Am I overprotective, how can I solve this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Angie83, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Angie83

    Angie83 Guest

    Well, first of all, hi to everyone, I´m new here and I´m so glad to have found this amazing page, hopefully someone will read this and give me some advice.

    I have an amazing and loving six year old. He was diagnosed with ADHD on february last year, before his diagnosis we had several problems at his former school prior to his diagnosis. His teachers and the school psychologist would not know how to treat him or help him, I asked the teacher and the school psychologist if it could be ADHD and they would say it wasn´t. That since he was so smart he was defying them, I believed them, because that was their area of expertise, but my son began having nightmares about his teacher, he would cry while he was sleeping and I later found out that the teacher would grab him by the arm and pull him or leave him outside the classroom for the whole day.

    When I found out I took him out of that private school into another that has been great to us. Since then my he has been diagnosed with ADHD and has improved so much because we finally understand and are able to help him the way he needs. Anyway, a group of moms and I took our kids (all boys) out of that school because they all had problems with the teacher and principal and they began at this new school together. We used to be all friends and took all the kids out to parties and weekends, my son improved so much at this new school that he became a new kid, full of life, joy, and with the biggest heart you´ve ever seen, then one of the mothers began having problems with her marriage and one of the kids, who is in the same school and class as my kid, began having issues, but the problem was and still is that he would take them out on my son.

    He continuosly calls him names, and hides his school material and books, and then lies about or mocks him. So his mom and have gotten into small fights due to it, because she says it´s the way kids act, and I know kids fight and then makeup 5 minutes later, but we´ve had this oingoing problem for almost a year, and that kid is getting worse, last week my kid had an accident because they were cleaning the bathrooms and he couldn´t hold it anymore, so he urinated himself and when the teacher took him to the teachers lounge to get him cleaned, this kid took my kids plastic school bag and rolled it over the urine and did not tell my kid about until a few days later, saying you should smell you bag, I put over your pee.

    I got so mad, but still didn´t say anything. The last week that kid threw dirt to my kid and he responded to the agression and beat him up, and we were actually outside the school when this happened and I went in to talk to my kid, but she just stood outside the school chatting with another mom and the other teacher claiming that her son wasn´t the problem, that it was my fault because I didn´t understand that it was kid stuff. I´m sorry I just don´t see how bullying is normal, is it frequent? yes, but it does not mean it is okay to do it or approve it.

    My kid likes that boy he says it´s his friend but I tell him that friends do not hit you, mock you, or soil your property, I told him I would no longer hang with that kids mom and that it was his desicion if he wanted to stop being friends with that boy, and that I would really like it if he would choose that. We have overcome so many things at schools, with ADHD, and I don´t want another kid messing with mine, specially when I know the mother does nothing to stop this behavior, she even bought him icecreaming the day of the fight, and my kid isnpt the only one he´s abusive too, he´s abusive to all his classmates but he likes picking on my son the best, please any advice? Am I wrong? I would really apreciate any input, thank you so much!
    Lasted edited by : Nov 26, 2010
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have you discussed this with the school so they can keep an eye on these things?
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Angie,

    I took the liberty of editing your first post to include some paragraph breaks. It's really difficult to read when it's a blob of print that my old eyes see!!!

    The urination issue is serious but part of me really wonders if it's true. I honestly don't see a six-year old boy dong something like that. It's also hard to see a teacher leaving a class of 6-year olds alone with pee on the floor. I'm wondering if this boy is just saying this to your son to get a rise out of him.

    Now listen, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I'm wondering if there is some double culpability between your son and this boy. I'm not saying that this boy is not picking on your son, but I wonder if you need to go and ask for your son to be moved into another classroom. Perhaps some time apart will help. (I had a situation like this with my son when he was in third grade - they ended up putting the other boy in the next classroom - certainly this young man caused my boy so much angst, but in reality is was also my son's reaction to this boy that played a part - they were oil and water). If this kid is really a bully, once your son is separated from him and he begins to act out towards another, the teacher might really take notice and the situation will finally be addressed. I don't believe I would let my son stay in the classroom with a child that is harming him, and I mean more than physically in this situation.

    You know, I don't really agree with this teacher and mom that this i just the way kids are. The kind of teasing and bullying usually doesn't start his young. Six-year olds are still babies really.

    Telling your son you would prefer he doesn't play with this boy is tough. Kids are resilient and forgiving. Boys can have a fist to cuffs one day and be playing basketball together the next. It's kinda that way with boys. He may forget from one day to the next or one week to the next and then "Wham!" the other boy does something mean and your kid "hates" him all over again. This is a really tough age because they are still young and don't really understand the reasoning that well.

    You may need to take a really hard line here and let the school know the negative effect this bullying is having on your son, advise them that zero tolerance bullying is what is expected at all schools and that they have a legal responsibility to keep your child safe. You expect them to keep and eye and get a handle on this situation immediately.

  4. Angie83

    Angie83 Guest

    Thank you Sharon and Haozi, I have adressed the school several times, before he enteres elementary school the teachers advice was to tell my son to stay away from this boy, but it didn´t really worked, because even when he is all the way across the room he calls him names and stuff.

    The urine incident I know it was true because later that day I found out that one of the mothers at the school knew this kid had done this to my kid because other kids were talking about it, and you are right I don´t think the teacher would have left the classroom with urine on the floor but she had to take my kid to the teachers lounge and get him cleaned.

    The thing is that the picking is on daily baisis but never when an adult is around,and the school is aware of this matter but since the mother has a degree is psychology no one really pays any attention, and last thursday after school was over my son wasn´t talking and then I asked him what was wrong and he said that it was the worst day because this kid just wouldn´t let him be. And then another kid told me that this kid really hates my son and even though I know hate is a strong word I can see that this boy has a lot of anger in his life and takes it out on my son.

    There really isn´t another class, it´s a small private school, there are only 14 kids in first year and the teachers are great to them, but I really don´t know what to do next. I don´t think the school can do much if at home this behavior is allowed.

    I don´t want to feel like I´m overprotective but I also don´t like to see my kid being bullied, he actually behaves really well, he is one of the smartest in his class but he doesn´t really likes to fight, I guess this is why this kid picks on him because he doesn´t really fights back, well, until the last time, even one of the teachers told me that it was better for me to be called in because my kid beats someone than when he gets beaten, I guess thats what we have come to....

    Man... I sure do write a lot, lol! anyway off to read posts and try to give advice, happy thanksgiving
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I don't think you are being overprotective. Sounds like a real issue but it is one the school needs to address since you (and the other mom) are not there when it is actually happening. I do know from experience it is hard to know the whole story when you are only hearing it from your child, and the other mother is only really hearing it from her child. Kids (like anybody else) tell the story only from their point of view and I think developmentally kids have a hard time seeing it from someone elses point of view.

    So it needs to be handled where it is happening. If it is only happening when an adult is not around, then clearly there is an issue with supervision.

    I would talk to the school more directly and say this has become a problem for your child and he needs help in dealing with it. Go in with an open mind and try to problem solve with the teacher or someone else at the school.

    I don't know what the discussions with the other mother have looked like, but if you went to her and said her son is doing such and such she may have felt really defensive. She may have talked to her son and gotten a whole different story from him than you are getting.

    It is also true a lot of parents feel like kids should handle their own conflicts. This can be true especially for kids who are totally normal with no other issues.... but it also can really help to have an adult facilitate resolution.

    Good luck.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Really if my kid was being picked on that badly I sure wouldn't be paying the school! They need to take a better hand in keeping these two apart. My kid has been bullied and has been the bully, and I know bullies are really good at keeping most of it out of sight of the teachers. Mine learned to stay close to a teacher when she was being victimized, and because she reacts wildly when she gets really upset they've learned to keep a close eye on her, too. If the school isn't doing anything I would look for another school, because it will only get more vicious as they get older. Document every incident, too.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, multiple problems here, all accumulating nastily.

    First - teacher and parent are wrong when they say, "boys will be boys, ignore it." I'm wondering if the teacher is taking the lead from psychology graduate parent in this, because it also gives the teacher permission to do nothing. If this is the case, you need to put on more pressure in the opposite direction to do something.

    Second, sadly, it is possible that the school won't do anything. That was our experience - the school's attitude was to let the kids sort it out for themselves, then to tell me (or my son) that what we knew had happened, had not actually happened (difficult child 3 being very naive actually believed them) and to tell difficult child 3 to stay away from the bully. Which of course never works, because a bully who is determined to hound his victim will not stay away - the victim can try to avoid (although morally that is wrong, the innocent victim's freedoms are more curtailed and they shouldn't be) but a determined bully will seek out the victim and also seek out opportunities to bully.

    With apologies to any psychology graduates out there, I have found more instability and dysfunction in members of that profession than in any other. I keep meeting examples like this. Maybe the profession is too heavily padded with people who choose to study psychology because they know they have problems and this is their way of trying to get help. I don't know. But too often, I keep meeting real weirdos who turn out to be qualified psychologists. Mind you, lately I've been meeting some lovely, SANE psychologists. But they are still outnumbered by the nut jobs.

    A good friend of mine has been dealing with similar problems to you and your child.Almost exactly the same - families who are also friends, removed their children from the local school and sent them to another school. Because the new school is further away, the parents need to car-pool. My friend relies on the relationship or she would have to remove her daughter form the school, but the psychologist's son has been bullying my friend's daughter, quite badly. HE actually broke her wrist badly, by knocking her over a pile of chairs and then stamping on her wrist. There were witnesses. The boy is jealous of this girl's abilities (both are in the school's gifted program) and I felt this was a direct attack on the girl's ability to perform in class and in the orchestra. You can't write or play an instrument with a broken wrist. But despite the witnesses, the boy's parents maintained the attitude of "accidents will happen" and did not even ask after the little girl. They referred to "the accident" and even commented on the girl's clumsiness.

    What does a parent do? In this case, my friend went directly to the principal. She made the complaint formal and was prepared to cut her friendship with the other family if it came down to it, but she left the responsibility for actin with the school, so they were the evil ones with the psychologist and not her. However, my friend is still on speaking terms with the boy's family, although she says she will never rely on them again nor trust them again. All parents will tend to take their child's side in an incident, and previously she had found these people unreliable - a car pool would be organised and at the last minute, they wouldn't turn up. I also have worked with both families and that is why I side with my friend. I like the boy, he was one of my prize pupils, but I can see the problems there that his parents are ignoring.

    With your son, he needs to be given lessons in resilience. He also needs to be supported by the school in feeling safe. I tell you now, the school is likely to drop the ball. But you have to try.

    What you need to do - document everything. Follow it up. Insist that the school work actively to keep your child safe. "Stay away from the bully" is not acceptable, since the bully won't stay away from him. Also, the harm is not coming merely form proximity, it is coming form other more distant tactics (including distant name-calling).

    Next - monitor. Document. How are things progressing? Don't cut your ties with your friend unless you have other reasons. While you maintain your friendship (with your own compromises) you are in a better position to influence her. But stop trying to convince her there is a problem, she doesn't want to know. Like my friend, don't waste your energy trying to change the unchangeable.

    Next - if the problems continue, and if you are still on friendly terms with this woman, invite her son over for a play date. No, I am not crazy. make sure whatever activity you have planned, you are there in the midst of it. If you see ANY mean behaviour form either child, deal with it promptly in front of both. be kind, be gentle but make it clear - that behaviour is unkind, is not acceptable and makes you sad to see it in such a nice kid. Especially in a six year old, they sometimes are very confused, very angry and have no other way of expressing it. Depending on how the play date goes, you may have success or you may finally realise that this kid is a lost cause. But it will also model for your son, the right way to handle conflict.

    With my friend, her daughter is highly skilled at managing conflict. Perhaps too skilled, for such a young child. But despite being a frequent target for bullying, she has good self-confidence and is doing well. A major part of that has been due to her mother being very proactive about bullying in the way I described (let the school handle it/insist they handle it and follow through to make sure they do, with every incident and quote the law to enforce this if you must) so her child has seen that she is worth this effort and deserves to be treated well. Also, she does not engage the parents in the problems if she realises they do not want to deal with it. Don't waste the breath.

    Final option - change schools again. This is extreme and sends a message that the easiest option is to run away. However, if you do try all these things and there is no change, then it is not running away, it is changing direction yet again.

    Your child has a diagnosis of ADHD. He is being vilified and subject to physical assault (having your possessions dipped in urine is physical assault). Therefore he is being discriminated due to his disability and the school has a legal responsibility to ensure this does not happen. Failure by the school to deal with this, is a breach of the law. And it is not just US law, it is international convention of human rights.

    As far as possible, make this official and through official channels. If the class teacher won't handle this, go to the principal. If the principal won't handle it, again go higher. If this is a religious-based school, there has to be a head office somewhere as well as a policy on bullying and vilification. Also make sure you go in with some positive suggestions - find out the contact details and other info on an anti-bullying program the school can utilise, or someone who can come in and work with the school to assist staff to manage the problem.

    In other words, make yourself both useful and annoying, in such a way that it is easier for the school to do what you want, rather than ignore it all. Hopefully the end result could even be the boys becoming friends again and the bully being helped to deal with his own confused emotions.

    Another angle I have used with the bully - I can't guarantee it will work, but I took the bully aside, said I knew he also often felt angry and upset, but that did not give him the right to then pass those feelings on to my son. "Passing on that nastiness will do nothing to make the bad feelings inside yourself go away," I told him. I also said that beating up on a kid with problems such as ADHD was no glory. And that difficult child was no threat to him in any way, so why choose to be mean? I went on to say that because of the ADHD and autism (in our case) difficult child needed others to watch out for him and help him stay safe, rather than be a target. I said I would value the friendship of any kid who looked out for my son.

    End result - good relationship now with the bully, and no more problems (after years of sometimes serious problems including unprovoked physical assault - he just walked up to difficult child 3 one day and bloodied his nose, then walked off. But never again after we had our talk. In fact, he has rescued difficult child 3 a couple of times.

    It can work. But you will need to use official channels, and also get proactive. However, this also teaches your son how to be proactive and also teaches him that he deserves to be safe.

  8. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Angie83,


    Well my kids are 13 and 17 now. I used to worry a lot about being overprotective too, but what I have learned over the years is to follow my gut about my kids regardless of what others think. I have found that it almost always pays off.

    If your mommy gut is uneasy -- something is wrong.

    I would take a hard line on this situation. You got some good advice here -- six year olds are babies yet, and this kind of bullying of your little guy is way over the line. The mom who has problems with her marriage might be overwhelmed and doesn't have time or insight to see what's going on with her son.

    Good luck -- keep posting.


    P.S. The school really cannot drop the ball on this. They will probably realize this once you repeatedly make your intentions clear.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I like the strong message of anti-bullying that many schools have taken and would certainly not pay a school that thinks bullying is normal. I had many problems as a child and was also small and timid and got bullied from first grade on and it only got worse. Even boys used to corner me when the teachers weren't there and mock me and intimidate me. I never even told my parents because back then it was considered normal and the victim was supposed to deal with it and become stronger (didn't work that way for me). As far as I know, even looking back, the only thing I did wrong was be shy and quiet and geeky and be unable to fight back. Made me a huge target every single year until high school when I befriended a girl with a big mouth who taught me how to embarrass the bullies so badly that they left me alone.

    I would definitely not just let it be. The emotional damage lasts a long time. Even in high school when I became somewhat popular (with a different crowd) and pretty, I saw myself as the ugly duckling who got bullied and my self-esteem, which wasn't good to begin with due to Learning Disability (LD)'s and depression/anxiety, never really improved until after years of therapy. in my opinion all kids have the right to feel safe in school. And I'd never pay a dime to private school that allowed my kid, girl or boy, to get picked on. If it were me, it would be a dealbreaker with the school. As for the boy's mom, I wouldn't bother with her. She is trying to act like her boy is behaving normally and he isn't. He's a bully, not just an average boy.
    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010