Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Not My Daughter

Bullying, Blows.  And it's even worse when it's your kid being bullied.

I remember coming home, day after day, praying that my mom would stop working and stay home so that I didn't have to go to daycare anymore. I remember faking sick a lot, so that I could skip school.

I don't know that I had it worse than other kids, but I know that I was very sensitive to it. Their voices became the tape in my head that, for years, kept repeating the things they said to me. Long after they no longer cared enough to tell me I was ugly or stupid or useless, I had learned to say those things to myself. I became my own bully. Nice, huh?

So, now I have this little girl. Piper is 8 years old and so much like me that it hurts. She's all heart. She wants to be friends with everyone, and wants so much for people to like her. That's why she's an easy target for children who haven't learned that there are things to do to make you feel good about yourself that don't involve being an ass to other kids.

My parents didn't realize how bad the bullying had become for me. I'm not making the same mistake. I went down to Piper's school this afternoon and made her teacher sit down and talk to me about it.

We made a plan to help Piper get the attention she needs when this is happening in class. And her teacher switched her seat so she's not sitting next to her #1 Bully (because making her sit next to her tormentor is a crappy idea, in my opinion).

But this is one of those moments where I wish I could wrap her up in some kind of protective coating so that these things didn't hurt. I wish there was a filter that would only let her hear the things that were true about her, and not the rest. In the meantime, I'm going to make damn sure the school meets it's obligation to protect my kid.


  1. My son's class has a few bullies in it, so his teacher bought Have You Filled a Bucket Today? She's been reading it, had all the kids color bucket pictures, and has a class bucket. When someone's nice to a classmate, they get to add a piece of paper to the class bucket. When someone is mean, the class bucket loses a piece of paper. Once the class bucket fills, they'll get a treat. http://www.amazon.com/Have-You-Filled-Bucket-Today/dp/1933916168/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304480958&sr=1-2

  2. They've been talking about being "bucket fillers" since the first day of school. I didn't realize there were books about the subject until I saw them in Piper's classroom today. It's a great idea. The school has also implemented the Olweus anti-bullying program. But this is the school's first year in existence, and the first year using the program. They talk a lot about how this kind of thing isn't tolerated. So, now I have to have them show me. Prove to me that you're not going to tolerate it happening with my kid.

  3. I am so so sorry. :( Bullying is such a terrible thing and I'm glad you went to the school. I certainly hope the parents of these kids are called and there is some concequences handed out. No one should have to live with a bully. Bless her little heart...i hope the situation gets better for her at school. Keep us updated please.

  4. We found out that Spud was being "bullied" by a little girl in his class. She kept doing these "spider bite" things to his wrist when he would point out (as the teacher requested) which child was talking. (Do not get me into what a stupid idea that is, Ms Guidance Counselor! Argh!) So this little girl, K, would grab his arm and hand, and twist opposite directions. Then he had a numb hand for over an hour. I threw a sweet, but firm fit to the teacher and the guidance counselor. It seems to have worked. I check in with Spud every few days to make sure nothing like that is still going on. He and Piper are two peas in a pod, with their sweet, loving nature. It brings our Mama Bear attitudes to the front if someone is being mean to them. I hope the new plan at Piper's school works out. I hate to even imagine her sad. =( Poor baby.

  5. Bullying does suck. I haven't had to deal with it yet, I hope I keep my head like you did. :)

  6. Thanks, everyone. I honestly don't want to treat the school like the enemy. They work hard and are there to help my kids. At the same time, I know it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I *will* do whatever is necessary to make sure my kiddo is protected. That said, I hope I can strike a balance that makes them want to help me do it, not just want to shut me up.


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