You guys, my kid Bexon was scared to go to school yesterday, afraid of going to Kindergarten, and it made this Mommy sick with motherfunking worry.
My boy got pushed down at school yet again three days ago, another boy shoved him to the ground outside after lunchtime and he hit his head on the hard, cruel ground.
The first time he was pushed down, in the first two weeks of school, it made me want to march over there and yell at the little offender, a natural instinct to feel angry and protective- but I’ve done some research since then and I hope it can help other parents.
Most of us already know that bullies pick on someone to make themselves feel powerful. Bullying is cowardly. New research shows bullying starts as early as preschool and the pain can last a lifetime. They’ve interviewed 80 year olds who still remember the name of their bullies, enough said.
Bex hit his head, I mean, he hit it when he was forcibly pushed down, and that is assault, no matter what the age. The boy also called him names, like a “farty pants.” It’s a funny term, but not when you’re being mocked in front of your classmates of 5 and 6 years old. It’s humiliating.
I don’t think any of these boys are bad kids, they are all sweeties in their mother’s arms, but I’m really worried about how this will affect Bex’s self esteem, over time. This is bullshite and I put on my research hat:
Here are some possible signs your child is being bullied:
1.) Acts unusually clinging and whiny (Bex was with his teacher that day, clinging to her legs.)
2.) Is scared to go to school (he was yesterday).
3.) Has intestinal problems or trouble going to the bathroom. Races home to go after school. This can be from anxiety or also if they are teased in the bathroom at school, they can fear going there.
(Bex did not poop for three days this week, I believe from anxiety about what happened.)
4.) Avoids looking you in the eye when he or she is talking about school. (He does when he’s upset.)
5.) Has unexplained cuts, scratches or bruises.
6.) Complains of headaches or stomachaches for no reason. (Bex was sent home an hour and a half early from school on the day this happened. He was not sick, but his teacher thought he was acting sick.)
In other words, my child missed part of the school day being “punished” for a crime caused against him!
7.) Changes in behavior: Child does poorly in school, acts sad, depressed or moody, has trouble sleeping and/or nightmares, loss of appetite, becomes a loner, acts anxious or has low self esteem.
8.) Has damaged or missing belongings or clothing after school.
The three types of bullying are: Verbal, Social and Physical. Social bullying might include things like excluding kids on purpose to be mean or gossiping/spreading rumors. Girls tend to do this more.
And you know how the tip of the iceberg works. These are only the events we adults have heard about.
I’ve gotten different advice: One friend told me to teach him to hit back just one time and it will never happen again.
It’s old fashioned, but I do see the point, still, I’m afraid to teach him to fight violence with violence, ya know?
His teacher suggested he walk away and play with nice kids. That sounds simple, except these cool boys are also his friends. It’s easy to say go play with the girls, because they’re nice, but he wants to be friends with these boys, of course. At other times, they’re all acting like buddies, I’ve seen it.
There is supposed to be a zero bullying tolerance at his school. That’s all well and good, but it’s useless unless it’s enforced. These incidents don’t happen in the classroom in front of the teacher, who we like very much and respect. They happen outside, during recess or lunch, when an aide is watching the kids.
I’m sure the aides are doing their best, but I’m like, a motherfunking ADULT is present, how are they not seeing my kid getting pushed down? WTF? Not. Ok.
Plus he’s a sweetie. He thinks the best of people, probably thinks they’re all just joking around until it goes too far.
It’s also interesting that the first three incidents were with the same boy (a different boy than the one this week) and that boy happened to be absent the day this last push happened.
I wonder, was there a power vacuum? In other words, did the boy this week step up into the “leader, tough guy” role and push Bex around because the other male leader of the pack was absent? It probably makes them look cool to the other kids, to look tough, I’m sure.
I’ve always been a lover not a fighter, as they say. I ask myself is, is my kid like me? Can they smell it on him, that he won’t fight back? And if so, do I need to get him into Karate classes ASAP?
They say Karate teaches them confidence, not to fight- but that confidence may read differently than the vibe he gives off, now.
My son is my angel, but of course he’s not perfect. He may have been doing something annoying that was bothering the boy who pushed him, he probably was. Point is, these kids must know they cannot hit another kid or ever lay their hands on them period, no matter what they do.
Experts say it’s important not to blame your kid for getting bullied or to just to tell them to “toughen up.”
I’ve already marched over there and sat down with the Principal, I’ve spoken with both her and the teacher on the phone and in person this week, I’ve talked with the mother of the boy from this week’s incident, who is totally wonderful and she already spoke to her son about it.
I’m not demonizing the kids, here, it’s our job to protect them and teach them how to behave. They need to have consequences.
I’m meeting with the Principal again tomorrow morning. I volunteer in his class. His dad has randomly stopped by to watch recess this week. I’m trying to do everything I can think of as a parent, and any other advice you have would be appreciated if you want to leave it in the comments.
What scares me most is this has become a pattern, there is no other kid who this has repeatedly happened to in my son’s class this year, I asked the teacher: it’s only Bexon. Only my baby. My baby!
We are so lucky he’s not still in torso body casts for his scoliosis this year, if he’s picked on without a cast, I can’t imagine what it would be like with one on.
My research says the four main things to coach your kid to do are:
1.) Act confident. Stand tall. Look the bully in the eye. Tell them to stop in a strong voice. “I don’t like that.” “I’m not talking to you.”
2.) Walk away. Show them you won’t engage. (This works with Internet cyber bullying from adults too, by the way.)
3.) Tell an adult. Tell a teacher or an aide, then later tell your parents.
4.) If you witness another kid being bullied, tell an adult- or if it’s verbal, say “Come on over here and play with me,” or “I want to tell you something,” to rescue them.
Or say “Eww” or make a face, showing distaste at what the bully said or their mean behavior, show them you are not on their mean, rude side, and that it is socially unacceptable.
You can also role play what your child will do next time it happens. And communicate with your kid and the school. Most importantly, don’t ignore it, and fill your child with love and confidence at home.