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


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.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
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.
Mar. 27th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Good thoughts, I agree.
(Deleted comment)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mar. 27th, 2011 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: hide in plain sight
it came as a massive surprise to me.
(Deleted comment)
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.
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 [...]
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.
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:28 am (UTC)
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.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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