Once Upon a Time, I had a blog. . . . . when my kids were still in preschool, kindergarten & elementary school. These are "diary entries" from then. I'm so happy that I documented along the way. These memories and thoughts are precious to me. They'll be mixed in with modern day musings as well. I hope it helps you know that all mothers are both perfect & imperfect in their own ways. . . . . and we're all just doing our best and trying to raise productive, happy humans.

Dear Diary ~ That Time I Thought My Kindergartener Was Being Bullied

Dear Diary,
March 21, 2011

Well, my son is in Kindergarten and the bullying has already begun.  About a month and a half ago, the teacher called me in to tell me that my son wasn't focusing in school and asked if anything had happened at home.  Dog die?  Anything?  I said I couldn't think of anything. 

Fast forward to last Friday night.  My son and I were up watching Ghost Busters and during a commercial he confided in me that some kids were being mean to him at school.  He actually said "so & so" (I'm not going to name names) had been mean to him since the child's birthday party.  I immediately had an idea of what had happened.  I was at the party, so I saw everything that was going on.  My son, being an oldest child, is usually a leader.  He had all of his friends running around playing army guys and he was the leader.  I think that the child became jealous.  And he has been mean to my son ever since.  Although I just found out about it last Friday night.  My husband took my son out hiking and to breakfast Sunday morning and talked to him some more.  And apparently the boys have been pushing him on the playground also. 

So, how do we deal with this?  I of course told him to pray for the boys.  Obviously there are reasons that they feel the need to push other people around.  And I also told him why people are usually bullies.  I told him that people sometimes don't like themselves and that they have to push other people around and "tear other people down" to build themselves up.  That is such a hard concept for a 6 year old to understand. 

My husband of course, being a man, told him that if they touch him again, to punch them in the nose as hard as he can and they will never bother him again.  I told my husband that although I love him and respect him, I did not agree with him.  But, I've been doing a little research online and there is a whole group of people out there that believe in this approach.  So, maybe. . .
I should say that I do want my son to defend himself if nothing else works. 

I asked him this morning to show me how the kids push him.  I wanted to see how hard, etc.  I wanted to see what my son considered "pushing".  I told him that if they pushed him again to use one of his Karate blocks to avert their "pushes" and to assert himself and tell them really loudly that it is unacceptable to push him. 

The most disturbing part of all of this to me is the psychological issues that come with the bullying.  He used to be joyful.  He loved life and loved and lived every moment.  Mike and I had noticed that he was becoming quieter and moodier.  Now, I think we know why.  Maybe it's a good thing that this is starting in Kindergarten so that we can teach him how to deal with it now.  Hopefully, we can nip it in the bud and help bolster his self-esteem now so that we don't have issues later.

In my research online, I've come across several interesting sites.  I have the links below.

Here's a great article on bullying in Kindergarten, including different types of children ,etc.  I believe my son falls into the "Passive Victim" category.  It says that teachers say these kind of victims are usually very kind children and have trouble asserting themselves.  I think this is what he is because he doesn't want anyone to not like him.  He wants to be everyone's friend.  Here's the link:


Mayo Clinics guide to bullying:

An article from a therapist on how to deal with bullying that actually has personal experience and a twist(They agree with my husbands point of view): http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/How_to_Deal_With_Bullying.html

**Update** 3:43 p.m.
After talking to his teacher, I feel a little better about the situation.  From everything that I know about her, she seems pretty observant and aware of what goes on in her classroom.  She said that she doesn't really see a pattern of bullying in the classroom and that most kids get into little spats with each other depending on the situation. For example, if 2 kids want to play with the same thing or do the same thing, then there will be words and that it happens between everyone, not just specific kids.  She also explained that the "pushing" on the playground might be when they're playing tag.  She said that she would separate my son and the boy in question next week when they change seats again to see if that would alleviate anything and that she would keep an eye on things.    I am just happy that he was able to come to us with his concerns and that he said anything at all.  I still want to be able to be sensitive to his feelings because I know in his mind he feels like he's being picked on.  And I want to make sure that he knows that his feelings are HIS feelings and that we understand how he feels.  And then hopefully we can help him deal with the feelings and come up with solutions for how to mend his relationship with the boy.  Thank you to everyone for your kind words and support.  I know that this will be okay and I will continue to keep my eyes open about it.  Oh!  And she also said that when the boy that she really does consider a bully picks on him he usually sticks up for himself.  So, that's good.  But, he considers this boy his good friend now, so maybe that's the difference in the feelings.  Man!  This being a "Mom" thing is complicated!!

I'm sure that there are a lot of you out there that have dealt with bullying before.  How old were your kids and were you able to stop it?  How did you deal with it?

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