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..to not know how to approach the parents of a child bullied by my dc

(73 Posts)
vespertillio Mon 05-Feb-18 11:09:56

My dd (8) was part of a group of 5 that have been bullying another child by making up nasty rhymes and excluding them. The school let us know this was happening and our dd has written a letter of apology to the child and is aware of (and seems appalled at) her own behaviour and the probable impact of it on the other child. I'm shocked and ashamed and trying to make sure she is fully aware of some of the circumstances that led to her joining in and that she must be kind in future and she seems very contrite. I'm wondering if IWBU to approach the parents of the other child and apologise, or ask her to write to them as well. I guess I want them to know that we are working on trying to make sure their child will feel that our dd (and the others) are truly sorry and see if there's anything further we can do. One of my other dcs was bullied (physically and emotionally) in school but the bully's parents just blanked me from then on, there was no apology etc and I'm thinking it would have helped if they'd acknowledged what happened. So any tips/WWYD? Would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

madeyemoodysmum Mon 05-Feb-18 11:11:37

If I was the bullied child parent I think
I'd appreciate the sentiment.
Ignoring it would be worse I think.

NancyJoan Mon 05-Feb-18 11:13:10

Do you have a phone number for them? I would definitely appreciate a call to say that you are aware, are sorry, and are addressing it with your DD.

Gemini69 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:14:02

Yes I think the Parents wold appreciate the recognition and the efforts you and your DD are making .. to prevent this behaviour again .. Sorry would mean alot flowers

littlepeas Mon 05-Feb-18 11:15:39

My dd - same age - was part of a group that suddenly excluded another girl. I had noticed the girl had come out of school crying a couple of times and asked my dd if everything was ok with her. Dd told me what had been happening (passing the buck somewhat.....) so we had strong words, I reminded her each morning to be kind and had a quiet word with the teacher, who said she'd keep an eye on it. I spoke to her mum (who I'm friendly enough with, we have a chat, etc, but she isn't really a friend, if that makes sense) and just mentioned I'd noticed her dd was upset, I'd spoken to my dd about it, made it clear I thought her behaviour had been unacceptable and hoped that she was ok. God knows whether I did the right thing overall, but that was the approach I took!

WhooooAmI24601 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:17:14

I think it would go a long way towards repairing the damage done. They might well decide to have nothing to do with you but even offering an apology will mean a huge amount.

I have to say, OP, without sounding patronising, that you sound genuinely lovely. I work in a school and so many parents whose DCs have made poor choices allow it to roll over them without dealing with it. I'd love more parents like you at my school.

Greensleeves Mon 05-Feb-18 11:18:02

It must be an awful feeling, but I do think you should let them know that you are appalled by your dd's behaviour and will be making sure it doesn't happen again. I would just go up to them, apologise and spit it out - it's never going to be a pleasant encounter, so just get it over with.

One of the charming children who beat up my ds a couple of years ago is regularly at parents' evenings etc with his mother. She pointedly blanks me and I find it pathetic. Especially as I know she pleaded for her ds not to receive a FTE for physically injuring my son (in an unprovoked attack which he admitted was to try and look cool in front of others), on the grounds that it would damage his self-esteem hmm

You can't change what your dd has done, but you can behave decently and model taking reponsibility and facing up to problems - and I think the other parents would appreciate it.

Trinity66 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:21:04

Good for you, too often parents of the bullies don't accept that their child could do something like that and act like they're the injured party. I think the childs parent would really appreciate it

RowenasDiadem Mon 05-Feb-18 11:30:16

My DD was in a group of children taunting another. I gave her such a bollocking, grounded her, took her toys and also made her play with the bullied kid. (That worked nicely because she knew she had done wrong, was regretful and because she played with him, others did too and it ended up a nice group)
I apologised profusely to the kid's mum and told her how my DD was being thoroughly punished and assured her that it should never ever happen again and if it ever did, could she please let me know so that I might deal with it.

She appreciated it.

My own child's bully's mum has never once apologised and I resent that. In this case it's not because she doesn't know what to say but because she is a passive parent who's precious 'ickle baby can do no wrong. I swear to God that if he kicked someone she would probably praise his legwork and stance!

OP, approach the mum in person if you can. Assure her you are taking this seriously and your child is being disciplined.

Trinity66 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:35:24

RowenasDiadem Yeah i hate that attitude, anyones child could be a bully because kids follow the crowd and want to fit in, it doesn't mean they're awful people but if they're protected by their parents instead of told that they're doing wrong then they will end up as awful people.

Wilson2 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:38:11

I agree, I think apologising to the parents can only be a good thing. It must be so difficult knowing your child has been bullying another child at school but it sounds like you are handling it as best as you can.

babyccinoo Mon 05-Feb-18 11:41:29

Greensleeves

She pointedly blanks me and I find it pathetic. Especially as I know she pleaded for her ds not to receive a FTE for physically injuring my son (in an unprovoked attack which he admitted was to try and look cool in front of others), on the grounds that it would damage his self-esteem hmm

I hope the bully got an FTE?

Aridane Mon 05-Feb-18 11:44:04

Personally I wouldn't approach the parents myself - DD has already written a letter of apology to bullied child. At most maybe a letter of apology to the parents.

babyccinoo Mon 05-Feb-18 11:45:19

OP, if you do speak to them, I would make it clear that DD wasn't the ringleader or anything (in case parents think you are speaking to them because your DD was the ringleader).

FreshStartToday Mon 05-Feb-18 11:46:24

I think it would be really positive to just let the other parents know how upset you are by what your dd has done, and certainly ignoring them, even out of awkwardness, is not the way to go. A letter might be a good way forward - not everyone can deal with spontaneous conversations, especially when emotions are running high.

Greensleeves Mon 05-Feb-18 11:47:32

No, he got a day of internal isolation angry

whiskyowl Mon 05-Feb-18 11:48:09

Definitely do it.

I was bullied by a girl gang at high school. In the end, the ringleader (a thoroughly obnoxious person, who now makes a highly successful living in MLM, make of that what you will) turned on one of the female members of the group and bullied her until she had a breakdown and had to change schools. Before she left, she came up to me and apologised for her part in the bullying. I was just surprised at the time, and it was only much later in life that I realised how helpful it had been to hear it, and how brave she had been to say it.

I think you apologising to the parents is one thing, but also your DD having a word with the girl in question might really help.

OfaFrenchmind2 Mon 05-Feb-18 11:49:42

You are being brave and fair. I think that owing up to what your child did and apologising personally will go a long way to validate the hurt and the feeling of the bullied child. You are doing parenting right. The hard way is sometimes the best way.

AnnieAnoniMouse Mon 05-Feb-18 11:54:57

I think that you apologising to the parent is a good thing to do. If I was that parent it would mean a lot to me that you understood how it might affect my child & that you were ‘dealing with it’ at home and not just shrugging your shoulders.

I wouldn’t get DD to apologise to the parents, that seems a bit patronising towards the child who was bullied if it’s not being done at the same time. If she can apologise to both together then that would be nice too.

Even the ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ kids are quite able to be little shits sometimes! 💐 I’m sure all of us did something unkind during our school years. It’s part of learning & growing up.

SersioulycanitgetWORSE Mon 05-Feb-18 11:57:19

It's a brave honest act and let's the bullied child also know the parents are behind them not their bullying child which is empowering.

Definitely approach them, not sure how but somehow!! Amazing of you op and I would like to think it's what I would also do...

Lndnmummy Mon 05-Feb-18 11:59:55

My son bit another child in reception (twice) and I was mortified. I spoke to the mum about it. She had 4 boys and so was relaxed but appreciated that we were dealing with it. Our boys are good friends now.

Lndnmummy Mon 05-Feb-18 12:01:16

Sorry forgot to say you sound lovely. Speak to them, it is the right thing to do

Iamdobby63 Mon 05-Feb-18 12:12:03

Yes do speak to them, if I was that Mum I would really appreciate the gesture, you don’t have to go over the top but just let her know.

vespertillio Mon 05-Feb-18 12:17:16

Ok great, thanks all. I think an email might be the best - I don't know the mum to see, think I know the Dad but I'm not sure school drop-off is a good time for sensitive conversations.
God it is a horror - in one way I guess a lot of kids act in a mean way/join in being mean when it seems like fun but what I've emphasised to my dd is the impact it might have on that poor child they're being nasty to. I really really hope she remembers that in future.
I'm not sure how to/if I should 'punish' her - she doesn't have much stuff that I can take away (not into toys really and doesn't have electronic stuff, mainly plays with teddies and draws/reads). I'll have to think of what she might do that involves thinking of other people I guess. She has been very very helpful around the house since this happened!
Sorry for anyone whose child was bullied where the other parents acted badly afterwards - I was amazed at the parents of one kid who punched my dc in the face who then went on to blank me afterwards, and another whose dc cursed and shouted at my dc who did the same.

vespertillio Mon 05-Feb-18 12:20:19

PS any tips on how to word a letter?

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