Son Being Picked On, Help! :(

Updated on July 30, 2012
J.M. asks from Fox River Grove, IL
12 answers

My bright and sweet 8 year old son is basically being bullied by a boy in his school. I knew there were some issues before we went on summer break but my son conveniently left out the fact that this child has actually put his hands on him several times. It only came out because he was oddly emotional tonight so I kept pressing him to talk to me and he finally admitted that he was so nervous to go back to school because of this bully and that he didn't want to go to that school anymore. I know you can't just run from the problem but I don't know what to do or how to handle this. I guess he told the campus aide that the kid hit him and she just told him to stop... so after that the kid started rallying people up and saying that my son was mean and was a "bad friend" and not to talk to him... so then things started happening like when my son would sit at the lunch table all the boys (who 3 of them used to be his friends) would just get up and leave the table. So now he is scared to stick up for himself because he says that he is going to lose even more friends. I am not one of those delusional parents who thinks my kid can do no wrong and in this case I can 100 percent say that my son does not deserve to be treated like this, he is the sweetest, mild mannered, caring little boy I have ever met. Which also makes him an easy target. My heart is breaking, someone please help me!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Appleton on

I would sign him up for martial arts, Tae Kwon Do or Karate. He will learn how to defend himself, he will also learn self confidence and self esteem as well as self control and respect for others.

My son was about that age when we moved and he had to change schools. We had moved early in the summer so he had the chance to get to know the neighbor kids unfortunately none of them were in his classroom. So one day when his new best friend was on a fieldtrip and my son was on his own for lunch, a kid started to bully him and threatened to beat him up. Everytime my son went to get up to talk to the lunchroom monitor this kid said I'm only teasing. So now move out to the playground and one kid bullying him is now 4 kids bullying him. One kid put a choke hold on my son, he broke the hold and decked the kid. Of course they all got into trouble at school but the upside is my son who had been in Tae Kwon Do for 3 yrs at that point used self control (only hit one kid) defended himself and really didn't hurt anyone ----- and sent the clear message don't bully me I hit back. It only took one day and the word was all over school and he was never bullied again. I mean the rest of his school life right through 12th grade.

I know that hitting is never okay but I am so sick of bullies everywhere. They can be bullies because no one can stop them. With some kids and adults a good strong right hook is the only way they get the message: I will not be bullied.
You can't be PC with everyone ------- because not everyone gets PC.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Lots of good advice already... I would just add that I personally think its important to tell our kids it is OK to fight back if they have to protect themselves. My son is a big young yet, but when he is this age I plan to tell him - if someone hits you once, you walk away and tell someone. If someone hits you twice (or trys to), you have my permission to hit them back. I know its not PC - but it works. I got picked on in the 6th grade for a while. One kid took it too far and hit me in the hallway. She tried to hit me again, so I hit her back, and it knocked her down. No one ever picked on me again - through highschool graduation. Bullies are cowards that are trying to pretend they are not cowards. They wont go after someone that they know will hit back.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would start with you son's school. The administrative staff (including the principal) do work over summer break. Talk to the principal and hear what he or she has to say first. I also have an 8 year old and I know that his school takes this kind of thing seriously and has the tools and programs in place to address this kind of behavior. They have a formal program called "bucket fillers" where everyone in the school (teachers, students, other staff) use the same vocabulary and are all well versed in the school's code of conduct. I believe that in a situation like this, at my kids' school the principal would have a chat with the offending boy and would give him a chance to explain his behavior, understand what he needs to change about it and make amends if necessary and the goal would be to either have the boys make up or encourage them to keep their distance and find different circles to travel in.

With your son, I would let him know that the adults in his life (you, the principal) can be trusted to take this kind of information and use it to appropriately make things better for him. But also focus on the fact that this is a new year, perhaps they'll be in different classes (hopefully - and if not, maybe that's a change that can be made now) and that everyone will meet new classmates and make new friends. And also use this as a teaching moment to let him remember how lousy this feels and remind him to never make anyone else feel this way and stand up for anyone who he thinks is being made to feel this way. He sounds like the kind of child who is NOT likely to pick on others, but I do try to push that lesson at every opportunity that crops up like this to strengthen their awareness of how awful it is to be teased or left out.

Finally, if he hasn't seen many of his friends this summer, arrange some play dates before school starts so the he can re-establish those friendships. If the three others who used to be his friends are his friends when that other boy is not around, I would also clue their moms in. I know that if my boys were being mean to a "friend" under the influence of a negative ringleader, I would want to know so that I could talk to them about their behavior.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Well you need to start by teaching your son how to verbally stand up for himself.
That is not nice.
I did not do that.
Hey, no hitting.
Leave me alone.

There are a ton of books about bullying.. We like queen bees and wanna bees, I think that author also covers boys being bullied.

He needs to learn to talk with his teacher and you will need to back him up, by speaking with the teacher also. make a plan for how the school wants children to handle theses situations, but start with the classroom teacher.

Also consider inviting some of his classmates over so they can get to know him..only invite 1 at a time in the beginning, later you can invite 3. Try to keep an even number. Kids seem to play better in even numbers.

Hang n there, I know this is just awful for you, but now that he has confided, try not to make it into a big drama. Just follow his lead and what he wants or needs you to do. Let him bring up the subject and don't beat this to death. It will just freak him out even more.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I recently went through this with my little one. I would go to the principal a few days before school if you can and have them meet with you and your son. Have your son tell his concerns to the principal and see what you can figure out together as a plan for the bullying. Then when school starts your son will be ready for anything that comes his way. When the bully realizes your son isn't afraid anymore, he will stop. But your son needs to stand up for himself, not back down and do it no matter what. His real, true friends, will come and stay by his side. He may not see them right then and there, but he will learn who is really his friend and who is just a follower. GL

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Ugh. I'msorry he's going through this.

I have a 9 year old and 8 is about the time it stops being cool to "tell" a teacher, etc.....I know he was doing what he knew to do to end it, but he needs other ways.

Empower him (role play!) to make "I" statements like:
I want you to stop NOW.
I don't like when you XYZ
I am asking you to never touch me again.
I will not be bullied by you.

And if that doesn't work and this kid touches him again, tell him to make a tight fist, hit him in the face--HARD--O. time. That should take care of it.

"No bullying" policies only go so far. Sometimes they are laughable.
IF he has further trouble, you might clue the teacher(s) in to what's going on...but at 8, 9, 10 it's a REALLY fine line between helping your kid and being "that" mom......

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You need to tell the school what is happening asap. Get your son enrolled in karate or something similar. It not only helps with defending yourself but builds his self confidence.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

ROLE PLAY with your son sticking up for himself. This is critical. The right attitude can stop a bully instantly. And if the kid lays a hand on him, he needs to immediately go to the supervising aide or teacher, and right in front of the boy, loudly point out that the kid is hitting him or whatever.

When your son acts strong, bullies will leave him alone. ROLE PLAY and show him the exact words and gestures to use. I also agree with anyone suggesting that he fight back. Put him in martial arts if you have to so that he feels strong enough to kick this kid's a$$.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My brother was bullied a bit at that age, but much much worse later, and we did not know how bad it was until he was constantly sick, and throwing up before school every morning because he was so scared. It was too late by then. He developed social phobia and panic attacks, and never even finished school.
Now this is a severe case and NOT what will happen to your son! However, the boys in my son's class were assholes, plainly said, and what we should have done early was to take him to a different school.
If this problem for some reason persists for a longer time and you cannot solve it there, please let your son have a new chance elsewhere. It can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes there are unfortunate combinations of kids and changing the setting might solve it.
Good Luck. My heart goes out to you and your little boy!



answers from Seattle on

Most schools will open their offices before school starts back up. Make an appointment with his teacher and the principal before school starts. Tell them what your son has told you and make it VERY clear that you want this to stop, without making your son a target. Ask that the school comes up with a plan (that they are to share with you) to keep your child safe physically and emotionally.
In this day and age no school can afford NOT to address bullying - but some schools need a bit more parental oversight and prodding than others.
Don't be quiet about this, don't trust them to handle with without regularly checking up on the situation.
If it doesn't improve, time to think switching schools.
Good luck!


answers from New York on

The school needs to have a school wide anti bullying campaign that includes helping the bullies and bullies to be, encouraging "bystanders" to stand up to bullies. Go see the principal ASAP, talk to the PTO, talk to the school board and dont rest till they start a school wide program. My school brought in experts...


answers from Hartford on

He's only 8 years old and I do think it's appropriate to call the school principal. Either the principal or vice principal will be part of an anti-bullying program and handle the situation personally. You can request that the boys not be in each other's classes and this will also serve to give the school a heads up about the other boy's behavior.

In addition to giving your son empowering language, you need to give him permission to tell the school's principal or vice principal when a situation occurs. Our schools have a zero tolerance program for bullying so they really do take care of the situations where they start with all concerned. They also talk to entire classrooms of children about social situations and how to treat each other properly. While bullying does still occur, it cuts down on it and empowers more children.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions