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MOTHER BEAR
It's pouring rain again. Yesterday was wet enough without rain. You'd think that so much rain would have me a bad mood, but I'm kind of bad-mooded out right now. The swish of windshield wipers was rather soothing this morning. The snow is nearly melted and what remains is dirty and soppy. The fields, denuded of snow, fold ice in their ridges and look swollen. Half-frozen impromptu lakes surprise you in low places.

We're meeting Martin's teacher right after work to discuss the teasing and borderline bullying that Martin has mentioned to us. There are a couple of boys in his class who need to be pinned with their shoulders up against a wall and hissed at. Better to deal with this now than let it get to the point where Martin doesn't want to go to school. The other day, Anders dropped him off while I was home with the cougher, and as they came through the gate, a pack of older boys approached from the other side. Martin slowed down noticeably, while keeping the boys in his peripheral vision. After the boys had gone on, Anders asked Martin what was up, and if he was scared of them. They had apparently cornered Martin and his little girlfriend, Ebba, recently on the playground and forced them to kiss each other. I get the feeling it wasn't very playful. :( In addition, there are a couple of boys in his class who have called him names and tease him regularly.

While I KNOW that this is a part of childhood and something that nearly every child deals with at one time or another, my mother bear instincts are surging right now, and I want to bang heads together. Why must the gentle and sensitive kids suffer because the rowdy and tough kids aren't dealt with firmly and their behavior is, in fact, encouraged, or at least ignored, much of the time? argh
 working
mood: working
music: J. Armatrading—The Weakness in Me


Comments

Fortunately, with all the stuff that's been in the papers recently, I think if you go and talk to the teachers, this should be taken more seriously. I think people are now realizing that what some call a rite of passage is NOT a good thing and can seriously warp the sensitive ones for life. I know some of the mobbing I faced in high school still haunts me 35 years later.

Yep, I agree. I still have dreams of some of the rotten bullies from school in ID that I'm always grateful to wake up from.

I hope this helps Martin. It must really hurt the heart to see him stiffen and become so wary that way. Why must some kids be so mean?

Some kids are mean because they think it's okay to behave that way (and no one stops them), some because making others feel little is the only way they know of making themselves feel big (or powerful). Some do it to those they consider easy targets. And some because they've never considered how it feels from the other side.

:(

Boy, do I remember all too well the bully in my school days. I saw on one of those stupid talk shows once where they reunited bullies and those they had picked on so the picked on ones could get some closure and could finally stand up for themselves. A bit of me understood that need because to this day any time I think of Les Miller I just want to kick him in the nuts and set his hair on fire.

I hope the teachers take your meeting seriously and really implement a plan to get the bullying under control.

Re:

I had my own run-ins with meanies, although I mostly managed to avoid them. That they still smart after all these years is precisely what I'd like to avoid for my kids. :( The only nice thing about the bullies is that they usually get what's coming to them at some point later in life.

We still have heaps of snow here and it's quite crisp and cold with sunshine and sparkling blue skies!

I hope the talk with the teacher helps. I remember Kitty-Sue having similar problems with her little one and how upsetting it was for the whole family. I think people are taking more notice of this now and the old idea that boys need to "stand up and be a man" in the face of bullying is dying. Poor Martin! And such a sweet sensetive, soul too.

Of course, you could set Karin on them....

LOL --yes, that thought has actually occured to me. I most sincerely hope we don't have the opposite problem with Karin once she enters school in a couple of year!! :P

Well, my kids were also like chalk and cheese, so I got to see both sides of the question on a lot of issues which is actually good, though at the time I wished I could live in ignorance.

kids can be so mean to each other :( i hope this gets worked out before it becomes a problem for martin. i remember being bullied and it had a profound negative effect on my personality :(

Re:

It does on anyone, and sadly, on way too many nice people.

Oh, poor Martin. That kind of thing just pisses me off so much -- I hope you get it sorted out with his teachers.

Re:

thanks, Bev :)

The latest research...

Went to a conference on autism a year or so ago and listened to the latest evidence on bullying in the schools. Autistic kids (of which mine is one) are bullied many times more often than "normal" kids and it's very damaging to all the kids. It is NOT a rite of passage. It is NOT boys will be boys. It must NOT be tolerated and has to be nipped in the bud early and often. Mother Bear, get right on this one. The latest research shows that society has tolerated this evil and allowed untold damage to be done to our sensitive and vulnerable children.

Re: The latest research...

I completely agree with you. That's why we called this meeting immediately instead of waiting for it to escalate into actual "incidents." The whole "boys will be boys" things makes my blood boil.

Link

The woman I heard speak on this is Carol Gray. Here's the link to the bully page of her site. Even if your child isn't autistic, there is excellent information in here about how to deal with bullies.

Re: Link

thank you!

*gggrrrrrrr*

As a parent, how do you keep from smacking the crap out of those bullying kids?

Seriously. I admire parents who are able to keep calm.

It's that kind of stuff that terrifies me - what would I do? I'm afraid I'd go nuts or something. I know the bullies are just kids, too, but how do you remember that in the face of so much rage?

A friend of mine was in high school and he was having a tough time with some kids - they kept stealing his stuff and harassing him. His father finally had enough, he went down to the principal and told him, "If you don't stop this, you're gonna have four dead kids in a dumpster." And he meant it. It did stop, but I'm actually surprised that it did and his dad didn't get in any kind of trouble for his threat. Guess the principal didn't want to be the fifth body.

I hope everything gets sorted out without incident, though... Poor Martin. At least he'll be there to protect his sister.

Re:

Well, the hard part is that we only hear Martin's side of the story and sometimes it's not complete and sometimes it's skewed and sometimes we don't know WHO to smack. It's really tough. And you DO have to remember that the bullies are other kids, who need to be taught what's right. Beating the crap out of them doesn't exactly teach your old child what's right :P Although, like your friend in high school, I think there are times when enough is enough, and only drastic measures help.

Some school districts in the state have a zero tolerance policy against bullies- I wish they all did! Make sure your son talks about how he is feeling.

Re:

well, they have a BIG campaign against bullying here in Sweden, because it's been an admitted problem for a long time, so that's a good thing. We do try and talk to Martin about things as much as possible without making it seem worse than it really is. :) It's a hard line to walk sometimes.

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