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Thread: Picked On Thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Picked On Thread

    Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later and one would expect it in Junior High. Apparently my son got into an altercation. He claims to have fell in the shower at school, but everyone knows better. I could pull out all the cliques and probably will, but with my own twist. Here's how I intend on handling it.

    1. Make sure that his mother doesn't over react. The last thing he needs is his mommy looking out for him. He needs to work through this on his own.

    2. Ask him what happened? Although I expect him to tow the "slipped" line.

    3. OK, but.... I'll say here's what it looks like to me.

    4. Let him know that if there was a fight, it is best to talk about it. It will make you feel better to get it off your chest and reassure him that his parents won't interfere unless he wants us to. He needs to deal with the anxiety himself, because this won't be the last time.

    5. I'll give him the pacifist manifesto .... the other person has a low self esteem probably due to a poor homelife. The bigger man is the one who through actions says, "You don't intimidate me and I will not alter my life to avoid you". Have the "I feel sorry for you and take pity on you since your life is so morose that you have to lash out".

    6. The bigger person hold out his/her hand.

    7. What would MLK do? There's a reason an MLK memorial is being built and not a Mike Tyson memorial.

    I guess the bottom line is that he needs to understand that we are here to listen, but this is a lesson in life that he is going to need to work through on his own. He has friends and family around him who are willing listeners and won't be quick to just. This might also explains his recent lack of attention to academics. I constantly have to remind his mother that Junior High is a very awkward time and that his mind is on many things other than school work. It's hard to concentrate on school when social and physical change is occuring.

    Anyway, what are your experiences and thoughts on the matter.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I've yet to face this as a parent but I am concerned about the potential that my boy could become a bully. He's very large for his age (97th percentile height/weight) and he's also very strong-willed. I don't know if those are bully ingredients per se, but it seems like the combo could be a bad one if bully tendencies are somehow already there.

    Budgie's suggested course of action sounds reasonable enough. Let me know if it works!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I've yet to face this as a parent but I am concerned about the potential that my boy could become a bully. He's very large for his age (97th percentile height/weight) and he's also very strong-willed. I don't know if those are bully ingredients per se, but it seems like the combo could be a bad one if bully tendencies are somehow already there.
    I don't think physical stature is a prime determinant of being a bully. My son is one of the biggest kids in his class (he's as tall as his uncle and weighs more than he ever did). My son is like me... when I was that age - a gentle giant. I think temperment and a good home life are what prevents people from becoming bullies. Maybe I'm wrong... and undoubtedly there are those who act out regardless of their environment.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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    I like your suggestions Budgie but I have to be honest about how I am with my Jacob. He knows better than to start a fight and he knows better than to pick on people. Jacob is a very peaceful child, but he is small, a little smaller than a lot fo the boys in his class. I have tried to teach him to use words instead of hands but there are times when I don't want him to be afraid to fight back.
    Fights are the same as they were when I was a child, these kids fight to hurt/kill anymore. An 18 year old boy just beat the hell out of a 16 year old with brass knuckles on his hand, not a block from my home in a park my kids play in (and walk to along quite often). The 16 year old has 2 plates in his head, broken nose and completely busted up face.
    These boys were older but my point is; turning the other cheek is of course the most noble and what I TRY to teach my son, I also teach him how to stand up for himself and if that mean protecting himself if it becomes physical so be it. If my son were pushed down in a shower at school, fine, leave it alone but did the boys that push him down hit him again or was it simply a push?
    I have cautioned Jacob; in our school system no matter who is at fault, both children can be suspended or expelled for physical altercations.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My son was picked on by bullies last year and this year, but generally outside of school (but kids he went to school with). So far he has managed to extract himself from the situation and I've called the school, mainly to keep the other kids away from him on the bus.

    But, I've also told him if someone hits him and there's not an adult around to intervene, he has my permission to beat the crap out of the other kid.

  6. #6
         
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    My son was picked on by bullies last year and this year, but generally outside of school (but kids he went to school with). So far he has managed to extract himself from the situation and I've called the school, mainly to keep the other kids away from him on the bus.

    But, I've also told him if someone hits him and there's not an adult around to intervene, he has my permission to beat the crap out of the other kid.
    My thoughts exactly!!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that self-esteem has a lot to do with it as well. Kids who are very confident (but not cocky) about them selves tend to have less problems then those who are extremely passive or aggressive.

    When I have kids, I will encourage them to stand up for what they believe in, defend them selves if needed, to be confident in their choices and ideas, but to make sure that they don’t become a bully. It is best for a person to seek first to understand and then to be understood.

    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    But, I've also told him if someone hits him and there's not an adult around to intervene, he has my permission to beat the crap out of the other kid.
    Rock on!
    "I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love." - Jim Carrey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    But, I've also told him if someone hits him and there's not an adult around to intervene, he has my permission to beat the crap out of the other kid.
    while i can appreciate the sentiment you can't guarantee that your kid will come out of the situation as the "winner". so are you prepared to have the crap beat out of your kid?


    there are other ways to defend yourself rather than with violence.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Funny this thread should come up because last week I was thinking about starting such a thread. My son - the Little Berserker - is in kindergarten and was having trouble with a first grader picking on him. Thankfully it was just name-calling and harassment, rather than physical assault. The kid also attended after school daycare with my son, where primarily the harassment was occurring. It was so bad the little guy didn't want to go to school or especially to daycare. My wife and the other child's mother work together at the afore-mentioned daycare. We talked to the mom and the school and everything got worked out satisfactory.

    Schools are so much different from when I was a kid. When I had trouble with bullies, the accepted way to deal with the situation was to get in a fight. My father and brother schooled me in boxing. One of my former schools even sanctioned boxing as a way to resolve differences. I recall one instance a dispute between my brother and another teenager was settled after school in a boxing match refereed by the principal. My brother was a Golden Gloves boxer, so it did not go well for the other kid.

    It is best to settle these matters peacefully and take advantage of the "zero tollerance" policy of the school. If that doesn't work or the situation requires immediate resolution, then the child has no recourse but to wade in and either give or take a beating.
    Last edited by otterpop; 15 Nov 2006 at 1:59 PM.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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  10. #10
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    But, I've also told him if someone hits him and there's not an adult around to intervene, he has my permission to beat the crap out of the other kid.

    I've told my kids it doesn't matter who is around, if someone lays their hands on them, they're good to go! I've been in a few conferences, too...

    I had the principal of my younger son call me in, and my younger son is small and light for his age, but tough. Evidentally, a kid from his class kicked him, he fought back, the kids brother jumped in, and my son fought them both to a draw. I was told the school had a "no tolerance policy" for fighting, and he was suspended. So, my son was suspended for standing up for himself against two kids, one a grade above him.
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    My son is only 2 yo, but I have a 13 yo and a 7 yo daughter and girls are so mean, wow!

    What I have said to my girls is that I can't control what other girls do as I am not their parent, but I can help them to deal with bullies because they will be there in their life always - in their dorms, in their office, living next door, bullies grow up and now I know they also have kids!

    So, for girl bullying, I have tried to teach my older one that there's a time to ignore and shut it out, a time to keep arm's length distance and mentally shut it out and a time to get in their face and let them have it (emotionally) - these are hard lessons but so far, she has taken my advice and it has served her well, a little too well because now she's miss popular which has its own problems too

    it's been harder for the 7 yo because she's more sensitive and rleies on her big sister to fight battles on the playground for her (an 8th grader telling a 2nd grader to leave her sister alone packs some punch, more intimidating than what I can do) - right now, we seem to be in a holding pattern where she is neither the agressor or the victim, which is always the goal

    but yeah, boys, it's so different because it is so physical and being a girl who never picked a fight or was in a fight, this is foreign to me - I know this will be hard on my husband because he was picked on in grammer school

    so good luck, you seem like a level-headed guy so whatever you do will be the right thing...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    there are other ways to defend yourself rather than with violence.
    Pacifism is not synomous with a lack of self confidence. In fact, I would suggest that being confident enough not to lash out is the more self assured of the two options. In essence you are saying, "I am above this animalistic behaviour." Pacifism doesn't mean not defending yourself, it means fight fire with an extinguisher rather than with fire.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    #1 Zero tolerance is the biggest failure of school discipline in history. It takes out just as many innocents and the guilty.

    I've always been a big kid. I was the tallest student in my middle school of about 1,500. Only one person ever made the mistake of attempting to bully me... I tended to defend the "little guys" in school when I saw that it wasn't a fair fight and it was definitely bullying. My parents told me that I could wail on somebody if there was not an adult around to take the problem to. My parents also said that I could defend the "little guys" if I saw them in a similar situation.

    Budgie, it sounds like you're taking a good approach. Middle school is brutal, but definitely try to let him fight his own battles and tell him you'll play an advisory role. That'll show your confidence in him and give him the self esteem boost he needs to stand up for himself.

    Memorial to MLK, not Mike Tyson... I like that!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Memorial to MLK, not Mike Tyson... I like that!
    Let me recount a little episode that happened about 4 months ago, but the roots of it began over a year ago.

    An ex-boyfriend of a certain lady decided that he was going to call me out in a crowded bar. The minute I walked in, I noticed him and rather than leaving, I sat down ordered a beer and started to chat. He obviously was trying to get my attention by silly gestures such as pointing directly at me and glaring at me. I ignored him knowing that this was more for show for his new lady friend (both are likely speed users, BTW). I started playing pool with a couple of buds and he decided to stand up and glare at me from near the table we were playing at. I made a couple of shots and finally missed on. Then I look up at him with pool cue in hand and say, "Sorry Friend, do I know you?"

    He said that yes I do know him... to be honest I don't remember his name... I walked up to him and stood about 4 feet away with cue in hand. My back was covered and I was nervous internally although later someone at the bar commented on how nonchalant I handled things. The air was thick and cloudy and the only thing that sticks in my mind is how focused things were on eachother.

    I said something like, "Is this about a certain lady from a year ago... would you like to hear her side of things."

    He promptly said that he did not care to hear about "her side of things" and that I was to turn around and leave before he smashed me up. At this point I stood there staring at him for 15 seconds with dead silence (although it felt like 5 minutes) and then I calmly went back to playing pool. I turned my back to him and anticipated a thump.... there was none and we went back to our respective places. I stayed with my buds and went about my business. He left about 2 hours later and made a point to wish me and the folks I was with a good evening. One person I know laughed and told me to watch my back when I left that night.

    Here's the way I look at it. He didn't want to thump me. He was showing out for a new lady friend who apparently thinks this sort of thing is cool. Not my type of crowd. Second, I did right by him by not giving him a justification to do something stupid. Third, I showed him that his theatrics were not going to change one thing that I do, including hanging out and playing pool. I didn't run from him, because frankly I'm not scared -- I'm empathetic towards him.

    I had a similar event back in middle school and it turns out that the guy that had jealousy problems became a competitor and friend of mine on the football team in high school. We built a mutual respect out of the deal and the fact was that even though I was the smallest lineman on the team, I could knock him on his arse from time to time.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    My son is only 3, but I'll teach him the best advice I ever learned in the military....

    No matter how big the man (or kid) is, there is no way he'll be standing after you kick him in the side of the knee.

    Unfortunatly, its not about giving him the "go ahead" if someone picks on him. He's not always going to win.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Every animal instictively has the green light for "fight or flight". It's not a matter of me giving him permission to fight back, he'll do what he needs to when the time is right.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  17. #17
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    I went to a magnet school with a really diverse student population and no one particular minority. While we were kind of nerdy, there were occasional fights. I remember this one chick was really harassing me for a few weeks, stating that she was going to kick my butt. I kept scurrying out of class and hiding out for a few days. Finally, I just got so sick of it when she was pushing me around, that I started pushing back. So in front of a lot of people, we made a pact to have a fight after school was out. I waited around for her after school and she didn't show. I ended up missing the bus, and my mom was NOT thrilled about driving the half hour there and back to get me. But when I explained what was going on, and how I was almost in a fight, she didn't yell at me or anything. So that was cool. The next day I was the perceived winner of the non-existent fight and she never bugged me again. Never had a problem again (until I met Courtney Love ).

  18. #18

    Girl Bullies are the worst....

    Being with my girlfriend that has a 13 y/o and a 10 y/o daughter, the bullying problem can become a huge issue. The schools do almost nothing to prevent it or pretend to ignore the problem.

    The bullying got so bad (verbal as well as physical) with the oldest, that I finally told her that if that little girl lays her hands on you again, you punch directly in her in the nose. Why? Because you can't do squat when you're bleeding and your eyes swell shut and it serves as a lesson to the bully. A good dose of humilation usually tames the worst of them.

    But it is scary, moreso with the older boys than anything because then it can escalate from there. Brass knuckles? Are you kidding me?
    Forechecking is overrated.

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by CCMNUT39 View post

    But it is scary, moreso with the older boys than anything because then it can escalate from there. Brass knuckles? Are you kidding me?
    Nope, not kidding. And the recipient was hurt really, really badly. The kid is in jail on 30k bond but what good does that do for the boy he did this to?
    This is a park I let my 8 year old ride his bike to with his friends to play, I am scared letting him stand at the bus stop in the morning.
    Sometimes I think some of this has definately gotten out of control. If that incident I posted earlier was simple retaliation, does teaching my son to stick up for himself make sense?
    Its a learning experience, I don't want my child picked on, I don't want him hurting other children, but I don't want him to be afraid to stick up for himself if its a matter of survival or even a black eye...

  20. #20
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra View post
    Nope, not kidding. And the recipient was hurt really, really badly. The kid is in jail on 30k bond but what good does that do for the boy he did this to?
    Sadly, this is even moving out of the cities into smaller towns. If it had been my kid that had been hurt like that, it would be me in jail... and that isn't a line.

    Back when I was in Missouri, I had a 20 something punk threaten my son, who was 11 at the time, for something he didn't even do. He showed him a hunting knife and said he'd "gut him like a fish." Well, I found the guy and explained that if he ever spoke to my children again, I'd shoot him. I assume he got the point, because I had a 9mm in his mouth. I'm glad he did, too. I don't want to hurt anyone, but you have to draw a line somewhere...

    The cops came to my door, and when I explained it, they refused to press charges. Perhaps they had kids, too.
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  21. #21
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge, my two sons have never bullied nor been bullied. Both are outgoing kids, especially the oldest son, who has never met a stranger. Physically, they’re big kids but use it to their advantage. They're very protective of each other. I think it's going to be tough on Neil now that Alex has started school in California.
    They are unlike their old man, who is reserved, protective, and private.

  22. #22
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Having a 13 year old girl in middle school I can attest to the meaness of girls. I don't think me or any of my friends were ever that mean. We've been fortunate in our house to not have experienced any bullying. Emily is well like by nearly everyone and is easy going so I don't think that she would ever bully anyone. I do worry though because she has a very strong sense of what is right and wrong and is a very loyal friend and that might get her dragged into something inadvertently. She has always had my permission to defend herself if she finds herself in that kind of situation.

    When I was in high school this punk harassed me from time to time and one day he called me a very foul word and I had enough. So I called after him to "come here" and he was stupid enough to do so. Soon as he got in range I socked him in the nose as hard as I could and it bled all over the place. I got hauled into the principal's office where my mom was called and her reply to the principal was "good for her! send her home please." The punk got transferred to an alternative school the following week.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    He showed him a hunting knife and said he'd "gut him like a fish." Well, I found the guy and explained that if he ever spoke to my children again, I'd shoot him. I assume he got the point, because I had a 9mm in his mouth. I'm glad he did, too. I don't want to hurt anyone, but you have to draw a line somewhere...

    The cops came to my door, and when I explained it, they refused to press charges. Perhaps they had kids, too.
    This troubles me. Why didn't you just call the police instead of confronting him? Even if you didn't want to hurt anyone, it seems a little overboard to stick a gun in someones mouth. What if the situation escalated, he flinched wierd, etc and the gun went off? Luckily for yur sake it didn't.

    My kids, even at the age of three, have begun to recognize the bully threat. twin brothers make for a pretty good "don't bully us" squad on the playground, and several times that I have seen an older kid picking on one of them stop when the other one comes over.

    There was one situation that made me feel like a rock star parent, a 5-6 year old boy came over and took the shovel my smaller 3 year old was playing with. His twin brother saw what was happening and grabbed one end of the shovel and they had a tug of war with the shovel. The bigger kid eventually let go and my son gave the shovel back to his brother. He then went and found another shovel and went and gave it to the big kid. I felt pretty cool when the other parents started commenting on how impressed they were with my son defending his brother and then finding a solution to the problem.

    I do not look forward to having to deal with school age bullying.

  24. #24
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cololi View post
    This troubles me. Why didn't you just call the police instead of confronting him? Even if you didn't want to hurt anyone, it seems a little overboard to stick a gun in someones mouth. What if the situation escalated, he flinched wierd, etc and the gun went off? Luckily for yur sake it didn't.
    It troubled me, too. Of course, I knew there wasn't a round in the pipe, but he didn't. Why not the police? Because that kind of person has the police called on them all the time, and nothing ever comes of it. The police who came to my house, and I'd called them before he did, said as much about the guy. This wasn't a child, it was an adult threatening my 11-year old. Maybe next time he'll think twice...
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    C'mon and get me you twist of fate
    I'm standing right here Mr. Destiny
    If you want to talk well then I'll relate
    If you don't so what cause you don't scare me

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff View post
    It troubled me, too. Of course, I knew there wasn't a round in the pipe, but he didn't. Why not the police? Because that kind of person has the police called on them all the time, and nothing ever comes of it. The police who came to my house, and I'd called them before he did, said as much about the guy. This wasn't a child, it was an adult threatening my 11-year old. Maybe next time he'll think twice...
    Sometimes you just have to go with your instincts and/or take matters into your own hand. I once confronted a neighborhood bully while wearing my bathrobe and waving a meat cleaver around. He got the idea. Of course, some of the neighbors may have thought I was a little "odd" after that... And I thought later, what a DUMB thing to do!

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