, teachers and students we have the power to change things and create a better future for our children. As a leading expert, Shelley Hymel, says, "It takes a whole nation to change a culture". Let's work together to change attitudes about bullying. After all, bullying is not a discipline issue - it is a teaching moment.

Myth #7 - "Kids will be kids."
Reality - Bullying is a learned behaviour. Children may be imitating aggressive behaviour they have seen on television, in movies or at home. Research shows that 93% of video games reward violent behaviour. Additional findings show that 25% of boys aged 12 to 17 regularly visit gore and hate internet sites, but that media literacy classes decreased the boys' viewing of violence, as well as their acts of violence in the playground. It is important for adults to discuss violence in the media with youth, so they can learn how to keep it in context. There is a need to focus on changing attitudes toward violence.

Source: http://www.bullyingcanada.ca/content/239...

I was bullyed as a kid by a couple of people...It got to the point where as young as five, I would pretend to walk to school but then turn around and come back home. And then at 13 boys would harrass me on the walk home from the bus stop. Talking about tying up my boobies, and would tease me that they were just like dumbo's ears! Where does a 13 yr old learn this stuff!!

Rosie - posted on 11/28/2010

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i was bullied and i was suicidal because of it. instead i just ended up cutting myself.
i fucking loathe bullies and i do like that schools have a no bullying policy. however, they don't do much about it when someone is being bullied. my oldest son is different. he has no social skills, and is the skinniest shortest kid in his class. perfect bully target. he's told me of times he's been bullied, this last time was the only time that he said somethings been done about it. the kid told my son that he was going to come to his house and set his bed on fire. other times he's been kicked, hit, had balls thrown at him. those times nothing was done about it.
i told my son he needs to tell a teacher. if that doesnt work he needs to stand up for himself. i never did, and while my bullying wasn't physical-it was emotional- i always took it and it hurt me deeply. i think it may still affect me to this day. i'm not as confident as i should be, i'm not as forward, and i usually let people walk all over me.
bullying isn't something that's necessary. whoever thinks that was never bullied before or if they were they took it a different direction than most kids do, which i applaud, but i still think it's unreasonable to think other kids should do the same. it's hurtful and does nothing for no one.

Kate CP - posted on 11/28/2010

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I was horribly bullied and I hate people who bully or allow their kids to bully. If I ever find out my daughter does this I will be LIVID pissed. Dealing with bullying isn't normal or healthy and it doesn't build character. It lowers self esteem, raises stress levels in children, and can affect grades and schoolwork. At one point I was cutting myself because the bullying had gotten so bad. Dealing with confrontation is one thing but having to deal with a bully is just wrong. No one should have to live through that.

ME - posted on 11/28/2010

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I was bullied relentlessly...I think any parent who suggests that this makes their child stronger or better or is glad that it is happening, and does nothing to protect or help their child is FAILING their child in a major way!

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Lady Heather - posted on 03/22/2011

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I was and I never really told anyone. My life was pretty much torturous from age 9-15. Even after that I was still bullied, but my attitude towards it changed because I managed to find a group of friends and had somewhere to go to escape it. No, it didn't make me more resilient. To this day I have a really hard time handling social situations and pretty much always assume that people won't like me. I don't see why some kids should have to go through this "character building" experience while others just get to be kids. That's not normal and it shouldn't happen.

I only hope that my kids will speak up if they are experiencing this so I can help them. The thing that boggles my mind is how the parents of the bullies don't seem to know about it or don't care. I can't think of much that would disappoint me more than finding out my kid was a bully. I want my kids to be the ones who stick up for others. My brother was like that. He actually called out a PE teacher for bullying a smaller student. Oh, the advantages of being 6'5. Anyways, I hope by instilling that kind inclusiveness and respect for others in my kids will make the difference. If only everyone else would do the same...

JuLeah - posted on 03/22/2011

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Words do hurt; words can kill.
In the 1940's the mentality was 'stand up to the bully' and defend yourself ... which is how we ended up with kids taking guns to school.
We don't live in the 1940's anymore and kids have access to weapons they didn't have then. The lack the education about said weapons. They are so much more stressed, then they were in the 1940's. Our diet and sleep pattrens don't give the body a chance to heal or recover from the stress, it just keeps building .... Bullying is a different animal for many reason and should be taken for what it is; not ignored.
To some degree, I agree with the parents, but they ought to be doing something to empower her, teaching her skills (not just ignore) giving her a voice ... she will deal with bullies all her life in one form or another, teach her a positive way of dealing with it ....She deserves better then what they are giving her and the school ought to be doing something too .... in fact, all of the chidlren ought to be educated ... when you see someone being bullied and do nothing, you are as bad as the bully. Where are her friends? Where are his?

Jenn - posted on 03/22/2011

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I was bullied some as a kid. How did I deal with it? I'm not really sure. I guess I just ignored them and became more of an introvert. I wasn't the bully, but usually the one to tell people to stop picking on people or to befriend the one being bullied. I've always been a self-proclaimed "defender of the underdog".

This isn't something I've had to deal with in my own children yet, but I have talked to my son about it. We've watched some videos together on the topic and then discussed it. I try to always relate things to his own experiences and feelings so that he can better understand and appreciate it. Here is a link with our school board's policies regarding things like bullying.
http://www.granderie.ca/Parents/SafeScho...

It sounds like they do not tolerate it at all - even if it is occurring off of school property.

Meghan - posted on 03/21/2011

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Last year we were at playgroup on the "wear pink day" and the lady who ran the group asked the only dad there why he wasn't wearing pink. He had no idea what she was talking about, she explained it and his exact words were "if a kid gets bullied, they deserve it." My jaw hit the floor and the only thing I could say was "thank god your son is older than mine because I DO NOT want them in the same class"
I think parents demonstrate how to treat people. Teasing I think is normal but that doesn't make it right. I always tell J-even at 2 years old- that you don't have to like everyone, but you have to respect for people. Take pride in yourself and show respect for those around you-simple. I got picked on by a ton of the girls I grew up with because I wasn't allowed to go to parties and my parents couldn't afford brand name clothes. It sucked at the time but life went on! I can honestly say that I am stronger because of it and not that I have my shit all together but- NONE of those girls are doing anything great with their lives.

Rhonda - posted on 03/21/2011

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It took my adulthood to unlearn the BS from my childhood. Feelings are real, if her feelings are not being validated then she will feel something is wrong with herself.

Bonnie - posted on 11/29/2010

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Kids can be so cruel sometimes and it is just so sad that some kids can't go to school happily because of it; a place where they are suppose to want to go to learn new things everyday. I was bullied one year in school. Granted it wasn't that bad compared to a lot of other situations. It was a few girls thinking it would be fun to tease me and call me a few names here and there. I still had a few friends, but I always kept it inside until I got home and then I would cry in my room. My brother who is 3 years younger than me was chubby as a kid and he would get picked on by a couple of kids. They would call him names and kick him around. One day I noticed it in the school yard and I went up to them and said, "Look, if you don't stop this right now, I will make sure the principal finds out about it." It was enough to scare them off and I don't think it continued after that. My kids are still young. I have one who just started school this year. I hope and pray he will never have to experience it, but he does, I hope his school will take charge.

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Bullying destroys childhoods ive seen it from the childs point of view and the parents. I spent my entire childhood being bullied, I ended up hating myself, my parents and everyone around me. I had no self confidence at all. I didnt start gaining confidence until i met my husband and had kids then life got better. When my son was 6 he started getting bullied in school, the school wouldnt do anything they made out that it wasnt happening. I watched my son turn from being a happy confident boy to being a quiet moody loner with no friends. I moved him to a different school and he changed overnight back into a happy child.

Tah - posted on 11/28/2010

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umm..there are way better ways to help your children build character...teach them please and thank you, let them volunteer, join the girl/boy scouts, activites, etc. the last thing my children or I need is someone "helping" to teach them character or build self-esteem by calling them names, hitting them, sending them dirty text messages..etc. I have worked alot of jobs and none of my bosses or co-workers have ever done those things to me so i fail to see how it would prepare a child for the real world. I wasn't bullied in school that i can remember, a couple of kids would make fun of my name, but it would be funny if you couldn't pronounce it and didn't know what it meant. I did fight in high school, because people didn't like me and my friends.."we thought we were cute"...no, your boyfriends thought we were cute, thats the problem. I send my children to self-defense just for the kids and parents that think they are doing my children some favor or teaching them some life lesson by bullying them or allowing their children to be bullies, if a parent comes and tells me that my child shorin ryu kicked the crap out of them, i will turn to my child, bow and then high five them.

Nikki - posted on 11/28/2010

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This post makes me so sad, I am so sorry for all of you that were seriously bullied, it's just awful. It is clear that more needs to be done, teens have killed themselves, it is serious. I think it should be mandatory for bullies to meet with a psychologist to look for underlying issues and if the bullying is more than a one off thing the police should become involved. This is what pisses me off, children in our society have no rights, how the hell does this happen. If you were being seriously bullied at work, you call your union, you talk to your boss, call a lawyer, you call the police because you have rights and it is not appropriate behaviour. Why, I ask again do the most vulnerable members of our society not have the same rights.

Nikki - posted on 11/28/2010

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Wow, I am surprised that anyone would have that opinion Tara, the poor little girl. Bullying is VERY serious I just can't believe these parents brush it off so lightly.

I was mildly bullied at times, more so because I stood up for people that were bullied all the time, or because I didn't have the coolest clothes. To be honest it never really bothered me that much, I just always felt that they were a bit sad if this is all they had in their lives, like really if you are so pathetic that your biggest joy in life is to pay out other people then your a pretty sad person with some serious issues going on. The bullies didn't like to hear that!! . But I have seen the negative effect on other peers, which is why I possibly chose to stand up for them.

Bullying really bothers me and it is one thing that I am dreading when my daughter goes to school because I am not sure how I will deal with it. I am not too sure about the bullying policies within our local schools, I know they didn't do much for my brother when he was in High School a couple of years ago and severely bullied. I do know though if my child is bullied something will be done about it, if it means I have to go as far as dealing with the state education minister the school my child goes to will have to act appropriately, under no circumstances would I sit back and just hope it blows over.

Parents also need to be held responsible, I believe it is a parents fault if their child is a bully, why haven't they been taught empathy, to respect others, to treat others as they wish to be treated. There are certainly underlying issues if a child turns to bullying peers. Parents should be held accountable.

Lacye - posted on 11/28/2010

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I was bullied when I was younger because I was bigger than all of the other kids. I was almost 2 years older than some of them because I had been held back a grade so I was taller and more developed than all of the other kids because of that. I think the day it stopped was when I got into a fist fight at school because I was tired of the teasing. I'm not saying what I did was right because it wasn't, but when a child gets pushed too far sometimes they snap and that's exactly what I did.

I don't think schools are as strict about bullying as they should be. Yeah they say no tolerance but a lot of times they don't enforce it because they think it's "he said, she said" crap that a lot of kids do. As for the parents saying that it will toughen them up, no it doesn't. It's horrible. Parents are supposed to stand up for their children not throw them to the wolves.

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I was bullied religously. Exactly the same way the girl in this instance was. It has been with me for life. I had no friends i had to do it alone. To deal with it with out anyone. My parents didn't know because at the same time i was going through it my brother was copping ti worse and i knew he needed more help then i did. They did everything they could to help him and he still had problems.

Due to the bullying i got honest very very honest and in doing that i hurt many people who in the end were trying to be my friend. They didn't liek how harsh i was and how cold i had become. To this day i have one friend who was there for me through it all. She is the one friend of mine i would do anything for.

Words do hurt. Especially to a child. Doesn't matter what age it still hurts.

I'm a grown woman and words still hurt me.

I think i did bully when i was younger but it only happened one time because i felt aweful after it. I never did it again. Which is probably why i never had friends because i refused to get involved in the bullying i refused to ostrasise any individual.

When my children start school i'm sure they will encounter some sort of bullying. I will help them in every way possible to stop it.

Wow this hit a sore spot, now i'm crying because it brought back to many memories. :(

Stifler's - posted on 11/28/2010

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I wasn't bullied, there wasn't much bullying in my grade. Because we got so many "harassment is illegal" lectures from teachers and did all these work shops about how it makes us feel to be bullied and shit. There was a kid 2 grades below me who didn't have the teacher I had and he was bullied severely and ended up killing someone last year. I haven't had to deal with it with my kid because he's 9 months old. But there needs to be actual consequences, not just expelling/suspending students because when you do that they become a legend for getting expelled.

Eliz - posted on 11/28/2010

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I think teachers and principles need to be notified of bullying because some do get physical and whether or not it does it is emotionally harmful.

Rosie - posted on 11/28/2010

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i had friends, i wasn't alone. yet i was still degraded on an everyday basis because of acne.
while i did have other trauma early on in my life-before the age of 2. i had a great childhood after that. my depression and cutting was a DIRECT result of people emotionally abusing me on a daily basis.

ME - posted on 11/28/2010

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What really needs doing is teaching these children some manners, some respect, and some compassion. Children who behave this way shouldn't even get a HINT that their horrendous behavior is teaching the bullied folks a lesson about life. It is disgusting that parents, teachers, or ANYONE would hint at such a thing. Bullies should be removed from regular classes in my opinion, until they (and their parents) can behave in an appropriate and civilized way. Their behavior is the direct cause of MASSIVE suffering and, occasionally, of suicide.
I am NOT talking about physical violence either...that is not the type of bullying I faced, it was all psychological and emotional. I wound up severely anorexic...not sure how such a thing could even be imagined to be "valuable" in any way.

Mrs. - posted on 11/28/2010

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I'm curious do you think it is just the bullying that causes things like cutting, anorexia or suicidal thought? Or do you think that it might be more to do with a feeling of aloneness and inability to speak with someone (anyone), a childhood that had trauma already and a myriad of other influences?

Just playing Devil's Advocate here.

It just kind of reminds me of how people like to blame rap music for their kid going out and being violent...then you hear the kid has had issues with their behaviour all their lives.

Rosie - posted on 11/28/2010

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this is scary, i think almost everyone on here that has been bullied has said they cut themselves. how fucking sad. i wish bullying would get you expelled or something, it really is fucking ridiculous what it does to kids, as this thread is a huge testimony of.

Mrs. - posted on 11/28/2010

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Having the stance that you are teaching your child to stick up for themselves does not mean you leave them high and dry. As I said before, my parents and I had a very open relationship. I always felt I could go to them and they wouldn't rush into a situation unless they knew I was in over my head.

I think it also depends on your definition of bullying. It seems all "bullying" is being lumped into the getting the living shit beat out of you on the regular and we all know that it not the case.

My brother was an out gay boy in the 90's high school setting. He was beaten and teased. My parents let him deal with it on his own terms until he said he might need help. I think he would let me speak for him by saying that, although unpleasant and unfortunate, it taught him how to survive in a world after he left home. It taught him to bulk you, learn self defence, stand up/speak out and that he can handle the worst bigots out there with confidence.

I'll be teaching my daughter to stand up for herself and know I will always have her back. As long as you combine that with the message that if anyone ever threatens to hurt them to tell you-I see it as yet another life skill.

Like it or not, we are not always gonna be there to fight our kids battles for them.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 11/28/2010

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My dad always taught me and my two sisters…NEVER EVER start anything, and SO what if they are calling you names…if you know its not true then let them……BUT the minuet they lay hands on you…you finish it and if not try your hardest to whoop that ass (His words)

And for the most part it worked for me, and so I teach my son that as well and it works for him, he has yet to be bullied, because he is the class clown, the kid that makes most everyone laugh. Since he has had some training in kick boxing and he’s naturally into martial arts on his own, and he is becoming and Excellent wrestler, im not worried about him holding his own in a fight, unless the kid is a BIG ass kid….but in those cases I have told him if the kid is much bigger then you, you find something (An object) to defend your self.
Im one of those mothers that listen to her kid when they express the concern of fear of someone, I will tell him to tell the teacher, if that doesn’t work, I talk to the teacher, if that doesn’t work we get the number of the parent and I speak to the parent, if that doesn’t worked then I would go to principal and if that failed….well I wont say what would happen next >:-} >;-}

I was not a bullied and I didn’t get bullied much…there were a few times people tried to punk me because im nice and I had to let them know….don’t take my kindness for weakness…but I don’t know what its like, I can only empathize with the kids that do have to go thru this daily, and my heart goes out to them :-(

Jessica - posted on 11/28/2010

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Like many others I was bullied pretty badly in elementary and high school, including by those who I considered "friends." It did absolutely nothing to improve my character, make me a stronger person, or any of that other bullshit people seem to profess. What it did was ruin my self esteem, made me incredibly socially awkward, and affected school work in a major way, because I was so miserable to be there and didn't think that I was capable of doing the work- I pretty much thought I was worthless. I remember one summer in elementary school going to girl scout camp with a group of friends and I was really excited about it. Well, they turned the whole week into hell for me. For whatever reason they decided to gang up on me- made fun of me constantly, excluded me from doing things, talked about me behind my back. I went through puberty early and had boobs- no one else did at that time. They made fun of me for having boobs, called me a slut, constantly. Threw my shoes in the river so I had to go get them. And these were supposed to be my friends. I went to bed every night crying. I knew they were being mean, but for some reason didn't have enough self esteem to even break off ties with them- I made excuses, forgave them, and continued to associate myself with them.

Middle and early high school were the worst and contributed greatly to depression and even mild psychotic episodes. I only had one friend and she really wasn't much of a friend- was always too self centered, everything was about her but as soon as I had a problem she couldn't be bothered to listen or care. To this day I am crippled in my ability to talk openly about personal issues or problems with other people, even my husband. Anyway kids would yell names, throw things at me, kick the back of my chair, etc. In my experience the teachers did nothing, even though it had to be obvious. I don't know how differently things are in schools now, but they pretty much refused to intervene.

I was always too timid and afraid to stick up for myself, and internalized it into self- hate. In late middle school/early high school it translated to cutting myself because it was the only outlet I had. And it wasn't for the attention- I went out of my way to hide the cuts, I would have died before I told anybody. I just did it because I honestly thought it was my fault all these kinds of things happened to me and I truly hated myself. To this day I have scars all over my legs and arms and belly- I'm not proud of them, but it was what it was. Eventually I stopped internalizing it and started getting really really angry instead, another problem I still have that was largely because of being bullied.

So no, I think its really really sad that parents would expect their children to just suck it up and deal. The idea that it builds character or makes them stronger is a crock of shit. Kids commit suicide because of this. In my experience and many others, its caused lasting wounds, its devastating. I don't think totally coddling and sheltering your children from everything is the answer either, obviously. But parents need to be very aware of the potential effects of things like this, they need to have an open relationship with their children and step in where necessary. Teachers need to as well since so much of this happens at schools. I had neither support from my parents or teachers and was left to face it alone and ill equipped, and it is so sad that other kids have to go through the same thing.

JuLeah - posted on 11/28/2010

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Of course she is being harmed. The parents' the school and the community need to step up. Our kids deserve better.
There is no 'school shooting' on record that didn't start with bullying. The bullied strike back.
I was bullied in the lower grades. I was very small for my age and really was not able to stand up for myself in the way I had been told I should 'fight back'
I lost a front tooth.
Now, looking back, I am not sure my mother was correct in her choice to intervene in this manner, but the parents of the 6th grade bully (I was in 1st) refused to listen, the school did nothing even after my tooth was knocked out.
Mom rounded up some big 5th and 6th grade boys and sent them after my bully. She asked them to 'make it stop' and they did.
I don't, in todays world, advoacte such an action, but am glad my mother stuck up for me.

Mrs. - posted on 11/28/2010

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I was bullied at all the various new schools I attended when I was young. You know what, it did make me a stronger person and I am glad it happened. I see it as preparation for real life. If you don't learn to manage and stand up for yourself when you are young, have your parents speak/stand up for you, you are most likely to be a door mat when you have to go out in the world.

Of course, when I was young my father told me he would always have my back. He said if anyone ever tried to physically harm me, he would back me if I were to defend myself. He even taught me self defence in case people did hit me. You know what, this faith in me to defend myself and deal with conflict on my own terms made me less of a target at any school I attended.

[deleted account]

i was bullied. very very badly. in primary school it was because of my innocence. I was a sweetie, i didnt know alot of things the other kids knew. like some 8 yr olds were all clued up on sex and so on. I had no idea at that age. I was just a sweet girl who thought everyone was kind and friendly like I was, and it bit me in the butt. I was so naive that at first, i didnt even realise that i was being bullied. After trying to join groups of kids for lunch, and them saying "umm no" or "our group has enough people" or whatever, id go and sit on the oval making daisy chains, not a care in the world. but it didnt take long before i realised i was being teased, bullied and left out. I was hurt deeply. the root of that mistreatment absolutely wreaked havoc with me until i was about 19 yrs old. and could have lasted longer if it wasnt for a life changing experience i had at that age. Then high school came. the teasing started to turn to my appearance. I was thin and pretty, but my hair was like a birdsnest as it was curly, i didnt know much about fashion, didnt wear makeup and i was still a bit too innocent for my own social good. My hurt and crying turned to anger and outbursts. I let out my hurt with so much force that teachers then began to kick me out of class. kids would throw things in my hair, or whisper insults and id fly off the handle. so not only did it deprive me of friends for most of my school years, it also ruined my self worth, made me confused and angry and unable to deal with emotions, and affected my education because teachers didnt like me, and i had no motivation to do well in school. luckily i toughened up in year ten after a few "last straw" incidents. but it wasnt a good thing. it was good in the way of not letting people mess with me, but it was bad for my personal growth. I hardened my heart, people couldnt get in, friends would become offended by my brashness, i took alot of things personally that i didnt need to, and went after boys with a vengeance because as soon as i grew boobies and used a hair straightener i was suddenly getting some attention! the story continues in a bad way... but like i said it all changed at 19.

bullying did NOT make me a better person, it did not teach me anything valuable for my life, it did not make me stronger.
it made me see that kids can be cruel. it made me feel inadequate, hurt and it scarred me for a VERY very long time.

now i can look back and the only thing that i can say i have taken from it, is that i now can help children who are going thru it. ive been where they are, heard the words they hear... i know how it feels. so i can help people. sometimes you cannot understand or help without experiencing it for itself. So although id did nothing at all for my personal growth but damage me. Now as an adult I can help others.

its not good. its not healthy. its not normal.
do not let a child battle it alone. they will leave with a scar, weather you see it or not.

bullies need to be dealt with much harshly than they are. a simple "leave that girl or boy alone" will do nothing. ignoring it can lead to child suicide and a simple school suspention is just a few days off for the bully to enjoy at home. bullies need to be dealt with properly. educated on the effects it has on people. expelled for extreme cases, councelled themselves as usually bullies are bullies because there own lives are messed up at home and they want to feel in control and popular somewhere, if not at home, then at school via a reputaition for bullying and being popular.

so i dont hold any grudges against the kids who bullied me. they must have been pretty messed up with some of the things they said to me and did to me. but it must be dealt with. and parents MUST BE INVOLVED,
when your kids are kids, they dont know HOW to deal with these things. its our job as parents to TEACH them... guide them thru it. we dont have to go down to the school and give the bullies a mouthful but we do need to support our little ones, talk to teachers about how to resolve the issues our kids face with bullies and be active in our kids lives. they cant handle the hurt it causes. they might pretend to. but believe me its causing serious issues of the heart.

every single kid i know who was bullied as a kid, were very hurt and very affected by it. not one says "im glad it happened" or "it made me stronger".

Petra - posted on 11/28/2010

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Sure, she may develop a thick skin and it may help her "build character", but she is also learning that, depending on who you are, behaviour like this has zero consequences. We can say it all we like, but as I've seen on here time and time again, words do have the power to hurt and even us adults get mighty upset at personal insults.

My take: I'd talk to my child every single day about it and reaffirm that what this kid is saying is not true, etc. and if it continued unabated for more than a week or two, I'd take it up with the child's parents. It is not fair to expect a kid to take this, day in and day out, without ever attempting to stop it.

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