Being A Mum – Coping with Bullying
My first child going to school was a lot scarier than I first thought it would be! I couldn’t believe that no one in my life had ever explained what it felt like leaving your child at school for the first, second, third, one hundredth time…
I have been extremely lucky in my journey to becoming a mum which has allowed me to take my children to work with me, have long periods of time off and work from home, because of this, my children have spent little to no time in daycare. So when it came to school I was suddenly faced with the reality of someone I didn’t know “looking after” my child for more time then I would be each week. I went from 7 days a week to a measly 2 days a week. Now this was hard enough to deal with, however, things got worse…much worse.
On the very first day of prep my son was pushed off the top of the playground.
Awe Sad face mate!
You think these incidents are bound to happen and are one offs but in fact this was the start of the same child physically hurting my child everyday. It took some time, for us to realise how bad things were. Our son started to change. He went from being happy and stable to wetting himself both at night and at school during the day. He was crying every morning not wanting to get ready to go to school. He was getting tonsillitis regularly and was just not himself.
He was spat at, bitten, hit in the privates, thrown sand at, pushed off the stage and kicked while on the ground crying from the fall, his hat stolen off him and thrown over the fence to name a few.
Now as a parent I expected that the teachers and school would be doing their best to protect my child and help the child that was bullying him to change and become a better person. This was not the case. All of these incidents were witnessed by either parents or a lot of children, however, the teachers and other staff were choosing to stay out of it!
Now I am not talking about year 11 or 12 students where teachers and staff could end up hurt, I’m talking about PREP STUDENTS! A four and a half year old getting hurt on their watch.
I went to his teacher at first. Her responses included “I haven’t noticed anything”, “these are one off incidents because they are all different scenarios” and “he got sand thrown at him because the children were throwing it at his friend and he told them to stop. They then started throwing it at him. So it’s his fault for getting involved”. WOW! So I raised my child to stand up for his friends and that’s a bad thing?
When I went to the school to take the matter further I left in tears having then felt like I myself was being bullied. I was told I was lying and my son was lying and changing things around to suit himself. I did not let it go though – I requested a meeting with all of the staff involved in caring for my son. In this meeting they said “what would you say if we said your son is the one with the problem” myself and my husband responded “tell us how to fix it and what you are going to do here to help him”. That was the end of that conversation and subject was quickly changed. They couldn’t give us anything.
The following term was the last of the year. My son was sent to the office EVERY day of the term for play times. He was yelled at for things he swears he didn’t do. He would tell me every afternoon through lots of tears, this child had done whatever to him and then the office ladies were “mean” to him. He lost all of his confidence and his schooling suffered.
I believe there are many people in power that are bullies themselves. They join in on bullying! In my experience, a child being bullied by another child was then bullied by the adults who also bullied his parents and the child who started the bullying!
We changed schools, (if you are even considering it then go for it, the situation is obviously not satisfactory) the difference is amazing. My son’s confidence is back, no more bed/pants wetting and is doing well in his schooling. Any situations at school are dealt with amazingly and so quickly.
Every school, workplace, playgroup etc claim to have a strict no bullying approach in theory these days but do they actually follow through or are we just raising the next generation to once again be a generation of bullies and victims??
My thought is – How can we ever expect to see a bullying free society when the effects of bullying start so early and are reinforced by adults?
Let’s not turn a blind eye, stand up for our children and the children and adults around us that need our support. Good luck to all of the parents out there who are getting close to that first year of school and let’s hope all of your children starting school have the support they need and deserve to get through it a healthy, safe and happy child! Good luck to the parents and children out there who, in whatever year of schooling, are exposed to bullying. I hope you are in a school who support you & support to change bullying behaviour, not condone it.
“Being nice is the new black” I love this quote and I think more people should try it.
Written by Bec Anderson
After moving around in the Defence Posting cycles for many years Bec, along with hubby Mark, chose to plant roots and call Townsville home because of it’s beautiful weather and family feel.
Bec is a busy mum of 2 just trying to make her way in the world of motherhood, while working part time and building up a cake making business.