Dealing with my child’s bully

I just realized that it’s been nearly two weeks since I have last written anything–a blog, a work assignment article, etc. I did write a long letter to my daughter’s School Directress earlier, however, since she had encountered another bullying incident with her long-time perpetrator.

Last year, the same kid bullied my daughter by pushing her off her chair and punching her on the arm. This time, the boy has been playing with her school stuffs, taking her money, and even put hand sanitizer on her drinking water. I just couldn’t take it anymore! So much that I have already brought my daughter to a martial arts school for trial lessons. Tomorrow would be her second day to try Wing Tsun and if things go well, I shall finally enroll her next weekend.

I have the school to blame since they apparently did not take seriously the case I presented to them last year–my daughter’s first bullying experience with that child. I strongly believed that if they had taken all the necessary actions to educate the parents of that child and give the required sanctions for the offense, the boy would have been better behaved now, or at least when he’s in school.

My first move was to schedule a meeting with my daughter’s class adviser and school directress, separately. I also wrote a letter addressed to the latter, condemning the school’s lack of attention to such issues and demanding for the recent events to be addressed fully. Without waiting for a response to my initial letter requesting for a meeting, however, I visited the school and met with my daughter’s class adviser.

As soon as I entered the campus, it seemed that everyone was expecting me except the school directress. I wondered whether my presence was so ominous that everybody seemed disposed to say a nice word to me. When the bell rang, signaling the end of class, I headed to my daughter’s classroom. Even the kids there seemed to know my reason for coming. They immediately shared stories on how that certain boy bullied my daughter and they all started looking for him. Apparently, both the class adviser and the boy were not in class.

It took nearly ten minutes before I saw the class adviser. She was in a meeting with their Academic Coordinator, who readily discussed with me the issue. She apologized that their school directress has not arrived, but assured me that they will be addressing the matter the soonest possible and will have a meeting with the parents of the child. Apparently, the boy has already committed numerous offenses and has tried to hurt not only his own classmates but students from other classes as well.

By the way, my daughter is in Grade 2 and is only seven years old. So was the boy. And I thought bullying is unheard of between girls and boys, especially at their age, but I was obviously wrong. Not to mention that my own daughter’s always the victim.

While the class adviser blamed the parents of the boy, I told her bluntly that their own school was as much to blame. They don’t seem to have clear guidelines on dealing with such infractions, and if they do, they do not impose them. In my letter, I went as far as to tell my addressee to involve the police, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Department of Education if they find the parents of the boy uncooperative or indifferent. It seemed that they are not aware of their duties as parents, which include bringing up their son in a manner that will make him a good citizen.

I also did not hesitate to share with my listener what I am recently learning about the importance of parents to have a good relationship with their children. It was a month-long topic at our church, and I am convinced that the boy does not have a good relationship with his parents, or probably almost never spend time with them that’s why he has been misbehaving. While the teacher thinks that the boy may be copying the bad examples of his parents, I told her that even if that may be true, I’ve also seen children who had witnessed their parents gamble, smoke, get drunk, and physically hurt each other, but still behaved well, especially in front of other people. Parents will always have weaknesses that they may not be able to conceal in front of their children, but I believe their children may still love and respect them simply because somehow, the former were still able to develop good relationships with the latter, I added.

I recounted to my daughter’s class adviser the incident during their first grade class’s Christmas party in school last year, too. Apparently, a boy did not like my daughter to sing so he kept taking away the mic from her. He somehow managed to sit on my daughter’s chair, too. When my daughter tried to make him leave her seat by rocking the chair, the boy hit my daughter twice on the chest. I was so shock that it took time before I was able to react and think clearly. To avoid further distress and an ugly confrontation, I let the party end before I talked to the mother of the boy. Mind you, I had to demand an apology from both the mother and her child. I also scolded the boy right in front of her mother for hurting another child, especially a girl, and told the latter to discipline her child well. To this day, whenever that woman would see me, she would try to avoid me. However, if there was no way to avoid me and knowing that I would be within earshot, she would instead speak to my daughter and tell her that she and her son should be friends. I would just ignore the woman, however.

My point for telling my child’s teacher that story was to give her a head’s up on how certain parents treat their children’s misdemeanor: with utter indifference. I have warned her then that without the school’s help when it comes to dealing with both minor and major infractions committed by the students, not to mention some of the students’ parents’ lack of interest in raising their children in a Godly manner, she would definitely have much difficulty disciplining her students. She has to be more creative and consistent when giving rewards for good behavior to encourage the children to behave nicely in class as well as in giving punishments, like taking away of privileges, for bad behavior.

For now, I shall wait for the school to take action. I handed the new Guidance Counselor the letter I wrote for the School Directress and would wait for a schedule of meeting with her next week. My husband will also be coming home by then from Singapore, just to be able to meet with the boy’s parents and the officials of the Alma mater he loved. I think he’s starting to realize now that the glorious days of his school are long gone. Things are no longer the same and our daughter will not have the same lovely experiences that he had while he was still its student.

On the other hand, I kept reiterating to my daughter the need for her to stay away from such bullies and keep close to her friends. I also continue to encourage her to study hard and be more assertive and cooperative in class, so she’ll gain favor from other students and her own teacher. I tell her to pray especially when faced with difficult people and situations, too. I also remind her of her achievements and all the other things that she can do well to boost her self-confidence. Lastly, I encourage her to continue her martial arts training, so she’ll know how to defend herself, especially if there’s no adult to protect her and the bully continues to harass her.

We also came up with a list of what to do when a bully comes near her:

  1. Pray;
  2. Call teacher’s attention;
  3. If teacher is not around, move away, sit with friends, and ignore the bully;
  4. If the bully continues to pursue her, talk to him calmly;
  5. Still, if the bully pursues her, attacks her, and there’s no one to protect her, then she should by all means use her martial arts skills to defend herself.

It’s bad enough that my husband is miles away from us. Nothing gets more distressing to a mother like myself than having both a sick child andΒ  a child being harassed or hurt by others without the head of our family to help me protect and care for them. Times like this, I easily shift from being a somewhat laid-back yet supportive mother to an aggressive and very protective mammal.

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Author: Malot MRM

Prov 31 Woman in the Making | Wife, homeschool mom, freelancer, volunteer, learner, traveler, storyteller | #SAHMotsari

6 thoughts

  1. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this! Bullying is horrible and the school needs to do a much better job. It sounds to me that the little boy need counseling. He is missing something at home that has caused him to be a hurtful person.

    You gave your sweet girl great advice. It is so exciting to read about a child that is raised to be godly in all her actions, even when there is someone mean around.

    You did a great job handling this situation!

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    1. Thank you, Nikki. Indeed, it is a terrible experience for both myself and my child. I tend to worry about her when she’s in school instead of being at peace that she’s in a safe environment with other kids, learning, while she herself always worries how she’s going to protect herself and her stuffs from the bullies.

      Yesterday, my husband and I met with some of the school officials, who also met with the parents of the two boys who liked to make fun of my daughter before seeing us. You’re right that those boys have been “missing something at home”. As much as we pity them, they and their parents need to realize that what they’re doing was wrong and they have to abide certain rules. The parents were apparently aware of their kids’ misdemeanor, but seemed unable to deal with them successfully either. They were willing to work with the school, however.

      Both boys will undergo counseling, and one of them has already been transferred to another class. They’re given until September to “shape up” or will be dismissed from the school, according to the school officials.

      My husband and I are praying and hoping that things will get better now for our child, as well as for those boys. We’re also thankful that the school has a different Guidance Counselor and Academic Coordinator now, who seemed more committed than the previous officers who handled my daughter’s case last year.

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      1. You and your husband handled this beautifully. I am so happy to hear that the school has taken a pro-active approach and moved one of the boys of the class and I hope in counseling they can uncover what’s making these little boys feel like they can be bullies.

        Your daughter is so blessed to have 2 parents who care and take action. I hope things get infinitely better for her in her class!

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        1. Thank you, Nikki. So far, things are much better now for my daughter in school. She said those boys no longer bother her, they seem nicer now, and everyone in their class seems happier lately, too.

          She’s also back to being excited about going to school every morning and has started sharing with me again her activities, including new songs she learned, in school as soon as she gets home in the afternoon πŸ™‚ She will still continue her martial arts training though, but will be shifting to Taekwondo from Wing Tsun.

          I think having my husband come home from abroad and join me in the meeting with the school officials gave the school an idea how serious we were about the case, at the same time let our daughter realized how much we cared for her. It was truly a blessing that everybody was willing to work with us in order to prevent the bullying cases in their school from becoming more serious, too.

          I also hope that things would continue to get better not only for my daughter, but for the other victims and the “former” bullies as well. More, that bullying would also be effectively addressed in other schools.

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  2. Hi, Found you through The Mommy Blogger Directory. Just wanted to tell you that I was bullied to the extreme when I went through grade school and all the way to the day I graduated high school. I think teachers and schools still turn a blind eye to the situation. Many teachers want to be “cool” and fit in with the students and parents so they let things ride.

    What a horrible situation to ever put any child in. To let them feel helpless while sitting somewhere where they should feel empowered, ready to learn, and protected. It is absolutely a terrible, terrible thing. I did get involved with the police with some of my bullies. They basically went to all of the kids houses and “scared” them, because they really didn’t do anything really against the law that would ever go to court but they were harrassing me outside of school. Many of them stopped after that. I remember standing up in 8th grade in the middle of a English lesson and asking what was everyone’s problem with me. Seriously, why do you have to make my life miserable day in and day out because its the cool thing, and because someone way back when decided that I looked like something. You should have seen everyone’s face…NOONE had one reason to give me as to why they bully me. Many stopped after that.

    Sorry but it makes my heart ache as a former bullied person that any other child has to ever endure anything remotely like what I did.

    It’s funny I left high school the day I graduated, never looked back. To be honest with you…I think I probably had the biggest smile ever walking out those doors that night. I moved far away from my town. I barely remember the names of the people that bullied me. Actually one of them just found me on facebook…seriously they really think I am going to friend them on facebook..They are still stuck in the same place, and I am on a totally different level then them in life, and to me that has been the greatest comeback. They havent done anything with their lives and i now realize that it was pure jealousy.

    I will tell you that the one thing that got me through was that I had a family that loved me to come home to. They were always there for me, and my confidence never waivered because of them. So just being your child’s protector and protection will help her through. I am glad she is getting the martial arts training also. Very important to be able to protect yourself. Especially with how bullying is becoming these days.

    I am so happy I ran across your blog. This was a great point to address and it should continue to be addressed.

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    1. Hi! I’m glad you found my blog at The Mommy Blogger Directory. I just signed up early this week πŸ™‚

      Thank you for sharing your own experience, Jenny. I wasn’t sure at first whether I should share publicly this story since it involves my own daughter, but I went ahead with it to encourage other moms who might also have children being bullied as well as victims of bullying to share their insights on the topic, too.

      I have experienced bullying myself when I was in elementary, but it was rather petty compared to what you and my child has gone through. Both boys and girls teased me because my nickname sounded like the Filipino delicacy “balut,” and some girls would make fun of me because I wouldn’t share my assignment with them or I dressed differently from them, etc. Nothing physical though, and it stopped when I reached 6th grade. It pains me, however, that another kid would hurt my daughter in class while the teacher would try to act ignorant of the situation, if not helpless.

      I think you’re right that teachers–and school administrators–turn a blind eye on the issue because they want to be “cool” or be in good terms with everybody. This makes me more convinced than ever that educational institutions are now becoming business enterprises, where instead of good behavior, the policy “customer is always right” is enforced to ensure that the student population will not go down the following year.

      Bullying is a rather complicated issue to address here in my country, however. Whereas corporal punishment in schools is now openly discussed and condemned nationwide, bullying is still considered a taboo term. Many try to downplay its effects on the victim and never seemed to consider the gravity of the bully’s acts and why the bully commits such acts. In fact, when my daughter was first bullied (at another school) and I became confrontational with the mother of the bully, I remember being told that I was just being sensitive, overreacting, and “what happened was nothing because they were just kids”. The case was rather hopeless, especially that the school principal was unable to pronounce a clear decision on it. In the end, our children became friends though.

      It’s good that you have your own family who loves you unconditionally and helped you cope with the situation. Thank you for encouraging me to be more loving and protective of my child. I guess it also helps that my daughter openly shares with me the things that happen to her in school, so I could protect her more. This coming Friday, I shall finally meet with the parents of the boy along with the school’s Guidance Counselor, and I am hoping that things will go well. I wish that bullying will stop once and for all–everywhere, that parents and educators would have a strong resolution to address the issue and find ways to address it effectively.

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