How To Deal With School Bullies When Your Child is the Victim

Image taken by me on March 5, 2007.
Image via Wikipedia

I  was combing through the bathroom archives (you know that thick stack of reading material that you keep under the cabinet in the loo?) and found  a “Best Life ” magazine from 2008. There was a great article in there about how one father handled the situation when his child was being bullied. This article stirred up a lot of emotions in me, partly because I was bullied as a child and also because an 11 year old here in GA (Jaheem Herrera) hung himself as a consequence of having been the victim of bullying.

I had also noticed on Mamapedia a question from a Mom who is at her wits end because her girls are being bullied and she absolutely does not know what to do about it. So for anyone out there who’s child is a victim and also for RS in Kansas City, I  want to share

How To Deal With School Bullies When Your Child is the Victim

The first step in handling bullying is actually learning how to recognize that your child is being bullied. But it’s hard to look for some of these symptoms if no one is at home when your child comes from school every afternoon.  I was bullied because I was an immigrant, I talked funny, the other kids hated me so they beat me up every afternoon like clockwork.

My Mom was a single parent and a nurse who worked the swing shift – that’s 3Pm to 12AM. Since she was usually not home when I got home, I don’t think she ever knew what was going on.   Strive to be there for your children after school, it’s really so very important. Look for symptoms such as :

  • a sudden loss of appetite
  • or your child is ravenous when she gets home because she isn’t eating
  • your child is sleeping more than usual
  • your child is restless and can’t sleep at all
  • your child pretends to be ill to get out of going to school or looks for reasons to stay inside

How does a parent handle bullying? Isn’t this one of those things that kids should “work through”? Shouldn’t the school take care of this? I got lucky, I had my sister Penny who was fearless and put a stop to the whole bullying thing for me. But your child may only have you to help them, and help them you must, the loss of self-esteem associated with bullying can follow a child into adulthood and define the kind of person they become.

The important thing to remember is to create and leave a paper trail. in the case here in GA the school and county deny that the parents ever asked them to address the issue. Here are a few tips from that article that I read in the bathroom:

  1. Talk to your child and find out exactly what is going on, have him name the people involved.
  2. Arrange one meeting with as many school administrators present as possible: the principal, the vice principal, your child’s teacher, the guidance counselor, the dean
  3. Address the issue at the meeting, ask that they keep this person (s) away from your child. If they want to take a  “boys will be boys”  attitude then make sure to throw in words like “civil rights are being violated” and other terms that make it seem you are willing to take further (possibly legal) action.
  4. Write a letter to all parties after the meeting listing the items discussed an agreements reached.  Keep a copy of this letter, a little paper goes a long way to proving your case should this situation escalate.
  5. Contact the parents of the bully or bullies in question, let them know that some tension exists between your children and you plan to do your est to keep your child away from theirs and you would like them to do the same. Let them know that you have had a meeting with school administrators (chances are they will then call the school, which now makes this a very important issue to administrators).
  6. Follow up by writing a letter to the parents summarizing your discussion , the issue at hand, and the solutions that you both proposed. Keep copies of these letters.

The bottom line is that you cannot control other people’s children, nor do you want to be the Mom or Dad in the schoolyard tussling with a bully and embarrassing the heck out of yourself and your  child. But people can and usually will control their own kids if they feel that they have something to lose by not doing so.

How about you, have you been bullied or had to deal with bullying in your child’s life?  What solutions worked for you?

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On Faith |You Are Whatever You Think You Are

Sexually Abused child.
Image via Wikipedia

*Inspired by James Allen’s “As A Man Thinketh”

I was moved to post this by a conversation that I had with Re over at badgalsradio about the Rihanna/ Chris Brown situation, and why women stay with men who abuse them.

The phrase “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all of his thoughts.

For example when I was a child of 9 or so years, I was told (in an angry and tearful way) that I was just like my father – I did not know what this meant (that I had curly hair? fairer skin than my siblings? A deep love and respect for the written word?), but I knew that it was not a good thing to be “just like” the good looking ladies man known as “Pops” (Daddy was an OG for real).

I grew up with this negative self-image (please be careful what you say to children, as they will continue to live up to your words long after you have forgotten that you said them).

I over ate throughout my childhood (probably so that I would not be anywhere near good looking because obviously that was a bad thing). You see I had been given a negative self-image and I kept this image for years (I live off of the residuals still), so because I thought of myself as a “bad” person I was sometimes a very bad person.

In some cultures, children are told (beginning in the womb) how smart, pretty, handsome and talented they are and the great heights they will scale in adulthood. These children grow into successful adults because they already think that they are beautiful, successful and prosperous human beings.

“A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favour or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking. An ignoble and bestial character, by the same process, is the result of the continued harbouring of groveling thoughts.”

We see this in victims of child abuse; whether said abuse is verbal, physical or sexual. These children:

  • are often very sexually active
  • prone to abuse alcohol and drugs
  • May end up being abusers themselves.

Why is this? The very act of, and the circumstances which arise out of abuse removes the ability to cultivate a good self image – how can one grow a rose among the weeds?

So, the abused person is abused a second time by their own inability to think good thoughts about themselves and therefore “by the abuse and wrong application of thought” they descend “below the level of the beast” in some aspects of their lives.

It is a testament to the power of our minds and thought itself that we are able to rise above and erase the set of negative thought images planted in our youth and forge a new set of success thoughts for ourselves. As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so do all of our actions and experiences spring from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.

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