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My 7-year-old keeps getting bullied at school and I’m so sick of teachers and administrators calling me every single day telling me that my daughter was hit in the hallway, pushed down the stairs, kicked on the playground, and is sitting by herself at lunch every day. What’s even worse is when she comes home with her glasses scratched, her arms and shins bruised, and it breaks my heart every time she walks in the door and breaks down sobbing.
So, I’ve completely given up on the whole “modern parenting” thing and have told her to fight back – maybe I’m a bad parent for encouraging that but I NEED my daughter to stand up for herself. She’s only 7… what will high school be like for her? I want her to go on dates and go to the movies with her girlfriends on the weekends when she’s older but she’ll never get there if she’s constantly bullied, put down by her classmates, and can’t stand up for herself.
Does anyone else have an issue with their kids getting bullied? I need all the advice I can get to get my daughter and myself on the other side of this.
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There is definitely a big difference between starting a fight and defending yourself. We have always taught our kids that it isn't ok to throw a first punch but if someone hits you, then it is ok to defend yourself. This has worked for my kiddos and at one stage my oldest was being bullied and he eventually hit back and the child has not bothered him since.
I am not a psychologist or child educator, but as a highly sensitive child/adult, the building up of a child's self esteem or confidence will NOT deter the behavior of bullies. Your daughter can have all the knowledge of her own self-worth and value, and still be a victim.
To be honest, I feel the modern parenting approach has created more bullying opportunities, because people want to "talk" about positive behaviors instead of "act" on the negative ones. Think about it this way -- If your daughter were being sexually harassed, would you want the school to just start a campaign to teach about harassment? No. You would insist the perpetrator(s) experience some form of discipline. What's the difference here?
There are times when the only way to deal with a bully is to involve responsible adults, and sometimes, even take legal action.
This seems to be a complete lack of responsibility, and accountability, on the part of the school administrators. If this were happening to my daughter, I would be in the school admin office every day, and then, if necessary, at the office of the school board, until these individuals' behaviors were properly addressed.
I don't think having your daughter fight back is a solution for her. Bullies are relentless and power hungry. Don't ask your daughter to attempt to be someone she doesn't want to be to change the behavior of others. Find a way to address the problem with its source, not its victim.
That makes it so hard when theres a whole group of kids involved as well. I do agree with the first response in this thread that the school actually need to be taking a stand to keep your daughter safe. There are many ways school can be doing this and supervision of when these incidents are occurring with your daughter is first and foremost. Some schools identify the 'hot spot' areas where kids are being bullied (once they are told where the bullying is occurring) and allocate more staff in those areas to keep an eye and prevent further bullying from occurring on the sly. Restorative approaches are also implemented between kids and should especially be in place with this known group of 'bullies'. It doesn't sound like enough is being done from the school's end and its something you are well in your rights to raise with them to support your daughter.
I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is a victim of bullying. Children can be so unkind and often a child that is seen as a soft target will be on the receiving end of bullying behavior.
What I am reading though, is that while your child's school is bringing these incidents to your attention, they are not being proactive and preventing the bullying from happening in the first place. Does the school have clear policy and rules about bullying? If they do, then what are the consequences if one child bullies another? If not, this may be a good place to start as almost all states have bullying laws in place, and these should be mirrored in school's policies and rules. Staff and students should learn how to tell the difference between teasing and bullying and there should be clear consequences if someone breaks the rules. If you have a record of the bullying that has occurred to date, you can approach parents directly or you can ask the school to arrange a parent meeting to address bullying in general.
As a mom, I know that sometimes we feel that the only option is to advise our child to go on the offensive, but you should remember that this can also have unpleasant consequences for your child and they may end up being punished for fighting. Another option might be to look at ways of building your daughter's self-confidence - like a self-defence or martial arts class. You could even ask the school to start a "Kindness Campaign" encouraging kids to be kind to one another, to include children who are usually left out, and to intervene and speak up when they notice bullying behavior.
This sounds really rough. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I think you're taking the right steps though. At this age, it's incredibly important for her to build her self-confidence and know her worth. Keep supporting her at home and giving her the love and support she needs.