Tag Archives: jealousy

How do children learn to bully?

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.

and

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?

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Envy

Yes, that whole “covet thy neighbour’s ass” commandment!

Now, according to Wikipedia, envy, like greed, can be characterised as an insatiable desire. They vary, however on two counts:

  1. Firstly, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may be more general;
  2. Secondly, those who commit the sin of envy, not only resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, but also wish the other person to be deprived of it.

Nice, huh!

Now we all get envious, to varying degrees, pretty much every day.

You see someone and think “Wow! What fab hair, wish my hair was like that.”, or “that woman looks amazing so quickly after giving birth, I wish I knew her secret!”, and one for the lads “nice car! Bet he pulls the birds in that!”

Yes, this is theoretically committing the sin of envy, but it is very light-hearted, with no animosity or malice. We just wish our hair could look good, not that we wish the other person’s hair didn’t.

But, what if we let that envy eat us up? What happens when we let the green-eyed monster get larger?

Nothing good!

Imagine a sulky child, not being able to get what he/she wants at the toy shop. What do they all cry out?

Yes, that’s right. “It’s not fair!”

I want does not equal I get!

Something SC knows. He knows that I want never gets – but he is that cute, he then rephrases it with “I would like”, and when he says “it’s not fair!” I give him a cuddle and remind him that life, unfortunately is not fair, and we have to learn to deal with it. This happens, usually after he’s lost a game we’ve been playing!

But we are not an eternal child (we wish we could be, but we are not). So when something happens that we feel is unfair – we don’t get that big promotion, Hollywood doesn’t come a-calling, we get sidelined for a younger model, etc, etc, etc, what do we do?

We can stamp and shout about how it isn’t fair, dissect the situation in the minutest detail to work out why we were not the chosen one, and keep going on, and on, and on about it to everyone and anyone we meet. Not only griping about what a big mistake it was, because we are so much better, but that the other person is rubbish and not ‘fit for purpose’, so to speak.

Is that going to get us sympathy? Is that going to get us what we want?

No!

We might get sympathy initially. But the constant harping and snide comments will win us no friends in the end. And more importantly, the situation will not change. We will still not have the promotion, glittering career, or man/woman back!

We will be left with nothing!

So how do we stop the green-eyed monster from rearing its ugly head in the first place?

OK. we can have a little cry and a moan, and maybe a little petulant stamp of the foot. Hurt pride takes a while to heal and we wouldn’t be human if it didn’t hurt, just a little.

But we have to remind ourselves that it isn’t the end of the world. It was clearly not meant to be.

Time heals, is a very true saying. And yes, we may be hurting inside every time we see the person that got the job, or the person that got the man/girl. But if we keep our own counsel we will not let the green-eyed monster win and will not lose the respect of others.

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Being blunt!

… or calling a spade a spade.

Now most of the time, I pretty much say how I feel. But sometimes I hold back and those are really the times in my life when I wished I could have been more blunt and to the point:

‘Stop your pathetic bullying! Just because I am different to you does not mean I should be treated the way you are treating me!’

‘I am proud to be different. I would rather be me than a sheep! At least I know my own mind, I don’t have to follow the herd.’

‘I’m sorry! You said what? That you’d be ashamed to say you’d never had a permanent job? How very dare you! You didn’t seem to object to my alternative career path when it paid for your holidays and weekends away! And you never minded, just expected, me to dip my hand in my pocket all the time!’

‘Were you chatting the Russian bird up over the Internet before I walked out on you?’

‘Seriously, why did you treat me like s**t?’

‘Oh false friend indeed! I have just realised that you have never been a true friend. Only when you wanted something did you feign interest. You’re not a very nice person and to be honest I won’t miss you in my life.’

‘No, I’m not doing fine on my own, thanks for asking though…not!’

‘No, actually. I didn’t get a scholarship over you just because of my dancing and singing! I got it because, funnily enough, I can act as well, and this is first and foremost a drama school… Clearly, you’re not as good as you puff yourself up to be, or you would have got one!’

‘What do you want from me? You can’t just keep me hanging around, it’s not fair! Make your bl***y mind up. If you like me, do something about it, but don’t hedge your bets!’

‘Will you give over your b****y moaning. So you didn’t get the part you wanted. Do you think that maybe, just maybe, the person that did get the part actually might be better than you. There’s no need for all the nastiness. It’s petty, totally uncalled for, it’s making me feel uncomfortable and showing your true colours. Get over yourself!’

‘I’m not perfect. Does that shock you that I am actually aware of my failings? Question is are you aware of yours?’

‘So you really think that SC doesn’t need you until he’s about 8 or 9? God! Your father obviously instilled some good parenting skills in you…not! You go ahead and think that a**hole, crawl back under your rock from whence you came and leave him alone. Because you know what t***head he doesn’t need you, and when you want SC, he’s going to tell you exactly where to go…and hell won’t be far enough!’

‘Why the f*** do you bother coming to visit SC? You spend all morning checking your watch and spend less than 15 minutes actually engaging with him before you sprawl on the floor/sofa ignoring him. It’s all for show, and if it’s just to soothe your guilty conscience, you know where you can stick it!’

‘Mmm, when you asked me to move in with you, I thought you’d at least make room for me. I wasn’t expecting to live out of a suitcase and plastic bags for 3 years! Is that how you treated your last girlfriend? And why the hell did it take me 3 years to come to my senses? You know what Russian bride is welcome to you. Hope she’s just as selfish as you are!’

‘I’m sorry, did I hear you correctly? Did you just say that if I had an independent midwife and I ended up needing to come to hospital (which believe me would only be in an emergency with me drugged up to the eyeballs) what made me think that I was entitled to use the hospital? Mmm, let me think! How about the fact that I pay more than my fair share in tax and national insurance. I didn’t realise that the NHS wasn’t accessible for everyone, I must have misinterpreted its original purpose in my O’Level history course!’

‘Gee! Thanks for all your help and support whilst I was in labour! Not! Seriously, you think p***ing off, falling asleep and keeping silent was really helpful. Most men (and by men I mean nice guys not a**holes like you) are full of encouraging words and actions. W****r!’

‘We’ve been friends for years, but seriously does that give you the right to be so f***ing insulting? You don’t really know me. You see the person on stage and the roles I play, so you have no right to say you pity the man who ends up with me! Who the hell are you to talk? Have you taken a good look at your own marriage recently?’

‘Shock! Horror! My child is no angel! But seriously, do you really think that’s just because I’m a single mother? With all the c*** he’s been dealt at school (not a week has gone by where he hasn’t been kicked, bitten, hit, or generally abused in some shape or form), not once has he retaliated and hit back! I think that actually makes him a better person, and maybe I’ve actually got something right as a mother!’

‘Did I forget to mention that I’m a very impatient person? I don’t wait for long, so don’t make me!’

 

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