?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Bullying

This article discusses why children who are bullied sometimes don't discuss it with adults.

http://www.livescience.com/8994-bully-victims-suffer-silence.html

I did mention to my parents sometimes that other kids bullied me. Their response was "Ignore it, and they'll get bored and stop." I figured that this meant "We don't want to hear about it, because we don't know what to do to stop it." (This reason isn't on the list of reasons in the article.)

So I stopped talking to them about it and I pretended to ignore the bullying and to some extent I think this strategy prevented the bullying from escalating past name-calling, although it didn't stop it.

I also developed another strategy, which was essentially to be quiet and hide in plain sight. This got so ingrained that I find it difficult to turn off, which causes me problems at times.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/705751.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
cakmpls
Mar. 25th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
I think a lot of commentary on this subject minimizes what kids are able to perceive and understand about adults. Three possibilities I think of immediately: (1) Kids know what stresses their parents face and don't want to add to it; kids can be very protective. (2) Kids fear what their parents might do. (3) Kids see that their parents are treated badly by the world, and have no reason to believe that the parent can protect the child when they can't protect themselves.

Bullying of kids often seems to be approached as a discrete problem, unrelated to the rest of life--even of the bullied kids' lives.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Good thoughts, I agree.
graymalkin13
Mar. 25th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
"Fear adults will do nothing: Kids may be skeptical that adults can, or will, take steps to stop a bully."

My parents knew I was being bullied both emotionally and physically in junior high because I came home crying most days. My dad never seemed to care about my existence. My mother got angry at me. I got the "ignore it and they will stop" line, but when I still got bullied, my mother seemed to think my distress was a passive-aggressive criticism of her. (Probably because she knew the bullying was largely her fault because she moved me to a school where I wasn't safe.)

My teachers knew I was being bullied because they saw it happen. It was standard operating procedure for them.

Hiding didn't work for me. After two years, my parents took me out of the public school system. They didn't want to discuss what had happened. They said, "That's the past. Forget about it now." And this is one reason I have never been close to my parents, and one reason why I have a permanently bitter heart.


Edited at 2011-03-25 10:02 pm (UTC)
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
And this is one reason I have never been close to my parents, and one reason why I have a permanently bitter heart.

I am so sad that happened to you.
graymalkin13
Mar. 27th, 2011 01:41 am (UTC)
Don't be sad, sweetie.

My parents sent me to a private high school that was a very good place for me. Eventually, I grew up and left "home" and had a life. Yes, I am bitter, but I am also calm, and there are good things, and I have you.
waterowl
Mar. 26th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
My parents told me to fight back against bullies. I did get in a couple fights in middle school, because things escalated. I'm a terrible fighter and I was small until I hit puberty, but my basic strategy was to keep kicking back until the other girl stopped. After the fights, they stopped picking on me so much.

But I did stop telling my parents, because they didn't do anything. And I think your response above falls in that same category.

With my own kids, I'm a fierce defender and I have no problem calling talking to the teacher or even the principal and I've even talked to the child's parents.

OTOH I think sometimes my kids don't tell me things, because they don't want Mama Bear getting all riled up.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:54 am (UTC)
I get the impression that fighting back (as a kid) and getting involved (as a parent) are better strategies.
e4q
Mar. 26th, 2011 06:21 am (UTC)
hide in plain sight
that was what i did for years and years.

i had no way of dealing with the culture of bullying at my school, and at the time, home was not much better for me. i won't go into it, but i have been pregnant more than once, but never felt safe to go full term. and i think things could have been different for me if i hadn't developed this armoured persona. i think i have rather dropped it away now. being ill makes you vulnerable in a way that makes you strong. but i am also quite old as well, with it. i wish i could retrospectively use what i have learned, but of course i cannot. only use it now. which some people never get to.
innerdoggie
Mar. 26th, 2011 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: hide in plain sight
Yeah, one reason I don't have children is that I didn't feel confident that I could give them the social tools they need to deal with bullies. I have many reasons, but that is one among them.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
Re: hide in plain sight
That particular reason hasn't ever explicitly been on my list, but it should have been. It's an important thing for prospective parents to think about.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Re: hide in plain sight
being ill makes you vulnerable in a way that makes you strong.

That's a really profound thing to think about.
e4q
Mar. 27th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: hide in plain sight
it came as a massive surprise to me.
sophy
Mar. 26th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I think of what I call "Kid Code" which is basically - don't bring in outsiders (i.e. adults) no matter what. It's just this weird thing most kids do - don't tell even on your worst enemies, etc.

My mom has always also been a friend, and so I would actually come home and vent to her about how I was treated at school. But any time she offered to take any action of any kind, I was adamant that she NOT. Which I think a lot of kids do, too. There's this recognition that talking to the adults in the school will simply get the bullies into temporary trouble, making the bullying worse and even longer lasting. So it feels safer, somehow, to just let it go.

The school system I was a part of was very abusive and dysfunctional itself, so it's hard to imagine anything my mom could have actually done - save taking me out of the school system, which I didn't want because I did also have friends there and activities I was a part of, etc.

I'm glad it's become a thing now that schools and parents are talking about and taking seriously. Because, imo, that's the only way change can happen. The whole culture has to change to stop accommodating bullying as something normal and natural. No single policy or act alone can do much otherwise.

20 years ago when I was in HS, it was seen as, well, "kids are mean to one another, what can we do?" *SHRUG* - even by the few teachers in my school who did seem to dislike it. I feel like now, at least, there are more resources available to show that what's happening is Wrong and Should be stopped - even if it seems impossible to actually stop it.
firecat
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
The whole culture has to change to stop accommodating bullying as something normal and natural.

Yes. I hope it does.
pingback_bot
Mar. 26th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Done yesterday (20110325 Fr)
User mdlbear referenced to your post from Done yesterday (20110325 Fr) saying: [...] over to Google. We've been working together for 10 years. @ the cat & dragon rag - Bullying [...]
starcat_jewel
Mar. 31st, 2011 04:09 am (UTC)
Note: When I clicked on that link, I was immediately presented with a full-screen "overlay" ad DEMANDING that I download Google Chrome -- as in, there was NO way to close the ad without clicking on the download icon. So I couldn't read the article at all; fortunately, I was able to page back.
firecat
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:28 am (UTC)
Eww!
gary_farber
Apr. 12th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
What I Learned
"...to be quiet and hide in plain sight..." as one strategy I learned well, and deployed often, and very much. You haven't seen it, but it's in my toolchest, and still comes out often, in appropriate context.

I also learned a considerable variety of techniques, and responses.

A meta response was to learn a considerable variety of techniques, and responses.

And to experiment with them.

One was to talk fast and be funny, and distract the bully so that while they were laughing, I'd vanish in a puff of smoke.

That was for bullies.

The rest of my answer would run long.

Relying on my parents wasn't even a thought that crossed my mind. Consulting my parents wasn't even a thought.

I was an immensely independent child, of necessity, and will.

But then we'd get into autobiography, and all the rest is commentary.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars