Problems Making Friends

Updated on April 01, 2008
N.G. asks from Tampa, FL
4 answers

My son, who is a normally outgoing kid, has been having some friend issues at school. There is a bus bully, a 4th grader, that likes to pick on the youger kids. For some reason this month he's been picking on mine. While my son has tried everything from ignoring him to trying to get along with this kid, nothing is working. The worst part of it is, they were friends up until now. Any suggestions on what he can do to make the beginning and end of his school day more plesant?

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answers from Tampa on

I like the responses of talking to the other kid and his teacher, since both teachers need to be aware of the situation, as well as the bus drivers, and the kids need to know that it's not o.k. to bully someone. However, this could also make things worse for your son, as the bully may find other situations in which to cause him grief, using "mommy saved you" as an additional insult.

Does your son have any idea why things changed between him and this boy? Getting to the root of the problem seems most important. At the school I work at, there are "peer mediators", who are older kids (5th grade) that are trained by the guidance counselor to mediate between kids with these kinds of issues. It is very effective in helping kids deal with these problems, since the peer mediators are trained not to be judgemental, but rather draw out the underlying issues and help the kids come up with an acceptable solution. Also, since it is between kids, they are more likely to open up. The peer mediators also warn both kids at the beginning of the session that they must report to adults certain types of behaviors or problems, but the actual session is without adults, so kids are more likely to be honest. It has proved very effective. Why don't you find out if such a program exists in your school? If it does, referral to a mediated session could be requested by your son, or by his teacher.

Another more immediate solution would be talking with the bus driver to see if there could be assigned seats on the bus, so that there is no chance that your son and this kid end up near each other. Good luck and hope this helps!




answers from Tampa on

Unfortunately, the bus drivers don't have much authority. All they can really do is write a referal,and the kids know that so they pay little attention. Talking to the bus driver may or may not work. Have you spoken directly, or through email, to the principal? (Or assistant principal, whichever is in charge of discipline at the school.) The teacher has little authority over what goes on during the bus ride. You need to go to the top. Send an email of your concern to the asst. principal or principal. I'm sure things will be handled. They won't be able to tell you how the other child is disciplined because of "confidentiality", but they should follow up with a return email or phone call. Don't feel bad either- that's their job. Good luck, it's tough to know your kid is getting bullied and not really be able to be there and stick up for them.



answers from Medford on

I haven't been through anything like this with my boys, but I would think that if it's on the bus, the bus driver should be aware of what's going on. Maybe talk to the bus driver about it and see what she would recommend, you may need to talk to the other childs' parents as well. It's a tough situation because ultimately you want your son to figure out how to handle the situation on his own and solve the problem, but you gotta think of his safety at the same time and if he has already tried talking to the kid, ignoring him and everything else and nothing is working to stop this kid from bullying your son, it's time to let adults take over and help find a solution that will work.

Good luck to you both, and let us know how things work out.



answers from Tampa on

Hello N.
My name is G. and my daughter went thru the same, she try everything, but nothing worked so I went to talk to the teacher I told her everything and she was very mad about the situation, so we went to the other girls class my daughter her teacher other 2 girls as a witnesses and we call the girls teacher and the girls and we all talk non one liked the situation but this worked good my girl and the other girls now they are friends which is great.
So if this keeps going I think you should take the time and talk to his teacher and tell her you want this to stop is for the own good of your child.
Good luck.

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