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  1. #1
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    Default Girl bullying

    When I was in high school I was bullied. Not physically, but via exclusion, name calling etc. I was miserable and I feel that that experience shaped a large part of who I am today. Ironically I actually like who I am today, but I hate that those awful girls left a permanent mark on me like that.

    Now I have a daughter and I've been thinking about that. I know the school handled it badly (did nothing) but I do wonder what they could have done. It started with one girl who didn't like me, which would be fine, except I was new to the school and she seemed to quickly infect the entire grade with whatever she was saying about me until every day at school was like walking into a pack of wolves.

    I've heard schools are better now about bullying but what do they do with this type of thing? You can't force kids to be inclusive or to hang with someone?

    To be honest, if I felt my daughter was being subjected to this, I'd just tell her to leave the school grounds at recess and lunch. Go to a cafe, join a gym, whatever. Just don't be a sitting duck for the hunters.

    WWYD? Has anything changed?

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    My eldest was seriously bullied at her old school. School admin were useless and we wound up changing schools.

    Some schools handle it better than others. Ours didn't. Yep it still happens. In my view schools need to start giving kids the skills to better stand up for each other from preprimary. Their current school does this and yes bullying still happens but it's the bully who's isolated by the other girls and not the bullied.

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    I was thinking this the other day, in particular about leaving during breaks etc if they are being bullied.

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    I was bullied mercilessly for a very short period of time when I was in Upper Primary, and my heart still shrivels up and dies a little when I think about it. I remember how awful it feels.

    To be perfectly honest, bullying is really, really hard for schools to manage. Especially when it's between girls, which tends to be more sneaky and underhand and with far longer periods of grudge bearing. The thing is, as a school our hands are basically tied unless we catch bullies in the act, or there are witnesses that are brave enough to speak up. And then there will come a point in all kids'/teens' lives when the last thing they want is for their parents barreling in to school.

    The best thoughts I have are:
    - show our children from a really young age that we will back them fairly (as in, acknowledge that they aren't angels, but that if they do something wrong we will give them a fair consequence and love/support them regardless)
    - monitor/educate about safe use of social media and cyberbullying
    - teach our kids resilience, which involves not jumping in to rescue them all the time
    - provide our kids with tools to use to help them be assertive from a very young age ie language, role playing etc
    - expose our kids to lots of social situations so school isn't their only chance for friendship.

    It's so tough and scary to think about, isn't it?

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    The problem with girl bullying is its insidious and it's often not even obvious to the person being bullied that that's what's happening. It's over a long period they get worn down and become depressed and even going into the classroom becomes hell on earth.

    I used to tell DD1 just to go to the library and read. There was no way as a primary school kid she could have had the courage to leave school.

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    I also think there needs to be a lot of work done to teach children, from a very young age, how to stand up to bullying, how to not be a target, to learn resilience, to develop confidence and self-esteem. We (and our children) cannot change the behavior of those around us, but we can be armed with tools to deal with bullying behavior.
    My DD highschool has an extremely strong anti - bullying culture. Kids who stand by a watch/witness bullying without acting are also held accountable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonja View Post
    The problem with girl bullying is its insidious and it's often not even obvious to the person being bullied that that's what's happening. It's over a long period they get worn down and become depressed and even going into the classroom becomes hell on earth.

    I used to tell DD1 just to go to the library and read. There was no way as a primary school kid she could have had the courage to leave school.
    See our school used to close the library at lunch. I assume it was a staffing issue, but holy moly it really meant there was no escape.

    It's awful to think it happens in primary too. In my head I was thinking high school.

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    Starts in year 3. Really common sadly. Remember kids these days hit primary school with a lot more social skills than we had as kids as they often spend time in day care so are somewhat more socially sophisticated than we were.

    And no I'm not bagging day care just reflecting on what DD1's psychologist told me.


 

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