Bully - Suffern,NY

Updated on September 14, 2011
M.M. asks from Huntington Station, NY
17 answers

With a brief description of my situations, has anyone ever had their child be taunted and emotionally abused by a bully who then lies to his parents and others saying it is his victim that's doing it to HIM?I guess to garner sympathy? I have a son who has to contend with this kid who is over a year older making up lies and rumors about my son. How do I know this? Because my son told me his friend who is also in 4th grade with this kid told him lies and "very specific" things about my son. The kid who told my son says he doesn't believe any of it and that this kid is a jerk and a liar. My son had been friendly with his bully previously but we had to end the friendship because this kid was always smacking him and being mean and had done something suggestively in a sexual nature much of what I was unaware of until my son told me after the fact. I think he is telling other kids and his parents that it's my son who has been sexually suggestive. That is a BIG problem. This is what he does, he says or does something inappropriate and if caught he says my son told him that info. Someone suggested CPS. I won't do that. I am confident these parents aren't abusive in that way, this the oldest of 3. He is mean and has put my son center and forefront on his bully screen.
Probably because he ended the friendship which i am so proud of him for. I have witnessed the taunting myself as the kid only does it when he thinks no one is watching. Very calculating. Then actually puts on the drama that my son is the instigator. Don't want to go to principal because that involves the parents and he said he said situation. and they will never entertain the notion their kid would be doing this. How can I turn the tables other than try to catch this kid in action? My son is just turned 8. This kid is almost 9 1/2 and in 4th grade. Talking to parents not an option. Already tried to address a situation with them in the past that essentially started this whole bullying thing because they asked the kid about it and he think my son ratted on him. They believe their son.

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So What Happened?

First of all, i wouldn't say that a sexually curious or suggestive 9 year old is uncommon these days with all they are exposed to on a DAILY basis especially on tv and access to the internet. Kids are being catapulted fast-forward into this next realm unfortunately. I just would like to hear different opinions about what some of you might do in this instance or if anyone has dealt with this sort of situation and what you did to resolve it?
Just to clarify. We do not see these people. We no longer socialize with them - that's a given. A no- brainer. The only interaction is one maybe two times per day in the hallway of school between my son and this kid who is a grade higher. My son has TONS of friends. This boy does not. AND since this has happened we have taken a good look at his friends. They are all for the most part good, hearty and responsible and normal boys in my opinion who are right on track unlike this kid. I do have a backbone, thank you, to one mom who implied differently. If I could be my son for a day and not worry like he does about getting in trouble - I'd give this kid one fell swoop of a punch to the nose. I have my son speaking to someone who will coach him through this and it is all being documented outside of school. I am everywhere I can be and will shadow any instance this kid is in my son's presence. I have friends as teachers who are keeping eyes out for me as well as friends in general who have older boys in the same grade as this troubled soul. I assure you that. White on rice. As is my husband. It's the first week of school and I will see where this goes. I will go to my son's teacher and ask her to keep an eye on the situation and explain my son is having a problem with an older student. She will be all over it and will report to me any negative interaction. I have even strategized to have my son leave the school building at a different location for those brief moments where parents or buses pick them up and they might be within each others presence. I am being proactive. Give me a chance as this is not something I have ever contended with in life, nor with any so-called "friends" of my son.

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I would seriously consider home school. There are so many ways to do it that it can work for virtually any family. I get to chose my kids' friends. Because their social life is centered at home, I'm able to keep it healthy. I think conventional school lends itself to problems like this. It can be fine for some kids, but I didn't want to deal with it.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

Just because kids are more aware of sexual things than we are in no way means that what this boy is doing is normal, and just because you are "confident these parents aren't abusive in that way" doesn't mean they are NOT - that's not logical. Call CPS and ask questions about the situation. If they believe it's visit worthy, it'll wake the parents up, and if someone is harming the boy so that he's becoming twisted, maybe he'll get some help.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

One thing that seems to get lost in this description is the statement that this boy "doing very inappropriate things suggestively in a sexual nature." He needs help! I suggest that he may be acting this way because he's being sexually abused. Fourth graders rarely act out sexually.

Because of this one statement, I strongly urge you to go to the school and talk with the principal or counselor. I suggest that you also call CPS, describing for them not only the ways in which he's a bully but also how he's acting out sexually.

It doesn't matter that the parents will defend their child. You still need to report this.

Since this is happening at school, your son's teacher is aware of how your son and this boy behave. Your son needs to report to his teacher every time a bullying incident happens. The school will figure it out. They want to know about this.

Yes, at first it may be a "he said, he said," but over time the adults at school will be able to figure it out.

After your SWH: What is he doing that is sexually inappropriate? There is a difference between "bathroom humor" and actually expecting another boy to do something. It would be normal for a 4th grader to say, "suck my dick" in a taunting angry way. But it would not be normal if he actually expected the other boy to do it. What is this boy saying/doing?

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

It's not your judgment call to make on whether or not this child is being sexually abused. He was sexually suggestive, as you said, and that's a huge red flag that he's probably being sexually abused. It could be a reason that he's being a bully... he has no control in his life in one way, so he's trying to take control in another. Having this knowledge means you're obligated to report what you know to the police, who are mandated reporters to CPS/DCYS.

And I'm sorry, truly, but it's not in any way normal for a 9 1/2 year old to behave this way. You can't blame/assume TV and magazines that are of a sexual nature. This is still a little boy, and he might need help. So you need to report the bullying including the issues regarding the sexual advances.

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C.P.

answers from Columbia on

Sometimes reality is the best teacher.

If one adult were harassing another, defaming them and so forth, the victim would file a harrassment charge.

If the parents are not doing anything or you don't feel that you can approach them (you really should if you can), I'd advise contacting your local sheriff. Ask them to visit your home for a non-emergent call and discuss with them what they would advise you do in this situation. Ask them how they feel about taking your son's report (especially about the smacking and sexual behaviors) and then taking that report to address the issue to the child's parents.

Sometimes taking the harrassment issue to law enforcement is a wake up call to both the child and parents. You aren't pressing charges, just using a scare tactic to help them understand the reality of the situation.

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K.*.

answers from Los Angeles on

This story hits home for me, because I grew up in a neighborhood with two kids that treated my sister and I like this! They were a couple years older and put the fear of god in us. They always said sexual things to us, wanted to play show me yours/show mine and wanted to experiment and threatened to kick our butts if we said anything. We never said anything because we were so scared and felt ashamed over it.

The fact that your son "reached out" to you is amazing. It is not an easy thing to do, and YOU need to take the next step...that is not going to be easy! You didn't mention anything about doing ANYTHING. Putting him in martial arts isn't going to cut it. You need to approach the school and have them watch this kid...he needs to be on their watch list. If the behavior continues or you feel like the school isn't helping, then find a group that advocates for children being bullied or sexually harassed. Just do something for crying out loud? It's not going to go away as long as this kid is around.

Good luck and please update us!

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K.S.

answers from Miami on

My daughter was bullied. We ended up changing her school. 1. you need to document what has happened with the school. 2. I'd send something in writing to the parents of the child. 3. I'd put your son in some after school activities where he can meet other kids. 4. Very important teach your kid how to deal with bullies and stop being a bully. As for the sexual behavior, no that is not normal for 9 year olds. He is getting this elsewhere and it is probably from home he is getting it from.

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

Stand up for him and stay on top of the bullying problem. This is certainly the age when it all starts...As you said in your response kids nowadays are catapulted into unchartered territories because of technology and an over liberal society. Get involved with the school and put a stop to this.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I will be blunt. Grow a backbone.
This is your son and he needs your protection. If he came to you and said this boy is doing this and you do nothing what is he going to do when this boy takes off his pants?? He will not come to you because you did nothing the first time, or second , or third.
Enroll your son in a martial arts class or fencing to learn to defend himself if need be. Not to instigate any violence but he needs tools if this other kid gets physical.
You can make a DCFS phone call anonymously. I have done it. THey will check on the child and interview him and the family.
Go to the school. Let them know what is going on according to your son.
Go to the other mother. Show up on the playground. Be in the classroom as the helper mom. Have your husband take a day off work and show up. (that scares the daylights out of bullykids)

The most successful criminals are not stupid jerks. THey are intelligent, manipulative, crafty, psychopaths and it starts early. Stupid jerks get caught. He has already started on your child and pretty soon your son will believe the bully. You are teaching him to be the victim, he came to you, get your mama bear claws out and do battle.

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M.O.

answers from New York on

Wow. This is a hard one. Where I recommend starting, I guess, is call the school and say you have an urgent matter you need to discuss with the principal. Then sit down with him/her and lay it out, slowly and carefully, in as much detail as you can. Tell the principal, "I know this is a hard one, but I know you don't want bullying at your school, and if [bully's name] is doing this to my son, I'm sure he's doing it to other kids as well." Yes, the two versions of the story will make it hard to unravel, but Mr. Bully is following a well-worn blame-the-victim path, and a good educator should be able to understand the dynamic. At the very least, the principal should be able to alert other people in the school to watch the situation, so there are more eyes and ears out there.

In other words, maybe the school won't understand, but I don't think it makes sense to assume that at the get-go. They ARE responsible for what happens during the school day, but they're counting on you to pass along this kind of information. And, of course, whatever course of action you take, you're modeling a response pattern for your son. Involving the authorities and seeking as many allies as possible is a great MODEL, whether or not it'll resolve the situation 100%.

P.S. Oh, and karate. Or jujitsu, tai kwan do, whatever. Sign your son up.

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L.H.

answers from New York on

I had the same problem you had, the only difference is that the bullies were in my son's grade. There were 2. One, I knew the parents and he was originally my son's close friend. The other was known to be the school bully. The known school bully was a lot easier to deal with. All my son had to do was to stay away from him and who ever the bully chose for a friend. The other bully wasn't so easy to deal with,but since I knew the mom I would just tell her, "Oh they are just like brother and you know how brothers like to pick on each other." My son already knew kung fu, so that pretty much took care of anyone ever even thinking about trying to beat him up. Kung Fu is one of the best martial arts, because it teaches self-control and the teacher is always willing to show a child a few "tricks" to frustrate a would be child size attacker/bully without hurting them or getting into trouble...at the same time the method scares the bully away. Kung Fu relies on balance, which a lot of people aren't aware of. My son did wind up socializing with his own group, which was more of a mixture of kids who are more studious. What really did help in our case was the school's decision to skip my son a grade. He's still the youngest in the class, but what a difference! The 2 bullies stopped, because they thought he was a "fake genious." Now, they view him with more respect and he's in with older kids he can actually identify with.

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G.T.

answers from Redding on

I'd have my son ignore. They arent in the same grade so they arent in the same classroom, and he should be able to ignore him at recess and lunch.
The other option is to have him beat the kid up, I had to have mine do that a time or two. A man's world is a little different than a womans world, guys get faced off like this their entire life and have to learn how to deal with it.

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K.A.

answers from New York on

I completely sympathize with your situation and feel for your son. Most schools are enforcing the no bullying policy because the effects of bullying are long lasting and traumatic. I understand that you don't want to deal with the kid's parents, but I think you need to go to the school and explain what's been going on. They have couselors who are specially trained to deal with the bully, the parents, and the ones being bullied. If the parents won't listen to you they have no choice but to listen to the school. In some cases kids that bully get suspended or expelled and may need to go for counseling. If you want your son to be happy and well please do everyone a favor and talk to his school. As kids get older they get meaner and can cause serious mental as well as physical harm, and need to be stopped. Maybe you can get other parents to rally with you. If this kid is harrassing your son, it is very likely he's bothering others as well.

Good luck

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K.T.

answers from New York on

First I have read both inputs from you. I empathize and (being a mom of a victim of bullying) can relate fully well. my son suffered "accidental broken clavicle, twistedwrists, ankles, etc...all explainable child hood injuries I allowed others to talk me into.
long and short... I, an nurse for 25 years did not see it in my own child, although I seem to have full perception on everyone else's!
two recommendations, empower him, do not change his exit point as he and the bully will perceive it as fear and/or defeat.
CALL CPS, you did say the bully is the oldest of 3, what is he doing to his siblings? and of course if WE the professionals miss our aggressor/victim children how can we expect lay people to identify them?
You'd be doing all a great service. it is an anonymous call.

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S.S.

answers from Binghamton on

It is so hard to tell from your post how unbearable this situation is for your kid. He has taken all kinds of great steps to protect himself: Told you, ended the friendship, and should feel very proud of himself. Keep encouraging him to stay strong and involve the support of you, his teachers and his friends. Kids face mean kids all the time and we cannot shadow and protect them from everyone. A situation like this can also be a great learning opportunty, a moment to teach our kids empathy and give them an understanding of interpersonal relationships and possible motivations of others.
That said, you do need to involve his teacher and the principal. He doesn't have to involve the other parents right off the bat. If the teachers and administrators are aware of a problem, they can often do a great deal to help without going that next step. Who knows, maybe they are aware of issues with this child already and your information may be helpful in the long run. Make that call.

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C.D.

answers from New York on

have to go to school must will not tolerate it they can help

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N.B.

answers from Jamestown on

It has been my experience with working with adolescents that the bullies are being bullied in some manner at home. They act out on younger kids because they cannot express their feelings of anger towards their abusers without making things worse for them at home.

What I would do is make a call to the school psychologist/counselor. Voice your concerns about the other child in a concerned manner not an accusatory way. More than likely, that professional already has an idea of the child's behavior. If nothing comes of that, personally, I would invite the child over for dinner and have a video surveillance system in place in my child's room to monitor their behavior. I would not tell my child it is there. Watch it in another room to ensure both children's safety and interrupt if things get too "crazy". Review the tape and give it to Child Services to take it from there. IF your child happens to be the one in question, as a parent...discipline accordingly and get him help.

IF you decided not to follow my advice above, I find that if you show kindness to a child who has never experienced it from any other adult in their lives, they will come around and begin to trust you with personal information. Maybe all this bully needs is someone to trust and help him.

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