Should I tell my son to call arrogant bully a bighead?(11 Posts)
My DS is 5 and has a boy in his class who always looks for my DS in the playground and demonstates how better he is at everything and points out my DS's weaknesses. I've told my DS (who is the biggest boy in the class) to stand up to him and when he has the other boy tells on him, so my DS can't win. As a last resort, I've told my DS to call the other boy a bighead whenever he puts my DS down. Do you think this tactic would work?
Your son needs to be telling school staff whenever this happens. If he engages in any sort of retaliation he's likely to get in trouble too.
No, retaliation is never the way to go. He just needs to avoid him in the playground, and find an adult if the boy seeks him out.
no i dont think it would work. he would need to find a chink in his armour and tease him about that. 'bighead' doesnt sound very upsetting
better still, tell him to tell a teacher and go and speak to his teacher about it as well
I work in a school playground and if I knew about this I wouldn't let it continue. There would be a gentle warning, followed by a firm one and then a trip to see their teacher or the HT depending on how persistent and/or mean the other child was being.
Try and encourage him to tell the staff when it happens and I would mention it to his teacher so they are prepared, plus there may be more to the situation than your child has told you, the teacher may be able to fill in the gaps.
5 seems very young to be teaching a child to answer back in this way and is not a constructive way forward. Definitely he should tell an adult.
Thank you all for your replies. Looks like I would be wrong to tell my DS to call the other boy a bighead. I've already told the teachers but they say they have never seen anything and the school is big on mindfullness so peace and love prevail (not a bad thing). I guess from the messages I've received that I should impress on my DS to tell the teacher the next time something happens. This takes us into the grey area of what is deemed big enough for my DS to go to the teacher for. This is all new to me because when I was in school if you went to the teacher the bully would make sure he got you back later. Though I suppose the kids are only 5 years old and have no malice (or do they?)
I'd go back to the teacher and say that though they may not be seeing anything your DS is still telling you this is happening, so can the playground staff (will probably be lunch time supervisors or TAs, but might be teachers) keep a look out.
How I go about it from there would depend on how upset your DS is and whether he can process the idea that what this child is saying says more about them than it does about him, along the lines of "People who have to boast all the time must be very sad and sometimes when people are sad they feel like they have to make other people sad to make themselves feel better. It isn't very nice, but it doesn't make you any less brilliant at [insert whatever it is he's good at] so try and ignore him". Really bolster your DS with specific praise about everything he's doing well.
I would also keep a note of what DS says and when he says it, but not in front of him, so if the school comes back with nothing, or if it gets any worse you can give them some examples.
The school should have a bullying policy, check their website and any literature you got when he started and see what it says.
Do be prepared for the possibility that there are two sides to the story, it doesn't sound like it from your posts but sometimes children leave out the fact that they thumped someone right before the thumped child called them names.
Good luck, it may take a little while to resolve so try and keep your DS positive if you can.
One of the most useful things I read was a manual for teens with autism which has studied socially 'successful' people's interactions and passes that info on. So if you like the most 'salient' way of managing situations. What the researchers found is that everyone gets fed 'bullying lines' at some point. However the way that a person reacts to these 'bullying lines' plays a big part in whether the bully continues to view the person as an enjoyable target. Basically the standard advice - ignore it, tell a teacher - is not what people who don't become repeat victims do. Actually what the 'non-bullied' do is act like they aren't bothered. In older kids that might be an eye roll, a 'whatever' or a witty put down. In a 5 year old maybe 'that is boring' or 'you already said that, yawn' might work? The reactions that make a repeat bully most likely is too be obviously upset, obviously angry, and to a lesser extent to obviously try to ignore when someone is right in your face (it still shows the bully they are exerting power because a determined ignore is not a natural behaviour).
Best of luck to him. BTW with such a little kid I would be 'telling the teacher' as at this age the teacher is likely to still be a clear autority figure to be respected by most 5 year olds. This works less well for older kids, upper primary and up, because sometimes needing to be bailed out by a higher power is perceived as weak by the peer group. Unfair but true.
No, your son needs to find his own way to deal with this kind of thing.
(tell a teacher, or sometimes just walk away,)
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