I have come to the realisation over the years that there are a variety of different personalities when it comes the bully and a variety of different ways that they pick on their victims.
The way girls bully each other is usually totally different to the way boys bully.
Girls tend to be less obvious and sneaky with the way they find and torment their prey.
This is something I am having to deal with at the moment with one of my younger girls.
The ever so subtle snide remarks, the obvious exclusion from group games and the whispered taunts are all proving a bit harrowing at the moment.
Bullying doesn’t necessarily have to include physical violence, it doesn’t have to involve a scuffle in the playground, it doesn’t even have to involve the obvious name calling and damaging of personal property.
It’s often the more sneaky aspects of bullying that can inflict the most impact and pain.
The problem with this sort of bullying is that is can often get missed or overlooked by teachers and other adults. A child may say something to a teacher, but unless they give them something concrete to go on, the teacher will often tell the child to “just ignore them” or “go and play with someone else” and the bullying behaviour goes un- addressed.
If the bullying behaviour includes physical violence, adults and teachers are often quick to intervene and address the problem, but in the instance of the “sneaky bully”, quite often, teachers are completely unaware that any bullying behaviour is actually occurring.
Often parents don’t even find out about it, until it has been going on for some time.
The suffering child no longer knows who to turn to. Having already had their complaint dismissed in the school yard as “dobbing” or petty, they think that their problem does not warrant adult intervention and they suffer in silence.
When adults are looking from the outside in, it’s often hard to recognise, who in fact the bully is.
Girls are social creatures and often move in packs, therefore tend to bully in packs. Ostracism, spreading rumours, and exclusions, can all have a devastating effect on a child, just as much, if not more than a physical assault.
Adults often label “sneaky bullying” as simply their kids “clashing” with conflicting personalities, not really accepting the bullying behaviour for what it is.
Unfortunately this gets missed all too often in a primary school setting. Conflict between children is common in the playground and what might seem to others as innocent bickering, may indeed be something more sinister.
We as parents need to recognise the tell tail signs that our daughters are in fact being bullied.
Some signs that your daughter is being bullied
- Suddenly not wanting to go to school
- Low self esteem
- Struggling with school work
- Suddenly not has many friends
- Short tempered and more emotional than usual
- Altered sleeping patterns
- Acting out and naughtier than usual
- Talking about hating school
Many kids won’t talk about what is happening. Whether they are too embarrassed, or don’t recognise the behaviour as bullying themselves.
This is where we as parents have to play the mind reader game and decipher the physical clues that our kids are trying to send us.
As parents all we want to do is make life easier for our kids.
They say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”…
This saying got drummed into me as a child. I was bullied at school and I still remember it vividly to this day. This saying is a crock of SH*%!!!!
Long after you have left school, long after you have embarked on a successful career, have a family and life of your own, you can still recall those horrible school days, even some 30 years later and sometimes it feels like it was yesterday. You still remember and still carry those scars.
When a child of your own starts going through the same thing, all you want do, is make it better for them.
She has the gentlest, kindest and most caring nature. She truly looks for the best in everyone and hates conflict and tension. She also has anxiety issues and unfortunately I think it’s these kids that often make the easiest target for a bully.
They say “you can’t fight your kids battles for them” …… But I sure can send over a few bombs in advance to make the ground assault easier for her.