03-21-2017 11:12 PM
Hi @Serapis22 thanks for reaching out
There are definitely a few resources that could benefit you.
This website Raising Children [click here] has a list of amazing supports available to kinship carers or grandparents at the bottom of the page Relationships Australia also can be a great organisation to call as a base.
I was raised by my Grandmother, and I remember her seeking out similar supports during my own teenage years, please let us know how you get on with the supports listed here I am sure the rest of the RO parents community will have further ideas for you too.
03-22-2017 10:43 AM
Welcome @Serapis22 So great to see you back!
Your grandaughter's dad sounds wonderful. Have you considered suggesting he come to ReachOut Parents to access some information?
03-23-2017 05:58 PM - edited 03-23-2017 05:58 PM
So glad to have you here at ReachOut Parents!!
Introduce yourself by answering these quick questions
1. Number and age of your kid/s?
2. The last kid's movie you watched and enjoyed?
3. What you hope to get out of ReachOut Parents?
4. Your favourite app?
03-26-2017 02:59 PM
Hi, I'm Ross, father of 4 kids aged 14, 12, 10 and 8. 3 boys and a girl (the youngest).
As much as I recognise that a close/strong relationship with the technology is the new norm, I find that the less time my kids spend in front of an interactive screen (as opposed to tv or movies), the nicer they are!
I was mildly bullied at school. I used to really struggle to talk in a slow, measured manner, i.e. I used to talk very quickly. So my bullying was in the form of some kids teasing me the second I opened my mouth by babbling something back in my face, which was acutely irritating and embarrassing, and which only made it harder to talk more slowly. I got through this period in my life... but carried an acute, panic-attack-inducing phobia of public speaking with me for way too long. Thankfully I addressed this issue, and I'm fine now! In hindsight I wished I'd addressed it earlier....
Anyhow, I digress.
The reason I'm here is because my kids are emotionally resilient to varying degrees. #2 has started high school this year, and he's probably the least resilient of the 4. I'm nervous that bullying may occur, and wish to ensure that I'm suitably equipped to support him, and my other kids, especially in high school where I perceive that bullying is likely to be worse (inc. social media).
One thing in particular I'd like to discuss is the following. My eldest had a period of bullying in grade 7 (he's now grade 10). It was relatively low-grade, with a kid repeatedly distracting and annoying him in class by throwing things (pencils etc.) at him. He asked the offender to stop repeatedly, but he didn't. We encouged him to speak with his mentor teacher, which he did. As a consequence, both boys were spoken with, both separately and together, as per school anti-bullying policy. But as a consequence of this process, my son was labelled a "snitch" by the bully and his friends.... which actually made the bulling worse, not better.
The bullying only fully ended when the offender changed schools at the end of grade 7, much to the relief of my son, and he's been largely untroubled by bullying ever since, as far as I know.
My wife and I were discussing bullying with my kids around the dinner table the other day, and the advice/experience from my eldest was "DON'T tell the teachers, it'll only make it worse". I asked him "if you could make a better policy to handle school bullying, what would you do?" and he replied "I honestly have absolutely no idea".
So what to be done if telling the teacher only makes matters worse?! How could/should this be done better?
03-26-2017 06:00 PM
03-26-2017 09:17 PM
Hi @spaceman. You pose a really interesting question and I've been sitting here for the last 15 minutes trying to say something useful and insightful but I have nothing. Which makes me really sad. My son experienced a bout of bullying in Year 8. Nothing too drastic - just the smallest kid and an easy target. He got through it, but it definitely impacted his learning and his mental health for a period of time and the school was not interested at all, which I found really difficult.
I do know what he found most frustrating was that there was a lot of 'anti-bullying' discussion and policy at the school and, particularly in Year 9 they school had a program aimed at getting the students to think about their actions, to look out for bullying and to support their classmates. All good in theory but as my son pointed out, the bullies often don't know they're bullies (the ones like your son dealt with who simply think they're just having a bit of harmless fun) so they don't actually reflect on or take anything away from the workshops, and the timid kids, like my son, find the workshops and discussions confronting and try to fly under the radar, for fear of further ridicule. This was my son's feedback at the time.
I do know lots of communication at our end helped my son through and is helping my daughters deal with the seemingly endless dramas of Year 9. Picking up on small signals such as being unusually quiet at the end of the day helps. I often let them decompress a bit in the car but will then say: "you seem a bit flat, are you OK?" and leave it at that. They may not chat until dinner or even later but they'll usually open up at some point and we just navigate each situation together. I find it's really important to note the good days as well, so we can have excited, upbeat conversations which means they're more willing to also chat about the not so good days.
Anyway, I definitely agree with you that it would be good if there was a policy or system within the school that could deal with bullying in a more effective way. My son's in Year 12 now and I'm going to ask him, and my 14 year old daughters, your question. I'll be back to this post if we come up with anything interesting.
03-27-2017 03:46 PM
03-29-2017 01:13 PM - edited 03-29-2017 01:14 PM
Hey @spaceman Thank you so much for introducing yourself and sharing your story.
I hope you don't mind but I was so struck by what your son said, as too were others it appears, so I started a new topic as I didn't want the conversation to be lost.
If you click here you can share some more about what you think the possible solutions to this very important issue you and your son raised.
Thank you so much.
04-01-2017 03:41 PM