Is this bullying, should I step in??

(14 Posts)
Bt13 Thu 20-Dec-12 22:01:10

Hi All.

Need to start off saying that I can tend to worry a little where my kids are concerned (out of their sight of course) so if this isn't bullying please tell me.

I have 9 yr old twin boys in Yr5.
Since they started reception there has always been 1 boy who controls the class, I've always referred to him as a psychological bully.

He decides who gets to play football at play time, who people can talk to, "You can be in our gang if you don't talk to X" that kind of thing.

Over the years so many children in the class have fallen foul of his negative attention and I know a number of parents who do just despise his behaviours.

Over the past few months my two boys have become good friends with a couple of lads in "his gang", playing together on xbox, going round houses etc.
But this boy has started excluding my boys, kicking them from the party on the xbox, not speaking to them at school and tonight he sent them a message saying "You suck, you suck, you suck".

I've spoken to another Mum and last week he got a few other lads to gang up on her son on the xbox, and destroy all his buildings. He was so upset he has stopped playing.

I also found out that a couple of weeks ago, he had been being horrible to a boy in their class and my DS stepped in and told him to stop, and it then descended into a physical fight.

I have to say my boys aren't overly upset, they're still happy to go to school, laughing etc, but I'm worried he is going to make their other friends stop playing with my boys and I think that would upset them.

Is it bullying? Should I speak to the school??

Thoughts would be so appreciated

MrsMushroom Fri 21-Dec-12 05:39:44

Of course it's bullying and the x box stuff is cyber bullying which most schools take very seriously. Make an appointment asap.

Hyperballad Fri 21-Dec-12 05:50:50

My class at secondary school had a girl just like this in it. She wa a spiteful, nasty piece of work. Whenever her attentions turned to me it made my life at school miserable, it took me until the last year (5years of this shit) to crack. Head of year got involved and suspended her and although she threatened me through various means, she did actually sort herself out when she came back to school.

She was allowed to rule the roost and intimidate kids for far too long.

Throughout this time, I'll have been happy and smiley with my parents too, I was always so relieved to get home.

School would have been a far happier place for me if she wasn't in it.

I think you should definately attempt to sort it, it will only get worse and I so wish someone had sorted it for me.

BluelightsAndSirens Fri 21-Dec-12 06:02:28

Of course you need to speak to the school, they are more than likely to be aware of issues but we have the same problem with Skype and our year 6 and fortunately most of us parents are monitoring what is going on so we can advise our DC on the best approach but we still inform the school.

FellatioNelson Fri 21-Dec-12 06:04:52

For me, bullying is a pretty straightforward thing, whether it is physical or psychological.

It involves the bully selecting a perceived weaker victim to hurt/intimidate/frighten as sport; as way of exerting power, and gaining pleasure. But it needs to be a targeted and deliberate act. Just being benignly ignored or left out, or not liked much is very sad but it is not bullying in itself, unless the alpha-child is actively encouraging others to ostracise the victim as a way of gaining power/pleasure for himself, and drawing attention to the fact that no-one wants the 'victim' child around.

If your son/s are being rejected by a particular boy or group of boys, however hard that maybe to accept it is not necessarily bullying - they just don't want to hang out with them and will continue to be unwelcoming until they get the message. Obviously as we get older we all have to learn to tolerate people in group environments where we don't get to call the shots about who is present; at work, or mutual friends' parties for example. But children find it harder to disguise their dislike of those who irritate them, and they need to be taught that tolerance of others for the greater good is an important life skill. In that case, those children would not be bullies, but they would need to learn some empathy and some manners, and if they were my children they'd be getting a telling off for being rude and self-centered, but not for bullying.

However, if they relish the idea of seeking out your sons just in order to start arguments, fights, and to belittle them for fun, that is bullying.

Bt13 Fri 21-Dec-12 09:00:35

Hi All

Thanks for the messages, just to clarify, this boy is deliberately ostracising my boys from their friends.

The situation is that over the last few months they have become really good friends with 2 boys who used to be this boys best friend. Over the last week, he has been telling these 2 boys not to speak to my boys, that if they do he wont they wont be his friends anymore or to target them on the xbox.

I have always explained to the boys that not everyone will be their friend and they are ok with that, but this is one boys taking steps to ensure these 2 boys don't play with them, or even worse "gang up" on them whilst playing.
He has started sending them messages over the Xbox and though they are not upset really about him (they don't like him either) they will be really upset if boys who were previously good friends turn on them.

I do think that it could be a bit of a power struggle, many of the boys were choosing to play with my sons rather than him on the Xbox and I think he was jealous and is now taking steps to bring them down to size. Exerting his hold over the class which he has had since day one.

Also this is not just my sons that he behaves like this towards, a good majority of the class have been the focus for his attention at one point or another and I know most of the Mums have a story to tell about a month or so of targeted abuse against their sons.

I will speak to the school when we go back in the new year, and see what they can do, the difficult thing is that Mum of the boys is one of the volunteers at the school.

Hyperballad your message really touched me, you are right it needs sorting, now whilst they are still in primary to make sure it doesn't make it through to High school

xxx

MrsMushroom Fri 21-Dec-12 12:14:40

When you go to speak about this, avoid mentioning that this boy has been exerting his power since day one. Stick to the here and now as that's all that's relevant.

Explain about the X Box bullying and about the other stuff but don't refer to previous years in school.

Hyperballad Sat 22-Dec-12 01:06:46

Good luck then with trying to sort it. Tell your boys if all else fails......punch him in the balls ;)

Bt13 Sat 22-Dec-12 09:29:03

Ha ha, like your way of thinking Hyperballad.

We've had a good talk last night, as he was sending messages on the xbox to them.

We've blocked all communications from him, and agreed that if he is on then they will play on a different game, there are a lot of other boys who don't like him so they'll have others who would play with them.

I've told them to hold their heads high and not respond to him no matter how much they want to.

When I told them I was going to speak to the school, they didn't want me to at first but when I discussed that he'd been upsetting other boys in the class, and not everyone is as strong as they are they agreed that it needed sorting to stop others being upset.

It's so difficult to remember that he is just a little boy after all, I want to go and give him what for lol.

The boys are blue stripe in taekwondo, so well able to defend themselves so I'm not worried it'll turn physical, or at least he wouldn't try it more than once lol

Thanks all

3b1g Sat 22-Dec-12 09:33:48

When you speak to the school, remember to stick to the facts (as if you were Reuters rather than the Daily Mail if you see what I mean).

Keep records of communication with the school (emails, letters etc).

What this boy is doing is called relational aggression.

Bt13 Sun 23-Dec-12 19:40:30

Thanks, yes will do.

Bt13 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:51:38

Wanted to update on how things are going with the boys.

Over the Christmas Holidays we have stopped all communication channels with this boys, as he was continuing to send mean messages.

We've spent a good bit of time discussing what's gone on, why this boy may behave in the way he does, and how they can best deal with it when he does.

We have discussed what a large circle of friends they have, and that these "good" friends have continued playing with them despite this other boys attempts to alienate them. In fact only 1 friend has stopped playing with them, and I think this is more to do with him playing COD (a christmas gift) a game that I refuse to let my 9 year old play .... I know I'm a wicked Mum but I'm not budging on that one lol.

My boys response has been amazing, I truthfully can't believe they are my kids. It would have broken my heart when I was young, but they are so chilled about it. They really aren't upset by his behaviour at all.

We've discussed how they would deal with seeing him at school today, and agreed we would be cool but polite. If he said hello they would say it back etc.

We discussed the fine line between the bullied becoming the bully, and that no matter what he's done they need to rise above it and not do the same.

Spoke to the school today, more for awareness as the boys are dealing with this well, and they are going to monitor what is going on from a distance and run some sessions on "cyber etiquette".

I am so pleased by how they are dealing with it, and secretly really happy that their social circle seems to have grown over the last couple of weeks (3 invitations over for tea when I picked them up)!

I know things may get worse and we have talked seriously about what to do in that circumstance, but I wanted to share how proud I am of them. For how they've reacted and for sticking up for other boys who were getting picked on

Proud Mum xxxx

rubyred26 Tue 28-May-13 14:10:18

my daughter is 9years old and i think that she is being bullied at school. She was very popular with the boys as she always joined in their fun games and was "one of them" however there is another little girl in her class who now has said that she cant join in with the boys games as she was playin with first. the same little girl used to be her friend but now she has taken my daughters best friend away from my daughter. today as well i have found out that the little girl has now invited everyone to her birthday party but has excluded my daughter. should i say something to the teacher/daughter or just let kids be kids and let them sort out their differences?

ukok1066 Thu 06-Jun-13 07:20:00

I've got a slightly different though similar problem. My teenage child has experienced bullying by a teacher at her school. Already "at risk" and suffering from emotional trauma from abuse by my partner, one of her teachers suspected her of receiving help on homework and proceeded to send her a series of bullying emails over a two day period. They culminated in a threat to refer her to a disciplinary board at some point in the future. My daughter was so upset that she vanished from school, calling to say that "life wasn't worth living". The school was unaware of what was happening until I called them. It then took then a hour to find my daughter. She was subsequently seen by a psychiatrist who said she had been traumatised.

The hospital wanted us to report the matter to the police and social services. The school has now said that the matter had been "handled poorly" but this isn't the first time. The school is totally unconcerned as, being private, they told me they weren't subject to Ofsted.

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