BULLYING - Timely intervention and action
Created by Bhavna Updated on Aug 17, 2012
Little children can be very mean without even realizing the kind of damage they may inflict on the one the bullied. I always thought that I would recognize the signs if my daughter was ever being bullied, in fact I thought that she was too young to be bullied but I was up for a surprise. More often than not, at a young age, children get bullied by their siblings or cousins or kids known to the family .
One such instance happened with my 6-year-old daughter who by nature is a gentle child, hence perhaps a perfect prey to be bullied. She caught me one of these days and refused to let me go to work (she had a school holiday and I had to go to work). I on the other hand was very confused by such a behavior from her as she is an independent and confident child and had never thrown such a tantrum before, especially when I left her at home to work.
I tried to analyze what was different on that day and realized that we had her grandparents visiting and also another younger cousin who had come for a day to spend time at our house. My guess came true, despite the cousin being two years younger; my daughter was scared to be alone with her.
I sat my daughter down and we had a heart to heart conversation to get down to the root of the problem. I found out that the reason my daughter was pensive was that the younger child was very aggressive (would scream and shout and also would hit my daughter). I love the younger child dearly but I just had to do something for my daughter.
I started the talk by first acknowledging the fact that there was definitely a problem (this somewhat put her at ease) then I reaffirmed that hitting back or having a screaming match with the younger one was not an option & she agreed with me. Then, I told her a story ( a make belief one )of when I was a small child and how my elder sister would torment me and how I handled that by telling my mother every time my sister tried to bully me. This may have made sense to her and so she said, “ mama I will tell daadi if the little one worries me”. Finally I told her that she was 2 years elder to her cousin and that was definitely an advantage and she could use that to assert herself calmly, if need be.
When I left for work, I had a calm child who had the confidence to deal with the bullying and also the reassurance that she was heard and helped.
More often than not the younger children do tell people around them about the bullying because they don’t yet fear retaliation and are open about their problems, but on the other hand they might exhibit the signs that say that they are being bullied such as Playing alone, desire to stay home from school, potty accidents. Little kids who are bullied tend to have trouble getting into a group on the playground, are often found playing alone, do not get invited for many play dates, express a desire to stay home from school, and act afraid of going to school or day-care, or wherever the bullying is happening.
Middle school children are reluctant to ask for help, unlike the younger kids. They feel that it is "uncool" to tattle and they fear retaliation. They would still exhibit the telltale signs. For example, a child might go to the bathroom as soon as he/she comes home from school. Middle school kids who are being bullied often come home in desperate need of using the bathroom since they've been holding it in all day for fear of going to the bathroom and being attacked away from the eyes of teachers.
| Oct 09, 2013
my daughter is facing exactly same situation. yesterday when I cam eback from office she started crying that she doesn't want to go to school because some other kid was pulling someone else's hair and he might do the same with her today. She also gets scared easily when playing in park and I have seen smaller kids saying you will not play and she quietly leaves the swing and stands aside. I have to intervene. We tell her that you have to be bold but somehow she continues this behaviour. Not sure what to do...
| Feb 19, 2013
Tell me about it , my daughter is a gentle soul and to this day i struggle with her when it comes to bullying ... once i told her that she had to retaliate in dire times .... she looked at me dead in the eye and said" NO - I WILL NOT HIT " :-) it caught me by surprise but i let it go ... what to do ?? :-)
| Oct 26, 2012
My child was hardly 4 when he shared that this little girl in his school van treats him bad and also pinches him, and why he would not retaliate is because I had taught him not to hit or mistreat girls.. so much for male chivalry!.. I had to make him understand that we do not put up with bad behavior under any circumstances.