22 answers

Bullying and Teasing at School

My six-year old has been having some social issues at school, being excluded from a group of girls who seem to be teasing her, but who she desperately wants to be friends with. I've also been hearing from other parents that their kids (boys and girls) have been the victims of teasing and bullying in the classroom. I'm looking for advice regarding helping my child deal with this, but also suggestions about how to help her class as a whole. I'm thinking that if we work on building more of sense of community in her class, it may decrease some of this behavior. Any ideas?

3 moms found this helpful

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Have you tried talking to the teacher? Maybe she can do a role playing exercise with the kids to let the bullies know how it feels to be bullied! Also, maybe the teacher can speak to these girls' parents so they are aware of their children's behavior. Good luck!

Help her confront them via the Teacher & Principle. If that gets you nowhere, then you might want to consider changing classrooms, or schools. My son was bullied for over 4 years, at different schools, and no on did anything about it. Feel out the teacher and principle. You can tell if they are dealing with it or are effective at dealing with it. If not don't be afraid to move her. I considered many charter schools but ended up homeschooling. There was just too much of an emotional toll on my son. Good luck!

T.
Founder
www.theparentpack.org

More Answers

Hi S.,
Helen Keller said "When one door closes, another door opens. But often we stare so longingly, so regretfully, upon the closed door, that we fail to see the open door in front of us." If those girls tease and exclude, then they are not the quality of person one should hope to be friends with. One of life's best lessons is to turn from inward to outward. Ask your daughter, "You've felt how horrible it is to have someone be mean to you, what can you do to make someone's life better? Whose friend can you be today?" Tell her that someone at school has been wishing for a friend and it is up to her to go find that person.
N., 39 mom of 2 boys, 9yrs and 4 yrs.

2 moms found this helpful

I would definitely take it up with the teacher and if there are multiple students having similar experiences, get together with their parents as well.

Last year in my younger daughter's class, there was some bullying going on with a new boy who was different. Her teacher used a book to help teach the class about bullying as well as talked the the class as a whole about the issue. The book was called, "The Hundred Dresses," by Eleanor Estes. Ultimately, the bullies need to understand the impact they are having and the victims need to learn ways to defend and / or shapeshift when issues arise.

My eldest daughter had the same problem of trying to make friends with girls who didn't want to be her friends and would treat her badly. I finally convinced her to try spending time with other girls who liked her and wanted to play with her rather than trying to "fit in" where she wasn't wanted. Over time, the girls who were mean to her saw her in a different light because she wasn't trying to fit in anymore, she was finding a way to be herself. A lot of it had to do with building up her self-esteem and self-confidence so that she attracted friends naturally rather than pushing them away by trying too hard and giving away her power.

If this continues to be a problem, I would see about some counseling for your sweet girl. My eldest benefitted tremendously by having someone to talk to that could guide her socially and help her build internal strength so she felt good about herself no matter what happened. She still had her challenges, but she is nowhere close to where she was 3 years ago.

My heart goes out to your daughter...

1 mom found this helpful

i had trouble with this also, my daughter is now 8. this may not work in a bigger school, but what the parents did at our school is set up a monthly parent/child meeting. we have only done it a few times now, but the idea is we all get together at a home or at the park, and discuss social issues.

a parent group is what we turned to, because this type of teasing can be almost invisible to teachers, who have so much else to take care of anyway.

our first visit began with the parents talking about their school experiences..good and bad, and what we wanted for our kids.

we had the kids sit with us and talked about what friendship meant...this was an excellent time to see which kids felt they had strong friendships and which didn't based on answers. we let the kids speak through their parents if they were uncomfortable, and have even considered writing items and putting them in a box to be pulled out and read anonomysly.

i thik that if there is significat parent concern, you can invite the class parents to a meeting and talk about it. being open honsest and gentle will set a good example for the kids.

often, the parent of the bully doesn't know their kid is hurting others' feelings, and would like to know, but this is the time to be very diplomatic, perhaps have the concepts of non violent communication on hand...

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.!

This is so sad, but a very real and everyday occurance. Almost all of our children will be bullied at one time or another.

This year, my 1st grade boy was being physically pushed around by another student. I went straight to the teacher the next morning when I dropped off my son. By the end of the day, she had a chance to talk with the other teachers and yard duty, and discovered that there WAS, in fact, a bully on the playground. Since they were then aware of the problem, they keeping watching this bullying boy who is now straightening up and learning not to bully.

The teacher is the place to start. The Principal should be notified if the Teacher is unable to "fix" the problem. Most teachers are not aware what goes on during recess unless the kids "tattle" or whatever.

If it's really bad, I would strap on your infant, and make a serious effort to be "helpful" on the playground during your child's recess. But that's just me :o)

Good luck! I hope things get better soon.

:o) N.

Help her confront them via the Teacher & Principle. If that gets you nowhere, then you might want to consider changing classrooms, or schools. My son was bullied for over 4 years, at different schools, and no on did anything about it. Feel out the teacher and principle. You can tell if they are dealing with it or are effective at dealing with it. If not don't be afraid to move her. I considered many charter schools but ended up homeschooling. There was just too much of an emotional toll on my son. Good luck!

T.
Founder
www.theparentpack.org

Hi S.,
I work with children in schools and provide a presentation that deals with learning about how all children are similar in many ways and different in wonderful ways to make us all unique. The children learn about acceptance, skills to socialize, and skills to prevent teasing and bullying. There all also hand-on learning stations the children rotate through in small groups to appreciate some the challenges that some children face so the kids will have a greater appreciation of children of varying abilities. I am a pediatric physical therapist and have giving these presentations for nine years at many schools in the San Jose area. If you think this may help your child's class and want more information, you can call me on my cell ###-###-#### for more information.

Good luck, no child should have to deal with!

K. N

Many schools now have programs to help with this type of problem. I would encourage you to speak to your child's teacher and or school counselor about her situation. Schools are more pro-active today than in the past. You have an excellent idea about educating the classroom to build a sense of community spirit. This could be a powerful intervention especially since the age group involved is so young, impressionable and open to learning.

You could have a party where the whole class gets together at a park to play games and make up a no bullying contract that they can sign as a class. Just make it a fun day and you can talk to the parents while the kids are playing. First and foremost let your daughter that friends dont treat friends like that and only true friends matter.

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