April 14, 2010

My Son’s Bully

My son as a ten year old was a very happy kid who was good at school and had a nice group of friends, or so I thought. The trouble all started after his birthday party, he had a few friends over my husband played footy with them, we had cake - it went well.

A few weeks after this I started to find rubbish in my son’s school bag. Banana peels, chip packets and other things that I knew he hadn’t had at school kept appearing in large quantities in his bag and lunch box. We asked him why are you bringing this rubbish home?

Tears welled up and it all came flooding out. His “friend” Luke had put the rubbish in his bag and was continually picking on him in the playground. Luke had told other kids not to play with Jared and that he was fat and stupid. My heart broke and I had to hold tears back, my husband’s first instinct was to tell our son to confront Luke and next time punch him, after glaring looks he recanted and told our son that violence might not be the solution.

We told our son we would look into it and sort something out. But what? What can parents do? How do we fix what we have no control over? I decided to ring the school principal and discuss the matter, he was aware of it and Luke was constantly being placed in detention, was not allowed to participate in sport or excursions and regularly sat out lunchtime in the principal’s office.

My heart broke again, this time for Luke. Why would a ten year old go through all this punishment and not amend or change his behaviour, why was he picking on my son. After more investigation and a lot of thought I came up with a solution for my son. I told him every time he says or does something say “it doesn’t matter what you say or do Luke, I’ll still be your friend” and to then walk away. We also encouraged Jared to play with other children and made a point of inviting these kids over to our house.

Jared is now in High School in the “clever” class, he represents the school in basketball and has a great group of mates. Unfortunately Luke has been expelled from two high schools and I often see him roaming the streets alone.

I feel that as a society we have let the Luke’s of this world down. No one wins when there is bullying behaviour and not all victims of bullying cope and move on as well as my son. We as a community must be more active in combating bullying not only at school but at home and in the workplace. The big question is HOW?
- 'A Concerned Mum' for Enough is Enough
Helping Youth Develop Resiliency
  • Identify the youth's assets
  • Identify the family's assets
  • Role-model positive behaviour
  • Encourage learning and participation in extracurricular activities
  • Encourage the youth to explore and identify his or her values and beliefs
  • Teach communication skills, problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills
  • Promote community involvement
  • Help youth to identify goals and find the resources to help achieve these goals
  • Set clear expectations with the youth
  • Encourage the youth to develop a positive sense of self
    Source: SAMHSA, an Agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

    Enough is Enough presents:
    Positive Solutions Bullying Resilience Program
    Our new program focuses on resilience building in all students from K-12
    Click here for more information

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For information about Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement visit: www.enoughisenough.org.au

1 comment:

  1. It is after 1am. I am on here because my heart is breaking. My child has been taunted at school so many times... enough is enough... a happy healthy boy who loves life right now.
    Thank you for this post. It has given me the strength I need to positively act..and to give that strength to my son to positively react when we go to school this morning. Today is the new day. Change will happen.