To think that the parents of bullies have it easy

(171 Posts)
EnyainIkea Thu 15-Nov-12 23:56:00

Because I see the efforts that the VICTIMS of bullying have to make to get support. They have to go through the hoops of trying to convince teachers and headteachers that they have a case in the first place. They have to convince these people that their child is not making it up, exaggerating, over-reacting and then wait.... whilst they hope the problem is being tackled by the school.

The parents are usually left in the dark about what "measures" are being taken to tackle the bullying behaviour "because that's confidential and can't be discussed". They have to reassure their children that they are trying to help and, of course, they did the right thing by telling them because now we can help you when, in actual fact, the parent feels absolutely powerless.

And then there are the meetings where it's suggested that your child is maybe not robust enough or needs to walk away from situations, or learn to stand up for themselves. You end up thinking that you need to move YOUR child from that classroom or, worse still, the school.

AIBU in thinking that the parents of the "accused" bullies are having it easy in comparison to this?

And BTW I would LOVE to hear from parents who have children who have been accused of bullying for the simple reason that I have never heard your side of the experience and it would help me immensely to know what YOU go through!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 18-Nov-12 14:32:27

I think if your the type of parent that would try to deal with your child bullying then it would be equally horrible for you as it would be for the parent of the bullied child

But if your the type of parent that would turn up at school kicking out time and join in with your child's bullying then its obviously easier

Megatron Sun 18-Nov-12 14:35:53

The boy who bullied me when i was very young (around 6/7) used to spit, punch, kick me. He threw a brick at me and scarred my eyelid and pushed me down the stairs. His mother was the sweetest, nicest lady you could ever meet and used to march him down to make him apologise, which he would and it would start all over again. She did every single thing she could think of to stop him. In the end we moved away but I was working in a bank around 15 years ago and he came to my til. He was very distinctive looking and I knew it was him straight away and as soon as he saw me he knew who I was. I was shaking, even 20 years after I'd last seen him but he was totally mortified and asked me to lunch. I didn't want to go but I did anyway and he could not have been more apologetic about everything and he seemed to really struggle with what he'd done.

On the other side of the coin, the parents of the child who put my son through hell last year still don't think he did anything wrong and it was all just that old chestnut 'high spirits'.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 18-Nov-12 16:16:34

The ones that I feel sorry for are the ones that are being made out to be the bully when they aren't the bully.

MrsjREwing Sun 18-Nov-12 16:24:55

I think there are two types of bullies. The psychopath child, born with a brain lacking empathy and the child from a dysfunctional familiy.

Cahoots Sun 18-Nov-12 16:35:01

I don't agree with the last poster, I think some bullies can just be immature, mean or unhappy DC's. confused
I think normal DC's from normal households can still be bullies.

spokeswoman Sun 18-Nov-12 16:44:09

My son was bullied last year.
I knew the mother so I told her what had been going on.
She said her son would never do that etc etc.
I was shocked when she added "well if hes going to be accused of something then he may as well do it "

Sameageaskylie Sun 18-Nov-12 18:19:12

I struggle to have any sympathy with the mother of the girl who bullied my DD so much we are now in the process of moving both my DDs from school. She never apologised, never spoke to me, even turned her back on me. What's more she even entered into bullying mode herself, by deliberately setting her DD up to publicly exclude my DD from an all class party.

All this from an educated middle class 30 something woman. the mind boggles. I don't think she had it hard at all ....

Wallison Sun 18-Nov-12 18:29:49

miserablemoo, I think you really need to get assurances from the nursery that they will tackle it. And if they don't then speak to the head. At the very least, the nursery should tell the boy's parents what is going on, closely monitor the boy and make sure he does not hurt your son or if he does he is dealt with, see if there are any situations where the bullying typically happens and have strategies for dealing with this, reassure your son if an incident does happen and lastly they should talk to all of the children about the importance of being kind to people and not upsetting other children.

That is what I, as a parent, would expect. Others with more experience or who work in nurseries might have other suggestions but I would want at least that to be happening. Your son is being hurt and upset while he is in their care and even though it is not their 'fault' as such they are responsible for his physical and emotional well-being and they need to take this seriously.

SoleSource Sun 18-Nov-12 19:15:16

Some parents bully their children abd sometimes those children bully others as it is their way of feeling powerful.
I was bullied at home but was never a bully.

ReallyTired Sun 18-Nov-12 19:44:35

I don't think its as simple as divding children into victims of bullying and bullies. A lot of victims of bullying are also bullies themselves. Often both "victims" and "bullies" lack the social skills to manage conflict. Eg.

A child A is going on about Thomas the Tank Engine and child B is bored. Child A is not noticing body language of child B and is constantly following him. Child B is frustrated and reliates with a personal insult. Neither child is perfect and both have awful social skills as they are seven years old. Child A mother hears that her child is being bullied by child B and is angry that the school has not burnt child B at the stake.

Interventions like "Protective Behaviours" can help children express their feelings in a constructive fashion. Directly teaching children social skills through social stories can help them be more effective at making friends. Simple things like recongising when someone is bored or that consversation is a two way process or assertiveness can help the "victim" dramatically.

Many children have no clue what bullying is. Often conflicts between children is 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Some children will complain of "bullying" just because they haven't got their own way.

Helping all children to develop their social skills through PHSCE is important.

whoopwhoopbib Sun 18-Nov-12 20:54:02

I was verbally bullied at secondary school and the school did not do anything to stop this. I remember one incident where I was waiting outside a classroom and was being called names and a 6th former overheard and told my tutor who shrugged his shoulders and went into the room.

By chance I ended up working alonside one of the bullies (still a fear of mine today) and after speaking to my mum through the job and learning more about my family etc, she told me that the reason they hadn't 'liked' me was because they thought I had the perfect family life and now she realised that I didn't!

It just goes to show that sometimes the parents who don't seem to care or don't appear to have taken any action actually don't know that their child is a bully because the school doesn't take it seriously or feel it is necessary to inform them.

shesariver Sun 18-Nov-12 21:49:59

Often both "victims" and "bullies" lack the social skills to manage conflict.

Nothing like a bit of victim blaming is there. hmm

ReallyTired Sun 18-Nov-12 22:12:47

shesariver you misquoted me. I also said that children don't fit neatly in to categories of bully or victim. I stand by what I say. There are some children who attract bullies more than others. There are some children who get badly bullied wherever they go.

Teaching victims assertiveness and how to manage bullies does work. The problem is that schools do not have the time or the money to do this.

I think the best way to help both victims and bullies is to teach them protective behaviours. It gives bullies a way to express their insecurities and feelings in a civilised and compassionate fashion. Victims can learn how to be assertive, in dealing with difficult people and getting help.

There is no such thing as a 100% perfect child or a child who is pure evil. Most children are both the bully and the victim at different times in their school career.

HoolioHallio Sun 18-Nov-12 22:24:14

Wow.
Tell you what. If your child is a bully and think that's MUCH harder than having a child is being bullied, lets swap eh?

And when you've sat up all night to make sure that your baby doesn't self harm, or attempt suicide, or stop eating, or cling to you sobbing because she doesn't want to go to school, or kept your curtains closed all weekend so that she can't see her chief tormentor dancing around outside, when you have to take away a mobile phone and stop her using any sort of online chat (including Moshi bloody monsters because they found out her user name there)
When you have to watch her coming out of school and hold your breath to see if she's tearful, and you watch her tormentor slinking away unable to make eye contact with you because she is fully aware of what shit she's thrown that day.

When you do ALL of that, then come back and tell me that being the parent of a victim of bullying is so much harder than being the parent of a bully.

shesariver Sun 18-Nov-12 22:28:26

I am not misquoting you. Well my son does fit quite neatly into the "victim" category and the psychopathic wee thug that bullied him and cost us our home fits quite nicely into "bully" thanks. I don't need someone like you coming along and implying my son lacks social skills because hes bullied!!! My son is not perfect but hes not a bully, and he is quite assertive.

Most children are both the bully and the victim at different times in their school career...You dont have a clue - do you realise how offensive that is angry Let the bully express his insecurities, dont make me laugh, you wouldn't be saying that if it was you and your child that had gone through even a teensy wee part of what we have. Has your child been repeatedly verbally and physically assaulted on a daily basis? Has you family had allegations made up against them that nearly cost you your job and marriage? Have you been too stressed to go into your own garden because of a child and the verbal abuse he could come out with? Oh our bully could express himself well.

shesariver Sun 18-Nov-12 22:30:39

Exactly hoolio. But hey we should all realise that every child can be a bully and we need to learn to let bullies "express themselves" to eh hmmhmm

No wonder some schools don't take bullying seriously if there are people like reallytired in charge.

Narked Sun 18-Nov-12 22:32:02

'Most children are both the bully and the victim at different times in their school career.'

That rubbish again. It's just not true.

FuckityDuck Sun 18-Nov-12 22:41:04

NO

As a parent I would be mortified to hear my ds had bullied someone. And would move heaven and earth to stop it.

On another note he was bullied himself by Girls who's mother I attempted to talk to. Who herself was on a programme not so long since for Domestic Violence. But hey ho. People have short memory's.

MariaMandarin Sun 18-Nov-12 22:41:25

I've been a nanny to a child accused of bullying. She was pretty unpleasant to me so I can only imagine how unkind she could have been to other children. In this case the parents refused to believe that there was any real problem, and that it was just children being children. They felt that the school was being too harsh on their dd, and that the other children had also behaved badly, not just her. There were problems at home though. Maybe this is often the case and the reason why parents are reluctant to look too deeply into what is happening.

ReallyTired Sun 18-Nov-12 23:16:57

I think that some of the mothers of the victims have "victim" mentality. They feel that they and their children can do nothing to help themselves. They see playground bullying as very black and white. Ie. the so called bully as evil and their child as good.

Teaching the victim strageries does work. A child cannot make themselves more resilant without help. If a child gets wound up by verbal abuse then the bully will do it more. Helping a child with their thinking style can stop them developing depression or social anxiety.

Conversely why is it a bad thing to help a bully resolve their emotional issues in a constructive fashion. Its not going to hurt the victim. Surely expressing feelings in a CONSTRUCTIVE fashion is useful for anyone. Often bullying is fueled by jelousy or other insecurity. If someone can express their feelings in a civilised fashion then they can often be helped by adults.

I have witnessed situations where a child has been badly bullied one day and the bully of a different child another day. The school I used to work in got in the scary guy to talk to everyone about bullying.

The No blame approach is more effective for most low bullying in schools like verbal abuse, social exclusion and group bullying.

Clearly when bullying has got serious (ie. cyber bullying, violence) then the no blame approach is not appriopate.

Milvesrus Sun 18-Nov-12 23:30:01

I agree with OP on the whole. The type of children schools class as bullies are not actually the ones causing victims the most pain to others, they're probably the boisterous boys who get caught fighting.
The nasty bullies can be the well brought up socially adept and manipulative girls who don't get caught, never miss golden time, are not terribly disruptive but are plain nasty to those they single out.
The victims' parents spend a lot of time worrying and going through the appropriate steps while the bully's parents probably get to hear nothing of it.

Primrose123 Sun 18-Nov-12 23:34:22

Holliohallio We went through all that too. sad

Also, the stress caused DD to have terrible stomach problems, and we had regular hospital appointments with her for IBS. When she moved to another school and settled in happily, the IBS stopped.

Primrose123 Sun 18-Nov-12 23:35:48

Milvesrus. That was exactly our experience.

SinisterBuggyMonth Mon 19-Nov-12 00:22:22

Just imagining the great fun my bullies would have had learning exactly the effect they were having on me using the No Blame Technique.
From the experience I had, you cant manufacture empathy in certain kids and teens, I can only see how the bullies would view your feelings as a weakness, future ammunition and a bonding tool with each other.

But then, my views are very black and white in this, as I was bullied.

ErrorError Mon 19-Nov-12 00:35:30

This no blame thing, is that the idea that you label the behaviour and not the child? I agree with that to an extent but it can't be used to justify everything, even younger children need to learn that they're accountable for their actions.

I was mortified when a teacher told my bully that he must have been picking on me because he fancied me!!! Not quite the opposite of no blame, but humiliating him trying to find a 'reason' for the unwanted attention I was getting, made it 10x worse!

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