One day our grade 5 son told us that someone who had previously been his friend convinced all of the other boys in the class to hunt him down on the playground. This wasn’t a nice game of tag, this was our son afraid for his safety.
What was so shocking was we had had this boy and his family over for dinner the weekend before. You would think that my son would have mentioned that things weren’t going well. We’ll our son, Jake (names have been changed to protect privacy), didn’t fully know what had been going on.
Why your child doesn’t tell you that they are being bullied
Often kids don’t tell you that they are being bullied because they can’t fully process the situation themselves.
It is kind of like when you are breaking up with someone, things don’t make sense at the time but when you look back you see the person was pulling away from you.
At first it was a shock to find out that our child was being bullied and then is was even more shocking to find out that the hate campaign was led by a family friend’s son. Lucas (names have been changed to protect privacy), had been trying to turn all the boys against our son for two months.
- Your child’s bully may not be who you think it is
- Creating a timeline and documenting the bully’s behaviour
Our son’s bully used to be his best friend
Lucas and Jake had been best friends in grade four and in grade five they were put in different classes. In grade 5, Lucas found a new best friend, most children would just walk away, they wouldn’t lead a hate campaign against another child.
When Lucas was placed in a new class, he wouldn’t talk to a bunch of his old friends, it was as if he thought he was superior to everyone. He met a new kid from another school with a colourful background that he started hanging out with.
We started unraveling what this kid can been doing, we found out that our son had been sitting by himself at lunch for two months. He tried to turn every friend my son had against him and convinced other kids to no longer be our son’s friend.
Bullies can be very manipulative and get other kids to do their dirty work
Lucas was extremely manipulative bully and difficult to catch. Lucas was a master manipulator who used other kids to do his dirty work so he wouldn’t get caught.
Lucas was classified at “gifted”, you honestly wouldn’t think a grade 5 boy would be so capable of manipulating other kids. I’m telling you this kid was a gifted manipulator and smart.
Our son told us this wasn’t the first time they had “hunted him” and he actually felt very afraid at school. We started asking our son questions creating a timeline of what had been going on over the last few months.
We realized that we needed to report the bullying to the school immediately. It didn’t matter that we were friends with this family, this was a situation where we need to make sure our child was safe, we need the bullying to stop immediately.