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11 AM Moms Talk Q&A: Talking About Bullying

The White House convenes first-ever conference on it, state lawmakers are talking about it, what are your family's experiences with it?

Editor's Note: Today's Q & A focuses on a subject that's probably hit everyone at some point: Chances are, you've been bullied, you may have even been a bully. I was bullied growing up. As an elementary school child it was verbal--words will never hurt you, right? Well, don't believe it. But it got worse in middle school. No sticks or stones. Instead it was physical intimidation. Punches. Getting slammed to the ground after the bell rang and we were getting on the bus. Daily. Gut-wrenching. I went to a good school, with good teachers and administrators, but there wasn't much that could be done to stop what was happening. Eventually (mercifully), it stopped.

Luelana Bustamante March 11, 2011 at 04:58 PM
I don't remember being bullied when I was in High School because I was always the guys best friend kind of a girl and all the girls wanted to be close to me so I could introduce them to the boys. Because of that I made a lot of friends. However, I grow up wacthing Americans movies such as Karate Kid which were showing bullyings and that scared me to death to imagine that someone had to go through that kind of experience. Now that my kids are studying, my big concern is to teach them all about bullying, how to avoid it, how to never bully anyone and how to deal with it. A good site that I found that can provide a lot of information is http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/ They talk to parents, kids and even educators how to deal with bullying.
Natalia Motola March 11, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I think bullying is a form of violence and should be treated as such. Depending on the severity and frequency of the bullying I think there should be a very low to a no tolerance policy. I spoke to many parents at Craig Elementary in Parkway and their responses varied from the befriending the bully to myself, who called the police. With so much in the news about bullying, I wanted to be proactive. A boy trapped my daughter in the window seat,( between the window and outer sea)t and threatened her for telling on him for bullying her the first time. The police were really not helpful. I dealt with Principal Nicole Evans at the school and she dealt with the issue efficiently.
Gregg Palermo March 11, 2011 at 05:12 PM
I'm also reminded by Patch Contributor Don Kaiser that former St. Louis Cardinal great Lou Brock has been active when it comes to bullying prevention.
Luelana Bustamante March 11, 2011 at 05:18 PM
My son was hit by a girl in the bus when coming back from school once and he told me later that she went to principal because she have done that with another biy too. Its hard to teach your son to never hit anyone and see him being hit by a girl for no reason. I tried not to enphasize this fact a lot because it was the first time and I told him how nice it is to have a lot of friends but I told him also that nobody has the right to hit him and if that happens he has to talk with the principal as soon as possible and with me.
Natalia Motola March 11, 2011 at 05:19 PM
In addition, Principal Evans made sure he did not interact with her at lunch, recess, class and he stopped riding the bus. My step daughter had a bully who pushed her into a desk and she got a black eye. None of the teachers noticed and she was afraid to tell. I called the police in that instance as well and her school, in Illinois, has a detective in charge of bullying. The principal dealt well with that as well, although the interaction has not been completely eliminated with the bully.
Natalia Motola March 11, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Whether it is a boy or a girl bullying is not right. Some studies show that girls are more cliquish and verbally more abusive. Another change in bullying, I have read, is that it used to be the poor loner who was the bully. Today, popular and affluent children are more prone to bullying.
Luelana Bustamante March 11, 2011 at 05:37 PM
There is another site that I found that can be helpful for mom's like us to learn how to deal with this situation. http://bullying.org/ It's from Canada but it is pretty good. It was created by parents after two schools went through a deadly rampage less than a week apart in 1999. Shortly after the shootings, stories began to emerge of the relentless bullying the accused had previously endured.
Kris March 11, 2011 at 05:41 PM
It seems to me that the model for action is equal to overkill. School is the single most important thing our kids do on their own and side by side with their peers. They can not be left to felt that there is nothing that can be done or that there is something they need to do differently. Bullying has to be addressed when it occurs and bullys, themselves directly, have to be called to own up to their actions and be held accountable. The children that are victims need to feel like their parents are also their advocates, there to stand up for them and protect them when they need it. Unfortunately not all parents are willing to take it as seriously as the children do, so the intimidation continues, grades fall, depression becomes part of their daily routine, social interaction becomes an opportunity for stress to a child that doesn't deserve to feel such things. Since recent years have brought about the connection to intolerance and teen suicide. As parents we must remember that when these situations arise. Here are some common signs that a child may be experiencing these problems: http://www.kidscape.org.uk/parents/signsof.shtml
Natalia Motola March 11, 2011 at 05:54 PM
I think the thing hardest to control are the actions of bullies when adults are not around. Most bullying obviously takes place when they aren't, but teachers, parents, bus drivers need to be hyper-vigilant regarding bullying. I take it seriously and confront the issue head on. Parents need to take responsibility and teach their kids how to act. Although it is difficult because sometimes it is the parents at the root of the problem that creates the bully.
Luelana Bustamante March 11, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Thanks Kris for the tip. It is really important for us parents to keep an eye on our kids and don't let any of these syntoms to affect our kids or even if these are happening, we should be able to recognize as fast as we can to help them go through these.
Gregg Palermo March 12, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Kris, Thanks so much for your insights. They are greatly appreciated. We hope you'll stay involved with Parenting issues as we cover them here at Creve Coeur Patch. Gregg
Laura Collins March 12, 2011 at 04:11 AM
JONBENET RAMSEY INVESTIGATOR RELEASES BOOK ON BULLYING Http://Profilingyourlife.com/

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