clarity : my kid was bullied.

fall, muskoka

i hope everyone had a lovely thanksgiving weekend.

we celebrated up at the cottage with family. we enjoyed the warm temperatures, sunshine and time together. but, this post is not about our weekend up in muskoka. it’s about the complexities of mothering, parenting and realities of school life for our kids

fall, muskoka, fall colours

remember a few weeks ago when i wrote about our struggles with the whole back-to-school transition. I shared how bear especially was having a hard time with things. well, after some subtle mama investigating, you know the kind where you pretend to be busy with something while asking questions about school, so as not place any obvious pressure on your kid. well, after a few minutes of this with bear it all came spilling out, he was being bullied. yes, two days into the new school year this kid who has been a problem in the past was at it again.

as the pieces fell into place, i understood where my kids “bad” behavior was coming from. once in the safety of his own home he was unloading all of the stress and anxiety building up inside of him during the school day. obviously, his little brother was an easy target and bore the brunt of the unleashing. my heart broke the more I thought about those first 10 days of grade 2 for him. of course as his mama I took on all kinds of guilt, about not protecting him better, not piecing things together sooner, and just feeling guilty for his pain.

after all the necessary conversations with teachers, the other child’s parents, Bear’s behavior completely changed. He was back to his old self. the kid who is making up his own jokes, thinking about pokemon all day every day, and building his latest and greatest lego invention! It was amazing to see him back to his usual self. We were so excited to have him back. We even suggested that we try and find a way to play his favorite game, pokemon ultra violet. One of our friends suggested that we try looking on Gamulator to get a download for that game. Maybe we will do that.

I’m not sure the anti-bullying campaigns at schools are effective. bear has never been up front about problems with his peers; it is always something that as his parents we have had to figure out. the school is reluctant to get involved, although there seems to be a lot of the right things being said, it’s just that nothing is being done. from where I sit there is a lack of accountability, which is very frustrating. I don’t want to play the blame game, but if my kid was doing things to hurt others I would want to know. right?

things at school have calmed down for bear, I think. I have asked subtle questions and direct questions, i have shared my own experiences from my school days in the hopes to keep the lines of communication open with him. he is my anxious guy who takes things and carries them inside, blaming himself. I want so desperately to take away all of his hurt, but i know that it not realistic. i have to instead teach him to stand-up for himself not by hitting back, but by using words. i have to encourage him feel confident in telling a teacher or adult if he or someone else is being bullied. these are hard things. even for adults.


fall, muskoka, look out

mothering is the hardest job i have ever taken on. it is not at all wheat i expected. the deep emotional twinges of pain and love i feel for my children is astonishing. although it is difficult and exhausting, i wouldn’t change any of it. i feel like the luckiest gal around with the best set of kids ever! and, i realize my opinion is quite biased, but so be it!

xo, mama lola
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  1. says

    Bullying can have such an impact on us. I was bullied at school and it made me a nervous wreck. That said, there could be underlying issues causing the bullies behaviour (I know there was in the case of my bullies but i didn’t know until decades later), not that that makes it excusable. I’m glad your son is doing okay now and hope he flourishes in the school environment.
    The Kids Helpline website in Australia has some great online resources for handling bullies. The website is divided into categories so there is information for young children, teens and for adults (what to do if your child is being bullied). Not sure if there is anything on there you can use…

  2. says

    Anti-bullying is a worthy campaign, but I don’t know how much the students get out of it. I am a teacher and I don’t see any change in the behavior of students no matter how much we talk, model, support, etc. Bullying is awful and I feel most of it comes from their home life. I’m glad your child is getting lots of love and support at home. I know that I try to convey how serious bullying is in my classroom, but students just don’t seem to understand that seriousness. Also, administrators don’t want to hear the word bullying because then they have to put time and effort into an investigation. All bullying should be taken seriously and there should be a protocol in place to deal with it. Don’t feel bad about reporting it to your school and make sure they do something to combat it.

  3. says

    I’m so sorry to hear your son was bullied. How upsetting. Like you said though, you have a clearer picture now.

    I was bullied from grade 3 to grade 10 by the same group of cruel people. It did a number on my self-esteem, that’s for sure. However, it sounds like you have your finger on this situation and it also sounds like things have improved.

    Big hugs to you mama! This parenting thing IS tough!