Beating the Bully {Part 2}

BULLYING ON THE PLAYGROUND  (SCHOOLS)

In the first post of this series, I gave some insights on bullying and shared some of my own experiences with my kids and one of my niece. How we have have overcome some situations and how I choose to deal with it. Amicably off course, when all I really want to do is take no prisoners. No one messes with my kids! But since I don’t condone violence and I prison is not on my bucket list, I rant in private and go off my rocker. Besides, you kill more flies with honey. Ah… With experience comes wisdom.

It’s easy to knock down what you know nothing of.


I work at a local high school. A school with a rather bad reputation for breeding gangsters. Or that’s what they say. I take that bad rep with a pinch of salt. It’s a case of people having an opinion of a school when they don’t have any kids at the school. It’s easy to knock down what you know nothing of. My kids high school has somewhat of a rep too. A drug rep. It’s my third year as a parent at the school and I don’t have anything bad to say about them. I haven’t had any bad experiences with them. My kids are drug free and that’s a huge blessing. Not a bragging right. 

Our school doesn’t breed gangsters, we educate future doctors, lawyers, accountants and not mention Olympic athletes 


Last week we had an incident at school involving two girls. One girl smacked another and one of the other kids made a video clip. By that evening it was posted to Facebook. I had to join a closed Facebook community group in order to view the video. Sure I was digusted at the girls actions. Bt the time it reached social media it didn’t come as surprise because we had been dealing with it at school the very next moment after it happened. We were handling it. I was disgusted that it had made its way into Facebook and the adult who found it OK to post it.

Obviously because it had been on Facebook I had to fight the urge to not comment and give the keyboard ninjas a piece of my mind. I was livid. Not because some obtuse “concerned citizens” decided to call the following day and rant about the bullying or cross questioned me about the school’s stance. I was angry because of the derogatory comments they made about our kids in general. How some of them went on a tirade and explicitly said what they’d do to the guilty party. 


The image below is but one of the comments that was made. 

Loosely translated: “I will run down the rude thing and tell her that my car cannot avoid rubbish”


Is this guy out of his ever loving mind???

 

No matter how hard we try, these things happen. It’s bad enough that it does , but worse when kids are exploited on social media and hateful comments like these are made. The bully has been on threatened by both kids and adults. The same outraged “concerned citizens” whom I have reason to believe wouldn’t want another adult to attack their kids became bullies. The bully has been called a whole array of insulting names and is on the receiving end of cyber bullying. “Prostitute” being one of the names the “concerned citizens” have come up with. But hey, let me not try to be the voice of reason here and point out the harm to any of them. Because all I’ll be doing is making excuses on behalf of the school and risk being threatened myself. I know my people. *sighs*


I get that people want to know that  the matter was settled and how we resolved the issue but quite frankly: NOT your child, NOT your business. Before demanding answers and expecting them, think how you would feel if your business is made public. These are children’s lives we are talking about here. As a school authority we are responsible for these kids safety.  (And no, this is not the staff member talking, it is the mother of bully victims and a person with enough brain cells to realise and see the bigger picture) Sure it takes a village… But from where I’m standing, the village is a myth. Not many people go out on a limb for other people’s kids anymore. It’s easy to “care” on social media, but are you willing to invest time to be the village? Commenting on a thread does not make a concerned citizen out of anyone.


I am not at liberty to divulge any of the information and wouldn’t even if I could, because it’s not my story to tell  but will say this: While the admin of that group and most of the keyboard ninjas sleep peacefully at night and have gone on with their lives, the lives of all the teens involved have been unsettled. This is not me saying “kids will be kids” but rather “let the adults be adults and not kidults, lead by example and dont be ruled by your emotions“. These are words the kids often hear from me. Those born of my body and the other 1000+ whom I have contact with on a daily basis.


Back to business…



Kids are not that difficult to read. You will easily know when something’s wrong. Bully victims will often be afraid to tell anyone. Parents don’t be upset or doubt your parenting skills because your kids won’t come to you immediately. It doesn’t mean they don’t trust you. They are gripped by fear and no matter how irrational you may feel that fear is, it doesn’t just blow over. Remember that kids need to learn to process feeling and fears. With your help and guidance they will. It just takes you being a proactive parent.

Talk to your kids. About their day at school. Friends. A movie you watched together. Get their opinions on topics. Talk about anything under the sun. Just talk.

By communicating with your kids on a regular basis they will feel more comfortable asking you questions or volunteering information. Make time to talk to them. Make them understand and believe that you are interested in them. It may be a natural order of things in your home but if it’s not, start now. It’s never too late. I would hate for my kids to stop telling me things. That’s when I will know for sure that I lost them. 
Great ways of asking them questions would be something like “So what did you do in Math (or whatever subject) today?” Unless you’re a Math boffin, you probably won’t know what they’re talking about. It’s absolutely great that you don’t know. You now have something to talk about. ? Whatever you do, don’t ask a question that might get you the “it is/was fine” answer. Discussion will be closed and you may have lost a great opportunity.
Have fun with your kids. Be silly and act a fool once in a while. Connect with them so that they know that you’re a person  with feelings too and that those feelings are just interpreted as “You’re my kids and I’m supposed to raise you, feed you and love you.” Make them feel it. 

Rocking fake grills with my main little man back when he was still shorter than me

These are some of the ways you will identify that something is amiss with your kid:

  • The all time classic stomach and/or headache. Usually kids will complain about their stomach or heads aching in the morning before school. From a medical perspective  (Dr Mom, PHD Google) this shouldn’t be ignored. There are always bugs going around. Delve deeper though and ask questions. Open ended questions and listen to what they have to say. The prognosis may be a real stomach ache or nervous tension because of an unresolved matter at school.
  • Decline in their school marks.
  • Bad attitude. Kids go through their angry-the-world phase when they are near impossible to live with. My home has seen its fair share of monster teens. This is nothing more than their hormones going into overdrive and them not knowing how to process all the feels. Know the difference between a phase and them being on the defensive. Again. Ask questions. They can hate your for prying now, but will love you in the end.
  • Nail biting. This is more than a filthy habit. Again, It’s a sign of frayed nerves.
  • They become less social. Bully victims isolate themselves. This is a defence mechanism. Rather stay on your own and you’ll be safer and won’t get hurt is often their thought pattern.
  • They act out and become aggressive. Another defense mechanism. Attack is thought of as the best method of defense. 

      These are the most common signs of victims. If it looks like your kid but doesn’t act like your kid then It’s probably not your kid. Something is up and you need to get to the bottom of it.

      In the next post I will cover the steps you can take if your child was bullied. Overcoming that emotional barrier.

      Thank you for reading. 

      With love,
      CJ

      1 Comment

      1. That one time, a few months ago, when I took a blog break - NO ORDINARY WOMAN

        February 13, 2018 at 3:18 pm

        […] my last post on bullying, Beating the Bully-Part 2, I took a brief hiatus on the blog. Life happened and right at the forefront was bullying that […]

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