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It starts way too young

Jan 19, 2011 - 16 comments

I just love my 5 year olds spirit.  He's never met someone he didn't think was a friend, is almost always happy, has loads of confidence (which is a blessing as his older brother has to work hard on that) and has that kind of joy that you can see in his eyes.  They sparkle.  

He's a big kindergartner now.  He goes half a day in the afternoon and rides the bus and thinks the whole thing is pretty terrific.  That is what we want, right?  We nurture them so that they can enter the "real" world with a smile on their face ready to conquer it . . . even as we cry while they leave.  

So my happy little boy is one of the youngest on the bus and has an assigned seat.  He sits with his great buddy who is a first grade girl that we know well.  There is a first grade boy that also sits with them.  A few weeks back, my little guy got of the bus and looked like he had been crying.  I asked him what was wrong and he really wouldn't say.  Then my older son told me that he heard that the first grade boy my baby sits with had punched him.  Grrr.  I say, "okay baby boy,  Here is what you say and do next time."  I guessed it was a one time thing.  I asked him about it and he really didn't answer but didn't seem upset.  But he has been acting odd about the bus.  He reminds me to be right by the door of the bus when he gets off every day and has asked me to pick him up.  La dee da, I guess my head is in the clouds and I didn't realize what was going on.  

So today I get a phone call from the girl in my son's seat that I am friendly with to tell me what she has been told by her daughter.  It seems this boy punches my kid and makes him cry every day!  My son hadn't left for school yet as I got the call in the morning so I ask him.

He wells up in tears and tells me that this boy used to be his friend and was nice to him.  He didn't know why he didn't like him now and was hitting him all the time.  

These are those parent moments that we remember.  My sweet little boy is more concerned as to why this boy doesn't want to be friends than he is that he is hurting him.  I hate that.

It starts so young that a child is exposed to the ugliness of life.  That some people are just plain mean.  I hate that about life.

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184674 tn?1360864093
by AHP84, Jan 19, 2011
Aww, I'm so sorry your little guy is going through this. His personality sounds so much like my son's; friendly and outgoing and would do just about anything to be anybody's friend because he considers everybody best friend material. Then even when someone is nasty to him, he still has a heart big enough to want to forgive them and be their friend.

Could you ask the bus driver to assign your son (or the other boy, as you may want to keep your son with the little girl) to a new seat? That way, he may still have the opportunity he wants to try to be friends with this boy, but be protected from the abuse until the kid can learn to behave and be nice.

1461073 tn?1308681148
by crackerjack4u2, Jan 19, 2011
Ohhh I'm so sorry to hear this. This breaks my heart, so I can only imagine what it's doing to you by him being your child.  Children have such a hard time adjusting to starting school etc anyway without somebody picking on them.  I'm glad the little girl notified you about this, or you might not have otherwise been aware how bad the situation had become.  

I wonder if the bus driver knows what's going on, if not, he and the school definitely needs to be made aware.   As you stated the ugly side of life does start way too early.  Unfortunately, the small bullies of today, if it doesn't get halted early enough in life, often become the inmates of tomorrow.  I'm ashamed to have to admit to anyone, but when I was younger I was that bully.  I Pray your little guy stops getting bullied because no child deserves to live in fear.  I Pray he has many wonderful, positive, and happy school and life experiences to look back on when he gets older.  I also Pray that the bully himself, learns kindness and compassion for those around him because nobody likes a bully.  Good Luck and  
May God Bless You and Your Family Brenda  

203342 tn?1328740807
by April2, Jan 19, 2011
That's terrible! Poor bsby. Ugh, where do kids learn this stuff and so young?
And where was this bus driver?
I think it's time to have a talk with the bus driver and this child's parents. Your som should not have to be afraid to ride the bus or dread school because of this. Poor thing. I think you should get together with his parents and have the boys meet and talk too. They're young enough they should be able to work through this. Hope it all works out soon!

535822 tn?1443980380
by margypops, Jan 19, 2011
I hate bullying, it is so demeaning, and happens such a lot ,makes one wonder if they are like that at home I imagine so , I would think this child unless rebuked by parents will continue to bully as he gets older, I too feel it needs nipping in the bud .Hope your youngster is feeling better now ...

13167 tn?1327197724
by RockRose, Jan 19, 2011
specialmom,  he'll get over this.  You need to go to the school and have the boy placed in a different seat from your son,  have your son's seat be the window seat with the girl he's friends with sitting in the aisle,  and this will end.

It's not like your son is being bullied by a bunch of kids - it's just this one boy,  and he can be removed.  He's not in the class.

I do know how you feel.  You feel like just hauling off and slugging this little brat.  : (

171768 tn?1324233699
by tiredbuthappy, Jan 19, 2011
I just attended a workshop on bullying so it's fresh in my mind (although we get training yearly). This has to be addressed NOW because it will not stop, and it will only get worse. If not for your son, then the next little boy who sits next to this bully next year.
Contact the school tomorrow. They NEED to know what happened, and depending on where you live, they are most likely LEGALLY responsible to address it and stop it now. Don't stop until you get the results you want and your son is safe. It sounds like this kid is doing it for sh!ts and giggles, just to see a younger kid cry. It took that little girl a lot of courage to speak up. You will also be doing the aggressor a favor in the long run by bring attention to this behavior. Hopefully someone (the school, the parents) can address this behavior before it escalates.

171768 tn?1324233699
by tiredbuthappy, Jan 19, 2011
A survey of teachers indicated that they felt they intervened 90% of the time bullying occured. Video footage of the playground showed they only intervened 5% of the time. It situations like this that go unnoticed, under the radar, because the victim is scared to speak up.

13167 tn?1327197724
by RockRose, Jan 19, 2011
Wow, tired!   very interesting story.  I think parents in general would concur with what you are saying.  Bullies do this under the table,  when adults aren't watching.  

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Jan 20, 2011
Teachers and bus drivers become so used to this. I think they see it so much that they become immune and quit caring. It's NOT okay. It's sad. I hate that this happens to sweet kids who don't understand how somebody could act like that. There are mean people everywhere. I would find out who his parents are and I would call them. Of course, he may be acting this way because his parents are bullies as well. Kids who bully usually have not been taught appropriately. I just hate bully behavior. I have been at the schools on the playgrounds when I volunteer for school activities on occasion. I see it all the time and the teachers stand there and chat with each other without doing anything! It has happened over and over again to my kids on the bus as well and the bus driver gets mad at the kid who "tattles" because they don't want to deal with it!! So, I call the bus company if I have to. I call the school if I have to. I find out who the kids parents if I have to. Your son should not have to be treated like that! Take control because nobody else will! I'm sorry this is happening. Sickening!

973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Jan 20, 2011
Thanks everyone.  It is such a rotten thing when you look into a 5 year olds eyes and see hurt there . . . not because the punching hurt (which it obviously does) but that someone is mean or doesn't want to be friends, etc.  I guess it is a life lesson?  But not one I thought I'd be seeing him learn at 5.  

He sits in seat number . . . drum roll . . . ONE!  Yep, caddycorner to the bus driver!  How he missed it, I have no idea.  But . . . the bus is so loud and chaotic I'll cut him some slack.  I met the bus and got on after all the kids had gotten off and gave him a letter explaining what is going on.  I gave him a brief description and he said he wouldn't tolerate that.  Typically they move someone out of the seat.  I'm hoping it is the other boy as my guy is younger and I would hate to see him sent back by even older kids.  We'll see.  I also emailed my son's teacher.  My goal is not to necessarily get this kid in trouble------------- but to stop it.  I don't, to be honest, think he is a total criminal . . . he is probably 6 or 7 years old and learning.  He just needs to learn that you can't treat people this way.  

I had a bullying incident with my older son and called that mother. It stopped.  I went back and forth as to what to do this time.  I didn't know who the boy was before my son left for school and didn't want him punching him again on the way home, so I just contacted the teacher.  Maybe I'll still call the parents of the other child.  

I agree-------------  it is always these super sly, under the table attacks.  No one should tolerate it.  

And crackerjack/Brenda-----------  you are such a sweet person, I have a hard time believing you were ever mean to anyone!  I wonder if some kids do it to feel powerful or to get a reaction.  There are lots of studies done on bullies-----  but when they are so young, you've got to wonder how it starts.  

Anyway, thank you all for your kind, supportive and empowering words.  I will put an end to this one way or another.  I just think of my son all these days having to ride home knowing he was going to be punched and not telling me!!  

167 tn?1374177417
by jenstam, Jan 20, 2011
Unfortunately, I think when it starts that young it means that they were bullied when they were even younger, and it feels good to pick on someone smaller because it happened to them. It is definitely rotten to see that kind of hurt in such a young boy. I guess it is a life lesson, but a crappy one!

1461073 tn?1308681148
by crackerjack4u2, Jan 20, 2011
Hello Specialmom, Thank you for your kind sweet words.  Unfortunately I was very mean to most everyone throughout my early childhood- young adult years.  Your thoughts of it being done to feel powerful to get a response I would consider to be somewhat accurate in my particular case too, but can't say for sure for the little boy on the bus.  My bullying was done out of fear/anger/revenge for what was happening to us at home, and was a cry for help which I never received.  Not that that excuses what I did to all those people. All that stems from another long story that I might get brave enough to tell someday.

What really broke my heart and made me truly regret what I had done all those years was when I heard first hand how much damage/impact I'd left others with throughout their life because of my bullying.  When my own daughter was a teenager, and she brought a friend home to stay the night.  Her friend's mom who I remembered from school some 22+ years ago, had told her daughter how she had been terrified of me and would make a point to go in a different direction when she would see me coming.  She also told her daughter that I use to beat her up on an almost daily basis making her scared to go to school.   Unfortunately I thought and thought about those days, and was unable to recall her mom as being one on my list of so many that I had done those things to, but was certain her mom was telling the truth.  

jenstam- I agree they were either bullied or abused earlier in life or it is still occurring today.  

Specialmom- I Pray the problem with your little guy gets stopped immediately because like I said no one deserves to live in fear, and as I mentioned above he could remember this for many years to come, if it should continue.  I also Pray the school takes it a step further with the other little boy to try and find out why he is bullying others to start with, and look into the possibility that there could be bad things occurring to him that no one is aware of, and he too is crying out for help.
Have A Wonderful Day and God Bless Brenda

973741 tn?1342346373
by specialmom, Jan 20, 2011
Hey Brenda, thank you for being so brave and sharing here some things that are probably difficult to own up to. It IS really hard for me to believe after seeing how warm and kind you are here.  And I am sorry that you were going through some difficult things  that most likely contributed to it all.  My motto is "I'm a work in progress.  Pardon my dust."  We all evolve and hopefully learn much as we go along.  Sounds like you definately have.



171768 tn?1324233699
by tiredbuthappy, Jan 20, 2011
Brenda highlights how simply moving the bully wouldn't end it, and it doesn't help the child who is the bully. Thank you for sharing your story. Specialmom, hopefully your email will be answered and draw attention to the fact that this child needs more intervention. The bus company can move the child, but probably can't do more than that. Involving the school will hopefully provide more long term support for this problem.
I recall only a couple of incidents where I "bullied" someone, and that was with words, as young girls often do. And while they were minor incidents (the victims may not even remember them) I feel such strong regret. Don't see it as getting him in trouble.  You are helping him, both now and in the future.

1461073 tn?1308681148
by crackerjack4u2, Jan 20, 2011
Specialmom, Thank You and You're Welcome Hun.  Your work in progress is a cute motto. How is your little guy doing today?  God Bless Brenda

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by sweetpea03, Mar 19, 2011
Hope your little guy is doing better now. Bullying is horrible. My mother is an elementary school teacher and I love to visit her classroom to see all of the kids. She teaches 2nd grade and I have seen many problems with bullies. We usually try to get the parents of the bully involved, but it's hard to do at times. Some of the parents are even bullies to others. One woman said if her son didn't do such and such, she would go after the other mom! geesh.

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