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My son is bullying another child -please help

(6 Posts)
qwertyskoo Mon 18-Mar-13 22:35:50

My son is in year 4. At home his behaviour has always been good- not perfect, but good. Until recently there's never been an issue with his behaviour at school.

About a year ago a new boy started at the school, after a few months my son was complaining that this boy was always annoying everyone. I told him to ignore/politely ask him to stop/walk away/ tell a teacher.

Last week this boy's mother told me that my son has been picking on him- calling him names and hitting him. She said her son was getting very upset and asked me to talk to my son.I was shocked. I spoke to him and threatened him with serious sanctions if it happened again. He said it wouldn't, and was upset I was cross with him. The next day at parents' evening the teacher brought up the issue again (mentioning no names). She didn't say if anything had happened that day. I reminded my son of the sanctions.

Today the teacher came out of the class at pick-up time to tell me my son's behaviour had been really bad. I applied the sanctions. My son claims other children are telling him to pick on this boy. I told him not to do what other children say, and if someone tries to make him do something wrong to tell a teacher/ dinner lady. He says that "never works." I also told him that if he doesn't like this boy to just stay away from him. My son says the boy won't keep away from him. I told him to tell a teacher/ dinner lady. He says that "never works."

I've explained to him why it's wrong to hurt other people. I've told him how upset I am by his behaviour. I've told him that if he carries on like this he'll be known as the mean, nasty one and no one will want to play with him. I've asked him what is so important about this boy that he would still hurt him even when he knew that would mean missing out on fun activities with me. But I just don't think I'm getting through.

What do I do or say to stop him from behaving like this?

duchesse Mon 18-Mar-13 23:51:41

I think you're doing brilliantly. You sound like a lovely concerned person, both for your son and the other person's son. If he really doesn't get it you may well have to withdraw privileges such as trips out etc... until he starts to talk to you properly. I think as you do that this is a good opportunity to put the brakes on what could become an ingrained habit. I wouldn't imagine he's too young to discuss personal responsibility vs peer pressure. A valuable lesson for him. I hope the other little boy will be OK.

Kenlee Tue 19-Mar-13 00:15:45

I think OP your brilliant. Your halfway there at least you recognize the problem. Rectification is not hard.

Ask your son if you treat him that way would he like it?

A teacher said to me when I was a young bully. If you are the bully it shows that you are weak. Strength is when you protect others from being bullied.

Once he understands he will be helpful to the less able in the group.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:25:56

Does your school use 'Restorative Conversations'? All schools in Scotland are meant grin to be doing this. It may be of some help.

DeWe Tue 19-Mar-13 12:16:34

I think there's quite a lot to unpick here.

Does he admit to bullying the other lad? Will he talk about it? Has he been in trouble for hitting/nastiness before at any point?

How does this child irritate your ds?
It could be that the other child is deliberately going out of his way to irritate him. My ds (in year R) had a child who would do things like (eg) go up and take a piece out of the puzzle he was doing-several times. So eventually ds would snap, and hit him. Obviously ds was rightly in trouble for hitting, but the other child didn't get any repercussions, so continued doing it.
But sometimes children (as adults do) find that someone else rubs them up the wrong way-my dm used to call it "irritaing by just being there".

Are other children using your dc to be the face of what they want to do? Or is he using it as an excuse? If they are telling him to do things, it's a bigger problem than your ds. The other children need to understand that they are in the wrong too. He needs to understand it's no excuse either.

Speak to the teacher about him saying he feels the other lad follows him. That could go with my first point. If the other lad is following him around there maybe more to it than just staight bullying. Again he may be using it as an excuse, and he needs to know it isn't an excuse. Address that carefully to the teacher so it doesn't sound like you're justifying bullying on that basis, which you're not.

And ask what the teacher has actually observed. What is happening and are others involved? Is it at a particular time, or is it snide comments all day?

I think what you need to find out why this boy makes him feel like doing this. It may be he feels threatened in some way by him being there-maybe someone your ds wants to be his friend has befriended the new boy. Maybe he's jealous-is the other boy a brilliant footballer or something?

I'm not saying these things in any way to say that the other boy is to blame, or your boy has any reason to be nasty. But as you don't think he's done anything like it before, I think if you can find the reason why he's acting like it, then you can tackle the problem at the heart, rather than just getting him to suppress his anger which may then flare up at another time.

qwertyskoo Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:44

Thank you all for your advice. I feel so bad that my son would do this that I can't think straight about it.

I haven't heard of restorative conversations before, Stargirl. I'll have to find out more about them and see if our school do them.

My son does admit to hitting and calling the boy names, DeWe. I think you're right about needing to get to the heart of the problem. I don't know what it is about this boy that my son finds so difficult- just that he's annoying and allegedly no one in the school likes him. Which, as I've told him, is no excuse for violence and name-calling.

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