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  1. #1
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    Dealing with bullying

    My oldest son is a very sweet fun loving kid, he has an incredible imagination and is much smarter that people give him credit for. He has been dealing with being bullied on and off at school. The school that he is at now has dealt with it has followed up on it with all the boys involved. It is now popping up at scouts and I am at a loss of what to do. I am a leader, but its hard if I keep stepping in when I see incidents. I have told the other leaders what I saw last night, and another leader talked to the boys, but my son did not tell the entire story. The rest came out when I asked on the way home. I emailed all the leaders so everyone would know what happened, but the last message seems like there will be no consequences for the bully. He was able to cut into my son's self esteem and the other boy will in no way be effect by his own words.

    What can I do?

  2. #2
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    I was often bullied as a child throughout my years in elementary school because we moved a lot and I was always the "new girl", and unfortunately, my parents never did anything about it. So kudos to you for seeing it, and taking action.
    For the bullying at scouts, I would make sure the other leaders were aware and on the lookout (which you have already done). If it continues, I would then maybe do something on bullying with the entire group. Some role playing, etc so that no one is singled out. If it still persists after that, I would involve the parents of those involved and let them know that it is not tolerated at scouts. I'm sure the Scouts has a policy about bullying, I would look into it and see if they have any resources for your group to access.

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  4. #3
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    My heart goes out to you. My oldest son, who is now 17, was bullied when he was young as well. I am a very pacifist, peace-loving, sort of person and taught him to be gentle and kind, which he was and still is (as are my two little ones). However, at a point, I just got fed up. The school's policy was for the victim of bullying to go and tell a teacher. When he did that, the bullying got worse as he was no labeled as a tattle tale as well as whatever else they were bugging him for. While I do think it is very important to have consequences for the bullies and to teach them about the effects, I think the key when your own child is the victim, is to teach them not to be a victim. They have to learn to stand up for themselves and put a stop to it or it will continue to happen with new bullies throughout the years (my son was even picked on by a younger girl in his after school care when he was 8). I finally let my husband step in and handle it his way. He taught my son to kick back, punch back, push back if he were attacked. He did it and nearly got suspended, BUT he never had a problem with bullying after that. He learned that he did not have to lie down and take it from anyone. Once the bullies see that you are strong, they move on. I absolutely do not advocate violence and it was really hard to give my son permission to do this...but it saved him from a lifetime of being bullied. Now we are having a similar problem with my 4 year old, who is in JK. We have raised him to be gentle, kind, compassionate, and repectful. He is not aggressive like many of the other boys. Now he is being pushed, hit, bitten, etc and I am not wasting time this time...I now tell him if he is attacked, he can fight back. I know many won't agree with me, but I wanted to share my story as a mother who has been in your shoes. It hurt my heart every time my child would tell me someone had picked on him

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  6. #4
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    This is such a heartbreaking and scary issue for the bullied child and their parents. I have not had any experience with bullying as the other posters have, however I have always been vigilant in monitoring the stories my daughter would bring home from school regarding her and her friends interactions with others (thinking mean girls mentality). I have no more advice than the others except for you to strongly relate to your son that a bully is a troubled person who doesn't know how to be a friend yet probably needs one desperately and that we should feel sorry for him as hard as that might be. Let him know you are proud of him for not stooping to this bullys level by copying his behaviour. Let him know bullys come in all shapes and sizes and that adults sometimes have to deal with them too.

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  8. #5
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    My son is not being physically bullied, he is being excluded from groups and being told he does not belong. He tries to join in and the others will ignore him, turn their backs, or step in his way so he can not get in with the group. Because he is not neuro-typical, he can be seen as quirky and different, he does not fit the mold. I tell him he is unique and that its is a strength and should be proud of who he is. But when his peers continually exclude him, its hard to keep his chin up. And he sure tried last night, he fought back the tear, fought running away, he composed himself and returned to the group activity. He was trying so hard to keep his composure he did not hear another scout try to get his attention so that scout yelled. At that point my son could not hold it together and the tears began to flow.

  9. #6
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    Monkeys is this behaviour not addressed immediately when it occurs? This makes me furious The offendinng childrens parents need to know about this when they are picked up from scouts. Zero tolerance or they don't come back. I thought scouts was about integrity and friendship?

  10. #7
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    The gym was loud, so even if you are standing 10 feet away, you can't hear what is being said. My son did not share what was said until after Scouts, when we were walking back to the car.

    If we see the behaviors or hear things we stop it immediately, but we can't be everywhere at once. Sometimes it subtle, and because I went through it when I was younger, I am hypersensitive to it. I have talked to different scouts about this, but they say they did not ignore, block or turn their back, eventhough it is what I saw. So at times I feel I need to have a secret camera out to catch them in the act.

    Unfortunately, being physically bullied is much easier to identify as it is very black and white. You were either hit or threatened or you were not.

  11. #8
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    Monkeys...I am so sorry your son (and you) is going through this. Our society is so unfair when it comes to anyone who doesn't fit the stereotypical mould! Unfortunately, we cannot force other kids to be friends with someone (although of course we can expect fair treatment)...I see the problem. It is impossible for you to monitor everything and to step in every time...and it may not help in the end since when you are not there, they will do it anyway (not saying you should sit back and do nothing). I wish I had some good advice, but I don't. It sounds like you are doing everything right...trying to teach him to be strong and not let it get to him...but he is a kid and he is human and of course it is going to hurt his feelings. I am just sending lots of empathy and hoping that he finds a way to stop the bullying

  12. #9
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    We have been teaching our kids (2 of whom have been the target of mean kids) that "hurting people, hurt people". It's something John Maxwell says. It doesn't make what the bully does okay, but it helps them to understand that it is not thier own fault, but that for whatever reason, the bully is hurting on the inside, and that this makes them want to hurt others.
    I hope that he is able to be strong and stand up to this bully (it's hard to "fight back" when only words are being used). I have been trying to instill in my daughter that she doesn't need to be around these "friends" of hers. Man, can girls ever be MEAN to each other!!! (and she's only 5)

  13. #10
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    I think the best thing you can do is to talk with your son and let him know people will be rough in life and he is only at the beginning. The best ammunition in dealing with bullying is understanding why it's happening and knowing you (the one being bullied) is not the one with the problems. Any time my kids have been picked on in school or have come home and told me about another being picked on, we talk more about the bully than the one being picked on. Generally a bully will push their weight around because of insecurities. I always ask my kids if they know anything about the bully and their homelife and 9 times out of 10, things come to the surface such as, a mean father, or no father, parents divorced, or mean older sibblings. in the few times my children have been mistreated by another and I have taken that route with them, they have learned that not only are they not the one to feel bad in the whole deal but they have learned to have some empathy toward the bully.....understand ing that the reason he or she is so mean is because he or she is unhappy. Some kids you can reach out to and make friends with and some are just trouble, but either way...if I were you, I would keep an open dialogue with my son, letting him talk to me whenever about anything that bothers him, but I would also encourage him to understand he is not the one with the problem and not allow him to feel "mistreated" to the point of felling sorry for himself, rather, have him take a look at the bully and understand why the bully is the way he is.
    I have also pointed out to my children that it takes a fool to do wrong. To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom.
    Hope he understands how great he is and doesn't allow the unhappiness or foolishness of others drag him down!

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