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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!

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:06:29


Having seen a close friend on her knees emotionally because her child was always in trouble for bullying and bad behaviour, I'd say they don't necessarily have it easy at all.

The child was a constant source of worry to her and affected the entire family.

She just felt completely helpless and got very little support for his behaviour as he had no known 'conditions' IYSWIM.

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 00:10:22

I'd love to hear them too OP.
However, since the parent of the boy who bullied DD didn't seem to think his behaviour was wrong, you may have a long wait.

She seemed to think that picking on DD because she's "different" was fineangry

He was a nice lad at heart, but as long as his family taught it was ok to make himself feel more confident by kicking the underdog. He was going to end up in trouble.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:10:35

My best friend when I was at secondary school was bullied horrendously by this one nasty girl for months, we were 13. The school did nothing.
One day the bully got her 18 year old cousins to meet her after school and the followed my friend home spitting at her, after months of torment my friend snapped and beat the shit out of the bully. Good for her I say.
BUT the next day the police came into school and arrested my friend and the school were talking about expelling her, I told my mum and she dragged me into school and marched me into the head's office to tell her what had been happening.
She wasn't charged but she was interviewed by police.
I believe the school system hasn't improved much since then (and this wasn't that long ago) no matter how much crap they spout about anti bullying policies.

YerMaw1989 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:12:50


my son was a total mare' last year, aggressive, poor social skills you name it.
his speech was/is an issue and I think largely linked to his frustration, people would often go 'Wha'' in his face, I struggled not to crack them never mind a vulnerable toddler angry.

Ignorant people are very quick to assume its because of the parents , I'm the most mellow person I know and my fear of ostracisation/ aggro from other parents lead me to have my DP pick him up instead due to my fears. That never leaves you and he may have been labelled for the rest of his life.

Worra's right with the 'well they aren't disabled?' mentality which leads people to think they have obviously been taught to bully.

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:15:50

I hate it that my son is often accused of being a bully.

trust me i do not get any kicks out of this, he is punished when he gets home and i have been in the school countless time, he has been monitored and the same result has been made that he is not malicious he just don't know when to stop and the other kids encourage him.

I am at a lost what to do.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:20:06

See the thing is some kids bully because the do have some underlying issues that have affected them in some ways but others just do it because they are nasty. How do we discern between the two? You can't just punish one and let the other off.
My DS has been through hell with me and his dad splitting up and his dad concentrating on his new family and pushing him out. But if he bullied another child I would fully expect him to be punished just the same as another kid who had the "perfect" home life.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:21:25

mcchristmas that must be horrible for you sad does he say why he bulliesother kids, is there a reason you can think of?

I was badly bullied and I know for a fact that the ringleaders parents did all they could to stop her but nothing worked. Her mum came to apologise to me and burst into tears. She felt very ashamed. She was suspended, taught at home, walked to and from school, grounded and even sent to stay with her Gran for a while. To no avail. Our mums both walked out of a meeting where we sat together to work things out and she whipped me across the face with a ruler. She was out of control.

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:25:18

he has austism

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:25:46

Regarding blaming the parents...

I don't think a lot of parents are to blame if their kids start bullying (some are, if they're racist/disablist/generally nasty) so I wouldn't automatically blame them.

But if once they've been called into school about it and they turn a blind eye/ live in denial/don't support the school/ don't punish their child etc...

Then I blame the parents for not doing everything they can to put a stop to it early doors.

MORCAPS Fri 16-Nov-12 00:26:39

I don't know.

When chatting to DS1 about this subject we talked about how it would be sadder for a mum if her kid was the bully.

If your kid is being bullied then it is no reflection on you/them because they are not doing anything wrong. If your child is the bully then if you have to face the fact that there is something terribly wrong with your child/family/parenting.

I don't think there are any easy options.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:27:28


I hate to say 'great post' for obvious reasons sad

But that was what I was trying to get at regarding not automatically blaming the parents.

My friend was at her wits end too and constantly in tears over it.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:27:48

mcchristmas if you don't mind me asking do you think he should be punished for what he does? Or do you think there should be something else put in place eg. Working with a councillor (one that specialises with sen)?

LDNmummy Fri 16-Nov-12 00:33:13

No child is born nasty enough to bully another child. There is always a reason stemming from emotional or psychological problems IMO.

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:33:38

I support the school 100% and anythink they want to do i agree.

when hitting other kids, yes he should be punished

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 16-Nov-12 00:33:50

At my school they were very lax about the bullying metred out to me and my friends by the rest of the class because we were simply a smaller group of pupils funding and it would cost the school less to loose us than them. Also when I left the school because of the bullying they called a potential new school to warn them not to take me on (luckily, as it was a rough school anyway, I got into a nice school with decent kids).

You know I would love to hear from the parents of bullies

but from those i've met i'd doubt they could string a sentence together, let alone compose a post on hear, unless it contains the thrase "character building"

EnyainIkea Fri 16-Nov-12 00:34:49

Sympathies to the parents of children who have been labelled as bullies. It's not easy either side of the coin I am sure. My frustration is the sense that everyone is bending over backwards to help the bullies and their families. I feel that I am the one who is being stigmatised by constantly being on the school's back for the simple reason I don't feel I am being believed or listened to.

The term "bullying" is not even being allowed to be spoken and I think they are missing an opportunity to really tackle the situation by burying their heads in the sand. Instead of giving the whole class lessons in "being nice" to each other I think they would be better off targetting the children who truly have a problem about "being nice". All the strategies my school seem to have in place are so bloody woolly. I am not saying that the parents are to blame just that measures need to be taken to tackle to the root of the problem and deal with the child who is bullying rather than trying to "manage" the child who is being bullied.

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 00:37:58

or sinister you could spell 'here' right.

not all parents are Lax, I hate it that my son is making other children education suffer. I feel guilty over it. I want him to stop and think.

Cahoots Fri 16-Nov-12 00:40:15

I think being the parent of a bully would be horrible, you would feel judged by everyone, you would feel terrible for the child being bullied and I think you would feel sad, scared, angry and ashamed that your child was the bully. Even if you believed that your child was not a bully you would still feel awful.
However you look at it, it's an upsetting situation.

TacticalWheelbarrow Fri 16-Nov-12 00:41:28

LDN I disagree, unfortunately thousands of kids are bullied throughout their school years (and that's only the ones that are severely bullied over a long time not the odd shove here and there) I find it hard to believe that every one of them bullies suffer from emotional or physical problems. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but some kids just do it. Just like some kids in the heat of the moment will nick a sweet from a shop, there is no reason behind it they just do it. It's part of growing up and being immature, I'm sure adults who were bullies look back and feel very ashamed at what they done but it was because they didn't think like adults back then because they weren't one.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:45:03

I am not saying that the parents are to blame just that measures need to be taken to tackle to the root of the problem and deal with the child who is bullying rather than trying to "manage" the child who is being bullied.

I think they need to concentrate on both to be honest.

My DS's school is as strict as fuck about bullying...they really do have a no tolerance policy.

My eldest DS was attacked by a gang of boys at the end of my road on a Saturday afternoon. He was 15 at the time and they were all around 18 but ex pupils at his school.

Despite the fact it happened on a saturday, nowhere near the school, the kids (apart from my DS and his friend) no longer attended the school....the Head of year got to hear about it and took DS and his friend to his office.

He then produced a photo book of ex pupils, got them to point the boys out and then passed the information onto the Police (Police couldn't act as they didn't know who they were or where they lived.)

I wish all schools would share good practice and have a proper zero tolerance policy.

It's in the school's best interest as well as the pupils because most of the pupils getting picked on, were bright intelligent kids...or 'geeks' as the bullies would call them. So if schools got more involved, I'm sure kids wouldn't be so afraid to be seen as 'geeky' and their exam results would go right up.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:47:31

When I say the Police couldn't act...I meant they could once the school passed the information on.

Thanks Worra. Even though they couldn't stop her it helped to know that they were doing their best. I felt for her mum. She was a lovely lady. I feel sorry for the girl too. I happened to meet her when we both went to the same hospital in labour. She had 6 kids by the age of 27, lost one to cot death, she doesn't see any of her children now as she is drug addict and prostitute. I remember her saying that the child she was carrying was being removed from her immediately after birth. Oddly she seemed to remember me affectionately from school and I just couldn't bring myself to say how miserably she treated me. I hope that one day she can be at peace within herself.

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 16-Nov-12 00:53:13

well, thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake miss christmas as I am slowly typing this on a crap phone i'm sure there will be more.

My experience of the girls who bullied me, I know some of them had their problems, but I know the main offenders mums where pretty unbothered about what their daughters were doing. When my next door neighbours dd came into my back garden and started threatening me my neighbour assured my mum that she would be grounded, 10 mins later she was playing outside like nothing had happened.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 00:54:59

Blimey LookAtAllTheseFucksIGive there are no words sad

Sinister, you didn't type it wrong at all. To pick at a typo is lame.

Wallison Fri 16-Nov-12 00:59:10

I agree that it must be much worse to be the parent of a bully than to be the parent of someone who is being bullied. If you have any kind of fellow feeling or compassion in you at all, then it must be dreadful to think that your child is making someone else unhappy. And even if you are the kind of person who just shrugs and says "Kids, innit, what can you do" ... well, I wouldn't want to be that kind of person either.

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 16-Nov-12 00:59:28

I'm always making typos on here, just funny that its a bullying thread that it gets picked up on. The irony!

True Sinister. Even so you used 'Hear' in the right context.

Wallison Fri 16-Nov-12 01:03:22

LookAtAllTheseFucksIGive, that is a desperately sad story, both for you and for her.

My friends 8 yo dd isn't a bully by a long stretch but she is a bit of a self appointed Queen Bee amongst her group of friends. My friend says that she has to watch out for her bossing them about and reminds them that they have just as much right to choose a game or activity as she does. Hopefully it won't develop into anything sinister under her watchful eye.

Narked Fri 16-Nov-12 01:05:59

Of course they have it easy. They don't have their child suffering day after day.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 01:06:26

I'm not saying McChristmas was right to pick on your typos but she's already said she feels awful about her child and that the parents are not always to blame.

Then you said, "but from those i've met i'd doubt they could string a sentence together, let alone compose a post on hear, unless it contains the thrase "character building"

So I suppose it was a bit inevitable given how bad she felt and how your sentence wasn't strung together properly IYSWIM?

Valdeeves Fri 16-Nov-12 01:08:55

There is always a reason behind bullying others - yes problems at home are a factor. However, sometimes it's just simply because one kid isn't bright enough to realise about the pain they inflict on another. They haven't got the social skills to realise or care how they make the other feel.
That's what I remember as a pupil and I've observed as a teacher. Sometimes it's just banging your head on a brick wall. I remember constantly trying to subtlety protect pupils in the classroom because any hint that the victim had told takes and the bullying got worse.

saffronwblue Fri 16-Nov-12 01:09:10

I was very touched when the mother of a boy who was bullying DS made a point of walking across the school playground to talk to me and said that she felt dreadful about it. It was very brave of her.

Less impressed when my DD was being bullied and the teacher said she had to be more resilient. True, but how about don't let a thuggish small boy call her a retard during the lesson?

Oops I didn't see that bit. But I still hate typo nitpicking. Its just so unnecessary.

Valdeeves Fri 16-Nov-12 01:09:55

I would have sympathy for parents on both sides - I think most kids take their turn at being bully and victim.

Narked Fri 16-Nov-12 01:16:42

I think most kids take their turn at being bully and victim

Utter bollocks. Most children aren't bullies. I was in a year of 120 at school and there were 7 people who were bullies. They were vile. The others weren't bullies at all. And of those 7, only 3 would ever do anything without the presence of the others - they went along with it but we're alright away from the others. It's not a normal thing.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 01:17:46

Incidentally, my friend's son has grown into a lovely young man.

He feels very guilty about what he put his victims through and says it's because at the time, he resented them for being smart and for enjoying school work when he hated it.

He said that every 'geeky' child who got top marks and enjoyed school, magnified his own 'failures'. He wanted to come across as 'too cool for school' to his friends, but secretly envied and therefore 'detested' those who did better than him...that led to him mickey taking and then eventually bullying.

He's sorted his life out now and is getting married next year...he has a fairly good job and good prospects.

I doubt his victims are as happy and confident about their futures but I hope they are sad

Narked Fri 16-Nov-12 01:19:03

The hardcore are sociopaths.

foxy6 Fri 16-Nov-12 01:30:37

I have seen both sides of the coin with ds2 being bullied and the school not appearing to do anything about it, and telling me that they don't deal with incidents outside school ( the boys would wait outside the school gates ). To having ds3 being the bully. I was very upset and disappointed and couldn't understand why he would do that after seeing ds2 suffer. I only found put after My dad was at the school and witnessed ds3 hitting the girl in the cloak room. It turned put that it had been going on for a while, they we at there wits end and we considering changing school. I didn't have a clue what was going pj the school hadn't contacted me once about it. I complained as we we regularly visited the school regarding his behaviour. After this we told the girls parents to come to us straight away if anymore problems and I personally told the girl that if she had any more trouble to hit him back ( which she did ) and between us we managed to get him to stop. We still have problematic with his behaviour but no more bulling. I felt not only let down be ds3 but also let down by the school and have since sent My other children to a different one.ap before judging the parents consider that they may not even be swear of what's going on.

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 16-Nov-12 01:32:23

Worra do you know if your friends son would ever seek out his old victim to explain or apologise?

Narked Fri 16-Nov-12 01:34:16

I hope not. He's done enough damage without intruding on their life again to ease his conscience.

WorraLiberty Fri 16-Nov-12 01:42:58

They're good friends now Sinister, they 'bumped into each other' on Facebook and live a couple of streets away.

So yes, they've put a lot of ghosts to rest and keep in contact with each other.

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 16-Nov-12 01:59:22

Thats good

I'm friends in fb with a couple of my old bullies, one was just a follower really, the other had a violent dad and has had a bit of a hard time. Another girl though sexually bullied me for years, so I had to ignore her friend request.

LulaBear Fri 16-Nov-12 03:22:36

Oh please. The child that is bullying doesn't have crippling anxiety whenever they go to school.
If I was to be called into school to find out my child was a bully, my child would have hell to pay. That was how it was when I went to school, and it worked.

pigletmania Fri 16-Nov-12 06:50:53

I do agree with op, it seems that those being bullied get treated very badly by the system, they seem to cover up and support the bully more than the victim. However having read on here, it can be devastating on parents whose child bully, not all parents of bully children support their behaviour. Whilst some bullies may not have sn has such what they do have are underlying psychological behavioural issues that nodded to be professionally addressed

thegreylady Fri 16-Nov-12 08:04:55

Sadly Mrschristmas it is you who are wrong about the spelling though not about your attitude to bullying. It is a massive problem in some schools and needs to be addressed by schools never letting it go once they are alerted to it. The parents of the bullies must work with the schools and the main priority must be the safety of the bullied child.

cory Fri 16-Nov-12 08:17:24

My dc have occasionally been bullied, never afaik been bullies. I was bullied myself at school. Even so, I do not envy the parents of bullies. Either they are devastated when they find out or there is something really wrong with their take on life. Either way, I wouldn't want to be them.

Also fwiw it is a wild generalisation to say that schools do not deal with the victims of bullying. Some schools don't, others do, and the ones who don't should be asking themselves why they can't achieve what the others do. Otherwise we'll end up setting standards way too low.

Dc's schools (three, to date) have always dealt with bullying swiftly and efficiently. Which shows that it can be done and that that is the standard we should be asking of all schools.

Kalisi Fri 16-Nov-12 08:36:46

I think that if you are a half decent parent/ human being, it would be just as devastating to have a child labelled a bully than it would to know your child is a victim. I know that I would be crushed if I found that out.
Otoh, I do believe that certain schools have a crap bullying policy that definately puts more pressure and blame on the parents of the bullied child ( as someone mentioned before, they were not even made aware their child had been bullying another) This does seem to be improving though as we slowly move out of the dark age " kids will be kids" way of thinking.

Bumblequeen Fri 16-Nov-12 08:53:06

Victims parents suffer alot more. They watch their dc go through emotional turmoil.

I was badly bullied through secondary school. Nobody intervened. I was left to suffer. I did not inform my mum as I thought it would make matters worse. Mum knew I was miserable but did not push.

I felt ashamed that I could not stand up for myself. I was suicidal but still laughed and joked around. I accepted I was worth nothing which is why nobody rescued me.

20 years later I still go cold when passing a group of school children. I do not like being in large groups. I wonder if people can detect I was bullied. Would they treat me differently if they knew?

It never leaves you.....

OldMumsy Fri 16-Nov-12 09:09:18

One of my DDs suffered bullying by being accused of bullying when she hadn't. That was extremely distressing for her and us. It was a particularly nasty passive aggressive type of bullying that was very hard to counter. That girl was a horrible manipulating person.

MrsBucketxx Fri 16-Nov-12 09:21:26

bumblequeen i know that feeling well.

i was bullied terribly at school, i was punched, egged, stolen from,

i never told anyone at home and have only one or two mates, i was often alone and miserable.

some of the bullied did try and be freindly into adulthood some of the boys wanted to date me and i would laugh. how can someone fo that and expect to be friends after hmm

it would crush me if my dc where bullying and would want to do everything i could to stop them, even if it meant home schooling or moving schools.

Lancelottie Fri 16-Nov-12 09:24:43

'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.'


If that's the school's attitude, then you may well be better to move them.

The insidious thing is that it can make you doubt your child. We knew DS was volatile, easily annoyed, prone to explode -- so at first, when the school said he wasn't being bullied but overreacting to 'normal teasing', we assumed they were right. Likewise when he was reporting two kids picking on him constantly, but the school thought it was 'all as bad as each other'; indeed, one of the other boys' parents came to have a go at us over our DS bullying his.

But then we asked around a few friends' kids, who all knew immediately who had been doing the picking and who was on the receiving end.

And we moved DS to a new school. And strangely, though he's still volatile, unreasonable, hot tempered etc etc (he's a teenager now), he never says he's bullied and has never been accused of it. Meanwhile, the boys he left behind apparently moved straight on to a new victim...

Lancelottie Fri 16-Nov-12 09:25:41

never says he's being bullied, that should say.

theworldaccordingtome Fri 16-Nov-12 09:51:56

OldMumsy my sister went through this towards the end of primary school. A very spiteful little girl repeatedly accused her of bullying and several meetings were held at the school to discuss her so-called 'behavior'. My mother was absolutely distraught, how do you prove this is not true.

Special needs and extreme home circumstances aside, the parents of bullies in my experience rarely know or of they do know don't care that their child is a vindictive little nasty who enjoys inflicting pain on others day in day out. Thankfully lots grow out of it, sadly some do not and continue to bully as adults. In such cases, I am sorry but I do blame the parents and I saw how upsetting it was for my mother to be wrongly accused of being a parent who doesn't care enough to teach her child that it is wrong to make someone else's life hell.

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 09:58:22

My DSIS is now firm friends with the woman who bullied her. She fully acknowledges she was horrible.

In her case she was the one clever one in the class. In my peer group she would have got good results and gone on to collage.

Somehow, in DSIS's less academic class, she got promoted to top dog gang leader instead. Other, I think nastier, but less intelligent class members looked up to her.
Just as in " lord of the flies" gang cohesion needed a fall guy. My poor sister was it.

Having grown up, married a total waster and remarried a lovely man and had DCs she has grown into the considerate intelligent person she should have been 30+ years ago.

As to parents our Dad was her dad's manager, which probably didn't help, but I don't think they got on particularly badly.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Fri 16-Nov-12 10:09:40

I disagree completely.

Children who bully usually have much wider ranging issues that will follow them into adult life. They are often extremely unhappy and troubled and parenting such children is very hard.

Being the parent that everyone blames, that everyone looks down on, having a child who isn't invited to birthday parties and seemingly can't/won't behave no matter what you do is soul-destroying.

dd was badly bullied in primary school. But she and I get on very well, I can communicate with her, she can talk to me about her troubles and lets me help her. That is so much easier than dealing with ds1 who was constantly in trouble in school and ended up being desperately unhappy.

He got no help, just endless punishment that ended up with him being suicidal.

Primrose123 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:23:04

Bullies do not always suffer from low self-esteem. The girl that bullied my DD in primary school was the queen bee of the class, but I suspect that she was so 'popular' because the other girls didn't want to get on the wrong side of her. She may well have been lovely to her friends, but she was awful to a few she didnt like. Her parents were both teachers, and her father was one of the school governors and very friendly with the HT. She was always picked for solos, main parts in plays, reading in church, class monitor etc.

The head made us feel like it was our DD's fault, and the girl's parents were not even informed. I don't think the head even spoke to the girl about it. I know of a few other children who were bullied in the school, and were treated the same way. The parents were told it was basically their own fault, and nothing was done. The school now has a new head, so hopefully things are better. We moved our DD to a secondary school in the next town, and she is much happier. The bully hasn't changed from what I hear, but most teachers think she is lovely, because she is clever about what she does and when she does it.

shesariver Fri 16-Nov-12 10:31:52

I think most kids take their turn at being bully and victim.

Crap. My DS is a nice polite gentle boy who can misbehave as hes no angel, just a normal boy - but hes very kind and thoughtful of others, has lots of friends and wouldnt dream of bullying any other kid. Unfortunately the same cant be said for the 10 year old psychopath who bullied him relentlessly for 9 months. He just happened to be our next door neighbour so my DS couldnt go into the street without fear of verbal and physical assualt.

Unless you have been the parent living with this day in day out no-one can understand how it consumes you and slowly destroys you seeing your happy go lucky child eroded and destroyed psychologically in front of you - you feel so helpless. He goes to dancing classes so the milder end of the verbal abuse was to be continously called "gay". The bully got clever and used to physically assualt him when no-one was watching - only 1 assualt could we get him charged for and it went to the childrens panel and because he was only 10 and already had a social worker not much changed.

Approaching his Mum was useless - she alternated between sticking up for him "hes had a hard life" type thing that I got SICK of listening to even from professionals and also being scared of him so let him do what he likes. He nearly strangled a fellow bully and put him in hospital with suspected broken ribs and when I contacted the school to express my concern that this boy was still being allowed access to my son at school was told by a teacher "but he got out of hospital he didnt get kept in" - oh thats allright then eh!

Eventually we had to move house so have lost our home and what was a friendly street through it - we nearly lost our marriage through it to because of the streess and my DH whos a childminder nearly lost his business because the bully was verbally assualting the mindees when they were out in our back garden and chucking stones at them over the fence. My DH would have lost his registration if we didnt move. So now everything has settled down but Im still so angry that all the attention and support seemed to be on the bully because of his dysfunctional background - and my poor DS got nothing. So dont dare say that chidlren take turns being bully and victim angry

shesariver Fri 16-Nov-12 10:33:57

And yes initially I had a lot of sympathy for him - but when its your child he singles out for relentless bullying Im afraid any sympathy I had dried up!

OldMumsy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:54:03

theworldaccordingtome I am sorry for your sister and mother. It's a horrible situation to find yourself in. I have not come across anyone else this has happened to before. I think bullies adapt the tools that they are given, for instance an accusation of racism can be very damaging to a child or adult these days and there's not much you can do about it. Worrying times.

OldMumsy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:55:46

And theworldaccordingtome the parents of my DDs accuser were committed Christians who forgave my daughter confused

I have not forgiven them.

DozyDuck Fri 16-Nov-12 10:56:23

Well let's balance this out a bit (as a parent with severe autism who hits out)

The parent of the victim only really heard their child's version of events, the school doesn't go into details really. The parents don't know what's going on, what's being done to help. All they know is that their child is suffering. This is worsened when the bully has SN. The parents feel bad for the bully having SN, know the child can't help it but they also don't want their child hurt, so they have no one to be angry at, don't know what's being done to stop it, and probably feel just as helpless as the victim.

Ok now for the parents of the bully (SN or emotionally scarred children)

They know all the details of what is going on, have meetings, think of strategies, try hard to stop it, they do have some power.

However, they also have massive worries, are all the parents judging them? Will their child grow out of it or end up in care being restrained because of violence. Why are none of the strategies working? Is it something they've done? What about the poor child being hurt? Are they ok? Is my child's SN impacting so much on other children emotionally that they will end up with special needs too? Will my child be excluded? Need a special school?

It's a horrible situation for both sets of parents. Horrible. I wouldn't wish either on anyone

BUT and here's the biggy... Some children's parents don't care. Their kid isn't unhappy and the other kid should just stop being so weak. If that's the parents attitude then yes, they do have it easier.

It's pretty easy to tell the difference between these parents, go and talk to them in the playground. Not to attack them but just talk to them.

The parents at DSs mainstream school were never angry at me, or DS, they were angry at the school after I told them they weren't putting in place the recommended strategies so this is why things were never getting better. They complained a lot, not about DS (although the head teacher tried to make me believe this but every parent who complained came to me first and had my full support and I told them the type of things they could say in the hope that DS would get the support on the back of other parental complaints) but about the lack of action by the school.

So, to sum it up, it all depends on whether or not the parent of the bully cares. If they care, it's just as hard. If they don't it's easy for them to bury their head in the sand as their kids aren't being hurt. smile

DozyDuck Fri 16-Nov-12 11:04:08

That said I am extremely glad DS can't be bullied. He's in a special school now, and a lot of kids have emotional problems and will pick on each other. But DS doesn't care. He came home yesterday singing ginger ninja (he's ginger) and laughing. He also doesn't feel pain so can't be hurt.

I would hate him to be affected by bullying that would be horrendous too sad

It's a sad situation that mainstream schools need to find ways of making better.

When DS was in mainstream school he was invited to a lot of parties. One little boy said to his mum (when in reception) DS was in the other reception class to him.

'I am inviting everyone in my class to my party, and dozys DS, because he does hurt me sometimes but he has special needs and he doesn't understand'

I miss the parents at that school so much. The children just weren't bothered about DS at all and looked after him smile

McChristmasPants2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 11:06:19

My next step would be taking parental leave an watching him at break times.

I take bullying rather serious, I don't want my son hitting, biting and hurting other children. I am ashamed of it.

Not all parents of bullies don't care, and I resent the fact that many parents assume we are doing nothing.

And I apologies for the spelling dig it was a very low thing to do.

theworldaccordingtome Fri 16-Nov-12 11:21:24

OldMumsy I hope your DD is doing well now and this hasn't affected her as she grew/grows up. My sister is a confident and happy 22 year old now with a good job that she loves. I hope the same can be said for your daughter (not knowing how old she is).

OldMumsy Fri 16-Nov-12 11:27:14

theworldaccordingtome good news about your sister. My DD is 21 now and at med school, she is fine and has lots of friends, plays rugby and rows for the university so all is good.

It was a horrible time though looking back, I felt so powerless to help her, anything you did or said would make it worse. For her though it was a valuable life lesson and it hasn't held her back thank goodness.

I don't know how you would cope with a long term problem though.

Fortunately the accusing girl moved on to accuse others and her credibility became nil.

Bumblequeen Fri 16-Nov-12 11:57:39

Mrs Bucket I was never physically bullied just verbally. How awful for you. So strange when bullies want to then befriend you.

I have bumped into my bullies. I say hi if they do and act cool so as not to show them anything they did affected me. They always comment on how good I now look.

I have at times pretended not to know a bully and it felt so good as they stood trying to 'make' me remember them!

PickledFanjoCat Fri 16-Nov-12 12:03:26

I disagree a caring parent of a bully or bullied child will be devastated.

On the other side of the coin there are parents who won't care if their child has been bullied or is a bully. Sad.

Doodlez Sun 18-Nov-12 12:58:36

DozyDuck - brilliant. Everything I wanted to say on this thread but didn't know where to start <applauds>

ErrorError Sun 18-Nov-12 14:00:10

I was horrendously bullied in secondary school, one boy in particular was the ringleader. I was angry at the time that I had to go through hell to justify and prove what was happening to me, whereas he seemed to shrug it off laughing and I didn't even know if his parents were bothered.

We had gone to different primary schools and someone who knew him told me that when he was little he was hit by a car, and got bullied at school for having a limp and having to wear 'special shoes'. I only felt marginally sorry for him as in my mind he was still the devil incarnate, but it did help me to understand that he was probably overcompensating from his own experience. Didn't want to be bullied again in a new school, so became a bully instead.

I met him years later by chance, he apologised for his behaviour and said he was a stupid kid. He has a young family of his own now. I told him that I appreciated the apology and that's all that needed said, and we parted ways. We're not at all friends but acknowledge each other if we pass in the street.

I really only know what goes on from the bullied side, but I do think in most cases it's true that there is some underlying issue with the bully, SN or not. Now I pity them, I feel worse for the victim, but think "what has happened to make you so angry" about the bully.

Not much practical advice here, just think it was a nice-ish story to show that bullies don't always turn out bad. Parental input/attitude in this situation is a minefield though. I was desperate not to involve my own parents, and sometimes wondered if his were too ashamed to speak up either. Could have definitely been handled better, but I don't think parents of bullies raise them that way. How the school deals with it is a massive factor regardless of how caring parents on both sides may be.

BeatTheClock Sun 18-Nov-12 14:20:46

OldMumsy One of my DDs suffered bullying by being accused of bullying when she hadn't. That was extremely distressing for her and us. It was a particularly nasty passive aggressive type of bullying that was very hard to counter. That girl was a horrible manipulating person.

Omg my dd has a 'friend' who is like this. It's the most difficult behaviour to counter. She is remarkaly clever at it and is very quick to appear to be a victim when the appalling behaviour is actually hershmm. Dd is very unsure how to deal with this. The girl is quite controlling and uses crying or saying dd has said things when she certainly hasn't as a way of getting her way and undermining dd. This is yr9 too so not infants.

miserablemoo Sun 18-Nov-12 14:28:47

I find this thread very interesting.

My happy confident 4 year old that has been going to nursery for nearly a year happily, has over night become very clingy. He wakes crying every morning. He can't eat breakfast for crying. Has to walk to nursery (previously he would happily run down) holding my hand, whilst sobbing. He keeps telling me how much he loves me and misses me but couldn't explain what is making him sad. Having to leave him upset has broke my heart. He does eventually settle down at nursery but now will stay very close to the teachers and tells me how happy he is to be home and how much he misses me.

The teacher thinks it's because one boy is being mean to him. In her own words she has said this boy has two older brothers who she thinks is mean to him and he is then doing it at nursery. He spends most of the time on a chair in time out. I do not know if the parents are aware of his behaviour but I have heard the mother mention her son has adhd I think.

My son is by nature very happy go lucky and does not know how to respond to other children being mean to him. We have told him to walk away but he tells us that this child follows him and pushes him and says mean things. He is scared to go to nursery now and I feel I am failing him by sending him.

I am so upset that my son is experiencing this at 4 years old. I would love some advise from other mum's that have been in this position on what to do?

I can move him to go to nursery in the afternoon but he does have a couple of good friends in the class he is in now. I also feel like why should I move my son when he is doing nothing wrong. Also he will more than likely meet this boy again when he starts reception and I worry it will be worse then if it is not sorted now.

Do I ask for the head teacher to get involved hoping that he would talk to this boys parents as like I said, I am unsure if they know what is going on.

This is effecting all of us. My boy is sad, unhappy and starting to be mean to his younger sibling. Me and my husband don't really know how to tackle it. Do will tell him to push this boy away? Shout at him, ignore him. He always tells the teacher but this class is very busy and my boy is one of the oldest so he is left to get on with it more whilst they concentrate on getting the younger children settled in.

I am dreading tomorrow. Any advise would really mean alot to me and my family. Thank you for reading if you got this far. Sorry to hijack the thread.

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

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


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!

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 08:48:29

Is there anyone who has never said anything negative and has never behaved in way that is appauling? If you look at the internet you can see the problem of children bullying is massive.

seven out of ten children bullied

Surely it must be quite likely that some children are both victim and bully. No child or parent would never admit to bullying. Prehaps they do not realise that they have crossed the line from banter to outright bullying. I know that there are times in my childhood that I behaved appaulingly as well as being bullied.

Many parents think the sun shines out of their children's arse.

The no blame technique has been shown to work. Teachers have to be trained to do it. My son's school uses the no blame technique and bullying is well controlled. The also use methods like circle of friends to help the child with no friends.

What do you suggest that schools do instead to combat bullying?

"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. "

Punishment does not work for non violent bullying. You cannot take away golden time because no one wants to play with your child. It is hard when its one child's word against another. The effective bully is too clever to be caught and they often have extremely articulate parents who would make life hell for the teacher.

Rather than wanting revenge you have to consider what research shows to works.

"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. "

I would be inclined to agree that it is very black and white thinking to believe that bullies cannot change with the right help.

Kalisi Mon 19-Nov-12 10:12:49

I am no expert but purely from my memories, I never witnessed the bullies being bullied in either Primary or Secondary school. I wouldn't say I was bullied at school so I don't believe I was biased.

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 10:25:50

Who Is Likely to Become a Bully, Victim or Both?

Bully or Victim? More Similar Than We Might Think

Improving the social problem solving skills of both bully and victim is not going to make bullying worse. Often it is the enviroment that causes bullying and that needs to be addressed as well. It requires a three pronged attack to eradicate bullying.

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 10:31:28

I also think that certain groups of children, ie. children with speech and language issues, autism, dypraxic tendencies need to be taught social problem solving skills and how to get help before bullying arises.

SEN children are more likely to be victims of bullying and also more likely to be bullies.

The children who bullied me were insecure and unhappy. They had massive problems and deserved help. I don't feel any hatred towards them as an adult. I feel resentment to the school that I went to that they had zero pastoral care and only cared about academic results. Incidently I went to a private selective girls school. None of the girls were stupid, but they were under terrible pressure academically.

I wrote out a huge post about my own experience being bullied, but realised so many others have put it better than I have already. In my case, the one Mum I met properly who's five children physically assaulted me on a regular basis didn't give a toss. I know it's not the same for all parents, but then I hear about bullies, my first thoughts on what their parents are like are based around her.

I went to schools with 'no bullying' policies, all it meant was that when children were bullied, they ignored it. Didn't want to know. I was physically and emotionally bullied by students and teachers from the age of 4 to the age of 16, my entire school career and even some in college, but I had friends in college so it made it much easier to cope with. I think I had a couple of 'happy' years between years 3 and 5, ones where I had a couple of friends and would play but was still ostracised by most.

All children being the bully and victim at some point? What a load of tosh. And the parents of the bullies have a harder time than the bullied? I struggle to believe that. I think good parents would feel like shit, but I can't imagine being the parent who's child wants to die because they can't cope with it any more.

I am still fucked up by the bullying. I look at some of my bullies now and know some tidbits, like one girl from primary's Dad commited suicide when she was about 18. I should have felt sympathy for her but I just couldn't. I felt nothing. I feel nothing most of the time actually. The only person I trust is DP, he's my only friend. Has been the only friend I've had from the age of 18, that's five years now with one friend. I just can't trust anybody else and struggle to let them in. God knows I'm trying too now though as not having friends is just depressing.
I can't go home either. I started moving around when I was 18 and have only just been able to stay somewhere for more than 6 months (been here for just over a year). I can't spend more than a few days at my own parent's home because it depresses me, I go from feeling okay to needing to leave before I lose my sanity in a matter of days. I can't explain why it does this but I know it does. I can't go to the town I went to school in because I can't cope with bumping into anybody from those days.

The girls in primary who bullied me were the popular ones. The ones that everybody, including the teachers, loved, not a word wrong could be said about this little group of five girls. All of them have grown up to be very beautiful young women, with high class degrees and well paid jobs within a year of leaving university. There is no satisfaction to be had knowing that they still have better lives than my own.

I really don't agree that there is something going on in the life of all bullies though. Every single child in my class at primary, at some point, hit or kicked or called me names. Some of them just do it, no reasons.

My Mum knew the entire time I was being bullied, it's our relationship that has suffered the most. She used to tell me it would get better. She only had one friend in school and she was fine as an adult. I should just ignore them. I told her I was in pain. I wanted to stay at home and learn there. I wanted to leave the clubs. I wanted to die. She still sent me in day after day. I don't trust her now. A few years ago I told her that I should have been taken out of school permanently, she agreed, yet agreeing after the fact is useless now isn't it?

I kind of lost the point on the ramble, I apologise. I have rewritten and taken out most of it so it probably makes no sense now. I know that parents of bullies probably have it badly, but they still get a hell of a lot more support than the parents of bullied children. It wasn't that long ago that I was in school.

I was bullied at school and then dropped by my friends. It was horrendous.

However, 2 years before that I had dropped a friend too. It honestly didn't occur to me what I had put her through until it happened to me. I am a very nice person and I am mortified that I could ever have done that to somebody.

I'm not sure what my point is but I have learnt lot since then.

shesariver Mon 19-Nov-12 11:26:28

reallytitred you can spout any old crap to sound as if you know what you are talking about and can find anything to backup what you are saying - but you continue to be offensive and ignore what people whos chidlren ahve been bullied are saying. If you have children have they been bullied? Physically and verbally assualted on a regular basis? I certianly dont have a victim mentality at all, and neither does my DS, I put victim in inverted columns because he was the target victim, not because he has a victim mentality either.

Anyway after losing our home thigns are getting back to normal thankfully and my DS is not being bullied by anyone else, and as for the bully - hes 11 now and I fully expect to see him in the news some day when he has killed someone, thank god it wont be my son. And Im not joking.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 11:31:54

Really I think you need to reread some of the information your banging on about.

Anonymumous Mon 19-Nov-12 11:35:20

QUOTE: "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."

As someone who went through four excruciating years of verbal abuse, social exclusion and group bullying in primary school, I really resent this idea that it somehow doesn't count or isn't serious - that you only really suffer if someone is physically violent towards you. My brother got beaten up once at primary school and once at secondary school. Both times there was physical evidence of what had happened, my Mum went straight up to the school, the bullies were punished, and no-one bothered my brother again. Me? I was told to ignore them, they're just jealous. Sticks and stones etc. Put up with it like a good little girl. FOR FOUR YEARS!!! It was soul-destroying. Frankly I would rather have been beaten up, because then perhaps someone would have helped me. sad

lunar1 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:16:14

I was bullied. I used to actually wish I had cancer. I have very clear memories of that time and my feelings. I wished i could be told by a dr that i only had 6 weeks to live. I used to play it out in my head and think about what a wonderful life i would have for those 6 weeks, everyone would have to be nice to me, i imagined all the games i could play and about not being scared to go to school.

I was never a bully and never will be. to the parents who say they have tried everything, why not just keep the bully at home. Why is it acceptable to allow these children to terrorise the victim.

I was humiliated and abused as a child, why on earth were the nasty children who did it allowed anywhere near me.

As for blaming the victims of bullying, are you the same people who blame rape victims who were 'asking for it'?

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 19-Nov-12 12:22:24


DS was being bullied recently and the school couldn't not have given a tiny shit...i actually posted saying along the lines of i sometimes would rather be the parent of a bully than a victim sad

shesariver Mon 19-Nov-12 12:45:32

I totally agree with anonymous to regarding verbal and physical bullying, verbal can often be seen as less serious and therefore not as damaging which is rubbish. Verbal bullying can leave emotional scars which can be even more serious than physical ones.

Thinking all bullies can be helped to change is naive at best, maybe some can but the boy that bullied my DS will never change, has no interest in changing and Mum has no interest in helping him either as she alternates between being scared of him but mostly gung ho in her approach to her poor wee boy thats had a hard life and is only sticking up for himself type approach. Despite heavy involvement of social services etc.

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 12:54:54

"As someone who went through four excruciating years of verbal abuse, social exclusion and group bullying in primary school, I really resent this idea that it somehow doesn't count or isn't serious - that you only really suffer if someone is physically violent towards you."

What would work? Is it realistic to tell off 29 children who have bullied one child. Surely that will make the 29 children hate the rejected child even more.

You can't prove such bullying easily. It is one child's word against another. I agree it cannot be ignored but you can't get anywhere if 29 children are picking on one child using punishment. You can't punish children for refusing to play with a particular child.

The "No Blame" approach works in such situations because no one is accused. It is very rare that all 29 children in a class are nasty inviduals without empathy.

Anonymumous Decent PHSCE lessons would have given the opportunity to talk about play dynamics and bullying. Children can be told a story about a child who is socially ostracised to see what they think. My son's school also has interventions for children who find play time difficult. (Ie. friendship benches, circle of friends interventions, lunch time clubs)

The dinner ladies know perfectly well which children are popular and which aren't. A good school will try and help the unpopular children. (Even if there is no obvious bullying)

Verbal bullying is worse than physical. I was bullied physically for two years (not including the odd shove or whack or similar at other times, more the hardcore, physical damage every sodding day) and I can tell you now that the emotional bullying was 100 times worse. It was even worse than the emotional and sexual abuse from my first boyfriend to be honest. Which sounds really stupid but I've mostly 'recovered' from that, I haven't recovered from the years of torment.

lunar: "I was bullied. I used to actually wish I had cancer. I have very clear memories of that time and my feelings. I wished i could be told by a dr that i only had 6 weeks to live. I used to play it out in my head and think about what a wonderful life i would have for those 6 weeks, everyone would have to be nice to me, i imagined all the games i could play and about not being scared to go to school."

I used to do the same.I used to imagine that I had died and I was somebody else, going into my room and looking at my toys, my clothes, and think about why I had died unhappy, why hadn't anybody helped me?

Mosman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:06:27

If my child were bullied my advice to her/him would be kick the living daylights out of the perpetrator, no other justice would be served so a taste of their own medicine would be served.

Mosman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:07:48

Actually now I think about it the dinner lady in my DD's school's daughter was the biggest bully of all so how does that work then really

dawntigga Mon 19-Nov-12 13:32:14

This was another post entirely but would have been deleted due to Mumsnet nicey nicey policy.

really you have no fucking clue and never will until you or yours goes through being bullied. Re-read some of your links I think your comprehension may be a bit lacking.


Tootyfruityonrouty Mon 19-Nov-12 13:48:44

I was a bully at school. I ws a manipulative cow and I always did it when there were no adults around to see. when the school, or other parents spoke to my mum I swore blind that it wasnt true, so she stuck up for me.
I will always regret the way I behaved and the damage i caused. I am now in my thirties and my mum has only just realised that the accusations were true. She was horrified that she stuck up for me. But what cab a parent do, when there is no evidence and their child is adamant that theyve done nothing wrong, should they assume their child is a liar?
I have no excuse for what i did, but i dont know what any adult could have done to stop me sad

GooseyLoosey Mon 19-Nov-12 13:53:41

Really - all 29 do not have to be nasty and without empathy, they just have to go along with what is happening. I think it is not that rare for none of the other 29 to have the courage or desire to stand up to a child that is bullying someone else.

This is what happened to my son. None of the other children were unpleasant or mean or horrible in any other context. However, together at school they turned in to a mob that no one chose to stand up to. Their parents would never have intervened as they would never have seen the "mob". What was required was someone at school to say "enough - we will not tolerate this anymore". However, as their behaviour was generally low level (but not always) this never happened.

It was left to ds and I to break our hearts over it and me to rage at my helpless to save my son.

Anonymumous Mon 19-Nov-12 13:56:00

ReallyTired, there's not much point in spouting all the jargon about what schools could do to help, when the reality is that many of them would rather sweep it under the carpet and pretend that bullying doesn't happen at all. They can't ignore physical evidence - they can and do ignore anything they think they can get away with. My son's first school ignored his plight completely until he was literally tearing his hair out with stress - he was only six. They used the exact same phrase you did earlier - "Six of one and half-a-dozen of the other." I changed his school, and he's like a different child - he's happy, he has friends, no more anxiety behaviours, and the school genuinely looks after him. In my experience "Six of one and half-a-dozen of the other" could more accurately be described as "Easy get-out statement for adults who see what's going on and couldn't give a stuff".

Furoshika Mon 19-Nov-12 13:58:47

I was not a bully but my brother was.
In his case, he was able to manipulate my parents - every time - into thinking that it was just banter that the other person had decided to use against him for some reason.
The school knew full well that this was not true, and did try to ban him from some activities. My parents reasoned that their son was being victimised hmm
I was at university at this point and used to come home to tales of the latest debacle. I did try to tell them too. They were simply unable to take it in.

I am very sorry for those of you who have been bullied (as I was too, horrible memories and life-changing). I know it caused considerable distress to my parents, so it wasn't that they had it easy. I think it would have taken intervention by a third party to spell out the case against my brother, and to make them deal with it in any way.

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 14:05:00

The girls who bullied me weren't 'insecure or unhappy'. They also bullied 2 other girls in my form and 3 girls in the rest of the year group. They enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to be at a private selective school with a strong head. There was no sitting around talking or blaming those who were bullied. When I told, the school gathered private statements from witnesses, and then expelled them. All of them - the investigation uncovered the other bullies in the year.

They were asked 'not to return' for sixth form (it was near the end of Yr11) and to make arrangements to sit their GCSEs elsewhere. They couldn't get in to any of the private schools sixth forms because the way they left effectively blacklisted them. They had to go to sixth form colleges near to where they lived (our school had a huge catchment area) where they knew no-one and were the 'private school' girls. So in a way you're probably right, because they'd never been bullied before but I'd bet they were then. The girl who was the ringleader dropped out after a couple of terms.

That's effective.

Furoshika Mon 19-Nov-12 14:07:05

Wow, Narked, that's real wish fulfilment stuff.
Good on your head.

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 14:14:08

I know grin. I honestly felt invunerable. My bullies were never physical but there was a girl who did physically attack some of the smaller, weaker girls. Her own form had sat and watched whilst she bounced someone's head off the wall and not said a word because they were afraid of her. I walked into some toilets and saw her kicking a door and hear someone crying inside. I told her to get out of there because nothing was going to happen and then took the girl that was crying straight to the teacher who was had taken the statements about my bullies. That one was expelled too!

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 14:23:24

My point being that sitting and talking would never have solved anything. Everyone was told - after the bullies had been called out of class - that they could talk to a specific teacher about anything they'd seen or that had happened to them at any time over the next two weeks. In absolute confidence. So they ended up with account after account of bullying behaviour and presumably several of the same incidents.

BeatTheClock Mon 19-Nov-12 14:26:23

1, 29 or 129 if people are behaving badly they should be corrected and punished. If people break the law in a crowd the police don't just say oh well there's too many, lets just forget it. They look at cctv and go after individuals. Even in a crowd we're all responsible for our own actions.

Saying you can't is giving a message that its ok to bully en massehmm

No blame sounds like it was invented by a bully to torment people further.

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 14:35:31

If it gets to the stage where a whole class is bullying one child the schol have completely failed in their duty of care. I'd move the child (for their sake) and threaten the school with legal action unless they accepted how useless they'd been, individually and collectively, apolgised to the child for their failure and came up with and implemented a whole new approach to dealing with bullying.

ReallyTired Mon 19-Nov-12 14:47:15

I have expressed an opinon that a no blame approach is the best way to stop non violent group bullying. I have also expressed an opinon that its often 6 of 1 and half a dozen of the other in conflicts between small children.

State schools do not have the luxury to expel kids at whim. Its called inclusion. It typically takes two years to permamently exclude a child.

Prehaps its worth looking at WHY Billy Nomates has no friends. Prehaps Billy Nomates has undiagnosed autism or prehaps no one has taught him basic social skills. In some cases Billy Nomates parents make Billy's plight worse by being contrantational with the school rather than working as team. Prehaps Billy has been brought up to be a spoilt brat with no boundaries. A good school will help Billy to make friends and be happy.

Waits for the poster BillysMum to ask for this post to be deleted.

Children with severe autism can learn how to function and make friends, but this requires funding. It also requires parents to realise that Billy has a serious problem.

When I got bullied my parents were a nightmare. My father made my newly qualified primary school teacher cry. He was every bit as bad as the bullies he complained about. I am sure that my parents were partly responsible for me getting bullied.

I suppose the difference between me and other posters is that I have not allowed childhood experiences to make me bitter as an adult.

Moosylorris Mon 19-Nov-12 14:52:50

I am so glad I read this, you couldn't have described my situation better though after a hellish 18months we are at the point where if what's been put in place doesn't work it's home schooling for us. I dare to hope but expect to be disappointed.

"I suppose the difference between me and other posters is that I have not allowed childhood experiences to make me bitter as an adult."

hmm Have you read any of the posts from those who have been bullied?

I agree with Tigga if you have. My first response to that comment would have been enough to get my post deleted.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 15:03:06

Narked I wish more ht's were like yours.

Really. Taking the example of 29 bullies what you are talking about is pack following and yes how you deal with it is by the person who is in authority challenging and punishing it.

If you don't its a bit like saying ohhh well the majority of the people have behaved badly possibly criminally but never mind lets let them because loads of people did it.something does not become ok because more people do it.

And i would be very interested in seeing any respected study that confirms kids with special needs are more likely to be bullies because I'm pretty sure you are talking out of your arse.
Ime they are more likely to be targets.

I have only ever experienced bullying once in my life it was in work and by my boss ( who was a senior social worker) she encouraged the rest of the team to join in it was systematic constant and spilled over into actual physical violence, I ended up taking 6 months off sick by the time I returned the entire team had resigned all insisting on exit interviews and talked about the bullying culture she encouraged and all saying that hr should talk to me as I had got the brunt of it.and admitting they had taken part.

As it happened I had kept diarys covering everything and even tapes from my answer phone ( a 4.45 am phone call with her screaming down the phone that I was a cunt) after a fashion and discovery that she had been moved upwards and sideways due to allegations of bullying then a tribunal she was sacked. She may have thought I made a good victim but she was wrong I expect she regretted picking me when she had her BMW repossessed.

Narked: Your HT was a star, I wish there were more like her sad

BeatTheClock Mon 19-Nov-12 15:23:18

I think a good school encourages tolerance and kindness. That is being inclusive. Actually I think they should insist on it and take measures against anyone who can't demonstarte such behaviour. Not sit about chatting with bullies and telling them they're not to blame.

What if there are no discernable reasons why someone singled out. Why must the fault somehow be his just because the majority are going along with it?

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 15:23:23

She was. I can't imagine what would have happened to my life if, having finally gotten to the stage of utter desperation and told my parents, nothing had changed. Even if I'd have been moved it wouldn't have overcome how they'd made me feel. Them being the ones forced to leave made me feel amazing. Because I actually liked school. I liked and got on well with just about everyone else.

I had an brilliant time in sixth form.

Anonymumous Mon 19-Nov-12 15:27:28

ReallyTired, I was bullied for wearing a hearing aid. BillyNoMates indeed - I guess I got what I deserved. hmm

I think the difference between you and other posters is that your parents cared enough to go steaming into your school and do something about it when you got bullied. Your father may have made your teacher cry, but I bet she kept a closer eye on you after that.

I'm not a bitter adult. I like the person I became, and a good part of that was a direct result of not wanting to be like the people who bullied me. But I do get bitter about people who seem to think that children should put up with being bullied. Adults wouldn't put up with it from their bosses - there is even specific legislation in place to prevent it. If you don't get on with someone socially as an adult, no-one forces you to spend time with them. You can change jobs, you can move house, you can report people to the police for assault or harassment... Children are STUCK with whatever situation adults choose to dump them in. If it is unacceptable for an adult to be bullied, it should be a thousand times more unacceptable for it to happen to a child - instead we shrug it off as normal and just ignore it.

I actually think that attitude makes me compassionate rather than "bitter".

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 15:27:42

When I read about people who were left to suffer or whose DC are suffering now it makes me angry because it can cause so much damage. I was lucky.

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 15:30:12

I have been left with the habit of (metaphorically) donning my pants ouside my trousers and leaping to the defence of other people when I think that they're being treated unfairly. Whether they need help or not. blush grin

Anonymumous Mon 19-Nov-12 15:31:35

Narked, same here! grin Defender of the Underdog, that's me!

Primrose123 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:41:19

ReallyTired, you are doing what so many schools are doing, blaming the victim, or the victim's parents.

Let's see what you said, undiagnosed autism, no basic social skills, confrontational parents or spoilt brat with no boundaries. Well, sorry, but none of those applies to my DD. And if you were right, surely my younger DD would be bullied too? She wasn't.

Furoshika Mon 19-Nov-12 15:42:18

I was bullied for getting good marks. I never once flaunted this, or did anyone down for not getting the same - I kept myself to myself and got on and did my work and had my small circle of friends. It's an old old story, I know several people who've had the same and there will be thousands more like me. What the hell could I have done aged 11, 12 to stop the daily taunting? It is ridiculous to say 'you have to ask why it happens'.

Oh and why I was bullied? Because I looked different as I was the only mixed race child in my school. Because my best friend was the one with no hair and a wig. Because I had a big nose. Because I had short hair. Because I bit my nails. Because I had slightly darker skin. That was primary.

My first secondary: I had a funny name that nobody could pronounce without help. I had a funny name that nobody could spell without help. I kept to myself. I didn't want to wear make up. I didn't like the same music. I didn't want to not wear sorts under my skirt so that people could see my undies when my skirt was pulled up. I wanted to do my work. I had a big nose. I was the only mixed race child in my school (apart from my sister) I was one of four children out of 1000 who wasn't white. I was an easy target. etc.

My second high school: because on the first day the girls in my form were talking about sucking guys off in the toilets and I said I didn't want too. We were 13. Because I was different. I liked the wrong music. I didn't wear make up. I didn't wear a skirt. I looked funny. I was the only mixed race child out of a school of 400. And all of the reasons mentioned above.

Kids will think of any reason. I was not socially inept before the bullying. I wasn't a spoilt brat. My parents were not confrontational in the least. I am not on the asd spectrum. I was just different.

Nice victim blaming there.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 19-Nov-12 16:15:10

Argh I wrote a post but MN went poof and I lost it angry

Anyway, to sum it up.

I was not billynomates. I had a best friend, 3 good friends and a larger group of friends.

I was verbally bullied for 5 long years. So was my best friend.

Why was I bullied? Well, I was quiet, got good marks and kept to myself. I was told I was "posh" (read I didn't swear every other word or have the strong regional accent).

I never reacted to the bullies (apart from crying at home) so I wasn't bullied to see what reaction they would get - it was very boring for my bullies I suspect. Still, I was bullied constantly. In the classroom, in the playground, at breaktime, at lunchtime, you name it.

My bullies did not have bad home lives. They were not spoilt brats and did not have SN. They were just highly unpleasant children who liked ganging up on others and laughing at them.

My bullies were the in-crowd at school. The ones who didn't study, who smoked, who were very sexually active. I was not "cool" and with hindsight I reckon I annoyed my bullies by not trying to ingratiate myself with them, not trying to be accepted.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Mon 19-Nov-12 16:18:28

Am very angry at the victims being blamed.

Ok I could possibly have tried to join the in-crowd in order to be "accepted". But why should I have to change who I am in order not to be picked on?

And anyway, I suspect if I had tried to be like them I would still have been bullied, I just wouldn't have found my own group of friends, I would have been alone.

I think the parents of my bullies did have it easier than my parents. Because they never knew their DC were bullies (at least not on my account). Because it was just low-level permanent bitching and picking on me. It never went anywhere.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 19-Nov-12 16:23:01

And rt you may as well have just said its acceptable to bully a sn child or one with autism because they are different and may struggle to make friends, for that alone your decidedly unpleasant.

Narked Mon 19-Nov-12 16:31:38

It's not just victim blaming to look at the child being targeted, it's also totally misleading.

Bullying changes a child. I would never have been described as quiet or anxious or self-conscious before I was bullied. After five years of it, getting slowly but steadily worse, I was a different person. You learn to make youself small because you don't want to attract their attention. You don't join in with anything that might give people a chance to make fun of you like drama or getting changed to do sport. Other DC the bullying and though they might still be happy to chat to you etc aren't going to go out of their way to put themselves in the crosshairs by becoming close friends with you. If you'd have watched me you might have assumed that the consequences of the bullying were actually the causes.

I was lucky in that I lived a long way from the school so home was safe for me - I never saw anyone from my school within 7 miles of my house. And it was pre internet/mobile phones.

shesariver Mon 19-Nov-12 16:49:12

I thank my lucky stars we have moved away as although I previously thought of it as running away staying next door to my DSs bully would have destroyed him and us all eventually. Why was he picked on? Probably initially because my DS was and had everything this boy didnt - a loving family that included a really good active and caring Dad role model (disclaimer - I have been a single parent to and Im not slagging off families without a Dad in the home, only saying what happened in this situation.)

He was a new neighbour and my DS being the kind boy he is (and using his present social skills thanks) tried to be friends, that lasted a few weeks before he started to terrorise him, shortly after my DH helped his Mum get him in the house after he attacked her in the street, with her permission. Policeman that charged him with the one assualt we could prove said it was the second worse neighbour dispute he had seen in his career, and all caused by a 10 year old child.

No way was I or any of my family ever at fault. I dont view my DS through rose tinted specs either, and he is not spoilt. I despise your victim blaming posts really and pity your lack of understanding what people here have either went through themselves or see their chidlren go through, whilst feeling helpless to help them - because of people with attitudes like yours. Sitting down talking with them, dont make me laugh.

Where we live, children are usually attending what we call pre-school since 2 or 3yo.
Last year DS was 4, and started talking about how he and his friends didn't want to paly with one of the boys at his class. I asked him why, and he in fact didn't know - "I think it's because he's silly", he said.

I tried to talk to him, and explain why he shouldn' be excluding the little one. But he said: "But then my friends will think I'm silly too!"

I talked and talked, I told him about how I felt when I was bullied (yes, I was), but nothing changed.

So I decided to talk to the people in charge for the pre-school - and they say that was no big deal. But I remember it WAS a big deal when it was with me - and called the other parents involved (not the bullied one). Nobody knew it was happening! Asking their kids, they all confirmed that the boy was always left alone.

We gathered our kids and made some suggestions of how they could include the boy. Things got better, now he is accepted the way he is.

This year, one boy decided to exclude another - but DS told me he wouldn't let him, that it was an "ugly thing to do"... That made me so proud!

But the point is: sometimes little kids just don't know exactly why they do it - they just follow someone. But on the other hand, if us, the parents of the bullies, hadn't do anything, things would get worse.

So, at this age, we MUST do something. Miserablemoo, please, please go talk to whoever is responsible for your kid's nursery!

DrCoconut Mon 19-Nov-12 19:00:28

I was bullied at school. I was vulnerable because my dad was seriously ill (he died when I was 6) and my mum was very stressed. We would often have to deal with hospital admissions etc and life revolved round medication and drs appointments. I guess though it was no ones fault it rubbed off on me and marked me out. At primary I was ostracised and excluded. I had very few friends and couldn't get in with the others really. When I was in my teens the bullies framed me for graffiti and laughed their heads off as I was forced to clean it off. They mocked the way I walked, talked, everything. They even took the piss out of the fact that my dad died and said I was so ugly no one would ever go out with me. I did all I could to stay below their radars and became a quiet little mouse who wouldn't do anything that may make me stand out. I blame them in part for the fact that I ended up in an abusive relationship, I was so grateful to have someone after being made to feel so unworthy that for a while I never questioned his behaviour. It has taken me literally years to build any sort of self esteem and I have no sympathy with bullies unless they are so disabled they genuinely can't help it. Anyone who knowingly makes anyone else miserable is a low life scrote who deserves all they get.

SinisterBuggyMonth Mon 19-Nov-12 21:49:00

hmmm why was I singled out.

Well in primary school I had ecsema, most of the kids, and some of the parents thought it was contagious. Hopefully attitudes have now changed towards this very common skin complaint.

At secondary school I, like many others on here, was bullied by the in crowd. It wasnt just excullsion, I did nothing to seek out the attention of this crowd, me and my small group of friends kept ourselves to ourselves. We werent overly academic, but we werent thick either, some of us had talents, some of us smoked, we had petty arguements, we laughed alot. For some reason the popular set decided to target us, 3 of us relentlessly. I cannot understand why, we posed no threat, we were happy to be left alone.

The no blame thing would not work on the girls who spat on us, kicked us, verbally bullied us, stared at us, laughed at us and stuck snot on our books. It might have made the followers stop and think for a second, but the pschopaths that carried this out? I cant imagine somehow.

The ringleader, the most popular girl in the class, was my nextdoor neighbour, lucky me. When a teacher suggested she was jealous of me I really couldmt see anything obvious. She had 2 parents, 3 siblings, a bigger nicer house, new clothes all the time. She was popular, she had nothing to gain by spending her time bullying me. The only reason I can think of is she was using me and my friends as am example of what would happen if any of her close friends decided to not follow her anymore.

I'm trying to empathise you see, because I can do that, I would never kick or spit on someone because I can put myself in the victims place. Bullies cannot, or actively choose not to.

Oh and the bullying changed me, I wasnt able to befriend groups of women until I hit my 30's. Thats not through bitterness, but fear.

miserablemoo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:59:14

Thank you ever so much wallison and rudolphdefender for your help. We did not mention nursery at all yesterday and I had my happy son back. This morning he woke at 6am crying and asking to come into my bed (which he never does unless ill) We had tears all through breakfast, all the way to nursery and when he arrived. I had another quick word with the teacher (it's so busy in the morning it's hard to talk, especially when you have other parents that also want to talk to them) I said he is scared of said boy and have asked if I can move him if he carries on being upset. The teacher is frustrated I think because I do think they are doing what they can (keeping an eye on both of them and the other boy gets put in time out which is for majority of the time) but it's not enough for me. I picked him up and she said briefly that there were a few incidents but they delt with it. I am angry that I am going to have to move my son, uproot him and for him having to start building new friendships again because one boy will not leave him alone. These are 3 and 4 years olds! I can go to the head teacher but realistically what can he do? My son doesn't feel safe and is desperately unhappy and this is in a space of a week. Sorry to go on. I never ever thought I would be experiencing this with a 4 year old in nursery. It makes me even sadder when I know that this child will be in the same reception class as mine so this could rear its ugly head again in a year’s time.

I was bullied but a lot later in life. I had a parent that didn't really care. To read that I was in some way asking for it is very upsetting. I am not bitter but it has shaped who I am and not in a good way. It scares the hell out of me with the way bullies can get into every aspect of another persons life now. I could go home after school and sob my heart out in my room with the door shut and no one would know (or care). But now with social media and mobile phones, children will be experiencing this bullying 24/7. They have nowhere to hide. I worry how I am going to get my children through school unscathed. When people think that the victim is in some way to blame then I cant see a way forward.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Tue 20-Nov-12 12:46:46

"But now with social media and mobile phones, children will be experiencing this bullying 24/7"

That is also my fear for my DS. I was bullied at school but home was safe and luckily for me my bullies all lived in a different direction on a different estate (had I lived on that estate my life would have been even worse I think).

I feel so sorry for children nowadays who are bullied, filmed and then that film is sent round to everyone.

Mosman Tue 20-Nov-12 13:59:37

Please tell me really tired isn't a teacher, please please

ReallyTired Tue 20-Nov-12 15:08:36

I am not a teacher, but I have worked in several schools and I KNOW that many teachers agree with me. If you work with a group of children, it wears you down when they constantly tell tales. Its worse than when siblings fight. Children can be specularly horrible to each other. However there is a difference between subtained bullying and a childish squabble.

Bullying is horrific. Believe or not many teachers have been to school and some of them were even bullied at school. Schools want to eradicate bullying and will spend time and effort on what has been shown to work. However some parents unreasonable and do believe the sun shines out of their kid's arse or they take their child's version of events as gospel. This comment applies to both the parents of bullies and the victims.

Children are not divided in to angels and demons. Children make mistakes just like adults. They are immature and often behaviour appaulingly. Surely its the function of schools to help children learn from their mistakes rather than take the easy route of exclusion or the victim changing schools.

Sometimes parents want nothing but pure revenage and this is counter productive. Unless the victim and their parents are prepared to learn strageries for coping with bullying then they will continue to suffer. If training the victim is not helpful then why does kidscape offer courses?

I find it depressing that so many mumsnetters believe it is impossible to help a nursery aged bully learn better behaviour. What do you want done with a small child who bullies. Should you shoot him?

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 15:46:32

Unless the victim and their parents are prepared to learn strageries for coping with bullying then they will continue to suffer.

You know what helps people 'cope'? Removing the bullies. Splitting them up from their group. Isolating them rather than blaming their victims. You don't have to expel them to have them taught in isolation, eat in isolation and arrive at school after everyone else and leave later.

Once my school removed the bullies, there wasn't a bullying problem anymore. Those that had been bullied didn't get targeted by anyone else. The consequences of that behaviour were made clear, and, the rest of the girls weren't actually bullies.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 15:58:14

I find this thread really odd.

I have read most of it - not all I admit, but I have gone back and read ReallyTired's posts and I agree with pretty much everything she says.

It's all very well saying "get rid of the bullies" but schools just can't these days. And if they do, where would the kids go? To another school, where they will continue to bully.

All ReallyTired has suggested (and she has been very patient in the midst of some fairly vicious attacks) is that both the bully and the person being bullied should be helped to change. The bully helped to see things from others' points of view (surely you can't object to that?) and the person being bullied to stand up for themselves, to verbalise how they feel, to actively take charge in as much as they can. Which will surely help their self-esteem and thus their ability to cope.

Teaching someone to cope with being bullied isn't condoning the bullying. It's helping them to cope, surely?

Narked, where did your school's bullies go?

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 16:03:52

If you read some of the case studies you'll see that many of the DC who were helped by the course had additional issues eg were on the autistic spectrum. They were also helped by changing school (the boy's school blamed him for being too 'sensitive' to the bullying), the bully being excluded and home schooling to get them away from the situation.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 16:07:11

Look back a page or two Maryz. To different sixth form colleges. When bullies can't be moved splitting them up is essential. They're always weaker without their friends to back them up.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 16:16:45

And as I mentioned, the girls that bullied me also bullied other children. If I had gone on a course I might well have steered their aim elsewhere, but what about the other DC they bullied? Would we all have gone on the course?

These weren't stupid girls or from underprivileged, chaotic families. They enjoyed what they did. They were fully aware of the impact it had.

shesariver Tue 20-Nov-12 16:25:25

Maryz its been said here that children can be both bullies and victims - something which I strongly disagree with, so no thats not all she has said. I dont look at my DS through rose coloured spectacles and I certainly dont take everything he says as "gospel", like I suspect everyone here that has a child that is being bullied I resent being told it could be my DSs fault in some way for not having social skills (something else rt has said)...their posts are very much victim blaming.

I resent being told my DS needs to change - hes fine the way he is and since we have moved has went back to his normal self - he doesnt need to change at all, but the psychopathic bully that bullied him (and I saw it constantly with my own eyes since he was our next door neighbour so Im not believeing it just based on what he told me hmm) would need to - but never will. I resent having to move house because the bullying was so bad but we all have got our lives back.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 17:18:25

But some children can be bullies and victims.

dd was bullied horribly in primary school and has been on occasion in secondary. But that doesn't stop me being aware that she is now in a group that leaves some children out when they do things. So at times, I'm sure those girls feel bullied, making dd a bully.

But in her case, if someone brings it to her attention, talks to her, reasons with her etc. she will pull back.

Narked, that may work at 16. But what about at 6? It is primary aged bullying that should be dealt with by talking to both the "bully" and the "victim". I don't think naming a 6 year old a bully is any better or worse than naming a 6 year old a "victim" and giving the one an excuse to carry on, and the second a reason to give up. And if it was dealt with better at 6 it would be less endemic in schools at 16.

For example, there was a boy in ds2's class in primary school whose mother was continually in the school complaining about him being bullied by the whole class. She said he was ostracised and that no-one would play with him. However, this child never obeyed the rules of the game they were playing - if they played chasing, he would refuse to stop when caught, he wouldn't ever be "on", he used to say when caught "I'm not playing" and then come back and "free" all the caught children, thus destroying the game for the whole class.

That mother is still convinced he was badly bullied. If she had taken the time to talk to him, to teach him about the rules of the playground, to try to get him to play with the other boys one at a time, his life would have been very different. I tried to talk to her, I invited her son here to play with ds, but she refused. She never accepted that he did anything wrong at all. In her eyes he was a victim at the age of 5 and the other 18 boys in the class were all bullies.

He is now 15, and apparently very much a loner in secondary school sad. He never learned to play with other children or to make friends.

There are many, many children who bully and are bullied for no reason, and it is awful for those who are bullied. But I still stick to my opinion that teaching both sides a different way is much more appropriate than labelling someone as a bully at the age of 6 and putting huge efforts into getting him/her sent to a different school.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 20-Nov-12 18:04:49

I think it depends on the type of parent they are if they are of the don't give a fuck/refuse to believe their little darling could do such a thing ilk,then yes, they do have it much easier than parent of a child being bullied.

If they are nice people,who haven't raised their child that way and are horrified at their child's actions and don't know how to stop it happening,then I think they must have a hard time too.

I do think that regardless of what kind of parent the bullying child has,parents of bullied children have a much more difficult situation. Because a bullied child doesn't just get over the minute the bullying stops.

I was bullied at school. It was horrible. I have no idea how children/teenagers cope today when they can be bullied whilst sitting in their own living room, via Facebook,twitter etc. And of course text messages. I remember the texts still.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 19:29:19

Sometimes it's an issue of social skills. In those cases, and obviously with young DC, you'd work on the child and the class and then come up with a structured approach to integrate the child back into their peer group gradually, with adult supervision.

What made me and others angry was the assertion that most children are both the bullies and the bullied during their school life. I'm sure some are. Not all though.

I think the words bully and victim are appropriate. Bully describes the behaviour of the child. Victim says it's not their fault. And it isn't. For every child like the one you described above there are ten more who don't have social issues. They may be small or tall or red headed or sound different or wear a hearing aid or have a sick parent or a sibling with disabilities.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 19:34:16

And that child wasn't 'at fault'. It's the school's responsibility to identify children who need support and help with social skills and intervene with an appropriate plan of action.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 19:41:18

All children who are bullied need support and help and an appropriate plan of action.

So do all children who bully. Because the alternative is to just keep punishing them, have them continue, punish them more - it becomes a vicious circle.

I genuinely think that intervention, social stories, working with the whole class is a better way to approach it with young children, than just blaming one child or group and labelling him/her/them as bully/ies. Children change an awful lot as they grow, and a child who is helped to see why their behaviour is inappropriate will eventually do better than one who is labelled as bad.

Just as a child who is helped to learn academically will do better than one who is labelled as stupid. In the old days, children were called stupid and left to sink. It did them no good at all. Labelling them as bullies and leaving them to sink will do no good either.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Tue 20-Nov-12 19:42:11

And I didn't say it was the boy's fault. But the mother should certainly take some responsibility because she consistently told him he was being bullied and never once tried to teach him how to fit in.

Narked Tue 20-Nov-12 19:48:29

Yes, she wasn't parenting well by the sounds of it. That doesn't excuse the school not fulfilling it's duty of care.

In younger children I'd suspect that there's a lot more scope for change in children who bully. Their behaviour deserves to be labelled though. Stupid isn't a verb, bully is.

ReallyTired Tue 20-Nov-12 22:14:33

A lot of posters talk about being bullied by the ENTIRE class. Surely for that to happen then most children must have been a bully to some degree or another. Children can turn into monsters when the herd instinct kicks in. Maybe my maths is not that amazing but if a typical class has 30 children in it then 29 children is surely most children in a class.

There are web links that claim that bullying is a wide spread problem and most children get bullied at some point. Hence my assertion that most children are both bully and victim at different points during their school career.

I think it is important to label the behaviour rather than the child. Children can control or change their behaviour, but they cannot change their fundermental make up.

One of the nastiest experiences a child can experience is to have the entire class refuse to play with them. It is a painful and lonely experience to have no partner in science or drama, to always be picked last for PE. It is nasty when children run away from a (perfectly clean) child claiming that they smell. It is really like Lord of the Flies. It is very hard to punish a child for refusing to play with another child. Ultimately children are allowed to choose their own friends.

It is takes a lot of work to make a school a bullying free zone. The "victim" in the above senario may well benefit with help with making friends in school even if they have good social skills. Interventions like "circle of friends" or "shared concern" (otherwise known as no blame) sometimes do help break down the herd mentality of a class.

Mosman Wed 21-Nov-12 10:48:34

I'm not a surgeon but I've worked in hospitals and many doctors agree with me do I must know enough to offer a medical opinion about your ailments .... Or would that be an ridiculous suggestion ?

ReallyTired Wed 21-Nov-12 11:43:33

"I'm not a surgeon but I've worked in hospitals and many doctors agree with me do I must know enough to offer a medical opinion about your ailments .... Or would that be an ridiculous suggestion ? "

Everyone has the right to offer an opinon. Mosman if you can't cope with people disagreeing with you then I suggst you pick a gentler forum like babycentre or netmums.

My son has experienced incidences of bullying and I am afraid to say that on one occassion he was a bully along with seven other boys. They were six years old at the time and their game got out of hand. None of them stopped to think about their behaviour. The deputy head talked to all eight boys individually and explained to them how X felt. All the parents were also told what had happened. The school also set up a play time club run by a TA to teach children how to play nicely. The club was run for the entire academic year and groups of 15 children attended the club for once a week for 6 weeks. All the children in my son's academic year had the opportunity to attend the club.

Recently my son had a girl telling him he was gay as he loves singing. Again the deputy head spoke to the two children and bullying stopped. Understanding the feelings of both children is important.

OFSTED said that my son's school were outstanding at keeping children safe. My son's school uses the no blame approach. They are also pro active in preventing bullying happening in the first place by using social stories and talking about feelings of other people.

ReallyTired Wed 21-Nov-12 15:00:34

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Thanks for your post. You are right I have had lot of vicous and quite personal attacks from people who have disagreed with my opinons. It makes me wonder what sort of relationship they have their child's school.

However I feel quite sad for the children of these posters who see helping the victim of bullying as a punishment. It must be really hard to help a socially rejected child if the parents are not on side.

MaryZezItsOnlyJustNovember Wed 21-Nov-12 15:10:00

I also don't like the use of the word victim about children who are being bullied by the way. Because it makes it seems as though they have to remain passive and just put up with it, whereas I would prefer the approach of teaching them to deal with it in a problem-solving manner.

After all, it is a skill that we could all do with learning before we enter the workplace which is full of bullies and there will be no mother there to go in and fight our corner.

And in case people insist on misconstruing my posts (as many have misconstrued ReallyTired's), I am not saying children are not being bullied, I'm not saying there should be no consequences for bullying, I'm not saying that children should be blamed or just have to put up with it. I just think that working with all the children to improve relationships throughout the class will eventually be more productive than just trying to move the "bully" from school to school.

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