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My son is being bullied
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 8:47 am
We recently (6 months ago)moved to a new block in the same town we always lived.
Right away my 11 year old son made friends with a boy down the block. They would play together all the time. A short while later this boy started ignoring and refusing to play with him. (He actually seemed like a very sweet kid right away..)
A couple of days later this boy, his brothers, and a whole bunch of kids from the block started taunting and teasing my ds. They would block the street so he can't pass. They call him over, then say "forget it, go away.."
They told him yesterday "come here we have something for you" then start laughing in his face..
Nothing physically violent, but my son is a quiet sensitive soul. He's really hurt, and refuses to play outside.
I told him a couple of times that there are other kids on the block, but he's so self conscious these days, that he's reluctant to find new friends.
I told my son that we love him, and he shall just ignore those kids when he passes by them.
Is there anything else I can do as a parent to help ease the problem besides sitting on the sidelines and watching him suffer?
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Laiya




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:00 am
Ouch. OP, you need to put a stop to this. If these boys are in the same school as your ds, you may try going through the school. Don't just call. Have a sit down meeting with the menahel, come up with a specific plan that they will take, and follow up constantly to make sure the problem is addressed.
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amother




Burgundy


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:09 am
Don't involve the school with issues that have nothing to do with the school. Do the boys parents know what's going on?
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amother




Mauve


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:11 am
Find another kid on the block. Invite him and your son out for something fun and and a treat (maybe slightly expensive). Divide and conquer.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:13 am
I got tears in my eyes reading your op! I'd feel so helpless and scared... I have some socially vulnerable kids. When we lived in a Lakewood development there was no getting away from the kid gangs that roamed the streets. My kids played with them sometimes, in our house where it felt safe, or right in front of our house, or in the park with me supervising, but didn't really just play outside. Now we live in a quiet neighborhood in Jackson. They are doing so much better socially. There are fewer kids, more adult supervision, more of different ages and genders and siblings all playing together.


Two things to suggest (which may or may not work for an 11 year old, that's pretty old):


1) Speak to the other parents. Let them know what's going on in non-accusatory, calm language. Tell them that your not sure why the boys had a falling out, but that your sweet, sensitive son is really suffering. Then, clue them in to the second part of the plan:

2)Pick one or two kids who are nice. Invite them over, with their moms if possible, under some pretext... a challah bake, a succos project party, a chess tournament, building a clubhouse, say you'll pay them 4$ to paint your garage...whatever. We attracted lots of kids to our house with crafts and art and our trampoline. With me there (and other mom's there too hopefully), the boys were able to socialize and make friends in a less 'lord of the flies' type environment. This will give your son a chance to make a few allies. The strongest deterrent to bullying is having friends. Kids who are alone are easy pickings.
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Laiya




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:54 am
amother [ Burgundy ] wrote:
Don't involve the school with issues that have nothing to do with the school. Do the boys parents know what's going on?


Many yeshivos see it as part of their role to instill good middos, and would feel that this is an issue that concerns them.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 10:25 am
Laiya wrote:
Many yeshivos see it as part of their role to instill good middos, and would feel that this is an issue that concerns them.


Only if these kids go to the same school.
If they do then yes, I would involve the school, with chochma. Schools have bullying training, social workers to help students roleplay, etc. Bullying in school is different than out of school but if the child is being bullied in school he'll get tools to deal with them there, and that will likely impact out of school.

What is suggested for in school: A child should loudly say, I don't like that. Humor is also sometimes a great too, if the bullies focus on one feature, etc.

OP, I would speak to chinuch experts to get some direction on how to proceed. As a start, he shouldn't fall for their bait, I.e. come over, something to show you. If they insist it's genuine this time he can say, great, your mother can call mine and they can arrange something. Hatzlacha!
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kollel wife




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:03 am
Can you find out how the parents of the bullies would feel if contacted. If they would be amenable/helpful, I'd start with them.
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amother




Azure


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:24 am
Pay a visit to his house, together with your DH, to speak to his parents.
If they don’t cooperate, talk to his Menahel next.

BTDT

And don’t forget to keep showing your son that you’re his biggest fan and supporter.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:55 am
kollel wife wrote:
Can you find out how the parents of the bullies would feel if contacted. If they would be amenable/helpful, I'd start with them.

I think this is a terrific point. Don't shoot yourself in the foot.
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Rappel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 11:58 am
DVOM - I couldn't just like your comment. That is great advice!
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amother




Apricot


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 1:42 pm
I feel for him( and you), this is awful!

My son was bullied as well, and it's heartbreaking.

You should interfere, speak to the parents and school if they go to the same one, your son has the right to feel safe and sometimes this is something that kids can't solve between themselves, please speak up for your son!
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 2:34 pm
Since they don't attend the same schools, involving theim is not an option.
I have a bad feeling about speaking to their mothers since I fear it might backfire negatively. I'm just getting to know them, and if they or their kids take it badly then my son will be the target of more bullying.
I like the suggestion from DVOM to do some kind of special project and involve the kids on the block. I'll speak to my son about it. Hope he'll be enthusiastic!
Thanks guys it's always good to come here flr advice Very Happy
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amother




Navy


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 2:49 pm
Ignoring them will make them redouble their efforts to torture him.
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amother




Apricot


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 3:03 pm
amother [ Navy ] wrote:
Ignoring them will make them redouble their efforts to torture him.


I agree, they'll just double down since they won't get in trouble for it.

In my experience the idea that being nice to bullies will make them nice never worked.

It's always unpleasant to have to approach a parent and say that their child is bullying yours, but most normal parents will be embarrassed and do something about it.
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DVOM




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Sep 04 2019, 9:08 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Since they don't attend the same schools, involving theim is not an option.
I have a bad feeling about speaking to their mothers since I fear it might backfire negatively. I'm just getting to know them, and if they or their kids take it badly then my son will be the target of more bullying.
I like the suggestion from DVOM to do some kind of special project and involve the kids on the block. I'll speak to my son about it. Hope he'll be enthusiastic!
Thanks guys it's always good to come here flr advice Very Happy


I hope it works!

I was telling my husband about this thread... he reminded me a)of his constant reminder during that time in our lives that there are very few 'bad' kids. Kids are kids, wild, self centered, impulsive, but not bad. B) He reminded me of some of the 'projects' that really worked and that might work for your 11-year-old. I figured I'd post them. Hope it helps!:

We wrote letters and made care packages for chayalim in EY. My husband is israeli, has many friends/relatives who are in the armed services that we were happy to be the recipients of our packages. The kids painted shoe boxes, deocrated them with glitter and cool paper shapes and sequins and stuffed them with letters and nosh. I felt that doing a chessed would be a powerful way to bring kids together in a positive way and that the strength of the mitzva would bring out the best midos in everyone.

We used each chag as a way to make 'block parties'. We invited over a few kids to 'help' us make latkas around chanukah time, or homemade icecream around shavuos time. The cooks then ran around the block giving out the treats. Kids have a hard time being mean to kids who are giving and kind to them.

We 'hired' kids on the block to join our kids in 'helping' my husband build things. They sanded and stained and hammered away... great fun, and very unifying.
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amother




Mauve


Post  Thu, Sep 05 2019, 12:59 pm
This post makes me really sad. What good are all the chumros (not showing pics of women in frum publications comes to mind, whoever made up that rule), when kids aren't being taught basic kindness and menschlichkeit.
I know the OP is afraid of negative repercussions, but I really feel you should be able to speak to the parents, or the boy himself, directly. Why are you the one who's afraid? They're the ones who should be ashamed.
That being said, I'm sure there are professionals (psychologists, teachers) who have experience in this area, and can advise you on the best approach.
If I could, I'd give that kid a piece of my mind myself Smile
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#BestBubby




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 11:58 am
Don't agree with going to school or parents - at least not yet. Often makes things worse.
Even if you could stop the bullying, you can't force kids to be friends with your son, which is the goal.

Buy your kid an expensive or cool toy - like an electric scooter, a trampoline, a slush machine or cotton candy machine. Soon the other kids will be eager to be friends with your son.

Invite the ring leader bully to go on a special trip with your son.

Your kid should go out with a big bag of good nosh that he shares with his friends.

Koneh l'chah Chaver

I read a story in People Speak about a kid who was bullying children in a family. The mother went over to that kid with a big bar of chocolate and said I am giving you this chocolate because you are my children's friends. The mother did this a few times - and it worked.
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keym




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 12:05 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
Don't agree with going to school or parents - at least not yet. Often makes things worse.
Even if you could stop the bullying, you can't force kids to be friends with your son, which is the goal.

Buy your kid an expensive or cool toy - like an electric scooter, a trampoline. Soon the other kids will be eager to be friends with your son.

Your kid should go out with a bag of good nosh that he shares with his friends.

Koneh l'chah Chaver.


Or the bullies just bully some more. Grab or ruin the expensive toy, ruin the item or tease the child.
Btdt. An "expert" recommended I buy a basketball hoop so the kids all want to play with my kid.
Instead the bullies blocked my son from playing, grabbed his ball, constantly were using it without permission. When I sent them away, they actually deliberately destroyed the hoop then sat and taunted my "loser son" that he actually likes playing basketball and football is the cool game.
I got their parents, the neighborhood Rav involved and ended threatening to call the cops.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Sep 09 2019, 12:19 pm
keym wrote:
Or the bullies just bully some more. Grab or ruin the expensive toy, ruin the item or tease the child.
Btdt. An "expert" recommended I buy a basketball hoop so the kids all want to play with my kid.
Instead the bullies blocked my son from playing, grabbed his ball, constantly were using it without permission. When I sent them away, they actually deliberately destroyed the hoop then sat and taunted my "loser son" that he actually likes playing basketball and football is the cool game.
I got their parents, the neighborhood Rav involved and ended threatening to call the cops.


I said to try Bribery FIRST. If it doesn't work, then you will have to resort with going to authorities.
Did stopping the bullying help your son get friends?
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