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bullying or not


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privatenyc530 October 4, 2012


My daughter is a 4 th grader with a lot of patience and does not whine /complain about anything .i recently came to know that a girl from her class is stepping on her feet INTENTIONALLY and she to avoid the pain crunches her feet inside her shoe when she sees that girl coming instead of telling her to STOP and tell the teacher .
My daughter has 4 girls only in her class and she feels like if she picks up a fight with one then she will not have anyone to talk to later on.
how do i solve this without involving the board ( the bully is a board member's child) i told my child to react in a humourous way hello making a funny face did you step on my feet AGAIN ?
she does not seem like she is buying into that
Please help i dont want her to think that she is supposed to take all the suffering.

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MagnetMom October 5, 2012


Hi privatenyc530,

She is handling it. It might not be how you'd prefer her to handle it, but she's not giving in to the bully--and not giving the bully any indication that she's being affected.

If it gets worse you might want to step in, but there is always going to be this kind of annoyance at school.

You can continue to role play scenarios for her to get to a point she can find her voice.

Good luck.

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pigtoria October 10, 2012


Hi Privatenyc530.....

I am SO sorry to hear about the situation your daughter is in. I also have a son in the 4th grade and I can't imagine what I would do if something like this arises. I admire you for your patience in handling the situation.

I do agree that as parents we should let our kids handle their own situation to gain independence. But I think if I were in your situation, I would take an additional step. I would talk to the teacher about it. I would share with her what your daughter is going through - although I wouldn't mention or disclose the other girl's name. I would say that there is this situation which I believe is not appropriate and if the teacher could address it to the class that we should all keep our body parts - arms and legs - to ourselves and to give people personal space (also meaning don't get close to anyone so that the child can be hurt). Perhaps the teacher could mention some kind of punishment to go along if such behavior is caught (write lines or apology letter). I think that by having the situation in the open and knowing that "stepping on someone's feet" is not appropriate, the girl will be conscious about it each time she attempts to do something to your daughter. She also might fear that other kids will be watching her and reporting it back to the teacher.

Good luck and please write back if there is any update on your situation.

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TeacherParent October 11, 2012


I wouldn't be happy if my child had to spend a part of her school day protecting herself in that way. It's a difficult situation to be sure but I wouldn't be content with it though I admire your daughter's forbearance.

If this were my classroom, I would want to hear from a parent whose child is being bullied in my classroom. I can only solve the problems that I know exist but - every teacher is different. If a parent came to me with this information, it would empower me to watch specifically for this foot stomping moment and once I'd seen it with my own eyes, I'd act on it. "What are you doing there, Susan, and why? It looks as if you're stepping on Mary's toes- is that what I'm seeing?"

I would not ever let on that I'd be alerted to the behavior by anyone's mother. These kind of situations are usually not able to be solved by the children on their own. It requires a higher power. Laughing it off or pretending to do that will not necessarily discourage the bully.

Is this a very large class size? Is your child's teacher generally responsive to parental concerns? A classroom teacher could indeed fear to reprimand a board member's child but even if so, a classroom teacher could speak out and often about what is bullying - including stepping on people's toes. Bullies can squirm and stop when they think they've been discovered.

In the meanwhile, I'd do everything possible to strengthen your daughter's relationship with the other two girls in the class. Playdates can help to build good friendships.
Good luck.

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Jennifer210 October 14, 2012


Our son was bullied in 5th grade- although he now says some of it started in 4th grade. It was not so much physical as verbal and isolation. We talked with teachers, the principal, even our BOE rep, all without long lasting success.
We used the exercises on the Bullies2Buddies website and it stopped.

He also started taking karate which helped him become more confident. The karate teacher was very good about stressing that with the knowledge he was gaining came a responsibility to use that knowledge wisely, and only in defense.

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mackeytablefor October 14, 2012


Teacher Parent is spot on with their response. General classroom discussion about bullying would certainly help and is in order in this case. I think the little witch will probably escalate to pinching or punching because the receiver is passive and accepting. There will be bullies thru out the childs life from classmates to bad bosses, get the child some lifes skills she can use for crying out loud! Time to step up Mom and ask teacher to address.



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