Last night, I posted a link about an article on bullying in elementary school published in Parents Canada. The main topic of the article was that bullying starts really early, thus it's essential to discuss with our kids about the issue of bullying early.
This morning, my 5-year old son acted a little bit different. He usually likes to get to school a few minutes before the bell rings, so he can have time to play with his friends in the playground area. But, this wasn't the case today -- he didn't want to go to the playground area today. So, I asked him what was wrong. After a few seconds, he told me that there is a kid in his bus who is bullying both him and his friend. Apparently, this kid (who is in grade one) makes fun of them and is also harsh. He has done this more than once. Although there has not be any bullying occurring in the playground area, I suspect that my son is a little bit scared that this may eventually happen there too.
I only had a few minutes to talk with my son because he did not want to be late to school. In a few minutes, I tried to explain him that what the boy was doing was wrong. I also told my son that it was very good that he told me what was happening because now I may be able to help him. My son knows that bullying is bad, but he is a very sensitive boy and doesn't always know how to defend himself.
Of course, I went to the school and briefly spoke with my son's teacher who wasn't surprised by the story. Apparently, the school already knows that this kid is bullying other kids. The teacher said that they (school) have already spoken with the child and are currently doing something else with him. I don't know if they have spoken with the parents yet, but I will try to have a longer conversation with the teacher during the next few days because I want to make certain that a serious effort is being put to solve the situation. I told the teacher that I don't like to see that my son doesn't want to play outside because of the presence of another kid.
Besides talking to the kid who is bullying, I think that it's essential that we talk we other kids. So, I suggested the teacher to talk with the kids in her class about bullying. It's important that they know how to react when another kid is bullying them. I know that she has had this conversation with them before, but it's clear that kids need to be told about bullying more than once during the school year. Now some kids are very resilient, but others are very sensitive. It's a question of personality, I guess. Regardless, no kid should tolerate bullying.
Tonight, my husband and I will take time to speak with my son about ways to deal with bullying, and this kid particularly. We have a few books about bullying and I will also read him one of those books tonight. It's not easy to prepare kids for situations like this. But, at least, we can try to provide them with tips that can help them. I wrote a post about bullying some time ago -- I need to go back to my post and the sources of information that I used for the post.
It's really sad to see that bullying starts so early in the lives of kids; my son is only in kindergarten and the kid who is bullying him is only in grade one!
Yes, it's never too early to bully-proof our kids.
What do you think? What do you bully-proof your kids? Do you feel that you are doing enough?