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Thread: I'm So Ashamed

  1. #1

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    Unhappy I'm So Ashamed

    Well, I never thought I would be posting in here, but I am.

    I answered the door this afternoon to find a concerned and rather angry mother with her son, who is in yr 4 at my sons school.

    Apparently, this poor boy is being harrassed by my child as he walks home from school on an almost daily basis, and this has been going on for a few weeks!
    This little boy says that my son has been 'pulling him back' by grabbing his school bag, and taunting him and once even said he was 'going to punch him'.
    I called my son to the door and confronted him with this, and he did not deny it, but in fact, when asked 'why' he did these things, he said he 'didn't know'. My son is in yr 6, almost 12yrs old, and should know better.

    I am 4wks off delivering our second child and I was so distraught at this revelation about my child, that I burst into tears. I made my son aplogise to this little boy, and I apologised to his Mother, although 'sorry' just doesn't cut it as far as I am concerned.
    I told this little boy to make sure he lets me know if it happens again because it is disgusting and it should not be happening.

    My son really should know better, he was bullied for 2 whole years at a previous school and it was almost detrimental to his mental stability. I never thought that my child was perfect, but I also thought that I had raised him better than to be a bully.
    When I spoke to him about it, he said that he threatened to punch the boy jokingly and he never would have done it, but that's beside the point! How did this little boy know that?

    I am just at a loss at what to say to my son, I am so disappointed in him. What did I do wrong to make him do this to another human being? I have grounded him and told him that I am so disappointed and he is going to have to earn my trust in him back.
    He has been crying in his room, but I don't know whether this is because he got caught or because he is truly sorry. It sure didn't sound heartfelt when he apologised.

    I don't know whether to write to my sons teacher, and make him do some 'school community service' type thing with this little boy perhaps? I also want him to write a letter to the boy and his Mother to strongly put across how much he understands what he has done.



    I just don't know what to do. Im so emotional right now.

    I never thought I would be one, but I am. I am the Mother of A Bully.


  2. #2

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    Smile



    I don't know what to say, I think that maybe your son is just doing what was done to him, although we say we should know better it doesn't always work out that way. I feel for you and agree that it's a horrible time for this to crop up, but at least you've found out what's going on and now you can do something about it!

    Hope you can work this out, best of luck,

    Snoopea

  3. #3

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    Oh Kell don't label yourself a "mother of a bully" because it isn't helpful and could make things worse. From what you have written you sound like a very understanding and reasonable person and they usually breed understanding and reasonable kids LOL Much of what you have suggested sounds great; writing a letter to the victim's mum should help. If my child was the victim your respone would have appeased my frustration too... just seeing your preggy belly would have made me less upset because you obviously have a lot on your plate.

    As a mum of a 13yo and 2 much younger children I fully understand the difficulties this brings. My 13yo DD went through a VERY challenging phase just before and just after my boys were born. Please learn from my mistakes and try not to be too harsh. Be firm but fair. Please try not to feel embarrassed because this breeds resentment and will come out in your parenting.

    Your older child is probably doing a few things: Working through (in an unhealthy manner) the experience of being bullied himself. Violence breeds violence. Maybe he would benefit from being "heard" more about that past experience. He needs a better way to vent than what he is doing at the moment. He is also probably getting very ansty about the impending arrival of a sibling (competitor for your attention). The best way of dealing with this is lots of assurance and maybe making sure he has more special time with his dad... (the book "Raising Boys" by Steve Biddolph says that boys of this age are emotionally separating from their mums and desperately require lots of male role models to give the a new direction. Does he have this in his life?

    My house is getting quite chaotic now LOL but I hope this will tide you over and assure you that you have no need to feel any more ashamed that what you are feeling. Please don't let this create a wedge between you and your son. Try to 'catch him being good' and let HIM wear the guilt... it's he who has to suffer the consequences for this... if he sees YOU suffering then that little angry person deep inside him who may be resenting your lack of attention now that you are so tired etc with pregnancy could very well (subconsciously) be pleased! Show him that you take the issue seriously and tell him that you are upset for HIM... this has damaged HIS reputation. Show him how to deal with it all in a mature way... show him that it's not the end of the world and that it's worth trying to resolve.

    You sound like a great mum BTW Your son will be fine... we ALL get embarrassed by our children's behaviours in some way or another

  4. #4

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    I would contact the school and ask if there are any services available for your son. Maybe make an appointment with the principal or teacher to advise them of the situation and take your son to the meeting. He needs to see that you are trying to help him resolve whatever is going on in his mind. Writing the letter to the child apologising is also a good idea.

    I have heard that children who are bullied then often go on to bully younger children to "reclaim" their power and self-esteem. Doesn't help you I know but this could be a part of why he is behaving this way.

    Once everyone has calmed down, have a family meeting with your son, DP and yourself. Talk about the situation calmly and decide on some steps. Make your son part of the solution.

    I agree with everything Bathsheba said too.

  5. #5

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    I think you have done the right thing so far. I think you have probably taken it far enough. Everyone who has been involved knows your stance including your son. I think taking it further would probably be too far. He might not have sounded sorry when he apologised but he was probably embarrassed. I think that if you take it further then he may feel humiliated and be less likely to feel sorry but more angry. Discussing it privately with him afterwards in a calm way (eg. ask if he is being bullied again, ask what he thinks he could have done better etc.) will help you to clarify whether he truly understands the consequences of what he has done. As a former victim he may have been seeking the 'powerful' feeling that bullies have. Maybe you could talk about other ways to empower him rather than this kind of behaviour.
    I hope this helps. I am sure just like all kids he just needs a bit of guidance.

  6. #6

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    It's OK hun .

    You have been given so much good advice, but I just wanted to say getting him to do some sort of "community service" to the school is an excellent idea. You can give him the chance to make it right. He can absolve himself, he can work through his feelings whilst he is at it.
    Its not about shaming him, but sometimes when we are truly sorry it can help to visibly do something as well as apologise.

    xoxoxoxo

  7. #7
    smiles4u Guest

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    I'm all for the Letter idea ... for your son to write to the boy & his Mother !!

    My Mum always said a person can & most likely read a letter over & over So, therefore if the letter is written from the heart & is sincere this boy & his Mother would 'see' that.

    Also my Mum always said never write a letter that you can't put up at a city train station for everyone to read ... In other words a letter that you feel ' better ' about writing & ok for all to see

    ... I feel for you as Motherhood is a hard enough job to do as it is

    I wonder if many Mother's of a child that has bullied another was anywhere near as compassionate as you ?? ... Be proud of your son ' when' he takes that next step BUT don't look too eager about it as you wouldn't want it to look like a congratulations & then he would get the wrong message ... and YES feel proud of yourself for doing ALL as a Mother in trying to correct this situation (if there is such a thing ??) !!

    GOOD-LUCK LOVELY MUMMY :goodluck2:

  8. #8

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    Thankyou so much to everyone for your hugs, advice and suggestions.
    I spoke to DS about this, once I had locked myself away and had a good bawl about the situation. I rang my Mum, just because thats sometimes what we need to do, and DF. He is not DS's Dad, but he is so supportive and cherishes him as much as I do, and he too was disappointed.

    DS has been out of the 'bullying' situation for 2.5yrs now, and I thought we had resolved all of the anger, issues and fear that was brought on by that situation.
    I sat DS down when I was 'calmer' and asked for his side of the story. He gave it to me, the truth, and it matched up with what we were told by the boy and his Mother.
    I asked him why, but he doesn't know. I haven't asked him if he is being bullied himself, as I thought I would be able to pick up on the cues if he was. I shall ask him this tomorrow when we have breakfast together.
    He is aware of his punishment - grounding until further notice and no PS2 or XBox. These are the things that make DS realise he has crossed the line.
    He cried, I cried, I made it clear that I love him, but am just so upset with his actions. I have told him that tomorrow we are going to sit down and write a letter together to this boy & his mother.

    I just hope that this is a once off, and I never have to go through this again. I have now seen the 'bullying' issue from both sides of the fence, and even though it is horrific to find out your child is being bullied, it's just as horrid to find out that they are doing the bullying.

    Thanks again for all your support. I will keep you updated.

  9. #9

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    It sounds like you're doing all the rights things. Best of luck ((((hugs))))

  10. #10

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    Sounds like you are doing all the right things.

    The sad fact of life is that kids who are bullied often go on to become bullies themselves. It's also completely normal that your son is simply too young to be able to explain WHY he's doing this. It could be that this is how he has learned that older boys behave towards younger boys. It could be a case of this is what he's doing to "look tough" in order to prevent becoming a target again.

    Another excellent author on the matter is Barbara Coloroso. I have one of her books here "the bully, the bullied and the bystander". I've never sat down to read it in detail (saving it for when I have kids rather than just teach them) but I did get to attend a professional development course run by her and it was fantastic. A book well worth getting hold of if you can - it's written for both parents and teachers and deals with just how the cycle can be broken.

    BW

  11. #11

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    Kell, you really are a great parent

  12. #12

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    You are being a brilliant mum just by the way you are dealing with this, you have no idea how many parents I see who just deny that their child could be a bully and never do anything.

  13. #13

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    Kell, I had a similar thig happen to my daughter years ago. I rang the parent whos son was being very unkind to my daughter. I felt terrible that I had to ring but was glad I did. The Mum thanked me for contacting her and was greatful that it could be dealt with before it got worse. After speaking with the mother he was made to write a letter saying he was sorry. It cleared the air and things improved. Let your son know you still love him but not what he has done. We all wish our child/ren were perfect but thats not the real world. Keep up the good work of parenting and all the best with the new arrival.

  14. #14

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    Just a bit of an update.
    The little boy in question came knocking on my door the other day. I immediately thought "Oh god it's happened again"
    He was actually only looking for my DS because they had been walking around together collecting sponsors for their school walkathon! So, now, they walk home together - nicely - and they get along!!! THIS is more like the DS I know! I am so happy!

  15. #15

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    Kell,
    I'm so gald that things have worked out between the boys.
    Keep up the good job of parenting, its fun watching them go through each stage but in the end very rewarding as you watch them grow into adults.

  16. #16
    DoubleK Guest

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    ive only just read through this post now, but just wanted to say im happy to hear that the two boys now get along.

    dont be too hard on yourself, im sure you are a great mum. i think its wonderful that you care so much, i can remember back to my primary school days, that some mums were quick to assume the 'other kid' was doing something to provoke bullying.. this inst always the case. i think writing an apology letter is a great idea.


  17. #17

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    kell, firstly so sorry you are having such a challenging time with your 12 year old. i really disagree with the woman coming to your door and confronting you. this is usually against school policy she should have gone to the school with her son and gone through it this way. she is lucky you were so responsive and apologetic alot of parents aren't.
    look, honestly kids do stoopid stuff because they are kids, their brains aren't developed fully yet hence the protection and guidance of their parents is necessary. i'm not excusing your son's behaviour by any means but this action does not mean he is destined to a life in jail!!! he made a or some mistakes, was taken by power (as even adults can be) and has run with it cos it must have felt right for him at the time. it doesn't mean he is a bully. he bullied a child but we can't label him for the rest of his life because of this action. clearly you are a loving and respectful parent and he will understand the consequences of his actions (as you have clearly said this is NOT ok). i am sure there are websites for kids on bullying and being bullied. perhaps try some role play so he really can understand the feelings of this other boy. you say that he is walking around nicely with the boy, this is great and shows the true boy inside - not the 'mean' child. you have done a great job. well done. encourage this behaviour (as i'm sure you are), discuss how he is feeling about being nice and maybe even a 'mentor' to the little guy, you must be so proud of him.
    beckles

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