or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › What would you say to help comfort your child?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What would you say to help comfort your child?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
What would you do if you found out that your daughter was being harressed, bullied, by kids at her high school? (Sorry this is a little long, just wanted to give you some background)

My daughter is a Junior here in D.C. She had what seemed to be a good group of friends until November. My daughter was involved in a car accident and the driver of the car was drunk. My daughter was hurt in the accident. All the kids that were involved in this one car roll over left the scene except for the driver. (total of 6 kids in Jeep) They didn't want to get busted. My daughter was pulled out of the car and 2 boys carried her to another car and then dumped her off on our door step. We went to the emergency room and she was tested for alcohol and she was clean. She said she had a half a beer. The boy driving the car blew a .2.

Since the accident my daughter has quit going to parties. These so called friends are now going around telling stories about my daughter. (Very hurtful things and these girls said that my daughter was their best friend when she was being visited in the hospital and all.) She has told me about some of the stuff that has happened but not all. I ran into one of her (real) friends and she told me how there was a group of girls at my daughters High School who are out to make my daughters life miserable. The stories are out of control. For example: This weekend my family came to town we spent the weekend with them. Well there are stories going around the school about my daughter being out this last weekend partying like crazy and stealing some of these girls boyfriends. She was home all weekend.

I am asking you to help with some suggestions, thoughts, ideas, of how to help my daughter overcome some of this harassing behavior. She is not making a stink about this at school. She doesn't even acknowledge the comments. Which I am proud of her for doing but it still has to hurt. What would you say to your child if this was happening to them?
post #2 of 33
It DID happen to my daughter after she was almost murdered: the kids were saying that she deserved to have her throat cut, and that the attack was HER fault.

I went to the school principal and superintendent (a combined meeting) and we pulled my daughter OUT of that school and put her into another in a different city, and MY city was forced to pay for it. I drove her to school every day, she took the bus home. Complete change of environment and classmates made a BIG difference.

I was bullied in high school myself for being shy, quiet, and really smart. I got shoved down stairwells from being, sucker punched in the face, and one girl came after me while she was walking her huge, vicious doberman, so I was completely unable to protect myself.

As a result, I dropped out of high school completely, got my GED and started college when I was 16 years old.

Can't give you suggestions, but my own experiences might help you to weigh your options.
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you, So becuz of the environment your daughter was in the school paid for her to be transferred? What were the steps you went through and how long did it take? I plan on going to the school and letting them know about the situation. I am looking into other schools for my daughter right now. How many kids are being harrassed so bad that they actually want to move their Senior Year? Not to many that I know of. I was not harrassed at school I grew up in a small town west coast. I was left alone for the most part. I am not feeling comfortable about this anymore. It is too much crazy stuff.
post #4 of 33
i myself was bullied (im17)
sometimes it hels too talk too a complete stranger?
i know forums like TCS and my own pet got me through alot of hassle i had and school changes
if she needs too talk im here!
i will admit when i was bullied i felt the need too fit in with the bullies and do the things the bullies did,
but i doubt your daughter is that way inclined
vibes your way hope everything sorts itself out !
post #5 of 33
Originally Posted by tinkrbl5 View Post
Thank you, So becuz of the environment your daughter was in the school paid for her to be transferred? What were the steps you went through and how long did it take? I plan on going to the school and letting them know about the situation. I am looking into other schools for my daughter right now. How many kids are being harrassed so bad that they actually want to move their Senior Year? Not to many that I know of. I was not harrassed at school I grew up in a small town west coast. I was left alone for the most part. I am not feeling comfortable about this anymore. It is too much crazy stuff.
My situation was unique due to the attempted murder, which was all over the local papers, TV and radio, in addition to receiving some national coverage through the Associated Press.

I started by calling my city rep, the mayor's office, the superintendent and the principal, and I threatened legal action if my requests were not accomodated.

Because of that, because of the nature of the heinous crime that was committed against my child, they school officials actually bent over backward to assist me.

So again, very different situation.

Definitely contact top school and city officials to get the ball rolling, and DO NOT LET IT REST. No child should be forced to be subject to being ostracized for actually getting her act together and for NOT wanting to be one of the partying crew.
post #6 of 33
Iwould definitely talk to school authorities if this is happening on school grounds. And I would go to the offending former friends parents. That will be mortifying for the teens, but so what!?

I was also bullied in high school, but no one passed stories about me, that I know about. Mostly it was verbal and physical abuse. I ignored it for the most part, but I did haul off and slug one of the tormentors who was harrassing me on the school bus. He laughed and said that didn't hurt and I said that's too bad... but because I fought back, he was more wary of me after that.

Also, there are some good books on the market about girl bullies -can't recall the name right now... but try to find them... females can be very vicious!
post #7 of 33
I don't have suggestions but just wanted to say sorry that your daughter is going through this. I hope things work out.
post #8 of 33
Its a tough situation. On one hand, it could help if the girls spreading the rumors and bullying get in trouble by their parents, so telling the principal could help, on another, they might start bullying her even more if you tell.

I was bullied a little in junior high. I just waited it out. I became friends with a few girls that no one would mess with so the bullies left me alone.

Maybe it would be best if she switched schools. I just hope that they leave her alone soon.

If it were my daughter... I would get her into some classes that would teach her how to defend herself and maybe permission for her to carry a can of mase because sadly sometimes the bullies will go after people. Sorry, don't want to scare you but thats what happened to me. One girl actually pushed herself into my house and I had to push her back out the door. She sat outside my house trying to kick the door in (there were huge dents in both the front and back door) and I had to call the cops on her. She ran from them and wasn't caught.
post #9 of 33
I wish I did have something comforting to say to you... but I really don't. What you and your daughter are going through is just awful BIGGEST for both of you
post #10 of 33
I can't offer you any suggestions because I was bullied mercilessly in middle school, even by a group of (black) girls on the bus I didn't even know. I ran home 5-6 blocks each day never knowing what I did wrong.

I never told my parents because I didn't want them to have to worry about it. I always got picked on for a number of reasons and it does hurt.

I hope that you will find some way to help your daughter. She does not deserve any of this.
post #11 of 33
I would get her into talk with someone like a licensed counselor or therapist, to help her learn to cope with the accident, what happened to her (sounds very tramatic, her "friends", dumping her, making fun of her, etc.) and help her learn some coping skills and get some life coaching. She needs to talk about this issue at length and it will help her a great deal, now, and for the rest of her life. Choose a clinic that will integrate you (the parent) into the program too at some point, so you can learn how to help comfort and direct your teen about this situation and other difficult situations in their high school and life. You can also talk to the school, and the professional counselor or therapist you choose can help you a ton with this.
Sounds like an all around bad situation, best to address it NOW, chances are there is a lot more you don't know as far as how far the harrassment of your daughter is really going, it is unacceptable. Please keep us updated.
post #12 of 33
Another suggestion - there are many online schooling options if you don't want to try a different school but feel like it would be better if she weren't in the one she's in. The one I go to is available through many states and is available for all grades (next year it's including twelfth).

I can't offer any suggestions as to what to do right now, but whatever you decide to do, I hope it goes well.
post #13 of 33
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
And I would go to the offending former friends parents. That will be mortifying for the teens, but so what!?
I would not do this unless you know the families pretty good, it could backfire big time and turn into an even messier more complicated situation. Many times, parents don't feel their precious is in the wrong, of course they are not! Parents make all sorts of excuses and some have mental health or parenting issues that are not ideal for a rational adult conversation.
post #14 of 33
I've been bullied my whole life, all through school and at most of the jobs I've held. It's part of what put me into the tailspin I've been in these past few years, part of why I haven't been able to work and have been living with my folks. So I think I understand what your daughter is feeling.

There is probably some element of jealousy here. In some sick way, these girls may be jealous of the drama surrounding the accident, the mystique your daughter has acquired in their eyes by having a brush with death. They feel threatened by the glamorized image they now have of your daughter, so they have to tear her down with lies and ridicule.

It may help her if you point out the obvious: that these are kids. Kids generally do not have the life experience or the personal maturity to resist the "mob instinct," so when one kid says something cruel and stupid and false, the others pick it up and run with it. Very few kids are able to apply critical thought and realize that it's wrong, so it just keeps expanding until the victim has become an object of general derision.

So I suspect that what these kids are saying has nothing to do with any actual belief on their part (which may be some comfort to your daughter) -- it's just the latest idiotic gossip that some jealous girl started, and by participating in it, they all get to feel safe and accepted as part of the supposedly "cool" crowd. In the mind of a teenager, not to participate in such gossip would be to mark herself as an outsider, leaving herself vulnerable to the next round of groundless attacks.

I think the most important thing your daughter can do is hold her head up high. If people see that she's hurting, it's like blood in the water -- it will only draw more sharks. She needs to stand tall, keep participating in her classes, keep being who she is, and keep a smile on her face. Don't let them see that their meanness is having its desired effect, or it will only continue.

And with any luck, by faking it, she will begin to make it true.

If the school takes any public action on this, I think you should make sure they never mention your daughter's name or situation specifically. That would only make it worse. What they might do is hold a schoolwide seminar about gossip and lies. They could discuss some examples from recent history about people whose lives were wrecked by false accusations, like the guard who found the bomb at the Atlanta Olympics some years back. They could also talk about the "dirty tricks" played during political campaigns by conscienceless types like Karl Rove. I don't know whether it would actually change lives or not, but it might make some of these kids do a little more thinking than they're doing now.

I'm so sorry for what your daughter is going through... I know how much it hurts, especially when you're so young you haven't yet learned that you will survive these hits, and that the pain will fade in time. My heart really goes out to her... I hope she can rise above all this and not let it hurt her any more.
post #15 of 33
I haven't read the responses you have been given (yet) but, looking at the names, I know you already have received very good advice.

I'm sorry to hear that you and your daughter are going through this. I would put her in a different school, if possible. If that's not an option, I would recommend talking to every educator at the school who will listen to you, tell them the situation, and ask for their help. I'm glad your daughter has you and some true friends to ride this out with. She is handling it so well... tell her to hang in there and soon there will be some other big gossip target that will take the spotlight off of her.

Our daughter was the target of a bully (a girl) in first and second grade, and in third grade the bully scratched death threats and hate messages to our daughter on the metal stalls in the school bathroom. My husband I and talked to the educators many times about this girl bully, who hated all other girls, not just our daughter. The only thing they did was put them in different classes this year. They will also not be in the same class next year or we are putting our daughter, and she is in agreement, in to a different school!
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone with your thoughts and messages.
Since the accident my daughter has been seeing a counselor who is a very knowledgeable lady. I know that everything that has been going on has effected my daughter in a very large way. She is not the same happy, out going child she was back in November before the accident. I have family and friends ask me if she is ok becuase she acts so grown up and is so articulate. I explain to them that since the accident there seems to be one group or another that has been putting her down. I have told her that alot of what is going on does have to do with jealousy. My daughter is very pretty and she is very smart. She has goals in her life and is very focused on obtaining them. I know a lot of the girls are jealous right now becuz she is getting more attention from the boys at school as well. The boys are just as annoyed and confused as to why these things are happening as well. My daughter doesn't acknowledge the rumors and doesn't say bad things about any of the girls that are spreading the rumors.

She brought up the fact that she wouldn't mind changing schools. I am looking at a couple of alternatives right now.

My daughter dances as well and she is getting it at dance class. She is on a competitive dance team. She has been with this group for the past 4 1/2 yrs and some of them are trying to make her feel bad. It is absolutely crazy. I don't understand. I didn't grow up with a whole lot of freinds but I don't remember kids being this @#$tty. I just don't understand. My daughter would give you her last bit of clothing if she thought you needed it more than her.

Some of the girls that are being so mean too her- she has stood up for them when they were being treated poorly. She doesn't like people talking poorly about others. She is just a good hearted soul.

When we moved out here and after her first week at school we put her into Tae Kwan Do. She can hurt someone if she has too. I know that it will never get that far becuz I will pull her out of her school before it got to that point. I just wish there was a magic pill or something.

Thank you again for all of your support. It gives me more information that I can share with my girl.
post #17 of 33
Well, I 'm not sure what I'd tell a child, but I can tell you about what happened to me at that age.

I was fat, and ugly, and very shy. The kids were very mean; I had no friends. They used to wait in the halls between classes, in groups, yell obscenities at me, and spit on me. I also got hit a few times, and kicked, and had stones thrown at me. (And this was just high school!) Every minute of school, from kindergarten to my senior year, was pure living H*ll. I was constantly told how ugly and stupid I was, etc. Even when one brave girl complimented me on a pretty dress I was wearing, one of the guys said, "Don't tell her she looks nice; she's only a fat, ugly dog anyway!" (He's also the charmer that used to kick me in the behind, while I was sitting in front of him in English class; the cowardly jerk of a teacher knew this was going on; the kid used to whisper in my ear during class, "You know you're (insert bad word here)ing ugly, don't you? You ugly, fat (female dog)!"--yet the teacher never did a thing.) The abuse was so bad, the guidance counselor wanted me to drop out! I loved that. I was the abused kid, yet I was being asked to leave. Go figure. I decided that I had a right to a free education if anyone did.

The worst part: Mom told me just to ignore them, and not "stoop to their level". You know what, when I finally started yelling back at them, a lot of the abuse stopped. For 3 years, I endured it all silently, even making myself take the abuse route to get to the school library every morning before class, even though I could've have taken another route. I figured I had a right to walk down that hall to go to the library, but, boy, it was hard. I knew they'd be waiting for me.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow you a quite a woman. I can't imagine what you went through. My daughter is going through pretty much the same thing. She has girls calling her all kind of names telling all kind of stories. She has never done anything to anyone of these kids. I don't know what is going on with our children. To act this way is unbelieveable. What has happened to just common courtesy. You don't treat people the way you were treated or the way my daughter is being treated. It just su#$s doggy doo doo.

Thank you for sharing. I do appreciate it. I wish there was a way to stop this kind of behavior.
post #19 of 33
I had something similar happen... I was in a machine tool class that worse worth twice the credits as a normal class, but was the only female. Things went wrong, I got jammed into some lockers, and I started whoopin some butt, then started screaming, because no matter how tough you are, 15 to 1 is just bad odds, the teacher came in and rescued me, there was a meeting with all the boys parents, the superintendent, the principal, my parents, and the teacher, in the end I was asked to leave the class, having the school say it was so much easier to take me out of the class then it was to take 15 boys out of the class!!! I lost all the credits that I should have gotten from that class! The teacher and everyone else knew what had happened, it was just to inconvienent to punish them! The only thing that gave me any relief was not taking the bs. I told them what I thought, and I didn't let them mall me! Probably not the best action a teenage girl could take.

I sure hope things go better with your daughter! She must be one tough cookie to take the crud she's been dished out!
post #20 of 33
my daughter was bullied whilst in her 1st year of high school. first occasion was when a girl smacked her in the face. the reason being because my daughter dresses differently. she is into rock and punk music, so she dyes her hair and wears studded belts. that does not warrant a smack in the face.

the community support officer sorted it out that time, instantly. i was very pleased with the schools quick and effective reaction.

however, a year later the same girls started on her again. this time the school were sadly uninterested. her head of year actually told me that she would have to put up with being called extremely rude names. i was in that school every morning for a week, trying to sort it out with my daughter coming home in tears as these girls were threatening to beat her up.

as the school did not act in the best interests of my daughter, i went to the education authority and requested a move to another school. 2 weeks later she left that school and moved to the new one.

whilst i am furious that these 'bullies' have not been dealt with appropriately, i now have a daughter happy to go to school and that is the most important thing.

good luck with your daughter, my heart goes out to anyone who is the victim of bullying.
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
The school the my daughter Sam goes to has a big sign in the front entrance that has the Code of Behavior. #1 is to not harass or bully anyone. When you take your concerns to the School Resource Officer and Administrator for my daughters class they talk to you in circles.
You point out that they say "No harassing behavior" but they don't support it.
Sam came home yesterday and she just looks beat. We talked and she cried. She said that everyday she pulls into the school she feels so much dread becuz she knows that when she gets to her first class the girls will be pointing at her and talking trash about her.
She said that every once in a while a young girl will come to her and tell her that she is a role model to them. They tell her that she is so strong and to be able to come to school and stand tall everyday makes them feel stronger. Sam told me that when that happens she feels better and knows she will be okay.

The part of this that is really sucky is that these girls that are doing this use to be her so called "good friend" One example: Sam and Jane (fake friend name) made plans to go to VA Tech to check out the college over the weekend. The weather got bad and the plans were cancelled but Jane asked if Sam could spend the weekend at her house anyway. I said sure. The girls had a blast. So I thought. Monday at school Jane calls Sam out and starts screaming at her becuz Jane got in trouble for getting home 10 minutes late on Saturday nite after the girls had gone out and met some friends. Sam said that they didn't get back to Janes until 10 after 11 but Jane's parents didn't say anything at the time. After Jane did this she then started spreading tons of rumors. Uggggggggg I am soooo confused I know Sam is extremely confused as well.

Thank you again for sharing your stories. When Sam and I were talking last nite I shared some of your situations and it seemed to help her. So thank you again.
post #22 of 33
I was harassed pretty badly in middle school. I went to private school, so the public school kids picked on me for that. At the private school I was ostracized for unknown reasons.

My parents went to the school. They wouldn't do anything. They kept repeating the "peer pressure" mantra. And were my parents ticked about that.

One day the harrassment escalated to being physical. My Dad called the police. And after that, at least the public school kids left me alone. When I went off to high school, it was a LARGE public school, and suddenly the hot shots were at the bottom of the heap. High school was great for me, I was left alone and had many friends.

My point is, once the kids crossed that line, my parents involved the police. The smart ones backed off after that. The school had pretty much the same unenforced policy as your daughter's school. Even though my parents couldn't do anything about the words (they gave great moral support though) I knew they were there for me if the kids wanted to be physical.

Because of all that, I spent most of my teen years in horse barns. I worked at a barn, I rode, I generally hung out with horses. If I wasn't at home, I was at the barn.
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post

Because of all that, I spent most of my teen years in horse barns. I worked at a barn, I rode, I generally hung out with horses. If I wasn't at home, I was at the barn.
You know when I was growing up that is where I spent all of my time. On the back of a horse. I loved it.

Well the one thing that I have shared with Sam is that I will be there for her no matter what. Her Dad is also there for her. He gives her little sayings like

"the girls are like crabs in a bucket and whenever someone is about to get out of the bucket there are those that will always try to bring you down"

or this one Sam really likes and it goes something like this " the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results"

Sam refers to this one regarding going out drinking and partying and why she doesn't want to do that anymore.
post #24 of 33
That is sad. Are you getting any professional help for her? Please do; I think the sooner you do this, the better.
post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
We are lucky. Sam wanted to talk to someone after the car accident and so she has been seeing a wonderful lady through all of this.
post #26 of 33
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
One day the harrassment escalated to being physical. My Dad called the police.
Good for your dad! I've never understood why what would be called assault and battery anywhere else is just ignored on a schoolground. It's fine to give juveniles a chance to clear their record of stupid things they did before they were old enough to know better -- but I'm convinced that failing to hold them accountable up front actually contributes to future wrongdoing.
post #27 of 33
Dang, teenagers are mean! Girls especially. There has to be some consequences for the kids who are bullying your daughter and spreading rumors. Threaten to take civil/legal action. That'lll get their attention!

No one is being taught in our society anymore to take responisbility for their actions. Like those girls in Florida who beat up a "friend" and fellow cheerleader and videotaped it.

As for my advice about the parents- that's true. Again, no one wants to take respo for behavior and the kids are probably badly brought up to behave like that. That happened to my brother. He was beaten up on the bus by a bunch of boys in junior high. My mom knew the mother of one of the boys... so she called. The woman said my brother - sweet and gentle guy - must have started it and her son COULD NEVER have done anything like that. Sheesh. And the school didn't do a damn thing either until my mom threatened legal action.

I still remember how badly I was treated in school growing up. When my 30th HS reunion came around, an old chum looked me up and begged me to go so she would have someone to talk to. I refused, b/c as I looked at the list of people in attendance - I could only conjure up bad things/memories about those people. Me going down the list: mean to me, mean to me, ignored me, bullied me, no consequence to me, not my friend, mean, mean (for the women I used the "b" word)..... My boyfriend and I decided that $150 would be better spent put towards a vacation..
post #28 of 33
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Good for your dad! I've never understood why what would be called assault and battery anywhere else is just ignored on a schoolground. It's fine to give juveniles a chance to clear their record of stupid things they did before they were old enough to know better -- but I'm convinced that failing to hold them accountable up front actually contributes to future wrongdoing.
That was the day I really knew my parents "had my back." The one kid's Dad wasn't happy about what his son was doing, that kid NEVER bothered me again.

I totally agree with you about how they ignore school ground behavior. What I went through was horrible, and the more the school authorities ignored it the worse it got.
post #29 of 33
I am so sorry your daughter is going through this. Bullying can change your life, no matter how hard you try to ignore it. It is especially bad if you have doe nothing wrong and are the one being bullied. She sounds like a lovely young woman. I know it it hard now, but she will come back stronger, and they will be the ones with nothing but memories of when they used to be somebody. Think Al Bundy.
I was raped in high school, and my name got out that it had happened. The worst part it was a "date rape" and my sister had a hand in it. The boy felt bad after he realized what he had done, but it still didn't keep me from being hurt, pregnant, and kicked out of my church. He could have just kept his mouth shut. I did not want to marry him, but his family hired a lawyer and said they would sue if I tried to say it was his child. They thought I wanted money, and all I wanted was a little moral support. My parents sent me away to boarding school and tried to deny it ever happened. I came back a different person. The next person that tried to bully me got the snot beat out of them. They were afraid to bully me any more. For some reason they thought I was crazy, and had gone away to the nut house instead of going to have my baby.
I did go to one reunion just to watch everyone go in, and that was the sorriest looking bunch I have ever seen. The ones that were still married obviously hated each other, most of them were divorced drunks, deadbeat dads, 2 of which were taken right out of the reunion because the cops knew they would be there. The cheerleaders and popular girls tht were so awful to me are aging bimbos with a houseful of kids, no husbands, tons of blue eyeshadow, bad bleach jobs with trailer park roots, drunk with a different guy every weekend trying to find a daddy for their kids, or even grandkids by now. They guys are still driving the old camaros with bad combovers. Karma sure came back to bite them on the butt.
I am mostly happy, have been in love for 23 years, and their lives stink.
post #30 of 33
I deal with elementary students, so it is a bit different.

Sometimes the facts as presented by the student are not as the facts as observed by the staff. We do have a policy on bullying and a plan to follow, which we do.

We have had some children complain about what appears to be bullying on the surface, but turns out to be the response to a situation they created in the first place. The old the first-kid-gets-away-with-hitting-but-the-kid-retaliating-gets-caught that we all remember and hate.

Our first step is to protect the victim from abuse, but also just observe the interactions. We then come up with the plan to deal with it.

Unfortunately, kids often behave differently at school than they do at home and parents often have a hard time believing their child would act like that. My experiences at school cause me to take what my children tell me with a grain of salt. There are times that I wish we could videotape the entire day, though the smart kids would change their behavior for that day. Some of our parent volunteers have told me that their perception of their child's choice of friends is different after seeing them in action at school.

We also have a couple of kids that we are working with because they seem to constantly be bullied. They need better skills in learning to deal with others - standing up for themselves, communicating what is acceptible, knowing at what point to ask for help (not too soon or too late). Bullys are always in counseling.

It's very hard as a parent to teach your child how to deal with bullys. You can't antipiate every situation and help them prepare a response.

My suggestion to dealing with this problem in the schools is to require every parent to volunteer one day a year at their child's school. We have a 180 days of school, so assign the parents so each day a volunteer or more is there. Have more than one child, you will have to give a day for each child. This would require the support of the business community, but I really think the payoff would be worth it. Better educated children (future employees), less crime, better community support for education as the parents learn about what really goes on in the classroom and how the kids really act.

<stepping off my soapbox now>
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › What would you say to help comfort your child?