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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

What do you say or do when your child is teased or bullied?


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 27, 2002 at 1:14:23 PM
Subject: What do you say or do when your child is teased or bullied?

Particularly when they don't have the verbal or "quick thinking" skills to respond back.

My 7-year-old is very quiet and kind. He seems to have slow processing and some word retrival difficulties.

Maybe he needs Karate? (Not for fighting, but maybe the body/mind connection would be stimulated and also, it may help him maintain his confidence).

Thanks for any thoughts or ideas with this! :-)

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Activities to build self-confidence are good. I would also analyize where and when teasing etc. occur. Are there adults who need to be aware of the situation so that they can supervise better? Teach your child to move closer supervising adults. Coach your child or even role play things he can say or do when teasing occurs. Knowing that he can ask you for help is important, I think.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Sadly some of this seems to be unavoidable in schools today although the first thing I'd consider doing is letting his teacher know this is happening.

Past that, I'd certainly consider finding any outside activities that would help him to feel good about himself. Outside activities can give a child a sense of community that school sadly cannot. The martial arts, karate among them, do encourage a sense of self that can help your son to turn a truly deaf ear to the teasers and the bullies.

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Anonymous
Joined Dec 21, 2014
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Find out if anyone in your community offers anti bullying courses for children. Ask your local police dept., community services, Ld associations, etc. Your child can be taught how to react correctly to the bullying. He should face the bully, maintain eye contact and respond with a short, not more than 5 word answer, some thing like "Stop the calling me names" then repeat, "I said stop calling me names". Roll play so the child can say this with strength and conviction. The child shouldn't get hooked into name calling, that just gives fuel to the fire. The child should not be alone, always with other kids who can provide a united front against the bully. Work on self confidence, bullies don't pick on kids with good self esteem, they go for the ones that appear weak, ones that won't fight back.
Ask your school what their policy is on bullying. Many schools have a zero tolerance on bullying and children are disciplined for this behaviour. If the problem is serious and the school doesn't do anything about it, have a lawyer write a letter to the school advising them of situation.
Teaching the child Karate may build self esteem, but the fighting techniques won't work in a street fight when the other, larger kid isn't fighting by the rules.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 11, 2002 10:20:59 PM

There is a national movement called Character Counts. I witnessed one of their programs in a school and it is remarkable at teaching respect, and the other pillars of character. It takes a long time to change a school, but it wouldn't hurt to suggest to your school's guidance office to take a look at the program. Schools can have a program per month with all one grade, teach a different Character word each month, and the lessons they learn there work their way throughout the classes and everyday school life. It teachs the 'whole child' and not just the academics. I know it can't work immediately in my daughter's very rude school but eventually if it catches on, some other kids may be spared! Just do an internet search for "character counts".

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 18, 2002 3:54:32 AM

Hi, what I plan on doing for my daughter, since she has a mental illness qualifying her for special education, is to request a copy of the district's anti-harrassment and hate crimes policies. There's been a federal mandate against harrassment of a child who is disabled, and the US Department of Education sent a letter out to all school superintendents and principals regarding this issue in July, 2000. There is also a 169 page Policy Manual available for download or printing from the DOE.

We've asked for protection from peer bullying so many times in her ARD meetings, and what we've gotten for that so far is a Behavioral Intervention Plan requiring her to be more socially adept. We pushed for social skills counseling from the district psychologist and she receives that twice a month. She also has a private psychologist she sees weekly. Her behavioral issues stem from her mental illness when sometimes she doesn't act or react appropriately. This makes her 'different' from the other kids and a target for bullying.

Peer bullying has enough power over my daughter to destabilize her, make her very angry or depressed, and has contributed several times to her hospitalization. Most of the school, teachers and administrators, view her as a 'problem child', not so much in aggression, but because she will ask them for help if the kids are getting to be too much for her. It's a small town and the most popular kids can also be the most cruel, but unfortunately for us, those same kids are children of some of the teachers and community leaders, so they probably don't feel much incentive toward helping my daughter.

I can't rely on their 'feelings' to get my daughter the protection she has a right to, so this upcoming ARD, one of the big issues will be exactly how the school will handle bullying incidents, how this will be recorded and reported, and to insist on an ongoing Functional Behavioral Assessment rather than the spot-check they did to formulate her BIP. Mostly, I'll just have to be 'there', be visible...helful, but firm. Also, I think there should be more mental illness awareness courses taught at the school for both the educators and students, and have discovered resources to facilitate this. I'll dig the ground and find the enrichment courses...all they'll have to do is implement with my urging and continued presence. We'll see what happens. Better is better even I don't get 'everything' I want.

Bonita

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 20, 2002 2:44:07 PM

Bonita,
I can relate to your post.My 9 y/o daughter went through this.She was constantly harassed by peers,mostly because her social skills were not that of her peers.Fortunately it didn't bother her,she would look them in the eye and tell them to get lost.But when they physically abused her and she brought it to a teacher or other adults attention,she was punished right along with the bully.I had many of meetings with the school over this.Some teachers and adults encourage this"ABUSE"!! My daughter was labeled the tattletale,and trouble maker.I am thankfull that she never was upset by their words,just when they were physical.But I was very upset when I would go to school and see the teasing and taunting,the mother"protective" instinct kicks in.Luckily now I home school her.But it is not fair,and needs stopped!These adults that are supposed to be teaching and protecting our children need to held accountable for these cruel happenings!!They know,they encourage,and some times participate!!Missy

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 22, 2002 8:37:52 PM

Bonita,

I am having this trouble with the bullying with my 10 yr old son . Do you know the address of the material you said can be downloaded


Thanks

Lisa in NJ

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 25, 2002 9:32:35 PM

Sure thing, hon...the addy is:

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/Harassment/

There's also a letter with a press release document specifically addressing harassment of kids with disabilities (July, 2000), but the bulk of the guide is at the above link.

What I did, and most recently too, was simply call the superintendent's office requesting a copy of any and all district policies regarding harassment and hate crimes. When I had a mini-meeting this morning with the high school counselor, I conspicuously sort of non-conspicuously held my my copy of that policy on top of the notepad I was using to jot down the bulk of what we talked about. This counselor who before sort of chalked it all up to my kid being weird, actually took names today and encouraged my daughter to report any and all harassment to her. It's a start. We'll see how the follow through goes.

Keep me posted on how it goes with your kiddo, too! Good luck and God bless.

Bonita

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Posted:Mar 30, 2002 9:51:36 PM

Thanks so much for that information. I have a 13 yr.old son who is daily bullied. I had a meeting coming up so I too will have my copy with me. I too live in a small community where most of the kids doing the bullying are the teachers and policemans kids. Several parents have given the school district anti-bullying programs to help get them to something, so far a minor change ion the policy, but it has to stop. I am unable to be there during the day and not in a position to home school yet. The odd thing is that the teachers descretely cheer us on as their hands are tied to get admin to do anything. I am a former teacher so have been on both sides of the issue. It doesn't help my son's already disfunctional social skills either.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Apr 07, 2002 1:25:06 PM


So what you're saying is there's a federal mandate over this type of behavior... I assume that aside from the normal `rightness' of it not being allowed to occur, that the mandate has come about due to a recognition of the role and responsibility the schools (& community) has in preventing it.

I hadn't realized this had come about, allthough I've been aware of the issues that have driven it. Aside from the `bullying is bad becasue it can make normal kids snap badly' (something you, as LD parents are insulated from to a degree through prior awareness), there have been various lawsuits and things like that. I'm guessing the mandate has come out as an attempt to mitigate the problems of bullying, and to mitigate the sort of occurences that can casue schools and governments substantial specific liability issues.

The thing about bullying, you at least are all on top of it some. Other parents who don't neccesarily have the same awareness have kids who're hugely at risk. Your kids are a symptom and a red flag for bad behavior that causes `school shooting' type incidents. In fact, it's been the FBI that's been driving the mandate in response to research done at Quantico that led to it's implementation to be as much a line in the sand as the federal government could make at a local level on such an intimately local issue.

It is a mistake to let anyone make this problem be about your kids, or their fault. It is not like somehow your child having a problem gives other kids a pass to act nasty in the face of facts that show it to be a totaly and wholey inappropriate response.

The problem is with the bullying. It's not about what kid's are dramaticly different, or not so different at all, what's important is that any difference at all is part of the pretext for the problem behavior. Aspersions cast upon your kids of comparative weight of behavior based on a contrast from normal is an invalid logical conclusion based upon a number of fallcies, not the least of which is a significant Ad Hominem attack prefaced with a prejudical judgment about your kid. Unfortunatly it's an invalid equivocation to make, and does nothing more than mask the real problem, which is that their kids are bullies, and other people were allowing it.

If they let it continue, they might blow right through bullying and step into hate crimes if they're not real careful.

Check into the government work on this, considering it's coming from the federal government, and is the work of the FBI & other LEO's, there's at least research out there that points to what's wrong and has a bit of weight to it such that it can't be tarred with some thinly veiled sneer that it's some kind of liberal "PC" issue.

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