Recently, my son has become a target of bullies. As a parent, I would do anything to make it stop. Unfortunately, we can’t always be there to fight their battles. Part of growing is learning to deal with bullies and even as adults, we have issues with this.
My son falls into the special needs category because of ADHD, some anxiety and other issues that I won’t go into here. What I do want to address is this, why do people feel it’s ok to bully a child with special needs? Or any child for that matter. I see what my son goes through every day when it comes time for him to go to school and it breaks my heart. I want to protect him, but I can’t. Not at least for the minor things. I know that these struggles build character etc., but I don’t think this “character building” is worth my son’s mental health.
I want to know how the parents of bullies aren’t aware of the problem. Maybe they are and just don’t care or are in less than ideal situations themselves. Whatever the reason, we need to stand up and let the world know this is NOT ok! I don’t want my son to become a tragic statistic.
We have an open relationship, and he tells me about these instances, and we talk them over. I know that kids trash talk, hell, we all do, but it’s usually good-natured. Even adults have a difficult time telling the difference.
The teachers have told my son to tell them when something happens. While great in theory, it’s not effective, and I’ll tell you why.
1. The teachers don’t see everything. If my child is bullied by a group, it’s his word against many others. So, who does the teacher believe?
2. If a child does go to them, the child gets the title of a tattle tale, and more bullying ensues.
3. If he goes to the teacher too often, he is dismissed, and the bullying goes unchecked.
This leaves children in a precarious position. They either have to be quiet and “ignore” the words or if the confrontation gets physical, fight back. If they fight back, there is a chance they could catch charges from law enforcement.
So how can we combat this epidemic before it gets worse? I know I struggle with my temper when my child is being messed with, who wouldn’t? I have found that constant communication with the school is becoming a useful tool. The schools don’t want to deal with the parents; they don’t. All of my son’s teachers know who I am, and I have their cell phone numbers on my phone. They know that I will call them, and they can call me.
We can’t be lazy parents. Our children’s lives are at stake. I don’t want to see another victim of bullying lose their life. I don’t want to see my son’s spirit crushed. We need to #StopBullying.