Tag: Child Safety

Bullied and Ignored in Fosston

bulliedWhen parents are aware of bullying situations involving their children and nothing is being done to help, frustration is heightened. Such is the case with a mother named Sarah Cymbaluk. She resorted to  uploading a video on Facebook to make people aware of the fact that her daughter was being bullied.

Apparently, the bullied child went into the principal’s office more than five times and tried to explain the bullying that occurred on the playground and on the bus. According to the child’s mother, this precious little girl was told to ignore the bullying and all that she was experiencing as a bullied target.

 

Bullied and Ignored in Fosston

Nohner, the Fosston Superintendent says that he was unaware of the bullying situation and that the issue had slipped through the cracks. That is unacceptable… tragic… heart wrenching… inexcusable and downright wrong! He seemed to be exasperated by the fact that Sarah Cymbaluk had posted the video of her children crying and talking about the bullying on Facebook.

Nohner is quoted as saying, “I found out about the situation a couple of days ago and I think it could have been resolved without going to Facebook.” Obviously that is not true because nobody did anything to help this innocent child for more than four months. It wasn’t until the video was posted on Facebook that anyone seemed to care or react.

Even worse was the following statement from Superintendent Nohner, “Obviously somewhere down the line it fell through the cracks. So we need to review our procedures and policies and do a better job articulating to the parents what we’re doing.” How can a person who is in the position of being a school superintendent make an excuse like that? How can people in authority ignore the pleas of an 8 year old bullied child?

Sarah Cymbaluk posted a video of her 8-year-old daughter, Anna, describing bullies at school with her brother, 7-year-old Benjamin. If you watch the video below, you will see the pain that this bullied child is experiencing.

To all mothers… Sarah is an example of a mother’s doing what needed to be done to help her child. If something needs to be done for your child… do something!

Bullying Breaks Spirits

bullyingAre you one of the adults who say that you know all about bullying because you remember what it was like when you were a kid? I don’t think that’s true and I’ll tell you why. What you experienced as a kid is kind of like the bullying that I experienced on the farm when Miracle the cat scratched my nose. I was sad and it hurt me and after that, I tried to stay away from her because I didn’t want the bullying to happen to me again. I was afraid of her but I learned how to keep out of her way. It didn’t make me feel good but it didn’t break my spirit either.

Bullying

When you were a kid, maybe somebody tripped you or took your lunch money or pulled your hair. Maybe somebody called you a name and you felt really sad. Guess what? Bullying is different now. It is different because now it’s not one or two kids being mean. It’s a whole network of kids being mean.

Think about it this way. Have you ever been in a big crowd of people… maybe going to a sports arena or on a busy street in a city? Think about how you would feel if each one of the people in that crowd said something mean to you. Maybe they said you were ugly or fat or thin or gay or stupid.  If you kept hearing the same unkind words to you over and over again, you might start to believe them. Then when you got home, they followed you and kept saying the same mean things and you couldn’t escape them. That is kind of like the kind of bullying kids experience now.

Well, that’s kind of what kids go through because of technology when they are bullied.  There are never ending times when kids are put down and told that they are worthless and that nobody cares about them. They aren’t adults and they don’t understand that difficult times will pass and that they will feel better about themselves again.

When they hit rock bottom, so many kids want to escape their pain anyway possible. We all need to make a difference for those kids by letting them know how much we care and we need to do that right away. We need to stand up for them and help to stop the bullying. We need to do that before it’s too late for them and for the people who love them.

Photo: tct10e

Conflict Resolution: Teaching Children

ConflictHow you react to conflict will teach your children how to react to conflict when they encounter it. The lessons given by your example can make or break the way your children see and deal with life’s ups and downs.

When a child experiences conflict, he or she needs to understand the facts. Painting a “rosy” picture of a bad situation will not help a child feel safe or less worried.

Parents can’t nor should they want to shield their children totally from life’s realities. Why? When parents help guide children through appropriate steps in dealing with conflict, the children become more capable of dealing with conflict on their own.

Conflict comes in many forms. Children may see conflict on TV or they may experience bullying at school. They may hear unkind words on the bus or see physical attacks on people they know. They may experience the conflict between two parents leading up to and following a divorce.

Conflict Resolution: Teaching Children

Teaching children how to handle conflict must be age appropriate. A good way to begin to teach children will depend on finding out how much they know about a situation. A good open-ended question might be, “What do you know about…?” The next step should be asking other open-ended questions such as, “Why do you think that is happening or what do you think can be done to help?”

Acknowledge their worry and concerns. Offer comments like, “I understand that you are worried about… but remember that…” The goal is that you want to do what it takes to make your child feel more secure about a difficult or conflictive situation. You must understand that children are not comforted when parents are not honest with them.

Reassure your children honestly and age appropriately. Your children will watch your reactions and your feelings. It is important for you to share “to a degree” your feelings about a situation with them. If you are anxious, you will pass your anxiety on to your children. Saying something like, “That makes me feel sad too. Let’s try to think of something we can do to make things better.”

Understand that your children may be in possession of misinformation. It is your responsibility as a parent to clear up their confusion without being judgmental or defensive.

Children often see things as black or white. They personalize things that happen and worry about their own wellbeing.

Don’t assume that because you had one conversation with your child it will be sufficient. Leave the door open for further conversations and expect some of the same questions or comments to be repeated.

Children must feel safe and secure if they are to grow into emotionally healthy adults. As difficult as it may be for you, you need to put aside your own baggage for the sake of your children.

First Photo: Philipe Put

Second photo Rahda Mahvna 

A Bullied Child?

This was in my in box and I would like to share it with you. I have omitted some parts of the email.

She came home from school in a bad mood. When I asked her what had happened at school she told me that nothing had happened. Then I asked if something had happened on the way home from school and her eyes filled with tears and she ran out of the kitchen. I went up to her room with cookies and milk in hopes that she would fill me in on the details of what happened.

I asked some questions and got no answers. She wouldn’t tell me anything. I was feeling very frustrated and didn’t know what to do next. I started thinking that maybe she had been bullied. My heart broke as she sipped the milk and took a bite or two of a cookie.

Suddenly, I remembered something that I had read on this site. I don’t remember what it was exactly but it had to do with bullying and that gave me an idea. I remembered that sometimes kids will tell you more if you don’t ask them questions about themselves. I remembered that asking questions about other kids could get them to tell you more. So I thought I would try that. We sat on her bed for what seemed like and hour without saying anything. I watched her tears come and go and at some point I asked another question but it was different from my previous questions. I asked her if she had any friends who were having a difficult time at school. She told me that she did. Then I asked her what kinds of things they were experiencing. She told me about some of the things she had seen.

Suddenly, she broke into tears again and started to talk through her tears. She said, “I did it. I did it and it was all my fault. I don’t know why I did it and I felt bad right away but I kept doing it. I am so sorry. I don’t know what I can do to make it up to her. I am just so sorry. I was the bully. I was the one who was mean. I am so sorry. I’m just so sorry.”

To be continued.

Photo: Jessie Pearl

How to Stop Bullies from Being Cruel

bullied kidsBullies are Cruel and that’s why I am not a bully and won’t be a bully. When people are cruel, they make others feel bad about themselves and that’s not something I want to do! I bet you don’t want to bully either.

Why do some people want to be cruel? I really don’t get it because cruel acts or words cause pain or suffering. I think that some people are cruel because they don’t understand just how badly they make people feel when they are bullied. I hope it isn’t because they don’t care.

I think everyone needs to take action when they see any kind of cruelty. Parents can teach their kids a lot so that they won’t bully and will help when kids are being bullied.

Teachers can teach their students about how to lower the number of bullying events at school.

Three rules that parents and teachers can teach kids so they won’t bully:

  1. Don’t put kids into categories. See each kid as an individual.
  2. Remember that all kids have a story and reasons why they act the way they do.
  3. When you look at other kids, think about their lives and the problems they may have.

When kids follow these three rules, I bet they will be less likely to be cruel to other kids. After all, how would they like it if they were bullied?

Let’s all work together and make sure that we make a difference for kids who are being bullied.

Photo:  trixor

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