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Bullying

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Bullying

Please help my child is being bullied within his circle of friends. My son is twelve and started in his secondary in September. He settled in so quickly and was so happy with his new circle of friends. However suddenly he has become a target and he had no idea why. We talk alot together and he honestly cannot understand why this has happened as he feels he has done nothing wrong.

I feel the group has come to realise that he is very soft and is not the type to hit back when they are mean. His so called friends seem incapable lately of being kind. They repeatedly insult him and call him names and exclude him. He is devestated. He is an extremely sensitive child and the slightest thing hurts him. He has been through this is his primary school and he couldn't wait to put it all behind him and now it has all started again. He has hurt himself before when he has had trouble with friends and it all stopped when he got new friends and settled into school. Should i approach the school? It is so difficult to know how to address it. If his friends find out i approached the school it will makes things 10 times worse but I just don't know how to stop it. Please help me I am so worried about him.
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Re: Bullying

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Hi @Shortstuff2, thank you for sharing. We are so sorry to hear that your son is going through bullying again. It sounds like a horrible and upsetting start to secondary school. Your heart must break watching him go through this experience all over again. He must be feeling so confused and hurt towards his friendship group. It is amazing to hear that you have a really good relationship with him and are able to talk about this. It is important to keep communication open, loving and non-judgmental. Is your son currently seeking any professional support? Do you feel like he might begin harming himself again? Heart

Approaching the school means that they are able to take action and monitor the situation. Without making them aware of the situation, the support, insight and intervention they can offer could be limited. That being said, you could still access the Student Wellbeing Services to receive support for your son which could be highly beneficial. They also might have an idea of local resources that you could access for your own support. This is important while you are supporting your son through this difficult and uneasy time period. Alternatively, we usually recommend services like Parents Line which provide amazing counselling and resources. You could also explore this issue further in depth with them over the telephone Smiley Happy

The concern you raise about the kids finding out is quite a common and normal worry to have as a parent. Due to the commonality of this issue, you would assume that the school would have ways of ensuring confidentiality and privacy. For example, the school could claim that the teacher has overheard the bullying as opposed to you filing a report. This is just an assumption so to be safe and reassured, you could have this conversation with the school before mentioning specific or personal details. This would allow you to find out more about their practices, policies and procedures.

Please keep us updated, we are here to listen.

Active scribe

Re: Bullying

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond in such a lenghty and supportive way, I very much appreciate it.

My son has finished with his counsellor as he has stopped harming himself. Thankfully I don't see any signs of this behaviour. I have asked him to return to explain the current issue but he says he is way to embarassed to mention that it is happening again. Thankfully our relationship is such that he tells me alot. I am slow to go to the school as he has said to me that our trust will be broken if I do and he will not confide in me again. If I could depend on them to handle it well I would however.

I think I will take your advice and approach them to enquire how they might approach it and go from there.

Thank you for your time, once again I really appreciate it.
Community Manager

Re: Bullying

Hi @Shortstuff2 

 

Hope you don't mind that I jump in here to send my support to you and your son Heart 

 

Whilst being bullied is a heartbreaking thing to go through and to watch - I believe the most important thing is having a safety network of support people who can remind you of who you truly are, help build your coping skills and be a shoulder to cry on when needed. 

 

It sounds like you have a wonderfully open and trusting relationship with your boy and I'm sure he can feel your love and support. It's also great that you've planted the seed of going to see the counsellor again - maybe this could be a suggestion to revisit in the future. 

 

We'll be thinking of yourself and your son Heart Please let us know how you go with the next steps in managing this situation. 

 

 

Active scribe

Re: Bullying

Thank you so much for taking the time to offer your support. I very much appreciate it.
My son is coping well and I feel a few things have worked. He seems less anxious this time round and more in touch with his emotions. One of the things his counsellor encouraged to prevent self harm was to develop a wise mind by first acknowledging the feeling and then bringing in the rational brain to understand what it is that has happened. My son is doing this himself now. Over the weekend he said that episode with his friends was one of the saddest of his life and he wanted to just stay sad for a day or so and then he would try and think rationally about it. He did do this and Sunday evening he was preparing for school and talked with his Dad about how he might show a bit more steele in his interactions with his friends. My son is very soft and it seems otheras prey on this, so hearing how his Dad handled similar issues seems to have helped. Thankfully we are not seeing signs of self harm.

He had a positive day at school today and seemed relaxed this evening.

Thank you very much for listening at my time of need.
Community Manager

Re: Bullying

Hi @Shortstuff2 , 

 

Thanks so much for keeping us updated on how your son is progressing. It sounds like he's really making excellent progress with developing strategies to prevent self-harm, and it's really positive to hear that he is developing insight into his own emotions. The fact that he's able to communicate openly with both yourself and with his Dad shows that you've built a really trusting relationship with him, and it's wonderful that he is able to articulate his feelings like that. 

 

How are you feeling? It can be incredibly taxing as a parent to see our kids in distress, and it's important to take care of yourself as well Heart We are really glad that you've been able to find support here and hope that you keep us posted with how you are all travelling. 

Active scribe

Re: Bullying

Thank you so much for the feedback I am feeling very relieved that we are making progress.

I like all parents get very distressed when I see that he is very upset. The panic set in but Saturday night and it was really helpful and reassuring to turn to this forum.

Thank you very much again for your continued support.
Community Manager

Re: Bullying

@Shortstuff2  we're so pleased to hear that you found the forum helpful, please keep us posted on your progress Smiley Happy

Active scribe

Re: Bullying

I will thank you very much fornyour time.
Active scribe

Bullying

Hi ,

 

I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some much needed advice.

 

This issue concerns my son, he's 14. Kids in his friendship group have basically recently just started to ignore and exclude him and act differerently towards him for no apparent reason. He is a sensitive, quiet character.  Basically it emerged that there are rumours spreading that he is gay across the year group. I think this has also reached his friendship group and they seem to no longer want to have anything to do with him - they move away from him and no longer wait for him to go to lunch. He is pretty upset and isolated now in school and hates going there. He's asked to  change schools a million times now and has become angry at me for not doing so. I guess he is a target because he is shy & does not go on social media seeking out random 'girlfriends' like they do.

 

I don't know what to do. Relevant background info is that my son was sexually assaulted when a toddler. Though advised by his counsellor not to tell his peers, he had told one kid from his friendship group about this incident. He fears that this friend has gone around telling everyone, hence the insinuations and name calling that he is gay. He feels betrayed as this kid was supposedly his friend. I'm pretty sure this has actually happened though and not a figment of his over worrying imagnination - of course there isnt any proof, only he has the daily name calling and teasing to endure. 

 

It's a tough situation - as I previously contacted the school when a similiar group of kids (some the same) teased and bullied my son about his unusual name. These kids I think are responsible for spreading these rumours some more, as they are friends with my son's friendship group . I think they are resentful that they got into trouble from their parents. 

 

I would like to approach the school on this matter, but my son is strongly against this - his way of dealing with this is to have a punch up with whoever teases him. The problem with approaching the school is that my son will be angry; people will tease him further as a "dobber", and I don;t know whether to cross the boundary on my son's privacy and discuss his assault, particularly as I'm not 100% sure this has spread. (though the school would be aware of this from documents on his file)

 

I spoke to some friends and counsellors via phone and some say to approach the school , some say not to.

 

Can anyone please offer any thoughts - I saw a very similiar story posted up here last year... Should I approach the school?

 

If the matter can't be resolved, should I shift him to a new school?

 

Thanks so much