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How do I help my 7 year old son with bullies?

My son is in the second grade and only has 5 boys (including him) in his class. One of the boys seems to be the alpha-dog and has decided he doesn't like my son. Now, none of the boys will play with him. They call him weirdo constantly and laugh at him all the time. One of the boys lives in our neighborhood and used to come over to play. Now he won't talk to my son, or even walk with him, at school. His teacher is very stand-offish and when I casually brought this up(at the time it wasn't nearly as bad as it is now) she blew me off. should I approach her again or go to the boy's mothers ( I know some of them.) My son seems pretty unaffected by all this, but it is killing me. He only talks about it when I ask, and seems content that he just won't have friends. I want to help him, but I don't want to overstep. What should I do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:01 PM on Nov. 19, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (8)
  • Have you gone to school to watch what is going on there? I mean without the kids knowing you are there? I did. I was upset by what I saw. My third grade son stood up against the wall the whole recess because he was bullied by other kids and was scared. I got the teacher and principal involved. It happened again with my other son and was starting to with my daughter. I pulled them out and homeschooled them for that and MANY OTHER reasons. Never looked back. My children are very soft hearted and couldn't take that abuse by other kids. And that is exactly how I feel ,it is emotional abuse.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:20 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • I know you think your son is unaffected but hes not. Its got to be hurting him too. I had this issue last year with a child in my sons class who was not the alpha male but the trouble maker. NO ONE liked him and he randomly chose people to annoy. Well for awhile my son was his target and hes cute, dresses nice, and very sweet and I think this little boy didn't like that my son was everyones friend. He made his life miserable and it affected him at home. He began not wanting to go to school and even said this boy was hitting him. Well being the mama bear that I am, I went to the teacher and she tried, but it did not resolve it. I finally went to the prinicpal and she took me very seriously. I explained to her that I was NOT having it and the minute my son punched this kid in the stomach and brought him to his knees, I was not going to punish him and neither were they.

    Answer by momofsaee at 2:17 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • She told me that he would get to that point and our job was to keep that from happening. She dealt with it immediately and it got better. You take it to the top and remind the teacher of the no bullying policy that is in every school. She needs to take it seriously too. Go above her. So sorry this is happening. I know it all too well.

    Answer by momofsaee at 2:18 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • I think that being in a position of feeling helpless is one of the hardest things a mother can endure. I would contact the principle and counselor at the school. Ask for a meeting. Sometimes this really does help. I would even go as far as letting them know how you feel that the teacher blew you off. Mabey look into enrolling your son in some after school programs where he could meet and make new friends. Best of luck momma.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 8:43 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • If they are bullying your son and you have specific examples of incidents then go to the teacher again. List examples of events that occured in her class and express your concern over what this does to your son's self-esteem, mood, and ability to learn. That you feel that if he were not bullied (use the word bully and not teased - bully is the red flag word and tease seems harmless) then he could better concentrate on his school work. It doesn't matter if he is a straight A student - he could retain even more and do better socially if he were not being bullied. Point out how being bullied interferes with his social/academic/emotional health. Pull up some facts on the internet and use those.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:22 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • cont...Then after you explain what your concerns are and how it is directly impacting your child ask for the school's policy on bullying. Tell her you want a printed copy and you want her to come up with a plan to help reduce this from going on in her class. She should not be defensive but it has been my experience teachers often get defensive thinking your accusing them of not doing their job. Then document your conversation you had with his teacher. Write a follow up e-mail with a tag attatched so you know she read it. The message will say, I just wanted to clarify our meeting that we had about........and this is my understanding ............" This way you have a contract in place.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:26 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • cont...If the bullying continues for another week then go see the principal. Federal law states that the schools must provide an adequate learning environment condusive to learning, if a student if being bullied then it makes it difficult to learn and creates an inadequate learning environment. You can also make some suggestions about what she may try. Team exersises to promote working together. She partners up students. Gives your son leadership opportunities. Also enroll your son in an activity outside of school (karatee, gymnastics, swimming, ect...). Some children need to know there is a world outside of school and neighborhood. He can make friends, be accepted, and socialize as well as feel confident and boost his self-esteem.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:30 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • My step son grew up around bullies and bratty kids. These were neighbor kids and they even went to the same neighborhood sitter. He was a sweet baby but has dealt with social and behavioral issues in school. I strongly believe it had a lot to do with the peers he grew up with because he was raised better than that. I wouldn't allow it to go on if I were you. If it seems like it's not affecting him now, it may in the long run. Kids that young can't express themselves verbally. It's hard to tell if it is really is bothering him or not.

    Answer by Jakl at 4:04 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

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