Mom can't tell: Is it rude behavior or bullying?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  May 21, 2010 06:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Barbara:

How do you know when someone is bullying you? Is it possible that you may be perceiving their actions wrong? Is it bullying or just rude behavior? How can you tell if the person claiming to of been bullied is just insecure or an overly sensitive type?

I have been wondering about this for my own children and at a loss for words.

Thanks,
Bergette, Bellingham, MA

Hi Bergette,

You raise a good question, of course: if a child is overly sensitive, how can we be sure his description of what's happening is accurate?

The answer is, it doesn't matter. It's the child's perception that counts.

If a child insists there's a monster under the bed, do you tell him there's no such thing as a monster and leave him screaming and terrified in his room? Or do you check for the monster in all the places he thinks it may be hiding until he's satisfied that it's safe to sleep?

It's true that he may be blowing something out of proportion; kids often do that, anyway, because they are, well, kids; they lack experience, maturity and a sense of context. It's also true that some kids will do anything for attention from their parents, including saying things that aren't true.

Here's the bottom line: It's our job as parents to keep our children safe.

If your child is frightened of another child, he's frightened of that child. Period. Doesn't matter if the child is teasing or actually mean, or if the behavior was accidental or intentional.

You can help some children by giving them rules or guidelines: If the person is smiling, he's probably joking. If he's angry looking, he's probably mad. But kids who have trouble reading social cues (and a child doesn't need to be on the Autistic Spectrum to have trouble with this; many kids do) often need professional guidance around this. Ask your guidance department for some suggestions.

Meanwhile, Have you noticed changes in your child's behavior? In sleep or eating patterns, in moods, or ability to concentrate on homework? Has he lost interest in something he typically likes? Is he withdrawn instead of outgoing at home? Any of these, but especially a combination of them, can be a tip-off that something is upsetting.

And don't discount this: If he's complained about a bully and you question his credibility, your skepticism alone can be upsetting: "Not even mom believes me."

Talk to the teachers and to the principal for thoughts and suggestions; with the new state law, teachers and faculty are receiving training and getting better at being able to recognize bullying, and know what to do about it. Talk more to your child. Just don't ignore it. Even if what he describes as bullying only turns out to be teasing, you will have a basis for helping him in the future.

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

16 comments so far...
  1. Kids sometimes throw the word 'bullying' around without really understanding what it means. My son came home a few years ago and said that so-and-so was bullying him. I asked why he said that, and he described what was happening. We had a really good discussion about it, and brainstormed ways to deal with it. In the course of the conversation, he concluded that it wasn't bullying, but we still agreed it was an issue that needed to be addressed. The combination of some coping strategies and involving the staff (this was at the afterschool program) was sufficient to solve the problem. I don't believe that every situation is that easy, of course, but I think that a good conversation can help you figure out what's really going on, and possibly suggest some solutions.

    Posted by akmom May 21, 10 07:06 AM
  1. I interpreted this letter as coming from the mother of a child who is being ACCUSED of being the bully and that she's suggesting the child who accused HER child is "oversensitive"..

    Anyone else read it this way?

    Posted by Just-Cos May 21, 10 09:29 AM
  1. Yeah, since the most powerful offspring in our capitalist society tend to be the richest, most well-connected, best fed, etc... there was, is and will be lots of bullying covered up by the upper-class parents of bullies. The South Hadley situation is a classic example. The school officials got away with defending the bullies and the bullies will have the best lawyers and probably get away with their bullying and its results. Exploitation, hierarchy, greed and competition, all part and parcel of capitalism, breed social pathologies of all kinds, from serial killers to generation after generation of bullies. The ruling class parents will defend ruling class offspring who bully. The bullying law will only be used against the powerless, ironically.

    Posted by Leon May 21, 10 10:24 AM
  1. Just-Cos - I had the same thought. The letter is definitely coming from the (alleged) bully's mom who is trying to rationalize her kid's reported behaviour...

    This letter seems to be a rare whiff by Barbara...

    Posted by HBX May 21, 10 10:28 AM
  1. Just-cos: I read it the same way...as if the writer was trying to justify or make excuses as the mother of someone accused of bullying.

    We hear a lot of advice about how to deal with bullying both as a child and that child's parent. But I can imagine that is almost as difficult to be the parent of the bully...you must wonder where you went wrong. Your instinct is to protect your own child. I think it's important for people to realize that sometimes the child doing the bullying is just as much a subject of peer pressure as the child being bullied...it's just another way to gain peer acceptance and power. Strategies to combat bullying need to address both sides of the equation.

    I think Barbara's advice works either way though...parents need to assume that the child being bullied is telling the truth, try to get to the heart of the problem and help address it.

    Posted by Dee May 21, 10 10:49 AM
  1. Respect and awareness should be taught to our children. Bullying can come in many shapes, forms, levels... and sometimes, it will be most likely defined by the effect actions or words have on others.

    So maybe if child A tells child B every day that his/her hair is green and child A tells the other children, and then they tell child B his/her hair is green, and do so many times, and they all laugh and child B begins to get emotionally affected by this: that's bullying. On the other hand, if child B doesn't care and thinks this was a funny joke from all his friends: that's ok.

    My example is quite simplistic but... I think that there can be a fine line about things. It does not matter whether a child is overly sensitive for it to be important. If a child is overly sensitive, the more reason for others to stop the upsetting behavior. Of course, it's not always possible to stop others from saying things... so it is also our responsibility as parents and adults to provide affected children with the tools to cope with what they perceive a hostile environment, and to provide emotional support to help them move forward.

    And sometimes, when bullying becomes life-threatening, the law might have to be involved. That's just the way it is.

    Posted by rmg May 21, 10 11:39 AM
  1. Jus_Cos..I felt the same way too. And the LW is pretty vague. Either way bullying or not, bad behaviour needs to be dealt with appropriately.

    Posted by jd May 21, 10 11:58 AM
  1. I am glad when I see that bullying is being taken more seriously, but then, because of personal experience, I worry about the falsely accused.

    This past fall, my very sensitive 9 year old son was good friends with two girls, but the girls weren't friends with each other, so he'd play with and talk to each separately. Girl A said she couldn't come to a small party he had planned because Girl B was going to be there. I spoke to her mother, and told her how much my son wanted her daughter there because he considered her his best friend, and how he'd even invited a third girl that she was friends with, so she'd feel more comfortable. She explained matter-of-factly that her daughter got jealous when my son played with Girl B, and left it at that. She didn't even encourage her to come, or to get along with everyone.

    After the party took place, Girl A started telling my son she didn't want him to be friends with Girl B and acted jealous and said mean things to them every time they played together at school. He felt torn, and quite sad that his friend was doing this, but stayed loyal to Girl B, as she did nothing wrong, and it was Girl A who was being unreasonable. My son would tell me every day how she would follow them around at recess, but that she didn't want to play with them, she just wanted to "spy" and say mean things, and write notes about them. I had contemplated contacting the school, but decided to wait, encouraging him to try to work it out.

    WELL....Girl A started telling her mother that THEY were picking on HER, and that they were coming up to her for no reason, saying mean things. Girl A's mother reported to the school that her daughter was being BULLIED by my son and the other girl, and that she felt threatened, and was AFRAID to come to school!!! The problem is, I feel like the little girl couldn't even have said some of the accusations, I honestly think her mother made them up. These are well-educated, upper-middle-class people! Thank GOD our private school is very on top of things, and although they made the kids write a letter of apology(still not sure for what), they recognized that the girl was creating the conflict, and just tried to keep them separated to make sure nothing continued. They recognized that the mother didn't want the kids to try to work it out so they could all be friends. She basically would have only been happy had my son abandoned his other friend for her daughter. Of course, the mother thinks the school handled it all wrong. Ironically, if anyone was being bullied, it was Girl B, for being my son's friend, and he was stuck in the middle of it. Luckily, it seems to have blown over. Unfortunately, it's a small school, and I'm honestly afraid that at some point my son will become friendly with her again, and be hurt, or worse - falsely accused of something when things don't go her way.

    Anyway, particularly with all the light being shed on bullying recently, I worry that another school might have been all for the "victim" and not really tried to figure things out. And I wonder if it starts to be treated more seriously, how many manipulative kids will do more things like this out of anger or jealousy, just to get someone in trouble.

    Posted by Mom2boys May 21, 10 01:00 PM
  1. Yes, the letter is coming from the parent of a bully -- I agree with Jus_Cos: look at the way she frames the question -- someone "claiming" to have been bullied, and completely trivializing the victim as "just insecure or an overly sensitive type," and minimizing the bad bully behavior as simply "rude."

    It's more than trivializing; it is insulting. And it is a classic bully move, too -- "it's not my fault you're offended by the obnoxious things I'm doing to you, it's your fault because you're too sensitive." So on top of acting obnoxiously to the poor kid, the bully and his/her parent insults the kid for getting upset by it.

    That said, of course not every instance of bad behavior is actually bullying. But Barbara's comments are spot on: if the victim feels bullied, then she/he has been bullied. Best case scenario is that the bully did not mean to bully but cannot read social cues and does not understand how to see if someone is getting scared or really hurt. Worst case is it was intentional.

    It is not okay to point the finger at the victim and blame the victim. Instead, recognize that someone was very hurt and intimidated by your child's actions; something is causing your child to act out inappropriately and cause fear or hurt in other people. That must be addressed: is the bullying driven by insecurity? Anger? Peer pressure? (Or, of course, some deeper internal character flaw.) The bully likely needs professional help -- therapy -- as well, to get to the bottom of why he or she behaves this way and to *change*.

    Posted by jlen May 21, 10 01:06 PM
  1. The word "bullying" should be reserved for ongoing, malicious, harmful acts, not garden variety pestering, roughhousing, and carelessness. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard "You did that on purpose" about something that was clearly an accident, or seen a tit-for-tat exchange start out fun for everyone involved but end with someone doing one thing too many and the other one getting upset. And the parties involved switch sides each time!

    Sometimes the kid on the receiving end is, by any objective measure, making a mountain out of a molehill. His feelings need to be respected but an adult needs to put things in perspective. And the kid who did whatever it was needs to be told to knock it off. It doesn't seem like a big deal to him, but it's a big deal to the other kid and common courtesy says you shouldn't knowingly upset someone. If he keeps doing it, then it's a problem.

    Posted by di May 21, 10 03:39 PM
  1. And I guess that's what is being questioned here... was the victim really a victim?

    Posted by rmg May 21, 10 04:05 PM
  1. If I had got a call from school telling me that my kid was "bullying" another, I would sit down with him/her and ask exactly what the interactions were. I would sit there and listen until the truth comes out.

    I would also ask for a written description of the interactions by all parties from the school official who made the call. I would tell my kid the facts as reported to me and ask for the explanation of any discrepancies between the two stories.

    I would then insist to my child that s/he is to live by the rule of "do to others as you want done to you". No evasive language about the "definitions" of "bullying" or "sensitivity", no making excuses for anybody, just the straight and simple rule. I would inflict serious curtailment of privileges and removal of all toys for a month as punishment for a second report from the school.

    Any parent who wants to make excuses about somebody else's "sensitivity" is teaching their own kid (for whom they are legally and morally responsible) to be a rotten lousy coward who is going to keep on bullying other kids until some kid with martial arts training socks them one where it counts the most.

    Posted by Irene May 21, 10 08:08 PM
  1. If adults are able to avoid workplace bullying by researching potential bosses and employers on sites like eBossWatch, what is the solution for children to be able to avoid schoolyard bullies?

    Posted by pat May 22, 10 12:53 PM
  1. I too am worried that the new law will be used for false acusations, typical bully move and because the school staff seem to have been fooled so often in the past will they take the even more difficult trouble to sort it out. One thing we should remember, my child's bullying (very intense) lasted for years and believe this or not, it was started by the child's mother until the child was well taught what to do. They did exactly that - made false acusations to turn it around.
    This mother was a 5 day volunteer at the school and friends with many of the teachers and the principal. After it had gone on for years, a pysical altercation erupted with my daughter's two friends and they came to our house at the lunch hour crying their eyes out. This was 6th grade. Finally after ignoring it for years we could no longer....we spoke to the principal. The entire school turned against my daughter, the mother's teacher friends were outwardly rude and nasty to my daughter, worse than the bullies we made a complaint about and this influenced most of the other students. The mother had set it up for many years. We followed the advise at the time - ignore it. That was 100% the wrong thing to do. This was a child with all the power and she used it - to manipulate, lie, setups, she had many workers doing her dirty work. This child and her mother organized it all but was never seen to be doing anything wrong herself, she took on the perona of "a little sweetheart". Yes this law will be used against the powerless, just as now the schools will do something depending on who the student is, someone like the kids in South Hadley and the child who went after my daughter will never be touched. They are "friends of the school", just as at least one teacher is still defending them even now. The schools have been very selective as to who they discipline and the bullies know it won't be them. You can not have a bully situation so out of control without the help of the school, silence is approval and fuel.

    Posted by Lin May 26, 10 01:07 PM
  1. I have a 14 year old that felt he was being bullied and we were able to listen to some skype messages and read some online comments and agreed as his parents this kid was bullying our son. The problem is that no one else really felt this other kid was full on bullying our son...just having attititude and this 'bully' has manipulated most of our child's other friends into believing our son was just being overly sensitive. I'm not even sure the school really believes me. After I talked to the vice-principal of the school he is trying to resolve the issue but had to talk to the bully and some of the other friends to get a better understanding. Well I'm not sure what went down but the bully logged online as someone else and my son realized it was his bully when the bully said, 'you can't ignore me forever and now I want to talk to your mom'. Really?! Where is this kids parents?! and how do I handle this situation of the bully wanting to talk to me?

    Posted by Kassi Hilterbrand February 14, 13 01:50 AM
  1. I have a 14 year old that felt he was being bullied and we were able to listen to some skype messages and read some online comments and agreed as his parents this kid was bullying our son. The problem is that no one else really felt this other kid was full on bullying our son...just having attititude and this 'bully' has manipulated most of our child's other friends into believing our son was just being overly sensitive. I'm not even sure the school really believes me. After I talked to the vice-principal of the school he is trying to resolve the issue but had to talk to the bully and some of the other friends to get a better understanding. Well I'm not sure what went down but the bully logged online as someone else and my son realized it was his bully when the bully said, 'you can't ignore me forever and now I want to talk to your mom'. Really?! Where is this kids parents?! and how do I handle this situation of the bully wanting to talk to me?

    Posted by Kassi Hilterbrand February 14, 13 01:51 AM
 
16 comments so far...
  1. Kids sometimes throw the word 'bullying' around without really understanding what it means. My son came home a few years ago and said that so-and-so was bullying him. I asked why he said that, and he described what was happening. We had a really good discussion about it, and brainstormed ways to deal with it. In the course of the conversation, he concluded that it wasn't bullying, but we still agreed it was an issue that needed to be addressed. The combination of some coping strategies and involving the staff (this was at the afterschool program) was sufficient to solve the problem. I don't believe that every situation is that easy, of course, but I think that a good conversation can help you figure out what's really going on, and possibly suggest some solutions.

    Posted by akmom May 21, 10 07:06 AM
  1. I interpreted this letter as coming from the mother of a child who is being ACCUSED of being the bully and that she's suggesting the child who accused HER child is "oversensitive"..

    Anyone else read it this way?

    Posted by Just-Cos May 21, 10 09:29 AM
  1. Yeah, since the most powerful offspring in our capitalist society tend to be the richest, most well-connected, best fed, etc... there was, is and will be lots of bullying covered up by the upper-class parents of bullies. The South Hadley situation is a classic example. The school officials got away with defending the bullies and the bullies will have the best lawyers and probably get away with their bullying and its results. Exploitation, hierarchy, greed and competition, all part and parcel of capitalism, breed social pathologies of all kinds, from serial killers to generation after generation of bullies. The ruling class parents will defend ruling class offspring who bully. The bullying law will only be used against the powerless, ironically.

    Posted by Leon May 21, 10 10:24 AM
  1. Just-Cos - I had the same thought. The letter is definitely coming from the (alleged) bully's mom who is trying to rationalize her kid's reported behaviour...

    This letter seems to be a rare whiff by Barbara...

    Posted by HBX May 21, 10 10:28 AM
  1. Just-cos: I read it the same way...as if the writer was trying to justify or make excuses as the mother of someone accused of bullying.

    We hear a lot of advice about how to deal with bullying both as a child and that child's parent. But I can imagine that is almost as difficult to be the parent of the bully...you must wonder where you went wrong. Your instinct is to protect your own child. I think it's important for people to realize that sometimes the child doing the bullying is just as much a subject of peer pressure as the child being bullied...it's just another way to gain peer acceptance and power. Strategies to combat bullying need to address both sides of the equation.

    I think Barbara's advice works either way though...parents need to assume that the child being bullied is telling the truth, try to get to the heart of the problem and help address it.

    Posted by Dee May 21, 10 10:49 AM
  1. Respect and awareness should be taught to our children. Bullying can come in many shapes, forms, levels... and sometimes, it will be most likely defined by the effect actions or words have on others.

    So maybe if child A tells child B every day that his/her hair is green and child A tells the other children, and then they tell child B his/her hair is green, and do so many times, and they all laugh and child B begins to get emotionally affected by this: that's bullying. On the other hand, if child B doesn't care and thinks this was a funny joke from all his friends: that's ok.

    My example is quite simplistic but... I think that there can be a fine line about things. It does not matter whether a child is overly sensitive for it to be important. If a child is overly sensitive, the more reason for others to stop the upsetting behavior. Of course, it's not always possible to stop others from saying things... so it is also our responsibility as parents and adults to provide affected children with the tools to cope with what they perceive a hostile environment, and to provide emotional support to help them move forward.

    And sometimes, when bullying becomes life-threatening, the law might have to be involved. That's just the way it is.

    Posted by rmg May 21, 10 11:39 AM
  1. Jus_Cos..I felt the same way too. And the LW is pretty vague. Either way bullying or not, bad behaviour needs to be dealt with appropriately.

    Posted by jd May 21, 10 11:58 AM
  1. I am glad when I see that bullying is being taken more seriously, but then, because of personal experience, I worry about the falsely accused.

    This past fall, my very sensitive 9 year old son was good friends with two girls, but the girls weren't friends with each other, so he'd play with and talk to each separately. Girl A said she couldn't come to a small party he had planned because Girl B was going to be there. I spoke to her mother, and told her how much my son wanted her daughter there because he considered her his best friend, and how he'd even invited a third girl that she was friends with, so she'd feel more comfortable. She explained matter-of-factly that her daughter got jealous when my son played with Girl B, and left it at that. She didn't even encourage her to come, or to get along with everyone.

    After the party took place, Girl A started telling my son she didn't want him to be friends with Girl B and acted jealous and said mean things to them every time they played together at school. He felt torn, and quite sad that his friend was doing this, but stayed loyal to Girl B, as she did nothing wrong, and it was Girl A who was being unreasonable. My son would tell me every day how she would follow them around at recess, but that she didn't want to play with them, she just wanted to "spy" and say mean things, and write notes about them. I had contemplated contacting the school, but decided to wait, encouraging him to try to work it out.

    WELL....Girl A started telling her mother that THEY were picking on HER, and that they were coming up to her for no reason, saying mean things. Girl A's mother reported to the school that her daughter was being BULLIED by my son and the other girl, and that she felt threatened, and was AFRAID to come to school!!! The problem is, I feel like the little girl couldn't even have said some of the accusations, I honestly think her mother made them up. These are well-educated, upper-middle-class people! Thank GOD our private school is very on top of things, and although they made the kids write a letter of apology(still not sure for what), they recognized that the girl was creating the conflict, and just tried to keep them separated to make sure nothing continued. They recognized that the mother didn't want the kids to try to work it out so they could all be friends. She basically would have only been happy had my son abandoned his other friend for her daughter. Of course, the mother thinks the school handled it all wrong. Ironically, if anyone was being bullied, it was Girl B, for being my son's friend, and he was stuck in the middle of it. Luckily, it seems to have blown over. Unfortunately, it's a small school, and I'm honestly afraid that at some point my son will become friendly with her again, and be hurt, or worse - falsely accused of something when things don't go her way.

    Anyway, particularly with all the light being shed on bullying recently, I worry that another school might have been all for the "victim" and not really tried to figure things out. And I wonder if it starts to be treated more seriously, how many manipulative kids will do more things like this out of anger or jealousy, just to get someone in trouble.

    Posted by Mom2boys May 21, 10 01:00 PM
  1. Yes, the letter is coming from the parent of a bully -- I agree with Jus_Cos: look at the way she frames the question -- someone "claiming" to have been bullied, and completely trivializing the victim as "just insecure or an overly sensitive type," and minimizing the bad bully behavior as simply "rude."

    It's more than trivializing; it is insulting. And it is a classic bully move, too -- "it's not my fault you're offended by the obnoxious things I'm doing to you, it's your fault because you're too sensitive." So on top of acting obnoxiously to the poor kid, the bully and his/her parent insults the kid for getting upset by it.

    That said, of course not every instance of bad behavior is actually bullying. But Barbara's comments are spot on: if the victim feels bullied, then she/he has been bullied. Best case scenario is that the bully did not mean to bully but cannot read social cues and does not understand how to see if someone is getting scared or really hurt. Worst case is it was intentional.

    It is not okay to point the finger at the victim and blame the victim. Instead, recognize that someone was very hurt and intimidated by your child's actions; something is causing your child to act out inappropriately and cause fear or hurt in other people. That must be addressed: is the bullying driven by insecurity? Anger? Peer pressure? (Or, of course, some deeper internal character flaw.) The bully likely needs professional help -- therapy -- as well, to get to the bottom of why he or she behaves this way and to *change*.

    Posted by jlen May 21, 10 01:06 PM
  1. The word "bullying" should be reserved for ongoing, malicious, harmful acts, not garden variety pestering, roughhousing, and carelessness. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard "You did that on purpose" about something that was clearly an accident, or seen a tit-for-tat exchange start out fun for everyone involved but end with someone doing one thing too many and the other one getting upset. And the parties involved switch sides each time!

    Sometimes the kid on the receiving end is, by any objective measure, making a mountain out of a molehill. His feelings need to be respected but an adult needs to put things in perspective. And the kid who did whatever it was needs to be told to knock it off. It doesn't seem like a big deal to him, but it's a big deal to the other kid and common courtesy says you shouldn't knowingly upset someone. If he keeps doing it, then it's a problem.

    Posted by di May 21, 10 03:39 PM
  1. And I guess that's what is being questioned here... was the victim really a victim?

    Posted by rmg May 21, 10 04:05 PM
  1. If I had got a call from school telling me that my kid was "bullying" another, I would sit down with him/her and ask exactly what the interactions were. I would sit there and listen until the truth comes out.

    I would also ask for a written description of the interactions by all parties from the school official who made the call. I would tell my kid the facts as reported to me and ask for the explanation of any discrepancies between the two stories.

    I would then insist to my child that s/he is to live by the rule of "do to others as you want done to you". No evasive language about the "definitions" of "bullying" or "sensitivity", no making excuses for anybody, just the straight and simple rule. I would inflict serious curtailment of privileges and removal of all toys for a month as punishment for a second report from the school.

    Any parent who wants to make excuses about somebody else's "sensitivity" is teaching their own kid (for whom they are legally and morally responsible) to be a rotten lousy coward who is going to keep on bullying other kids until some kid with martial arts training socks them one where it counts the most.

    Posted by Irene May 21, 10 08:08 PM
  1. If adults are able to avoid workplace bullying by researching potential bosses and employers on sites like eBossWatch, what is the solution for children to be able to avoid schoolyard bullies?

    Posted by pat May 22, 10 12:53 PM
  1. I too am worried that the new law will be used for false acusations, typical bully move and because the school staff seem to have been fooled so often in the past will they take the even more difficult trouble to sort it out. One thing we should remember, my child's bullying (very intense) lasted for years and believe this or not, it was started by the child's mother until the child was well taught what to do. They did exactly that - made false acusations to turn it around.
    This mother was a 5 day volunteer at the school and friends with many of the teachers and the principal. After it had gone on for years, a pysical altercation erupted with my daughter's two friends and they came to our house at the lunch hour crying their eyes out. This was 6th grade. Finally after ignoring it for years we could no longer....we spoke to the principal. The entire school turned against my daughter, the mother's teacher friends were outwardly rude and nasty to my daughter, worse than the bullies we made a complaint about and this influenced most of the other students. The mother had set it up for many years. We followed the advise at the time - ignore it. That was 100% the wrong thing to do. This was a child with all the power and she used it - to manipulate, lie, setups, she had many workers doing her dirty work. This child and her mother organized it all but was never seen to be doing anything wrong herself, she took on the perona of "a little sweetheart". Yes this law will be used against the powerless, just as now the schools will do something depending on who the student is, someone like the kids in South Hadley and the child who went after my daughter will never be touched. They are "friends of the school", just as at least one teacher is still defending them even now. The schools have been very selective as to who they discipline and the bullies know it won't be them. You can not have a bully situation so out of control without the help of the school, silence is approval and fuel.

    Posted by Lin May 26, 10 01:07 PM
  1. I have a 14 year old that felt he was being bullied and we were able to listen to some skype messages and read some online comments and agreed as his parents this kid was bullying our son. The problem is that no one else really felt this other kid was full on bullying our son...just having attititude and this 'bully' has manipulated most of our child's other friends into believing our son was just being overly sensitive. I'm not even sure the school really believes me. After I talked to the vice-principal of the school he is trying to resolve the issue but had to talk to the bully and some of the other friends to get a better understanding. Well I'm not sure what went down but the bully logged online as someone else and my son realized it was his bully when the bully said, 'you can't ignore me forever and now I want to talk to your mom'. Really?! Where is this kids parents?! and how do I handle this situation of the bully wanting to talk to me?

    Posted by Kassi Hilterbrand February 14, 13 01:50 AM
  1. I have a 14 year old that felt he was being bullied and we were able to listen to some skype messages and read some online comments and agreed as his parents this kid was bullying our son. The problem is that no one else really felt this other kid was full on bullying our son...just having attititude and this 'bully' has manipulated most of our child's other friends into believing our son was just being overly sensitive. I'm not even sure the school really believes me. After I talked to the vice-principal of the school he is trying to resolve the issue but had to talk to the bully and some of the other friends to get a better understanding. Well I'm not sure what went down but the bully logged online as someone else and my son realized it was his bully when the bully said, 'you can't ignore me forever and now I want to talk to your mom'. Really?! Where is this kids parents?! and how do I handle this situation of the bully wanting to talk to me?

    Posted by Kassi Hilterbrand February 14, 13 01:51 AM
add your comment
Required
Required (will not be published)

This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.

About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag


Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at) gmail.com.
Please include your name and hometown.
Moms
All parenting discussions
Discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed


click here to subscribe to
Child Caring

archives