We all have a vision in our mind of the gruff bully who overpowers kids with their size. A lot of the time the bully is not the mean kid in the corner, but a smart “straight A” athletic student or a wholesome looking school jock.
When our son was being being bullied we were shocked to find out that his bully was a nerd with delusions of grandeur and a need for power and control. The bully was actually our son’s best friend from a previous year, and we had been friends with his parents. (You can read our bullying story and how we turned things around).
When our son was being being bullied we were shocked to find out that his bully was a nerd with delusions of grandeur and a need for power and control. The bully was actually our son’s best friend from a previous year. (You can read our bullying story and how we turned things around).
Relational bullying can be hard for teachers to catch
Kids bully when the teachers are not looking or not around, and a lot of the time the teacher has no clue what is going on. Unfortunately, teachers don’t have eyes in the back of their head and often they can be deceived by a student’s behaviour.
Relational bullying can be harder to catch because the bully’s actions can be hidden from teachers, and take place between friends and groups. Relational bullying involves exclusion, recruiting other kids to target another child, eye rolls, mean comments, backstabbing and spreading rumours. It is common for relational bullying to occur between grades 5 to 8.
Help your child navigate classroom bullying
Female bullies can via for social status and try to claim the spot of the Queen Bee in the classroom. There are a couple of great books that showcase the dynamics that take place in the amongst girls, and help parents understand what their kids are going through;
As a parent, it can be challenging helping your daughter navigate the mean girls who create drama, spread rumours and excludes your child. The book Queen Bees Wannabees will help you understand the dynamics that your child is dealing with.
For boys, the book Masterminds and Wingmen, showcases the male power plays in the classroom. When our son was being bullied, I found this book to be enormously helpful. I would read about the group dynamics and could actually see the roles of many of the boys in my son’s class.
What if your child’s bully is the teacher?
Sometimes the bully isn’t one of the kids but is actually a teacher. One special needs student told her parents that the teachers were bullying her at school. When the parents brought it up with school administrators, they accused the parents of slander and their daughter was accused of lying.
The parents decided to take matters into their own hands and secretly put a recording device on their child. What they found was absolutely shocking. The teacher and an aide were verbally bullying their child, calling her dumb and fat. The teacher’s aide has been fired and the teacher has been suspended. It is hard to believe that people who take jobs working with children can be so cruel.
It is important that we listen to our kids, often they are telling us the truth.
Whoever your child’s bully is it is important to be an advocate for your child and help them solve the problem.
- The day we found out our child was being bullied
- Creating a timeline and documenting the bully’s behaviour