Thursday, 3 September 2009

Bullying in school

While I was at my parent's place this morning, I waited anxiously for my niece to return home so I could see her before I leave. The school bus pulled up at the garage just after 12pm and Ting stepped off, with tears in her eyes. A school mate had pinched her in the bus.

Being the gentle girl that she is, she felt so defenceless and miserable. I bundled her into my arms and then she started sobbing. Poor Ting. I did my best to console her and told her not to sit too close to the bully in future. After hearing that the bully will be punished, she cheered up and even smiled for the camera.

Now that my kids are older, I have forgotten how bullying can be so prevalent in schools. Looking at my niece brought back memories of how my kids used to return home with bite marks or scratches from skirmishes in school. Once YK got so fedup of being bullied in kindergarten, he bit back and the boy's father came looking for me.

Another time, I had to bring SK to the A&E after a classmate accidentally stabbed a mechanical pencil at his eyebrow. Until today, there is still a small scar on SK's brow to remind me of the incident.

Well, this is part and parcel of growing up. Unless the bullying is persistent, kids will learn to cope and sort such things out. Still, it is the parents' duty to keep their eyes open and intervene before the bullying spirals out of control. Who says being a parent is easy.


petunialee said...

Little Boy got bullied in Pri 2. Over a period of 6 months, it was very persistent. Instead of intervening directly, we taught him coping techniques and then... when the bully robbed Little Boy of his Chinese textbook and wrote his own name on it to say that it belonged to him, I marched to school, got the book, waved it at the teacher and said calmly "This is a crime." The teacher took it from there and my son lost all fear of the bully. After that, he found all sorts of creative ways to manage the poor bully. It was like an elephant (bully) trying to get at a mouse (Little Boy) and the elephant gave up after a while.

Blur Ting said...

Petunia - You did the right thing because bullies are actually insecure people. Now that you mention this, I remember how YK got bullied by a bunch of boys in primary school but was too afraid to tell on them.

One day after school, I went up to the most fearsome one and told him nicely and firmly that "Good boys like you do not bully others. From now on, I do not want to see you picking on my son again."

That statement probably made him feel guilty for the bullying stopped thereafter. Sometimes the parents really have to step in.

petunialee said...

"Good boys like you?"... Oh Ting, you are sooooo savvy with people... Now why didn't I think of that?

Amel's Realm said...

Parenting is the toughest job on earth, I think. You don't know what kind of kids you're going to get (with what type of personality and tantrums) and you don't know what kind of friends they'll make in the future and what kind of boundaries they'll break, etc. etc. etc.

Sorry to hear about Ting...hope the schoolmate is punished.