It’s an interesting question, isn’t it?
Children must learn it from somewhere!
And how young do these bullying tendencies appear?
Now, I know that no child is an angel, my own included, and that at some point they will inevitably make mistakes, and push and shove their counterparts. But, what is it that turns that innocent push into a relentless tirade of physical and verbal abuse?
Why do children bully and where do they learn it?
The first part is easy to answer.
Bullies bully out of jealousy! Pure and simple, jealousy is what it all boils down too.
So the person that puts you down and says you are no good at what you do, is saying it because they are jealous that they cannot do what you do.
The big kid that picks on the new kid on the block does so to prove they are top dog, but underneath there is a jealousy that maybe the new kid has more loving parents than they have, or the new kid has better clothes, etc.
I was bullied. I cannot remember minute details, but the scars have run so deep, I have no memories of secondary school at all.
I was bullied because I was different. I went to an all-girls school and because I was preferred the Arts to make-up and boys, I was easy prey. Looking back, it was probably out of jealousy because I wasn’t ‘one of the crowd’, I wasn’t ‘a sheep’, I had my own mind and stuck to it, did not bow to peer pressure.
But how do children learn to bully?
Is it from parents, the television, media? What?
That’s the bit that I don’t understand.
The reason for this question is because SC is having a bad time at the moment. I’ve written before about how he’s been hit, kicked, pushed, punched, etc pretty much every week since he started school. But in these last few weeks, he has not wanted to go to school, at all!
Every morning he wakes up and states “I’m not going to school today!”
Every time I ask why, he says it’s because people are unkind. I hasten to add, after further questioning, it is not everyone, but merely 1 or 2 children that seem to have it in for him.
And it’s always the same 2.
Now, I have spoken to another mother whose son seems to back up SC’s claim, and that 1 of the children involved is particularly vile to everyone (to look at him butter wouldn’t melt, but then isn’t that always the way?), but is especially vile to SC.
I have no idea what to do?
I certainly don’t want SC hating going to school – at the moment he is well above his peers in his level of learning (this is probably the underlying root of the problem), and has admitted he is also bored at school, “it’s too easy!” – but the more he says he doesn’t want to go to school, his reaction will be to shut down, switch off, and then all his potential (of which he, and every other child, has an enormous amount of) will be gone. He just won’t want to learn.
I have sniffed out the possibility of him going to another school, but I don’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction.
I know, more than anyone, that there will be nice and nasty children at any school, they will just have different names and different faces. And I have said as much to SC.
Yesterday, he was adamant he didn’t want to go to school and sat in bed shouting “I don’t ever want to go to that school again! I want to go to School X” – he even told 2 boys that he was leaving school, and then they went and told the teacher (snitches!). When his teacher asked him about this SC said that “mummy said I could!” (oops!)
So there is obviously a problem, but schools don’t like to admit this, let alone do anything about it.
I know a lot of parents tell there kids to fight back, however, I have a big problem with this.
a) if SC hits back, he is no better than the bully, and more likely the bully will go running of to the teacher and tell a pack of lies, so SC gets into trouble.
b) violence escalates. If I hit you, you hit me, I get a stick, you get a stick, I get a knife, you get a knife, etc. Where does it all end?
My advice to SC has always been, just walk away. Don’t let anyone see you are upset, just walk away. If you walk away and don’t react, the bully will get bored.
I don’t like violence, I don’t want to bring SC up to thinking the only way to get out of a situation is to use his fists. There are other ways.
Bullying was bad enough when it was me. How do I protect my son? I don’t want him going through the next 12 years of schooling afraid of being himself. I want him to enjoy learning and going to school, not hate every single minute so that all his childhood memories are warped by the horridness – if that makes sense.
So I ask the questions again how do children learn to bully?