17 answers

My Child Is a Cryer and He Is Being Picked on at School.

My oldest son is a cryer and he is being picked on at school. He is the oldest and I need some help from other moms. I try to teach him to be a big boy, he is very sensitive. He has at least one bad day a week at kindergarten and he is getting teased and sometimes hit. I teach don't start it but finish it, but he doesn't want to hurt anybody or he says that they hit harder. He has now started to retaliate but I would like some feedback. Thanks

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Thank you for your responses, The teacher is aware and is also very concerned. She has had talks with the boys, maybe they can at least be cordial to each other. I will start role-playing with him and remind him that he is special because he is sensitve. I have heard a lot of benefits from putting him into some sort of self-defense class.

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I don't know if I have good advice to help him be tougher, but I do believe that helping him recognize that being sensitive is okay and actually good sometimes. I have always been overly sensitive. My brother used to be... he was teased and taunted within the family for being a baby... he ultimately smothered his emotions and I feel very bad that he has become so insensitive. If he could have gotten through those difficult times and remained sensitive, I think it would have been much better for him and his family. I feel sorry for him... I see he misses out on better relationships with others because he now seems to lack sensitivity. On the other hand, I always have had a hard time with my own sensitivity, but believe it is healthier than no emotion. Good luck strengthening him against the blows he experiences socially! Give that precious boy so much love and acceptance that he will always feel very loved.

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Not acceptable behavior or supervision at school is what I would be concerned with. Are they his friends that are picking on him or just other kids. Either way there should be some supervision going on that sounds like may be lacking. I would go talk to the teacher and or princpal at the school.

You can continue to help you son toughen up at home partly by encouraging words and helping with his self esteem. You might try a self defence class like karate or a sport like wrestling or team sport like soccer to try to build his self esteem. Not for fighting skills but for self esteem. So that he can see he can do it or that he is strong.

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest son is the same way. He wouldn't hurt a flea. He is 9 now and we are homeschooling this year, but when he was in kindergarten he rode the bus everyday and was being hit, kicked, tripped, etc. by the older kids. I found out he was going to the back to try and find a seat and this would happen. Pecking order, I guess. I went and talked with the teacher and it didn't stop, so I talked with the principal. He took me out and talked with the bus driver and assigned my son to a front row seat and that stopped it. He also had a girl that "liked" him treat him so mean at recess the next year. She would punch him, trip him, hit him, etc. He ended up in the nurses office once because she pushed him on the pavement. I was furious and had had enough. I called the girl's mom and asked her to talk to her daughter. She said her daughter had told her that he was picking on her! I said, "I would believe that if my son was aggressive, but he won't hurt anyone and has never done anything like that to anyone." I knew her daughter was aggressive, especially toward boys and I wanted it to stop. After that, it stopped.

Through the years he has continued to be bullied. He is very smart and kind to everyone. I ended up putting him into karate in kindergarten because of the bullying and it helped his self confidence. They teach not to ever start a fight but to protect yourself when needed. He was in that for several year, he was a blue belt when he quit because the place ran out of business. But that was the best thing we did for him.

His younger sister, 1 1/2 yrs. younger, loves to pick on him too. He won't fight back when she is pounding on him. I hated to tell him to hit her back, but it got so bad that he needed to show her he wasn't going to take it anymore. After he started sticking up for himself, she stopped. He is getting better at defending himself with words and occasionally with actions only when necessary, which is almost never. But it takes time. Try to instill confidence in him with other areas. The karate instructor told me not to tell him to be aggressive and to encourage hurting others. There has to be a balance. I think it is good for boys to be tender. I always praise my son for his kindness. But I tell him he has a right to stand up for himself and to try and talk it out first. He has a tendency to stuff his feelings inside, and I will sit with him and be patient to wait for an answer to my question of what is going on. He will usually tell me and then we can role play and figure out how to deal with the problem. It is important to keep the communication flowing and help him deal with his hurt feelings. I've always talked with my kids about drugs, drinking, bullying, etc. since they were young. I like them to know they can talk to me about anything and I will listen. Role playing is important too. It is a time where they can get up and say how they feel. I ususally start first and show them what I would say, then encourage them to show me how they would react. We work through problems this way and it gives them confidence when they are away from home. Then they will come home and tell me how it went.
I hope this helps.

have him or you talk to the principal or teacher

I am a teacher and a mom. You teach "don't start it but finish it" ??? Frankly, I don't think this is teaching your child good problem solving tools. How about teaching your child two wrongs don't make a right? Or using your words? Or don't sink to their level? There is enough violence in our world, we don't need to be encouraging violence. One of our society's problems is that we don't teach our children to problem solve. I think you should talk to the teacher. Maybe the teacher, you, and your son can brainstorm some strategies. Those two Columbine teens were picked on. And they finished it with guns. Do you really want to be teaching your child these strategies? I know it's a reach from kidergarten to Columbine. But you really need to think about what you are teaching your child. Also, you should look at why your son is being picked on. Children can be cruel. Parents need to think carefully about the life lessons they teach their children.

I don't know if I have good advice to help him be tougher, but I do believe that helping him recognize that being sensitive is okay and actually good sometimes. I have always been overly sensitive. My brother used to be... he was teased and taunted within the family for being a baby... he ultimately smothered his emotions and I feel very bad that he has become so insensitive. If he could have gotten through those difficult times and remained sensitive, I think it would have been much better for him and his family. I feel sorry for him... I see he misses out on better relationships with others because he now seems to lack sensitivity. On the other hand, I always have had a hard time with my own sensitivity, but believe it is healthier than no emotion. Good luck strengthening him against the blows he experiences socially! Give that precious boy so much love and acceptance that he will always feel very loved.

Having four boys of my own, I have gone through this also. If you are thinking of moving, the easy solution is to change schools. Explain to him that he will have a new start at the new school. The kids will not know on his first day what kind of a boy he is. Ask him what kind of boy he wants to be. Encourage him toward embracing the idea of being the confident, nice boy that will let any challengers know that he doesn't want to hurt anyone but he'll stick up for himself if he has to. Do some roll playing with him. Success comes when we know ahead of time how we will respond to a situation; whether it's the business world or preschool.

It sounds like he is having confidence issues. Enroll him in karate.

I agree, martial arts class. It teaches so much more than what people typically think! Try it! If you already have the attitude "don't start it but finish it" it seems like a good try. That is the same idea they teach. You don't touch until you are touched and you defend yourself. You don't just start "karate chopping" people or try to hurt people. If you are "violated" if you will, you don't put up with it. It is very controlled.

If you can get him to stay in long enough, it will teach him different techniques to stick up for himself or anybody else that is getting picked on.

If the bully was hitting our son and your son asked him to stop and he didn't, he would be able to take him down to the ground without hurting him. He would be mad, I'm sure. But he wouldn't pick on your son again.

My cousin, when we were younger, was a big cryer. He was always crying. He would cry over running and his sandal came off. He just cried about everything. Now he is a Marine (but he was never in martial arts)! =)

I am responding as a kindergarten teacher. First of all, talk to the teacher and the principal. Let them know what is going on and make sure they see the same behavior (I have some student who tell mom that they are the victim, when I repeatedly see them starting it). I am not challenging that your son is sensitive, I'm just saying make sure you are for sure getting the full story. And at the same time you are getting the teacher on board.
I also suggest teaching your child to NOT hit back but get a grown up to help. For one thing, a teacher is supposed to have no tolerance for any hitting/fighting and it is very possible that she will see only your son's retaliation. Then he gets in trouble instead. Also, one step in bully prevention taught in school is to get an adult to help and kids need to see that it is not 'wimpy.'
I would also suggest finding something your son is interested in outside of school - music, art, sports, etc, and enrolling him in one of these. It will build self esteem and self confidence, making him less vulnerable to the effects of teasing, etc. When kids have this resiliancy they are less likely to be picked on.
Hope this helps!

karate, for confidence, because he is perceived as weak.

Good luck!

I really encourage you to go to the school and speak to his teachers and/or principal. The problem of him being picked on, and especially hit needs to be addressed. There is no reason your son should be having one bad day a week at kindergarten. Some might say to make him 'fight his own battles', but I don't believe that, especially at his young age. You are his parent, you need to be his fighter. The problem doesn't lye in your son being sensitive, that is actually a great trait, it lies in the kids that are being mean. These kids need to be dealt with. If they are already being this mean in kindergarten, imagine how they'll be as teenagers.

Hi S. S,
I am also a mom of 3,2 girls and my youngest is a boy now 15, but he was also a cryer and they do grow out of it. I also have taught my kids the don't start it but finish it rule, thankfully none have ever had too. Which is good cause now days even the victim whether they hit back or not is sent home for three days or more in some cases. However my son was also picked on in kindergarten, and hit once. My solution was the first time he was hit, I went into the pricipals office asked to have a meeting with the principal, councelor and his teacher cause I have a big problem, and I would like to have the meeting as soon as possible, today!!! Then when it was time for the meeting I explained what had been going on, and that he had also been hit. I said that I wanted to know why the hitting was allowed to happen, isn't someone supposed to be making sure no fights or hitting happens. And that they should be teaching that bullying and hitting is wrong!!! Also ask if the child who did the hitting was punished, like being sent to the principals office or home for the rest of the day? And if not if he does it again if my son comes up to you and tells you he was hit will this child that hit him be punished by sending him home or to the principals office for the day. Most schools now days have a 0 tolerence policy on bullying or hitting (thanks and sadly to the Columbine High School shootings)and hitting whether its the bully starting it or the victim finishing it, normally they will send both home for at least three days. In kindergarten however I think one day is enough to send them home, after they(the teacher/principal) explains that they (the child)are being sent home for bullying and hitting and that hitting is wrong. If they bring up his crying a lot, then say, well maybe when he cries when he's having a bad day or is frustrated about something maybe the teacher should ask the child whats wrong. And ask them isn't it okay for boys to cry when their upset? For in my opinion it is okay for boys and men to cry. When we tell them to be a big boy or grow up they then can forget how to be sensitive, and I for one would rather my kids (my girls ) date a sensitive guy than not. Hope this helps, and I hope his being picked on and the hitting is put to a stop. Good Luck.
E. G

I would make sure to talk to his teacher and the principal if you haven't already. AS good intentioned as the teachers usually are they don't always see everything that happens, especially if they have a large or rambunctious group of kids. If there is one or more kids that usually cause your son to be upset the teacher and other parents need to be aware of the situation. Also if there is hitting the schools all have policies on no hitting so he needs to walk away and let the teacher, ground duties, or principal know what is going on so that they can take charge of the situation. Hitting back could just cause him to get in trouble with the school.

I would also see if there is a safe place he could go to when he gets upset where he can cry it out or get control of his emotions. (maybe a quiet corner of the class or the principals or vp's office)

Good Luck just always remember to validate his feelings when he comes home upset, sometimes we can't understand why our kids get so upset (especially if it seems like a trivial event) but we need to let them know that we love them and want them to be able to talk to us about what's going on.

Hang in there...

You should be able to go to the Teacher/School Counselor/ and even the principal.
If this is happening at school it is their job to step up and help resolve the problem.
Hitting is unacceptable at every level and they should put that to an end immediately!! Nobody should be hitting at all and that is a form of bullying period.

I would talk to him about if he has his feeling hurt to learn to verbalize his feelings not cry about them. Give him examples and ways to say what is going on instead of resorting to crying.
He needs to learn to be able to feel comfortable to communicate with his peers and not have to feel like it is so overwhelming he has to cry to get his feelings out.

For the children that are being the bullies, they should have to go through some type of talking to about how to treat others and not tease, hit or be mean to kids.
I know at my daughters school there is a ZERO tolerance for anything like what you have described.

They (counselor, teacher, principal)are there at that school (or should be) to assist you in helping you all work to gain the same goal of helping your son and giving you the right tools to do that.

My suggestion would be to get him into some kind of martial arts class. It is great for self-esteem, confidence, respect for others, and self defense. I have had my two older girls involved in tae kwon do for two years now and plan to have the younger ones start when they are five years old. I think it would be worth a try!

I have been reading a great book that I would highly recommend to anyone that is a parent or teacher of boys....Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys. It is a great book and may help address the issue you posted.

I am sorry to hear that your son is being picked on. It makes me sad that at such an early age they have to be bulied. My question though is = where is the teacher or the aid? This is not acceptable for a school to allow this. You may need to go and have a talk with his teacher or the principal.

My grandson is a very sensitive young man (first grade) and he was a cryer also. When he was in kindegarten, he was the one who was in trouble for hitting as he would hit back and didn't put up with anything from anyone. He ended up in the principals office several times at the beginning of the year.
My daughter went to the teacher and together they worked out a plan to help the situation. She sent home a note every week telling mom if he was good or bad. If he was good, he got stickers on a chart and if he was bad, stickers were removed. When he got so many stickers, he got a prize.

I know your son is not the one hitting, but it may come to that if he gets fed up. I really feel you need to talk to the teacher/principal about it as someone needs to be punished for their actions towards him. These little ones seem to figure out a "pecking" order and push until there is a line drawn. Good luck and I hope it gets better.

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