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Sweetleaf
11-20-2011, 11:05 PM
I need advice.

And before anyone tells me this is not an advice forum, this is the only online community I belong to, and you are all people who's opinions I value and respect; hence I am asking you.

My son came home from school on Friday and said my friend's son (who's seven, my boy is five and friends with this kid's little brother) got in trouble with one of the teachers because he threw sand in my son's face and called him fat.

The question is, do I tell his mum?

I doubt she would have found out from the school; he got punished, but only in the playground, not sent to the principals office or anything. I know she would be mortified if she found out, but will getting her son in trouble with his parents make anything better for my son? Is he just going to pick on him more because his parents found out?

I do think his parents would want to know, but I know so many cases where a parents attempt to make things better has only made the problem worse.

Any thoughts?

Williebee
11-20-2011, 11:08 PM
Since you asked.
Do you know if it was an isolated incident? If so, I'd let it go. But, I'd be gently inquiring of my kid, over the next month or so, to see if it remained an isolated incident. (Not just involving my son, but also instances involving other kids.)

mirandashell
11-20-2011, 11:54 PM
I agree with Willibee. Let your son know that he can tell you if it happens again with this same boy.

It may have been a one-off incident with the boy losing his temper. And everyone knows fat is used as an insult. So it may not be worth making a huge incident about.

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2011, 02:22 AM
I would be one to mention it to the boy's mother so she can talk to him about his behavior.

Al Stevens
11-21-2011, 02:34 AM
When I was a boy and had problems with a bully, my Dad taught me how to fight. He said, if you run from the bully or get him punished, it will never stop. Get his respect. Even if you lose the fight, at least he knows that the next time he does it, his behavior will get him a punch in the nose.

But, that was in the 1950s. We didn't have the benefit of psychological counselling and concerns about children's psyches then. I don't think the word "coddling" was known in my neighborhood.

Devil Ledbetter
11-21-2011, 03:29 AM
When I was a boy and had problems with a bully, my Dad taught me how to fight. He said, if you run from the bully or get him punished, it will never stop. Get his respect. Even if you lose the fight, at least he knows that the next time he does it, his behavior will get him a punch in the nose.

But, that was in the 1950s. We didn't have the benefit of psychological counselling and concerns about children's psyches then. I don't think the word "coddling" was known in my neighborhood.Hmm. I don't think that not telling a 5 year old to punch a 7 year old in the face qualifies as "coddling."

Further, these days schools have two methods for dealing with fights. 1. Pretend they never happened. 2. Suspend both students regardless of who started it.

Sweetleaf, we had a similar incident a while back where a neighbor boy threw a chunk of ice at my son hard enough to scrape up my son's face. Like you, were are friends with family. My husband took our son over to their house and spoke with the offending boy's mother, simply explaining what had happened so she could address the behavior however she saw fit. She was glad we told her, shared that it was a recent pattern of behavior with him they'd been working to address, and made the boy apologize.

areteus
11-21-2011, 03:50 AM
Speaking as a teacher, I know this is a tough one.

On the one hand, I know that school enforcement of discipline is nothing with out parental support and I would love to get back to the days when a 'letter home to the parents' was a major threat because the parents would deal with it a lot more strictly than the school legally could. However, more often than not I've known parents do nothing about these things so the threat is useless (plus there is often the ASBO pride thing you get in some kids where being in trouble is a kudos thing...). If you think that she will actually do something effective in disciplining him then I would tell her.

However, you are right about the potential for him to suffer more at the hands of this bully as a result and from this point of view you do need to be careful.

Now, if it is not an isolated incident (and frankly, I suspect there will be more similar incidents and probably not reported and possibly under the radar of the school...) then there is an option of talking to all parents whose kids have been affected by this and presenting a united front to his parents in which case the kid in question won't know who said anything (and if he goes looking for revenge, the school can be keeping an eye on him...).

So, perhaps your first step may be to talk to the school and find out more information? They take any bullying seriously and will want to investigate. This may mean keeping a closer eye on him, it may mean checking the discipline records or talking to all teachers who do playground duty and asking them if similar incidents have occured. It may also mean a chat about 'how bullying is bad' in assembly one morning because at that age they sometimes don't fully understand that such things are bad as well as they might in later years.

BeatrixKiddo
11-21-2011, 09:51 AM
Sorry to hear that hon. I had my share of dealing with bullies as a kid but my dad showed me how to make a fist one night and told me to use it if needed. (Like my introvert cowardly butt would ever do that, yeah right)

My mom was the one who said to try and work things out with a bully. Turns out, some of them became my friends. Sometimes that way works better then using force.

But I don't have kids so I'm not sure what advice to give. I'd listen to the others who have posted so far. They make sense.

Sweetleaf
11-21-2011, 11:05 PM
Thank you for your replies, guys.

I think I'll keep my ear to the ground in case anything else happens. I'm still undecided about whether I'll tell his mum, but I might just wait and see if a conversation turns that way to bring it up.

Thanks for all the help. :Hug2: