Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How Do You Mend a Childs Shattered Heart?

First off, I just want to say that girls from about the 4th grade on up are out right mean! Forget boys being mean, they will beat each other up and be friends the next day, but girls are just underhanded, sneaky, mean spirited and wicked!

I can speak from first hand experience from having been tortured in junior high, being called names because I began wearing glasses that year, having girls trip me on the basketball court who were on my team...we have all been there probably at least once.

My oldest grand has a heart of gold, she is sweet, kind, gentle (okay, she will push her sister and brother around on occasion & can be stubborn as a donkey), works hard in school, has lots of friends and sadly has been bullied this year by a girl in her class who says she is her friend.

It began right after Christmas when she wore a shirt to school her uncle gave her....the girl had one like it so she hit her and told her to never wear it again. She hasn't, she has been afraid to in spite of my telling her to wear it again and not let the girl have power over her.

I guess this girl has been hitting and kicking her on the playground and at gym as well. She reported it once to the school counselor who said by the time she spoke with the girls, all appeared to be well again.

Now on Friday, the girl and grand go into the school book fair and the girl tells my grand to pick something out and she will pay for it. She did and when the class left, my grand took it with her...carried it right out of the book fair in her hands, playing with it in the open.....

You can see where this is going...yep, the girl said she paid for it, grand believed her and it wasn't paid for. The lady at the book store grabbed it out of her hand, told the teacher about it and now the kids at school (who were her friends) are calling her thief.

She came home on Friday in tears, she told us what happened and her story has not changed. Come on, I know what some of you are thinking, but this is a child who holds adults to higher standards. She has never been in trouble, gets good grades, her teachers all love her and doesn't like to hurt peoples feelings...she will not defend herself because she says that is mean even if others are hurting her.

We go to school yesterday, she is confident, I am with her and telling her no matter what, we will always love and believe in her. She sits down and the tears start rolling down her eyes, she looks at the principal, starts to talk and is so upset...she asks me to tell him...I said no, she had to, it was her story and I wasn't there.

Finally, she tells him what happened, he promises her he will look at everything and get back with us. She walks out and stops dead in the hall, refusing to go to class. I have the school counselor come down...she tries talking to her, she runs to the van and gets inside and has a complete melt down.

After about 15 minutes of the counselor and I talking to her, she gets out, has me walk her into school, hugs me and walks down the hall with the counselor. I guess she sat in the counseling office for 10-15 minutes talking to the counselor about the other girl and the things she does to her. Then she went to class.

When I picked her up yesterday, she was smiling....then when we got in the car, she said....the girl is lying, she won't tell the truth that she said the item was paid for, the principal asked her even if she said it as a joke...the girl denies it. She didn't even look at the principal, she kept her head down the whole time and then she adds, I did look at him, even if I was crying.

She came home, put on her pj's early and asked if she could lay in my bed and draw for awhile with the door closed....this has always been her sanctuary. She likes being in my room because it is dark and quiet and I think it helps her work her problems out in her mind.

She came out later and said, 'Ranny, they are still calling me a thief at school. I didn't steal that, I thought it was paid for or I would have asked them to hold it and asked Papa if he would give me my allowance for it....she has always asked him for $$ if she wants something from the book fair, she doesn't have to steal it.

I am worried about how this will affect her. Now that I heard about the bully girl, I understand why she has been asking me if I will home school her frequently over the last few months.

This situation breaks my heart!

Since I am now home, I am seriously considering home schooling over this incident...anyone want to share how they home school older children?


Scrappy quilter said...

I'm going to e-mail you in a bit. I'm a homeschool mom. Hugs

B. said...

I just have to say that this is my first visit to your blog and it broke my heart. Girls are mean, some women are not much better. I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom but I don't, I only know that once she comes out the other side, she is going to be an amazing girl, woman, and you are doing an amazing job.

Z Any Mouse said...

I hate reading things like this, but sadly bullying has reached epidemic levels and I've had two of my three children affected by bullies. Home school was/is not an option for us simply because I would be short-changing my children and they would not get the education they deserve. Also, I strongly feel that they need the tools to learn how to deal with schoolyard bullies, who grow up to be adult bullies. It's just something you can never completely avoid.

Round one was with my son who is now 15. The bullying began in kindergarten, but I had no idea how bad it was until the 3rd grade when he was telling his friends he just couldn't go on anymore. I immediately went to the school principle and explained the situation. I had to do something about it, and also show my son that I was behind him in every way. We put him in counseling right away and every time there was an incident I went to the principle. That's when the paper trail started. The school needs to document with dates, times, and details to be able to get rid of a bully. If I had known this, I would have been in that office when he was in kindergarten. Ultimately the boy was expelled for threatening to blow up the school, still in 3rd grade!

I'm now dealing with a bully situation with my daughter, not as bad, but still traumatic for her. Due to city budget cutbacks, she was placed in a different school away from all her friends. She's being picked on for being the new kid, and I am prepared to march into the principle's office and begin a new paper trail if necessary.

Sorry for the lengthy comment, I hope this helps somewhat. Good luck to you and your granddaughter.

autumnesf said...

My son did high school at home. He is in college now. I found an online school with a Christian base and it worked awesome for us. But it did cost money. Some states have online homeschool that does not cost money. Find out about your states rules and such before you make any decisions.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I'd like to say the bullying will get better but my experience in the here and now is that it only gets worse.

pirate said...

1. bypass the principal and go directly to the teachers and tell them what is happening. Even if the principal *has* spoken to them, YOU do it too. This lets the teachers know that you are backing up your granddaughter and are aware of what is going on.

2. go to the other girl's parents and (try to) calmly discuss the circumstances. Let them know that this sort of behavior has been going on for a while and now it needs to stop. Not only does your granddaughter need to stand up for herself (that shows the other kids she's not a pushover) but YOU need to be there too. Not just telling her that you love her, etc, etc, etc, but in a very real physical sense that shows the bully's parents that YOU are aware of what the other girl is doing.

3. Homeschool is wonderful; I'm not putting it down but if you home school *in this situation*, you may very well be showing your granddaughter how to back down and run away from an unpleasant confrontation. However, if you have done everything you possibly can to resolve the situation and the school won't intervene and the bully's parents won't discipline the bully and the unpleasantness continues, then home schooling might be the solution.

Will your granddaughter eventually have the opportunity to go to another school (high school?) where the bully won't be?

I sure hope this situation gets straightened out. It's difficult enough just growing up when things go right; kids don't need to have bullies thrown into the mix.

Quiltingranny said...

I appreciate everyone's input. I talked to the teacher today and she didn't know this was happening and said she is going to talk to the class tomorrow and keep a close eye out on the 2. The school counselor is also doing this as we all just discovered it was going on.
The biggest problem, is she just will not stand up for herself, thinking it is mean. I appreciate everyone's input!

Marcia W. said...

I do not have any great advice on home schooling, though our State offers computer-based course work for home schooled children in jr/sr high school. My suggestion is to look into transfer to another public school, or school vouchers, or a charter school. You can always go to the school board office if the principal doesn't follow through.

Quiltingranny said...

The wonderful thing about this (if there is one) is several of the people we are close to in this area have called telling us how they believe in her, not one second did they have to think if she did this and a few have wanted to stop by the school and let them know that. She is being blessed!

Jenn said...

This breaks my heart! Honestly ranny, homeschooling an older child isn't difficult. There are so many good curriculums out there that do all the work for you. You just have to help guide, organize and help with questions. The more you do it the more you learn and the easier it is to tweak the learning experience into something that will work for everyone.

E-mail me if you have any questions!

Clueless_Mama said...

I hate to hear any kind of story like this. I don't know why kids and adults have to be so mean to each other. It sounds like your granddaughter is really struggling right now. Remind her above all that things will get better. I had a lot of problems growing up and I too did not take up for myself. I had low self esteem and let people tear me down. Today I am a different person, but I would never have believed that when I was younger. Give her a big hug from me and tell her to hold her head up high. The more they know they are getting to her, the more they will pick on her. Tell her I don't even know her, but I know she is very special. Never let her forget that. Good luck!

Quiltingranny said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, she is progressing. She has a great self esteem, just never wants to get into trouble or hurt anyone, so she takes whatever they dish out!

Deborah in Atlanta said...

My heart goes out to you. I don't know about home schooling, and I hope everything gets resolved soon. Good luck from one grandmother to another grandmother.