This post was written by Guest blogger Natasha.

Today I opened up the Internet and looked up bullying…

I have a son who has been a victim of bullying.

He calls himself a gentle giant. You see my 11-year-old is my height. Doc says that he will be approximately 2m tall.

Unfortunately, other kids think that it’s a laugh to “get him down.”ย  He does not believe in fighting. I taught him not to. I didn’t want him to stoop to their level.

Where did this end up?

My son spent 11 days in the hospital with approximately 100mg of cortisone per day. He convinced his pediatrician that he had asthma.

Is my son manipulative? No, he was desperate. I am fortunate that I took the time to listen. I may not have always given the right advice but my child was able to ‘cope’ albeit in a strange way.

I look at the Internet and I see scary stories.

I see videos of bullying going viral. I see a boy being hit for being a “snitch”. I see scary things.

I am scared.

My children spend approximately 12 hours a day away from me.ย 

How can I change things? I look at what’s happening and I wonder…

Do I tell my son hit back? Do I get angry? Or do I pretend that it’s not happening?

The reality of bullying

Why do our children feel lost and unable to turn to someone? Do they feel that us old people cannot understand? My husband gets so worked up that he wants to sort them out.

No one touches his children.

My son doesn’t want to talk to him about school anymore. He says that he can handle it.

How does he handle it – well he says that the bullies actually feel threatened by him and that’s why they pick on him. He takes it for a bit and then he hits back.

Yes, I am a bad mom. I eventually told him hit back but don’t hurt. If they call me to school I will come there.

He has a clinical psychologist as a principal but honestly, he doesn’t like to always take it to her as she wants to talk to the children and allow them to understand and explore their feelings. It’s great but it’s temporal. The kids just revert to their own nature.

Does it work? Well, my child wants to take on self-defence but honestly, the last incident was resolved because he hit back and then… Apologized. That boy has stopped picking on him.

But what am I trying to say… My son was being bullied. His teacher made him feel that it was his fault and that he was a liar and manipulator. She refused to listen because she was a judge and jury. Their personality clashed. She was a woman with two faces. She was different to the parent and different with her students. She was a manipulator. Do I blame her apathy? I don’t know. What I do know is that I took my child out of the school that was the cause of his hospital visits. I listened to him and I removed him.

Honestly, I wanted him to work through it.

You face bullies everywhere in life, but I realize that if I left him in that school I could do more harm than good. He could have fought back, but he was the one getting into trouble for doing so.

I made a choice and took him out. He goes to a new school and is more comfortable, sure he gets bullied now and again but he is older and wiser and he can handle it.

The reality of bullying

Parents, I implore you. Listen to your child. It’s heart-breaking but notice if their behavior changes. Don’t allow moodiness and hormones to become and excuse not to see what’s really going on. Let’s stop this before it starts.

Don’t try and solve your child’s problem. Listen to them and find a way to help them. It’s not easy for them. My son cried cause his dad told him to man up and fight back. That’s not his nature. Can he fight? Of course, he can. Did he want to – No.

Did this make him less of a person?

My husband did not understand – there are repercussions and consequences. Let your child know that he or she had your supporting whatever decision they make. Be approachable and not judgmental. Yes, I also wanted to box the boy that was picking on my son. But my 11-year-old taught me a lesson. He said mom it is inadequacy that makes him pick on me. He is 13 and in grade5. He needs his class to think that “he’s the man…”

I don’t know how to change bullying but I do know that as parents we need to make the change. We need to listen and support – not just brush it off and barge in like a bull in a china shop. We just need to be there. Our kids are smarter than we think. Just don’t judge them or think less of them. Sometimes they need to stand up for themselves and hit back. Other times just remove them from the situation but let them help you make the choice…

If all else fails, go to the school, catch the bully and tell him to stop messing with your child…. So what if the principal thinks that you are crazy. He didn’t do anything about it – did he? If my child can’t fight for himself, I will fight for them …

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