Friday, May 15, 2009

Confronting the bully

I had a pleasant afternoon volunteering at my son's third grade celebration about world cultures. Unfortunately, I lost my smile quickly when one of those harassing kids decided to go after my son again. Crazy mama Kelly came out full steam when I flew out my front door to confront this kid. Enough is enough. I told him that I heard him cursing at my son. He tried to deny it, of course.

I don't really like to make a scene, but today I didn't hold back my emotions at all. To him, I probably looked like a hysterical woman. Everything that has been building up over these months pushed me to this little tirade. I really hate confrontations. I wish I could handle this situation better. These incidents take a toll on me.

Can you believe that this kid still found a way to sneak behind my neighbor's shed in order to taunt my kid when I went to pick up my other son from the bus? There was a time when a kid would stay clear of upsetting an adult. No respect. Time to talk to the parents. This is not going to be fun. All this tension is not good for me. I wish I could let these things roll off my back better. The older I get, the more I seem to take things to heart. Wish me luck with the parent confrontation. This kid needs to be reigned in. I don't want to have to deal with this all summer.

Thanks for listening. I'm glad that I can "vent" to you guys.

21 comments:

T Rex Mom said...

Always here to listen. And talk about frustrating.

I wonder if the kid has a behavioral or emotional disorder. Usually kids are deterred from angering strange adults. There might be more going on than just being a bully.

You'll have to tell us what his folks say as well as what they're like. They might not even care or encourage such behavior. Stranger things have happened - so sad.

Take care and remind me not to bully your kids! I fear the wrath of mama Kelly!

shabby girl said...

I am behind you 200%! Let's hope the parents are good people and will take control of the situation! I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Is hubby going with you? Not that you aren't totally, absolutely capable, but maybe with both of you going will show an invinceable front. Hugs and good wishes, my friend!

H.K. said...

This makes me sooo mad, I HATE bullies! I am so glad that you are going to take this to the parents, there is obviously something very wrong with this "child". Good luck & look forward to hearing an update.

Juliet Colors said...

Ugh. That sounds like a difficult situation. I'll be rooting for you and your kids! Good luck.

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

It's really hard to know how to handle a situation like that. I wouldn't be surprised if confronting the parents doesn't do much good either. You just have to give your kids the tools to deal with a bully... self-esteem, support and pepper spray. :)

Gina said...

I feel for you - it's so hard to deal with that stuff.

2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

Oh Gosh I don't envy you, BUT it has to be done and for the sake of your son and your mind, you need to confront his parents. I really hope they are normal people and will be on board with what you are telling them. Sending you big hugs(())

Mari said...

Of course you let loose! You are the Mom! I hope the parents aren't the type that don't think their kid does anything wrong. Good luck!

pughy said...

Always ready to listen.Wish I could help more. I think you should go see the parents. Stay cool.

Thinking of you Carol x

G said...

I think the way you handled that particular situation was just fine.

Sometimes, verbally laying into a kid is absolutely the right thing to do.

Talking to his parents may or many not work. In any event, let the parents know that you're not gonna tolerate anymore of their little deliquents garbage anymore, and if they can't do anything about it, you will.

Joanne said...

It sounds like you have a real problem on your hands, definitely not fun. You should talk to the parents, even better if your husband could do the talking. But this kid's parents could very well be the root of the problem too. Let us know how it goes.

Nori D said...

That is a terrible situation. Sometimes I think about the parents behind those kids. Are they just as mean, or are they struggling to understand their kid as well. I hope his parents are as concerned as you are. Good luck!

Gerri said...

Yes, I agree it IS time to talk to the parents. I pray, that they are understanding and take this seriously. It would be awful if this bullying turned into something physical. I pray for your strength and peace as well.

septembermom said...

Thanks everyone. Your advice and support mean a lot to me. I had a restless night's sleep. I'll be glad when the parent "talk" is over. I'll let you know what happens.

Valerie said...

Good luck (((Septembermom)))

Ann Victor said...

Good luck Kelly for when you speak to the parents!! Bullying is such a cowardly act and you as a mom have every right to defend your child against such actions! Sending (((Hugs))) and strength to you

Anthony said...

SeptMom,

Sorry to hear that you've got a problem, through no fault of your own. Someone else's child has upset your domestic balance, and that has reverberated inside of you - with good cause.

If you're open to some advice based on similar experience, I'd like to suggest that as one of the adults you maintain your cool with your neighbors. If you appear to be emotional, your goose will be cooked before you even begin. They'll feel your vibe and will tune you out. You will lose any credibility you may have had by default.

Your "opening remarks" will be the most difficult part of the conversation. It'll be during these first few moments that you set the overall tone of your interaction with them. It can go either way (good or bad), depending exclusively on you. You are in control of the future to a vast degree (more on this toward the end of my remarks).

Your objective is not to change their child, but to make them aware of a problem you've observed that they may not be aware of. Of course you want to verbalize in some way that you're a parent as well and want to do whatever you can to help all the children in the neighborhood grow up to have healthy & successful lives. Just be normal with them.

However, in the case that the conversation goes wildly off-track, back away without letting down your guard. Let them know that you will seek other avenues to protect your child, and let that be that (i.e. stop talking). Take good notes about what was done and said during that conversation when you calm down, because you'll have some homework to do.

I'd suggest going to your State/County family or child protective services to report the on-going problem if it's bad enough (today it's foul language and bullying, tomorrow it'll be drugs and weapons). Someone in authority needs to be made aware if the problem and that the other parents are unwilling to discuss ways you can all work together to help a child in need.

Bottom line, think clearly and be as non-emotional as possible (no one will deal with an irrational person). Figure out your plan, and then execute on it. No matter what happens, you're not going to lose if you have various alternatives to pursue. Their reaction/response (i.e. positive or negative) will determine your next course of action. Plan your work, and then work your plan.

Best of luck SM, and let us know how it goes.

Cheers,
Parents_in_SpringHill

Dani said...

I too am saddened about the lack of respect in children these days. What happened to the respectful obedience to adults? It's so sad how many of these kids are going to grow up to become ignorant "big kid" adults with no respect for authority figures.

The Write Girl said...

Good for you Septembermom...yeah its definitely time to discuss things with that kids parents. I hate confrontations too but sometimes we have to confront things. Best of luck to you : )

Becca said...

I definitely agree that it is time for a talk with the parents. Although, in my experience, the apple USUALLY doesn't fall far from the tree. I hope that is not the case in this situation! Good luck and best wishes. You will have to let us know how it goes!

Pegsy said...

I've been reading a long time to get to this post! I've been absent from blogging too long, so I was trying to figure out what has been going on with the whole bully situation. I so feel for you and I totally understand what you're going through. I had very much the same situation going on with my daughter last summer and it was truly awful for our whole family. There were two little girls in particular who did things like tell my daughter that she couldn't play with them even when they were on public property (like the playgroud across the street). They said outright lies about her to their parents about Sara. (I caught them red-handed several times because I saw what happened, when they didn't know I'd been watching.) Then, one of the MOMS became a bully to my daughter and would not listen to anything my husband and I had to say. I hated being home. I would call up friends and ask if we could come play. I planned lots of daytrips. I forced my kids to stay inside when those girls or the mom was outside. I hated it. We ended up moving in September because of my husband's job, and as much as I didn't want to leave our city and so many friends, I was so relieved to be rid of those bullies and that street we lived on. I learned a lot of lessons, and I've things a lot differently since we moved into this new community. I pray this situation will be resolved quickly - I feel so badly that you have to go through this.