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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!

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.

ConfusedPixie Mon 19-Nov-12 10:44:08

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.

IHeartKingThistle Mon 19-Nov-12 10:49:25

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)

ConfusedPixie Mon 19-Nov-12 13:01:15

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.

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