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How would you punish your child, if they were bullying someone? Need advice :(

(35 Posts)
WobbleM Sat 14-May-16 18:44:39

Namechanged for obvious reasons.
My son is 9. He is a nice kid, so I thoughtsadsadsad I was called in for a meeting yesterday, for the head to talk to me about incidents that my son has been starting. He has made a child feel like she doesn't want to come into school. He has been calling her fat/stupid, etc. Which is horrendous and I never brought him up to be so nasty. They have said that he will need to stay in for all his lunches and breaks for a week. That's fine. I just don't know how to punish him at home? He knows it's wrong, but has still chosen to do it. Please help.

BossWitch Sat 14-May-16 18:47:35

Take away privileges (use of x box or whatever) and he has to earn them back by doing something nice for others?

Vaara Sat 14-May-16 18:47:45

I'd take away all his screens/toys/whatever and have him earn them back by showing kindness towards others.

What does he say about it? Does he have any insight into why he did it?

cakeycakeface Sat 14-May-16 18:50:31

I'm sorry. What a horrible thing to have to deal with. My cousin posted this on her Facebook page a while ago. You may find some of it interesting.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/where-helicopter-parents-need-to-hoverbb_9628142.html

MiddleClassProblem Sat 14-May-16 18:51:38

I think I would try to find out why he said these things in a calm, open manner before explaining why it's wrong and maybe seeing what he thinks is a suitable punishment.

It could be that he has picked it up from someone else, had it said to him in the past, many other reasons. He could not like the girl for some reason you need to find out why and deal discuss that issue. It's possible he could fib and make up a reason but as his mother, hopefully you will be the best at detecting this but he may be open and honest with you if you give him an open environment to do so.

Arfarfanarf Sat 14-May-16 18:51:53

I would come down on him like a tonne of bricks.

Why has he chosen to bully this poor child? What has he had to say for himself?

I would pick something that he loves and remove it and say that whether he ever sets eyes on it again will depend on how he behaves. Arrange weekly chats with school to find out how he has behaved.

He also needs to write a proper letter of apology to that poor girl.

Didiusfalco Sat 14-May-16 18:53:28

Im dont think I would go too ott with the home punishment although dc would be in no doubt of my disappointment and i would want a written apology to the girl for sure. Really i would want to get to the bottom of why though? I definitely exhibited some bullying behaviour when younger but it was in a school where bullying went unchecked and i myself was bullied for years. I dont think this happens out the blue with children who are otherwise nice, so where is it coming from?

MrsJayy Sat 14-May-16 18:55:06

I would do what Arf would do the parents of the girl need to know you are doing something about it poor you though its not great hearing about your child being mean

coco1810 Sat 14-May-16 18:55:43

As a mom of a child who was bullied for seven years I would say that yes, your child does need punishing. However, please, please get to the bottom of why he is bullying. All my DS would have loved was an apology and an explanation. Good luck x

FutureGadgetsLab Sat 14-May-16 18:57:12

I agree with arf. I was bullied and it still affects me now.

tinkerbellvspredator Sat 14-May-16 18:57:40

Read www.amazon.co.uk/Filled-Bucket-Today-Guide-Happiness/dp/0978507517 with him. Use the concept to discuss how being a "bucket dipper" doesn't make you happier and also see if he will tell you if there is anything making him feel unhappy leading him to take it out on someone else. Start asking him every day what he's done to fill someone else's bucket. Haven't experienced bullying yet with mine and a few years younger so no other ideas I'm afraid.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sat 14-May-16 19:02:09

I'd have requested the school name and shame her.

TheNotoriousPMT Sat 14-May-16 19:05:09

It's worth investigating the reason for the behaviour. NOT to excuse it, but to understand it. Dig a very short way below the surface and you will probably find your ds is insecure about something.

Short-term, a nice, sincere letter of apology (which accepts responsibility, acknowledges victim's feelings and promises not to do it again) drafted and then copied out in neatest handwriting with no spelling mistakes, is a good start.

Long-term, look for ways of building your son's self-esteem, so that he can become someone his classmates respect, rather than fear. Scouts? Martial arts? A hobby with a clear learning curve? Something that gives an opportunity to help others, and be praised for it, is ideal.

Nothing motivates your ds more than your love and approval. Be vigilant, and praise any kindnesses he performs, to you or others. If he has few opportunities, create them. "Can you help me with x?" "Thank you so much/I couldn't have done it without you/etc etc"

Onsera3 Sat 14-May-16 19:05:57

I like that article.

The mother gives a consequence rather than a punishment. ie You've been refusing to speak to Bethany. I won't let you do that. You need to find out some facts about her.

Personally, I avoid 'punishments' as a parent (and as a teacher) and try to stick to a more logical and meaningful consequences.

You know you haven't raised a horrid DS so I'd be more concerned about finding out why he's doing this. There must be a reason. And see what he thinks he can do to put it right.

kitkat1968 Sat 14-May-16 19:05:59

Can you punish someone into being a kind empathetic person? hmm

Unicow Sat 14-May-16 19:13:10

My DD was bullied. The bully was angry and frustrated by things at home and took it out on an easy target. It was continuous to my DD and others until the point DD hit this year. Her teacher sat down with the bully and asked her why she did it. She then got my DD in and asked DD to tell the bully how it made her feel.

Lots came out and the bully apologised to my DD, has got support from school to help her manage her feelings etc and they aren't friends but have no major issues since.

It may be a reaction to being bullied himself, hurting others as he was hurt. Let him take the school punishment and just talk to him. Tell him you believe in him and that you think he wouldn't want to hurt others unless he was hurting too. Ask him what's going on and see what happens. To fix the bullying you need to fix the cause.

StarryIllusion Sat 14-May-16 19:33:21

Once I successfully repress the urge to tear strips off him? I'd want to know why he did it. What makes him think it is ok to destroy someone's confidence like that and would probably point out that even if she is overweight what is it to him? I would take him to her house to apologise if I knew where she lived or make him do it at school but he would be apologising in person and the punishment would be harsh. I tried to kill myself in school because of long term bullying so I know how worthless it makes you feel and will come down like a tonne of bricks on mine if I ever find out they have done it. If he has a phone I would be taking that as well as any game consoles and he wouldn't be getting them back until he proves that he deserves them. Well mine wouldn't get them back at all but my punishments for serious things tend to be permanant when it comes to removing things. It does however mean that I rarely have to do it. The threat is deterrent enough. I would also set him an assignment to complete before I even think about ungrounding him. He would have to write diary entries for a week pretending to be this girl. He would write about what he did and how he thinks it made her feel. Put himself in her shoes so to speak until he fully understands the impact his words had. He would also have to list 5 nice things about her in a letter of apology if he is for some reason unable to say sorry in person.

This is just me though, bullying is the one thing I will just not stand for, even though I am fairly easy going in other ways.

Gatehouse77 Sat 14-May-16 19:53:08

There would be lots of discussions about it where DH and I would make our feelings clearly known. I would do my best to keep my temper and be careful with my language but the tone would be patently obvious.

Then I would look around the Internet for real life stories from the victims of bullying and read them with our child. I would look for a range of stories from various ages to show the long term effect of bullying.

I would also insist, once he'd had time to digest and process that information, on a letter of apology to the victim. I would ask the school to facilitate a meeting between us and the victim's family so they can see his remorse (hopefully) and he can see the damage words can have.

dementedma Sat 14-May-16 20:00:23

I would talk to him to find out why he did it and make him write a letter of apology, or go to victims house to apologise. I wouldn't inflict punishments at home as well as at school, but he would be in no doubt of my disappointment at his behaviour.

Booboostwo Sat 14-May-16 20:03:16

You are right to consider his punishment but, as others have suggested, you need to get to the bottom of what causing his behaviour. Is he being bullied himself? Is he unthinkingly following the example of others? Is he stressed or anxious for some reason and taking out his frustrations on this poor girl?

I think part of dealing with all this is to understand his behaviour, get him to reflect on it and find ways of addressing what is causing him to behave this way. Once he does this for himself he may be able to write a genuine letter of apology.

littledrummergirl Sat 14-May-16 20:14:20

www.bullying.co.uk/advice-for-parents/

This website has good advice.
When my ds1 upset a classmate- one off incident rather than sustained- he wrote an apology to the child, her parents and the teacher who had to waste time dealing with it. He also supplied a box of chocs to each out of his own money.

My dc are usually on the other side so there was lots of talk about feelings and how he had let himself down.
Thankfully I haven't had to deal with any more incidents but I do remember coming down quite hard on him.

fusionconfusion Sat 14-May-16 20:32:24

No. Here's why: www.nurtureeffect.com. A book that totally changed my perspective on a lot of things to do with discipline. Basically says that responding to such things with harsh punishments begins a spiral of coercive control that ups the ante and increases the possibility of the behaviour continuing - meaning that getting to the root of the behaviour and responding to it in a nurturing way is likely to have a more successful outcome in the long time. This involves firm boundaries and consistent discipline, too, though - it's not just about lovebombing them.

fusionconfusion Sat 14-May-16 20:32:54

*long term.
It's been a long day!

Cubtrouble Sat 14-May-16 20:48:22

Ask him why he did it and deal with that. Take him to the girls out and make him apologise to her face in front of her parents. She deserves that at the very least.
I would also punish him by removing all electricals- phone/tv/games for a month and I wouldn't let him out to enjoy himself.

I'd probably make him write the apology and read it out so he can't just mumble "sorry" under his breath.

What her family must have been through if sh didn't want to come to school must have been bad so I believe a punishment would be in order.

PPie10 Sat 14-May-16 20:52:28

What a horrid thing your ds has done, poor girl. Stuff like this affects you for a long time. He needs to be severely dealt with, who does he think he is being a nasty bully. Take him and make him apologise to her and her parents for this, then take away all his privileges until he seemed like he got the message.

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