The bully is 3 years older than DS and probably has 50 lbs. on him (bully is over-weight). His little brother and DS used to be best friends, but because of the repeated harassment I have been trying to keep DS away from little brother.
Now, for the harassment. It's usually just following DS around, calling him names, taunting him. However it has escalated to bully trying to run DS over while bully is on bike/electric scooter and DS is walking. Also trying to ram into DS while DS is also riding his bike.
I have repeatedly had conversations with bully's mother about this, yet she refuses to believe that her son is a bully and will not punish him. It came to a head this weekend, when I personally witnessed bully chasing DS and trying to run him down. I went outside, screamed at bully, he took off, and then I went up to their house and the children and mother refused to answer the door.
I told DS that if he wants to play outside anymore I have to be out there with him. In typical bully fashion, the bully runs when an adult shows up. But realistically I can't be there all the time.
Bully is bigger and much heavier than DS, but frankly, off his bike he's slow, whereas DS is fast and strong. I'm tempted to tell DS to just punch him in the face next time. However, I really don't want that to happen, first because DS is sensitive and will probably feel really bad about it. Second, because then it becomes DS as the problem rather than the bully.
I'm thinking about calling the cops and having them go up there and let them tell the mother and kid that they need to stay away. But I'm not sure that will work. I hate to waste the police time on something like this. But I'm concerned that DS is going to be seriously injured if this next time this little bastard hits him with his bike.
So wise SI'ers....WWYD?
Trust is like paper. Once it's crumpled it can never be perfect again.
2. If not then you need to get him a recorder so that any interactions with the bully are recorded.
3. Get the kids mace and teach him when and how to use it. If the bully is physically putting hands on, then your son should be allowed to protect himself.
just because they are minors doesnt mean it is not assult. You may also want to contact your local Child Protective Services to find out more about how to either protect your child, or report hers.
More often then not bullies started out as the ones being bullied. There may be something going on in that house that is causing this kid to act out.
[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 2:08 PM, September 23rd (Monday)]
I have given all of my children permission to fight back the FIRST time a bully gets physical. I've told them that they are to try and use their words, but if at any time anyone puts their hands on them or does anything to hurt them, it's game on. Bullies won't stop until you stop them yourself.
First, I have found out they're moving soon, so thank goodness this nonsense will be over.
Unfortunately, my son doesn't have a phone, so he isn't able to use it to capture this. However I make sure he is not alone in the neighborhood, so there will always be witnesses. Also, this boy is known in the neighborhood as a troublemaker. I have talked with many other parents and they are on the lookout now.
I really do want DS to just fight back, but I know this woman very well. If DS hits him, she will play the victim and they are likely to sue. We live in an affluent neighborhood, so kicking the bully's ass is not usually done, because people are worried about getting sued. When I was a kid I beat the crap out of the neighborhood bully and he went home crying and that was the end of the problem. Nowadays, I think that DS will get in trouble for sticking up for himself.
I agree that the bullying thing is over-blown these days, which is why I've been trying to handle it privately. But it has reached the point that that is not working anymore. His mother won't answer the door, refuses to answer the phone, etc. I'm pretty sure that the bully is now terrified of me though. I was talking to my H yesterday when this was going down and I said something like, "Next time he tries to run DS over I'm gonna snatch him off that bike and show him...." Well, DD overheard me and told him, "If you don't leave DS alone my mom's gonna snatch you off your bike." He is now terrified of me. He saw me outside today and took off running and I didn't even look at him. He just saw me walking up the street and went running.
Of course I'm not going to assault a child, I was just venting to H. But if it stops this crap, then all the better.
If you are worried about being sued, why don't you threaten them with a lawsuit? That shit goes both ways. Tell her you have video evidence and will take it to the cops yourself if she doesn't deal with it. If your neighborhood is worried about that shit, and she lives in that neighborhood, then she should be worried about it too.
Do *not* advise that your child strike the other boy. This could result in serious legal action against your child. Also, bullying a bully exacerbates the issue.
If the school refuses to get involved, then you contact the police. Document (via journal, images, etc).
I'm really sorry that you're dealing with this. I respectfully disagree that the bully issue has been exaggerated. In fact, I'm thrilled that teaching one another with respect is key to engaging with the world.
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid
The rule in my house was: my kids are never allowed to start anything- but if someone puts their hands on them- they have my full permission and support to fight back in whatever way they have to.
My kids used to worry about "getting in trouble" for fighting back. I told them that if they ever had to fight back and got in trouble I would be standing there at the school door the next morning waiting for the principal to get there and I would support them 100%.
Bullies pick their targets from among kids who won't fight back. It's a good thing to teach your kids not to fight- but you have to realize that sometimes they will HAVE TO.
Once a kid fights back, bullies leave them alone. Bullies are afraid of being challenged. Bullies only want to start fights they think they can win.
Once a kid shows a bully that he will stand up for himself if necessary- the game is over.
Everyone needs to teach their kids to defend themselves because they will have to do it one day. Better to fight back once and be left alone than to be bullied for years and end up miserable and afraid.
have you contacted the school?
They go to different schools. Bully is in middle school, DS is in elementary.
I didn't mean to give the impression that the entire bully situation is exaggerated...I just think in certain cases there is over-kill. Kids are kids and they are going to say and do stupid things. My problem is when they over-react. It's like when the kindergartener got suspended for chewing his pop tart into a gun shape and pretending to shoot it. The punishment didn't fit the crime.
On the flip-side, it drives me up the wall when I hear about kids who are relentlessly bullied and the school and parents refuse to do anything about it. I remember hearing about a father who snapped and got on a school bus and told the boys that had been tormenting his daughter that if they didn't stop he would kick their asses. Good for him!!! The school wasn't doing anything and he stuck up for his kid.
Sorry for the t/j, I really just hate bullies. It gets my blood boiling.
Oh, and since they are moving I'm just going to make sure that DS isn't alone outside anymore. If bully runs into him again, I'm calling the cops and letting them explain to him and his parents how running a kid down on your bike is assault. And if DS gets hurt I'm going to play their own game and sue the shit out of them. Hopefully it won't come to that.
Just because they are moving doesn't mean that your DS should have to endure even one more minute of this.
I too would document repeatedly. Contact his school, even if your child doesn't go there. Call the police, get a restraining order if you can. Force the parents to pay attention.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
bullying a bully exacerbates the issue.
How can you sue for a child hitting another child, and especially in self defense? She can threaten to sue, but unless there is serious bodily harm, there isn't a case. Stop worrying about being sued. Gawd, can you imagine the back log in the courts if parents were able to sue everytime a child hit another child?
Yes, please try to get his behaviour on video. Then and if your son needs to defend himself you have proof of the harassment.
doesn't mean that your DS should have to endure even one more minute of this.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
Self defense isn't bullying.
And this is why i think people just 'let it go' because they worry that the act of self defense will be seen as more bullying and it's not.
There is a huge difference in reacting to getting hit, and being the first one to do the hitting. If your son pre-emptively walked up and smack the kid, then yeah, that's not good.
But if this bully is being physical with him, then he has every right to sock him in the nose or kick the kid right in the family jewels and get away.
I think i remember someone here also being able to obtain a TRO to keep the bully away - but it's been a while ago and I can't remember how they finally got it, but it ended in the option of either the bully or the kid that was bullied transfering to another school.
Personally, if my son turned out to be a bully - I would be mortified, and i would work to get him to be a better person.
I'd take the gun, shoot him in the ass with it as he ran home and he would get it back when his dad came to ask for it.
In our state that would get you a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 years. Mandatory (no judicial discretion).
If you are worried about being sued, why don't you threaten them with a lawsuit? That shit goes both ways. Tell her you have video evidence and will take it to the cops yourself if she doesn't deal with it.
XWH#1 (serial cheater, 12+ OW) - Legally married 18yrs
DD(21), DS(19, PDD-NOS)
5 Furkids - 3 dogs, 2 cats
I edit often for clarity/typos.
ETA: And I respectfully disagree with the idea that bully's only target those who don't stand up for themselves. Bullying is a complex and group dynamic. Bully's often go back in forth in their position of the scale (being victims and victimizers). Victims of bullies also occupy a myriad of positions and roles as well. There are a lot of excellent resources on the topic of bullying - Olweus is probably the best.
[This message edited by hurtbs at 3:51 PM, September 24th (Tuesday)]