Bullying rears its ugly head again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    difficult child 2's once again become the target of bullying because of his quirky behavior and impulse control problems.

    This time it's the water polo team. I thought it had settled down lately because he wasn't coming home telling me he wanted to "kill" someone, but I was wrong.

    Yesterday there was a water polo tournament at school. difficult child 2 had three games to attend. Meanwhile, difficult child 1 volunteered to work the team snack shack to earn community services hours and I had to tag along to supervise. In between the first and second games a fight broke out between difficult child 2 and an unknown number of boys on his team. I heard some yelling and looked up to see difficult child 2 shoving and swinging, a couple other boys returning the blows and suddenly difficult child 1 racing off to intervene and throwing his own punches!!! :faint:

    Everyone separated, difficult child 2 and 1 on one side, and most of the team on the other side. I tried to find out what happened and most of the boys wouldn't even look me in the eye. They said difficult child 2 took the first swing but could not tell me why or what started it. Meanwhile difficult child 2 is furious and crying and takes off around the building. By this time, the coach is finally coming over to get involved and he herds the group into the locker room while I go console difficult child 2.

    difficult child 2 tells me through his sobs that he "just can't take it anymore" and that the boys had been calling him the "team b!tch". Meanwhile, the coach comes around the corner to talk to difficult child 2 (I don't think he realized who I was at that point). But instead of approaching him calmly and trying to find out what happened, he starts chewing him out because he says difficult child 2 started the "drama" by taking the first swing AND by waving spaghetti sauce earlier in the faces of the other boys. I didn't know anything about that part but felt he handled this all wrong. He did conclude by telling difficult child 2 to come to him the second anyone says anything to him and that he would take care of it (as he's yelling at him). So I calmly repeated what the coach said to difficult child 2 and said that the guy was on his side and he was to go to him with any problems, and asked if he understood. The coach kind of repeated what I said and told difficult child 2 "I've got your back, buddy," but his volume and tone were still loud and agitated! Sheesh.

    Later difficult child 2 explained that the coach had asked him to clean up a meatball sandwich that someone had left on the ground (wasn't Gfg2s) and then difficult child 2 started fooling around with it, waving one finger that had sauce on it at some of the other boys. He says he doesn't know why he did that, and the boys (understandably) got annoyed with him. That's when the name calling started and difficult child 2 lost it and started swinging and pushing.

    I offered to take difficult child 2 home and not make him stay for the rest of the tournament, but he insisted he wanted to stay.

    After everyone had calmed down, the coach had a long talk with the team and then told me he would not stand for fighting between the boys or teasing. He sent difficult child 2 to sit on the far side of the deck and one-by-one each player walked over to difficult child 2 to personally apologize to him. difficult child 2 tells me that he believes everyone was sincere about their apology.

    I'm still trying to sort this out in my head and in my heart. I am angry and I am sad and I am frustrated.

    This coach is even younger than the head coach who graduated from HS in '08. I don't like some of the things he's said to the players. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do about this. Thinking about having a candid conversation with the school psychiatric about it to see what she recommends. The head coach knows all about difficult child 2's issues, but I don't know what he's communicated to the assistant coach who is in charge of difficult child 2's team.

    I'm heartened by difficult child 2's resilience and desire to stick with this despite the cr@p they've put him through.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Good for difficult child 2 for sticking it out. I would maybe hve a talk with the assistant (or head if you prefer) coach and see if the assistant is aware of difficult child 2's issues. By saying he has difficult child 2's back, I would assume he is aware.

    I know I would be torn about the situation too. It's so hard to watch our kids, difficult children or not, hurt. Gentle {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you both.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As one who was bullied as a kid, and I know kids haven't changed that much, it's very hard for the bullied child to tattle on his peers. It can make things worse if the kids ever find out. I would have a meeting with counselor and both coaches to give them the heads up with possibly your own suggestion of the best way to deal with it. Is there anyone on the team who would take difficult child 2's side against the others? A big mouth ally can really help stop the bullies!
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Don't have good advice just {{ hugs }}
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes he is resilient. Sorry that the coach is like that. Sheesh.