How to feel hope for your child when it feels hopeless?
My babies Mr 5 and Miss 4 take a private bus to school and home again so I can work school hours. They are the only little kids on the bus.
Yesterday our son reluctantly told us older kids slapped, bit and scratched him as a game even though he told them to stop. His ear was bleeding.
Confiding in us took guts so we acted by speaking to the bus driver about keeping any little kids at the front where he can see them. Documenting and alerting the school and we had a meeting this morning because this is unacceptable.
Today they went on the bus again. We waited for the bus at the school gate to meet our kids (and eye off each of the teenage asshats that hurt him for fun). A silent threat.
My heart aches and I want to protect but my gut also says he needs to learn we will act to keep him safe but he must also learn to guard himself by staying with his peer group and knowing if someone touches him to speak up loudly because that is not permitted.
But watching your little one slowly realising not everyone is kind or nice hurts.
Hearing your five year old say that a boy said that "it's ok if we hit you because you're just a little toy" made me want to vomit.
In the school meeting I just sobbed and couldn't speak. It feels so revolting. The school is taking it seriously but I have lost faith. There were young adults on that bus that watched and did nothing. Not even a word to the driver. Nothing.
I am proud of how he bounced back and is back to his usual feral and happy self. But I am broken and hopeless. Tears keep threatening.
How do you teach small children the world is a positive place when you need to teach them to develop resilience and defence?
How do you feel hopeful for their future with proof people stand back and watch and do nothing?
It is the way of the world.
Ladt week we had two polive in Stkilda bashed. The cab driver that filmed the event did good doing so...but why didnt he also render assistance?
IMO your kids are too young to be able to defend themselves. The bus driver should be informed he/she, has a duty of care.
My only advice is to approach the parents of those respinsible to inform them what happened.
Thete is no place for such bullying.
For sure, there are plenty of little scumbags around, there's no denying it! If you're anything like me, you've probably imagined yourself putting the fear of god into them, so to speak, in a number of ways. The best we can do is put our imagination aside and maturely manage the situation, like with what you've done. I applaud you, you are a fine example for your kids to admire.
My 13yo son is typically a non-confrontational beautiful caring soul who is unfortunately a target for bullies, because of his nature. We've been working on a few skills lately which have made a difference:
- Developing skills in 'emotional intelligence' (processing emotions into constructive thoughts)
- Developing the mantra 'How am I going to manage this?' as opposed to relying on the old sometimes debilitating question 'What am I going to do?' How am I gong to manage this, leads us to think of an empowering plan toward resolution
- Developing skills in the area of self-esteem (consciousness, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and personal integrity).
Understandably, how we manage to empower our kids will depend on individual personality and age.
As for the idea that the world is scattered with cruel people and bystanders, yes, this is the truth. The world is also filled with beautiful souls and upstanders. I try my best to find plenty of examples, for my kids, when it comes to the latter (so they remain conscious witnesses to the beauty in this world). Again, you are a great example for your kids when it comes to someone who is both upstanding and outstanding. You really are a beautiful powerful person.
'The bystander effect' is well documented in the world psychology. Apparently, the more people present, the less likely someone will act in coming to the rescue. As the amount of observers declines, the odds go up when it comes to someone helping. Basically people wait for someone else to step in. There probably were a few kids on that bus who wanted to step in so have faith in the idea that not all on the bus wanted your son to suffer. We humans can be strange creatures at times.
It's definitely tough being a mum sometimes. I tell my kids, 'Even though the cord was cut at birth, the connection is still so strong to the point where I feel your pain'. Parents can be teary folk for good reason.
Take care Quercus
I am so very sorry to read your story. It does sound like you are trying to resolve some of the issues. Are your children able to sit close to the driver now?
Could you enlist one of the other older children as a mentor for your children on the bus? Maybe the school could organise this?
Has your son been able to tell you who the bully is or who they are? Can you confront them and their parents? Some parents may have no idea their children are right little hooligans.
Showing your children that you are willing to listen to them, love them and act on their behalf can be half the battle. Having a parent that just tells you not to be a sook does not help!
My siblings and I were all bullied. I became a very angry person who hated everyone and trusted no one. I hope you are able to get on top of this and stop the bullying.
Cheers from Dools
im a teacher and what you have described is assault. The school is responsible for ensuring your child’s safety as is the bus company they are providing to get your children safely to school. The bus driver should be held to account for not stopping the bus and protecting your child. Have you rang the company to report the incident? The school also needs to bring these teenagers in with their parents - there should be a consequence and they should be informed that if it occurs again you will file charges. Violence is not ok between children but with such a large age gap I am also concerned about the psychological development of these teenagers who believe it acceptable to hurt a small child.
In terms of reassuring your child the school should also be delivering programs around respectful relationships, brave hearts and bully buster programs and your child should be celebrated for communicating the problem and seeking help.
When I was hit at first, I didn’t announce
The harder they all hit, the stronger I’ll bounce
Why was I thinking “why did I catch that ball?”
Sometimes the only way you win is to lose
If that's the only choice left for you to choose
When everything is good you shouldn’t ask why
'Cause when it goes bad, the ask is “live or die?”
When you’re the only brunt for the bully’s rage
It’s better for you to stay inside your cage
It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to dance
That is the only way the peacock won’t prance
Although it won’t seem when you are rejected
The cruelest punishments can’t be deflected
When your head is up, waiting for the smack down
No one notices this strength on the playground
Keeping all your vanity locked up inside
Choosing to run away, or choosing to hide
The victims of the bullies will never win
Thank you all for taking the time to reply.
Tony mentioned this is the way of the world and that is exactly why I feel so so low. Hubby says the same constantly. That generally people are out for themselves and that I am naieve to expect better.
I feel like if we expect the worst what is the point? Shouldn't we be allowed to expect better?
The driver has been fabulous and the new rule is kids sit with age groups. But I think what I'm finding hardest is feeling hopeful and positive if this is what my kids have to look forward to.
It is upsetting. I can understand given you have kids too CMF that this post would be hard to read but thank you for your support.
Therising... As always your posts are helpful. I am sorry to hear your son has been bullied too. This bystander effect theory makes me feel a bit sick. Probably because growing up we were taught to always stand up for others even if it meant getting in trouble or even copping a beating.
And Mrs D I do have names but we will give the school a chance. The school know if it happens again it will be a police report first then I will be asking for the parents names.
Another day has passed. Everyone else seems to have moved on but my stomach feels like acid.
Hi Guest922 and thank you for your reply and the extra information you've given.
I was speaking to a friend today who works at a school too and she said many schools have a 2nd adult on the bus. One is responsible for driving and the other for safety and care. It made sense to me and I'm going to check with our school if this is possible.
As much as I hate it I can see how our driver wouldn't have noticed. The road in our area is poor and he needs to pay attention. All the more reason in my mind there should be another adult on board.
Im sad to read about what has happened to your son (and as you mentioned...good on him for letting you know!)
Mr 5 sounds way too young to be on a school bus with the mongrels that bullied your son
Has the school provided you with an assurance on what steps they will be taking?
Can I ask how long the bus trip is to school?