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My son is a bully

(7 Posts)
Momoftwoscallywags Wed 14-Mar-18 11:08:51

Just found out that my nearly 8 year old has been bullying another boy in his class.

Another Mum that I am friendly with told me that my son and his group of friends had had to go to see the headmistress yesterday after the bullying had culminated in locking this poor boy in the toilets at break time!

I then spoke to the Mum of the boy who was being bullied to find out that this "gang" had been bullying her son at break and lunch times to such an extent that she had notified the school. Apparently her son was being bullied before christmas and the school had sorted it out that time and all had been quiet until the last week or so, when it all started again.
The Mum of the bully was very kind and did say that my son is not the ring leader but he is part of the group that is allowing/egging the bullying on/to take place.

I am a bit peeved that this is the first I have heard of it. The school have not said a word to me about what was going on.

But I don't know what to do? How do I approach my son and educate him over how wrong he is? How do I stop him from being a bully?

OP’s posts: |
Andro Wed 14-Mar-18 11:37:46

I'd start with the school, let them know that it has come to your attention that your child has been bullying another child and could they give you details of what he has done/what consequences he has received.

Once you have confirmation from the school, you can reinforce at home.

Have him tell you about this child and his behaviour towards him - call him on any lies/omissions.

Discuss why these behaviours are wrong and the impact they can have.

Try to have him put himself in the child's place.

How he responds will inform what consequences you put in place - I would come down far more severely on dismissive/snide responses than I would on remorse/evidence that he didn't grasp the impact on what he was doing.

Letter of apology if school isn't making him write one.
Loss of privileges.
Work with him on having the confidence NOT to be a follower (especially if being a follower is why he ended up involved).

You might find some of the suggestions on this site useful:
www.bullying.co.uk/advice-for-parents/how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-bullying/

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Wed 14-Mar-18 11:43:12

I'd be furious with the school for not telling me and angrier that my son was in a group of bullies. Talking to the bullied boy's mum could have gone badly wrong because it could have upset her. I'd keep future dialogue about this situation with the school.

Firstly, I'd be getting details from your son and the school. As it's been going on for so long, you might need more than one talk because it sounds like there are multiple occasions and he might have forgotten some instances.

He is old enough to know that this behaviour is totally unacceptable. If he is struggling with the peer pressure element of this then you need to discuss with him how he can deal with this.

He should know that "Stop", "Let me out", "Leave me alone" etc means exactly that. He should be able to imagine how he'd feel in the boy's shoes.

Your son needs to write an apology letter and promise to leave this boy alone. They don't have to be best friends but nobody deserves to be treated like that. If the bullies have an perceived problem with the boy then they need to discuss it with the teacher and not deal with things like this. (I'm not victim blaming as the word perceived suggests)

Are there any fun events that he can miss as punishment? (Eg a birthday party of another friend in the bully group) If you regularly have play dates etc with the bully boys then I'd be stopping them for a while too.

Momoftwoscallywags Wed 14-Mar-18 17:37:30

Spoke to my son's teacher and established that my son was only involved in the most recent bullying incident, and that he had never been involved in any of the bullying that went on before christmas, which is why I wasn't informed.

It seems that this most recent mass bullying incident was instigated by the same boy who instigated the previous bullying.

But that is besides the point.

I had a long chat with my son this afternoon after school and talked him through the incident to try and make him understand that this is bullying. He seemed to grasp the concept that what he did was wrong and he said he was sorry and has promised not to do anything like it again.

I showed him the schools anti-bullying policy and we discussed what it meant to him and others.

I have issued a warning and said I will impose sanctions/punishment if I get ANY reports of him doing anything like this again.

My son's teacher has promised to keep me informed of any further developments.

Not sure if I can do anything else - Let me know because I will take all advice on this one!

OP’s posts: |
Andro Wed 14-Mar-18 20:39:08

That sounds as though he got caught up with 'the pack' and 'in the moment' - not acceptable but also easily done.

I think I'd do some work with him on bullying behaviours (if he learns what they are he'll find them easier to spot), I'd also reinforce what he needs to do if he sees them.

I'm assuming the school is dealing with apologies - if not then that's worth thinking about unless you've been advised otherwise.

Momoftwoscallywags Wed 14-Mar-18 21:35:58

Yes that's correct, the school have dealt with the apologies and my son has said that the boy in question has been friendly to him today at school. I told him what a lucky boy he was to have such forgiving friends.

My Hubby has also had a chat to our son tonight over dinner, regarding what has happened and made it clear that locking anyone in the toilets is unacceptable. Our son got a bit tearful at this point as he said he wasn't actually involved in the locking of the door. Hubby carefully explained "pack" mentality in a way our son seemed to understand and he seemed to grasp the concept that just because he didn't actually do anything that by just being there meant he was bullying too!.

We have come up with an action plan for him, just in case something like this happens again.

By sheer coincidence I was watching "This Morning" this morning (day off) and they have launched this #bekind campaign so I have downloaded the pack and will go through this with him at the weekend.

OP’s posts: |
Andro Wed 14-Mar-18 22:51:46

You seem to be on top of the matter.

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