Friday, September 10, 2010

Help Needed - all suggestions, thoughts, solutions gratefully appreciated!

Why do people (read kids here) have to be so mean?

A while ago we had a problem with Lachie being bullied by some new kids in our street. They compounded this by deciding it would be a good idea to throw eggs at our house. Sadly for them my oldest son Ian was home sick for the day and saw them throw something but didn't get out in time to actually catch them. As it was the middle of my working week and as I am aware that I am more emotional (read more likely to burst into tears instead of remaining calm) I decided to wait until I had finished working before doing anything about it.

Actually it worked well because it gave those 'charmers' time to worry - seeing the panicked look on their faces when I knocked on the door made the wait worthwhile! I talked to their father who stunned me by admiting he had seen his child take some eggs from the fridge and leave the house. What did he think he was going to do with them! He then tried to pass it off as 'kids will be kids'. Ah no .. that is bullying and vandalism and I promised to go to the police if it continued. He was full of apologies but the cynic in me has to wonder if that had anything to do with the large 6'4" male (Ian) standing behind me, who to his credit let me do the talking. He was only there as a witness ... okay ... maybe a little bit as intimidation - hey I am not above using what works! Did I mention the dad is about 5 foot nothing *angelic amile*

Anyway ... all was okay for quite a while but this week it has started again. Yesterday Lachie came home with a very obvious shoe print on his leg and apparently they have been shoving him into the fence and kicking him etc on the way home. They are not stupid these kids - the anti-bullying policy at school is very strict and very well enforced. I am quite sure Lachie is not just standing there totally innocent (as much as he assures me he is), but as these kids are younger and smaller, it makes it even more difficult. Lachie, like his big brother, is a gentle giant - only not many people realise it with Ian.

My problem is how to deal with it. He has to walk past their place every day to get home. I have to be seen to be doing something - not just ignoring the problem - for Lachie's sake, but if I go to the school, it will almost certainly get worse. I could go talk to the father again - I have never met the mother - or I could send Ian :D. Sadly Lachie's best friend (up until now) is apparently now joining in. I realise that 12 year old boys and the truth are not always best friends but there is definetely something going on!

This is the kind of time I miss John - he may not have had a solution, but we could talk about it parent to parent. The boys are great but they are brothers. It is different.

Meanwhile I have told Lachie to shove him away - hard. Lachie is a big kid - at 12 he is 5'7" tall and strong, but he says it makes it worse. For today I am walking up to school to meet him, but it is not an ideal solution, especially when I am working. Any and all suggestions, thoughts, solutions would be gratefully appreciated! Or am I over-reating? It has been known but as someone who was bullied as a child, I know the lasting effects it can have. All I need now is an answer ..... sigh ... when did life get so tough!


Anonymous said...

Oh dear ... I'm not sure there is really a solution, I know from experience how awful it is as a parent to watch your child go thru something like this. Maybe if Lachie took up a martial art it would help, just so the kids know he's doing it and could use it, if he chose to? Not really sure. He needs to talk to someone at the school though, even if he doesn't want them to say/do anything. Possibly also get his 'friend' alone and have a word, all of you together (incl Ian)?
Hugs :) xx

Annie (Lady M) x said...

Ooh, this is a toughie. First of all, what is Lachie's reaction to it all? Is he upset, angry, or scared? Secondly, I think that the school has to get involved, especially if it is also happening on their watch.

Just a thought - but could the police be involved in some way if all other avenues fail? After all, it is assault no matter how old the people involved are.

Shirley said...

Thanks guys - I have to admit just writing it all out has made it less traumatic - in my head anyway!

I was trying to think how to describe Lachie's reactions - he is not upset so much, more irritated and hurt I guess. It doesn't stop him wanting to go to school, it's almost like he just accepts it happens and that its the norm and I hate that.

I am going to go talk to his teacher on Monday (I hope) - she is also a friend so hopefully we can work something out. I have a friend whose husband is an ex-cop - I might talk to him about it as well. Meanwhile yesterday Brendan picked him up from school as he was just getting home anyway.

I will keep you updated - and thank you - its true - a problem shared ...etc


Fran said...

Can't believe the father saw him take the eggs and did nothing.