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disciplining children

bullying. mean girls, raising daughters, discipline

Yesterday was the much anticipated parent/teacher meeting with the teacher who doesn’t pay attention about the bully situation. I was ready to lay into this teacher who called my daughter a “bully”. My daughter was a victim of the bully. She would NEVER be mean to another kid. She knows better. Then, I got to the meeting and got blindsighted.

Firstly, my opinion in no way has changed about this teacher. She is an inaccessible teacher and she doesn’t pay attention. She is cold and I just don’t care for her attitude. When I confronted the teacher and asked her why she has never returned any of my emails or phone calls, her answer was, “Oh (smirk) I never check my email or voicemail.” What? This is unacceptable.

But all that being said, when the “bully” situation was brought up. The teacher had the note. Proof. There at the bottom was my 3rd graders handwriting, “Read a good book dood. Bam!What?” It was my daughters writing. I felt sick to my stomach. The rest of the note, repeatedly insulting the little boy, was not my daughter’s handwriting but that last nasty line…it was and that was way more than my tolerance level allows.

The teacher said that my daughter is not known to do these sort of things but she said there was one other instance where my daughter told a boy in her group to, “Stay focused, get back to their group and do some work.” He was in her group and she said she always ends up doing all the work and she was frustrated. I understand this because I was the kid who always got stuck doing the “group” work. I don’t consider that being a bully, do you? I consider that being bossy. Still not her place but let’s not confuse it with bullying. Bullying is repeated with the intent to harm and hurt.

But this instance of telling the little boy to “Read a good book dood.” Was obviously rude and could be hurtful especially when the teacher told my daughter, “Some kids don’t have the same gifts as you do, so you can’t say things like that because maybe they are not capable of doing that.” By the way, there is nothing wrong with the little boy, in case you were wondering, other than maybe he isn’t as advanced in some subjects as my daughter is but that is completely normal at this age.

Bottom line is this, we do not tolerate bullying in any form, even the slightest because it can have a lasting and damaging effect on the child on the receiving end. My daughters have both been on the receiving end. So, my daughter is grounded for a month. No television, no electronics, no play dates and no birthday parties and she had to write an apology to her father and I for not coming forth in her part in the letter and she had to write an apology to the little boy who she told to “Read a good book dood! Bam. What?” that included writing 5 nice things about him. She is also no longer allowed to communicate with the girl who wrote the note and gave it to the boy in the first place. That kid is bad news. She used to bully my daughter in the first grade.

I am very disappointed in my daughter for writing anything on this note, I am disappointed in the teacher who does not respond to parents and sushed my daughter when she tried to bring her the note in the first place before she decided to add to it.  I am disappointed in myself for parenting my child in a way that made her think it was okay to say something mean to another child, without considering the consequences or effect it may have on the other child. She knows now. We had a very long discussion on not saying negative things to people. I explained that I understand having negative feelings about someone or not liking them and you are entitled to your own opinion but you cannot say these things out loud if it hurts another person. Keep it to yourself.

What would you have done? I wanted her to remember this punishment as a consequence of being mean so she never does it again. What do you consider being a bully?

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