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How do I increase ds's resilience to bullying

(8 Posts)
notnowbernadette Fri 08-May-15 22:29:52

DS transfers to secondary school in September and he's already worrying about leaving what he sees as the safe secure world of primary school. His main worry is that he will be bullied at secondary School. This isn't helped by him experiencing name calling at an extracurricular currently which were trying to deal with. I'd love to help build his resilience to bullying but how? He usually has reasonable confidence in himself but he doesn't know how to deal with children who are unpleasant to him. He doesn't have a mean bone in him and so he really struggles to defend himself. Any suggestions?

MmeLindor Fri 08-May-15 22:33:41

Hmm, tbh I don't know if you can (or should) other than the normal confidence boosting. Kids shouldn't have to be resistant to bullying, bullies should be dealt with.

I can see what you mean though, and understand your worry. How about looking at the secondary school's anti-bullying policy with him, so that he can see that the school is equipped to deal with this.

Most important, imo, is that he knows to talk to you or teacher, if there are any issues.

Lweji Fri 08-May-15 22:36:51

Some anxiety about leaving a familiar place is natural. Why is he particularly worried about bullying? Was the extracurricular at the secondary school?

ResilienceJo Sat 04-Jul-15 07:49:21

Hmm, I think that looking at the anti-bullying policy will reinforce the negative thoughts associated with bullying.
Instead of focusing on what might go wrong, how about trying to focus on his strengths? What is he good at? What good friends does he have (even better if they are transitioning with him? Does he have a supportive family or community?
Once you have found his strengths, concentrate on highlighting them even more. This really does work for building Resilience - schools are using this approach now. Would anyone else be interested in a short course for helping parents build Resilience in their children?

somewherebecomingrain Tue 04-Oct-16 14:06:01

My son has just been bullied at a new primary school where we've moved house. I'm not sure what to do about it. I was bullied throughout primary by my best friend - ! - but not really anyone else. I was fine at secondary then got horrifically bullied at work in my thirties and had a breakdown. I read a lot of stuff about bullying and there are lots of different types of bullying.

One distinction is as follows.

1) Systemic bullying - you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time - but there's no escape because it's everywhere in the system. Lots of people are suffering along with you, anyone could have taken your place. Like a horrible boarding school or a reign of terror by the state.

2) Subjective bullying - you have been chosen, you have been picked out. Nobody else is getting bullied but you. More like schoolground or workplace bullying when somebody specific gets scapegoated.

obviously the victim is not to blame in either circumstances.

Either way it is not the victim's fault.

However, victims can have a back story. They may care too much what the bully thinks of them - 'a wish for recognition' as one bullying expert said to me - and this somehow attracts the bully's attention ( who has a whole load of misery he or she needs to dump on someone).

Possible lesson - teach your child not to care about the bullies. On a deep level, just to realise how trivial they are to their identity and happiness. They are a distraction, an interruption - they are boring and irrelevant (because they are - victims have a much greater capacity for fulfilling relationships than bullies, and relationships ARE life).

i know that rings extremely hollow when violence is involved...

just some thoughts.

HateSummer Tue 04-Oct-16 14:11:13

What about something like ju jitsu or karate to build confidence? Some classes are specifically aimed at increasing self confidence in children. Or drama classes? The he can apply what he's learnt there to real life to cope.

somewherebecomingrain Tue 04-Oct-16 14:24:29

i second drama classes

Badbadbunny Thu 06-Oct-16 14:12:27

How about looking at the secondary school's anti-bullying policy

Pointless as it's just a piece of paper. It doesn't mean that the teachers actually follow it through and help protect the victim and punish the bully.

Main thing is to chose your secondary school wisely. Talk to other parents with kids at each - they're the ones who can tell you what really goes on rather than what the paperwork shows. Even if you don't know anyone, parking outside the schools can give you a damn good impression of behaviour of their pupils.

Our son is shy/sensitive and prone to being bullied at his primary. That fact was the main consideration we had in mind when choosing a secondary. We took our son to several open days and the two he chose as his preferred ones were the ones where the teachers made an effort to talk to him and do activities with him. It gave him the confidence of knowing the teachers had a good, nurturing attitude and that he'd be able to talk to them outside lessons with any problems. Some of the other schools had a real "hands off" attitude from teachers who seemed totally disinterested in their potential pupils. As it turns out, it's been the right decision as most of the teachers are very approachable at his secondary and we've usually had a good response to any issues he's had.

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