How do we beat the bullies?

I don’t think anything prepares us for seeing our child/children struggle with life, watching them become a shadow of their former self, their kind, loving, giggly nature transform into a child who looks petrified at the mere mention of school, whose temper has appeared from no where because she cannot control her emotions, a child who cannot bear to leave your side because you are her safety, the child who won’t sleep alone in her room because she can’t sleep and is frightened of her thoughts going over and over in her head, the child who is your whole world and you just don’t know how to fix it, well this has been my life the past few months, and no nothing prepared me for it, it literally had been the worst thing that could happen, I would have my IIH ten times worse if it meant her worries would go away.

Whenever anything happens to your children, you immediately want to fix it, to make the issues stop, to make them smile again.

It all began when when we noticed that our daughter was becoming withdrawn – not talking, (she was quiet anyway so this meant she was really quiet), she distanced herself from us all,  there were changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive, not able to control how she spoke to us,  she was sleeping badly, up and down through the night,  complaining of headaches or stomach aches every day before school, and as she became more and more unhappy, she would beg not to go to School, and I mean literally beg to point where I would want to just scoop her up, and tell her everything would be ok and keep her home with me.

I didn’t but I wanted too.

I remember saying to my Mum, and to her god mother that her behaviour had changed, and if this is what the teenage hormones were like then god knows how I would cope  during the next 5 years – if only it had just been hormones – I may have been able to deal with it better than her being bullied.

Bullying is a problem that can derail a child’s schooling, social life, and emotional well-being 

Everyone wants to believe that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” but for some children and teenagers, even us adults – that’s not true. Words can be just as harmful, or even more so, than physical abuse.  My daughter has always been uber sensitive, and a worrier, it didn’t usually hold her back but she doesn’t have the confidence of her younger sister, and I know she wished she was a bit more outgoing – I think she just wanted to fit in and friendship meant a lot her.

Bullying is a behaviour that includes a whole range of actions that cause physical or emotional pain, from spreading rumours, to intentional exclusion which was a massive factor in my daughters school life, people that were her friends completely ignoring her, walking or running away from her, turning away rather than speak to her and yes she suffered physical abuse. 
It may be subtle and many children don’t tell their parents or teachers about it out of fear of shame or retribution, she didn’t tell me she had been slapped for a few days because I’d been in hospital and she didn’t want me to have to go back in as she was scared,  thinking that would make me more unwell,  this however just made matters worse for her, and actually me, I received a a text myself that wasn’t pleasant from a girls mother ending our friendship  because her child had been questioned for the incident, and I hadn’t gone to her first.

Children may also fear they won’t be taken seriously if they report being bullied. It’s important that parents, teachers, and other adults constantly look for bullying behaviours.  From power struggles to conflicting impulses, hormones  and strong emotions, girls really do have a lot to deal with. 

We all know girls may bicker, from time to time, it’s part of the growing up, teenagers are on their apprenticeship to adulthood not wanting to be take responsibility for their actions but still wanting to find their way – how can we help them, this is happening all over the country Children as unhappy as my daughter, some who have sadly ended their lives because they were badly bullied, destroyed, not wanting to live, some suffering in silence.  My daughter talked to me openly – the whole experience nearly broke her – it tormented me taking her to School, me her Mother taking her to an environment she couldn’t bear, she would cry before School, I would cry after dropping her off, every day I would wonder what sort of Mother I was  – putting her into a situation that was actually destroying her, the final staw for me was her becoming really unwell and in pain – possibly caused by the stress, I had to ring an ambulance who came in took one look at her, popped her on a stretcher and took her to A and E, as she lay in the ambulance, crying, the  blue light shining through onto her little head, I wondered how on earth had it come to this and right there and then I knew I wouldn’t stand for it anymore – some might say I have let them win by moving my daughter to another School, I tried the stick it out, it might get better method – it didnt and neither did she.

I personally think  there needs to be more input into relationships from us as parents and schools as early as Primary school looking  into relationships and how cruel words or  silences can damage children. We as parents need to take time to discuss with our children how to manage thoughts and feelings and how to cherish friendships. There has been within my youngest child’s primary school lots of talk about Social Media and I’m glad – this is one of the biggest threats in our children’s Society – even a child’s Instagram Bio can cause such hurt and upset, offending intentionally or unintentionally by not adding a friends name or by being there then being removed, The Snap Chat bullying game, Facebook bullying –  its all out there ( I hate it and wish rules were stricter for our children)
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have launched This Morning’s Be Kind anti-bullying Campaign to help save the lives of young victims.

As part of ‘This Morning’s Be Kind’ campaign we want you to watch this video. You’ll hear from two mums whose children took their own lives as a result of the bullying they experienced. Then hit the pledge button. Pledge to watch this video with your children. Pledge to help your children know they can ask for help, for them to know someone cares and for them to know how important it is to BE KIND.

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/hot-topics/pledge-to-share-our-anti-bullying-message
I have done this with both of my girls, perhaps we could all share this around.

My daughter is slowly regaining her life back and her sense of humour – thank goodness!!! I am blessed that she confided in me even if it wasn’t straight away,  she is no saint I am certainly not blinkered,  she can be grumpy, moany, teenagery  12 year old but she is my daughter, and someone said to me just this week you are ‘only as happy as your least happy child’, this is so true and when this happens we work tirelessly to get life back to normality again.

It’s not a question of happiness or sadness, but a journey of life lessons that we gently guide them through the best we can.
❤ ASIBTAF xx

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