Bullying is becoming more and more of a problem. Bullying has been a problem for ages, but it seems now with the age of social media it has reached an all time high.
Bullying is a sensitive subject. No parent wants to believe their child is being a bully and no parent wants to believe that their own child is being bullied.
The subject of bullying entered my home this year, as my son became a 5th grader. He was now being the subject of ridicule by a bully. It took some time before my son opened up to me about the situation. I had started to notice his self esteem deteriorate. He would say things like “I don’t matter” or “I am nothing”. I began to get very worried about him, so I sat him down and told him he could tell me anything that he needed to get off of his chest. He explained to me that it was a girl bullying him and he was very embarrassed of the situation. She was not just randomly teasing him. She would follow him to tell him how stupid and dumb he was as a person. She would purposely sit next to him just to tell him how fat he was as well.
At first I was not sure how to deal with this type of situation, so I told him he should avoid her and to not give her the satisfaction of a reaction. He would come home everyday the same way, a look on his face of being defeated everyday. Avoiding her was not working because she had then rallied her best friend to join in on the bullying, so now she had two girls following him around school saying awful things to him.
Finally, he came home completely defeated and told me that the girl had told him to “go home, hit your head on a rock and kill yourself”. That was enough! Having a brother that did commit suicide, I did not find that amusing. I then reached out to the principal. He assured me the situation would be dealt with immediately. After a week he informed me that he spoke with my son and the girl and she admitted to the excessive bullying. She claimed that my son annoyed her the year before, so she was going to get back at him for being annoying. The principal gave her the choice to apologize, in which she did not.
The bullying has stopped since the meeting with the principal, they are not friends, but she has not spoken a mean word since.
Do I feel the principal should have done more? I guess it is not for me to say, the bullying did stop, but I think her parents should have been made aware of the situation. If my son EVER bullies another person, I want to know. I may not like it but kids need to be aware of the damage they are causing. Parents need to have serious conversations with their children about the consequences.
Now, I know my son did not come home and hit his head on a rock and kill himself, but I saw the deterioration of his self esteem. If I had not bugged him to open up to me, I fear for what may have become of my son.
I am not a specialist on this subject, just a concerned mom, but I think more needs to be done about bullying. I know teachers have a hard job. I know it is hard to know if children are telling the truth, but maybe listening to your students when they might be begging for help against a bully could save them. Actually believing them when they tell you another student is bullying them, instead of saying “I did not hear anything”.
Parents watch your child for the signs of being bullied and ASK questions, and never be afraid to go straight to the principle for help on the situation. Talk to your kids about bullying and help them to understand that we are all human beings and no body deserves to be treated that way.
This is a helpful bible verse when I explain to my children about how to treat others.
Luke 6:31- Do to others as you would have them do to you.