Several years ago my oldest came home from school and asked a question. “Mommy, am I being bullied?” At the time, it seemed like an odd question totally out of the blue.
I was in shock!
I was scared!
She was only in Kindergarten!
She was my baby!
After several deep breaths….trying to remain as calm as I could for her.
Then I remembered that she had had her first day of learning about bullies in kindergarten.
This lead my first question to her: Why do you think that?
Followed by my own thoughts of I need to talk to your teachers and school psychologist! I don’t talk about it much on the blog but my oldest does have autism. It is very high functioning but she has it.
She was so worried that she was being bullied and really did not fully understand what it meant. The school had given her the basic facts about bullies and she did not have enough to understand what is really meant to her. I had to find an easy way to sit down with just her and find out just what she knew and where to go next. So what we could work through this very loaded question she had asked.
What Do They Know?
I pulled my oldest aside away from my two younger girls and talked to her about what she had learned that day. She used her mixed words about what a bully was. She had lots of things mixed up.
I wrote down all she said.
I tried to keep it all in order.
I had her draw some pictures of some parts as well.
Every year I keep and update of what my girls know about bullies. This way I can keep track of it. Their ideas of bullies changes over time. My oldest ideas have changed from kindergarten to 4th grade.
This should be a talk that comes up every now and then. There are some talks we should have talks with are kids take and time again. My feelings that this is one of them.
What Do You Know?
What is a bully to me? A bully is someone who pushes my child around or wants them to do something that they might not want to do. An example is when my oldest was in first grade a group of girls did not want her to play with them, but they would let her play with them during the winter only because she would bring fun paper from home that they wanted to use. All they wanted from her was the paper and pushed her away the rest of the time. She did not understand what was going on. For me, this was the kids being a bully to her.
For my bullying can come is so many forms but I think every child can be different in how it can be handled. For my younger two girls, the paper incident would have said no and could have moved on.
Plus, I also know from being bullied in school that feelings and knowing don’t always match.
What Does the School Teach?
I know that every school teaches about bullying differently. It was different from one year to the next. They will often send information home about bully and policies on it. I encourage you to read up on what the policies are and make sure you understand what your rights are in your school.
What Can I Do When It Happens?
This can happen at any time and often we don’t see it right away. The first time it happened for my oldest she came home and told me the friend she was playing with formed a club at recess and she could not play with them because you have to be able to jump rope to be a part of it. It was later I found out they had tried many different skills before they found one she could not do in order to make sure she could not be apart of the group. She was heart broken.
I encouraged her to make other friends that there were lots of other people to get to know. I looked over the school policy and contacted the school psychologist instead of the teacher. This was one of the best things I did. It allowed for me to express my feelings about what was going on. Since I did not know all the students involved and was not sure of all the details I did not want to point fingers. Plus teachers change and the school psychologist does not change as much.
The school did help find a solution to the problem. It was temporary and it did turn up again with the paper problem. I found that she really wanted to please this set of girls and thus the paper problem I talked about earlier. We had to work around that as well. Bullies can keep turning up. We have had to work around the same set of girls of the last few years but my daughter has learned that she does not have to please them and that she can make other friends. We have worked with the school phycologist and she has helped
Every year we work on new ways to create new friends and ideas for working around bullies.
My final thoughts….bullies are not fun. We need to know our kids and work with them and help when we can. Love them as best as we can and be there with open arms.
Check out theses other posts on Bullies:
- I thought our school does not have bullying… by Planet Smarty Pants
- Books about Making Friends and Bullies by Mama Smiles
- 5 Better Ideas than Bully Proofing your Kids by Thriving STEM
- Teach Your Kids How to Choose the Right Friends by The Resourceful Mama
- Simple Anti-bullying Activity for “One” by Kathryn Otoshi by Books and Giggles
Be sure to check out the other months school themed posts:
- Back to School: Free Weekly School Calendar
- Managing Homework Ideas & Free Homework Punch Cards
- Keeping an Open Communication with Teachers – Free Note to Teacher Printable
- Holiday Celebrations in School
- Supporting School Projects
- Taking Tests in School
Cassie – 3Dinosaurs.com