Kids. Is there much teasing at school?

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    I remember being a kid and having times when I was picked on for my curly hair or when I was called 4-eyes in 6th grade.

    Does this still go on?

    Is it worse?

    How soon does it start?

    What do you do when your child comes home crying?


    Oh yes, it still happens!!! My daughter has been teased for being the shortest kid in her grade since 1st grade. She’s in 4th now and it still happens!!! 😡 (she’s in the 10% and the youngest in her grade, to top it off)

    I’ve given her a few tools to help her deal with it. Telling a kid to ignore the teasing was never very effective for me and it hasn’t helped her. So, we talk about what’s good about being short. We also talk about the art of verbal self-defense. I kid you not, when the teasing was really bad, I taught her how to say “talk to the hand ‘cus the head’s not listening!” :rotfl:

    I had to! Bless her heart, she’s so sensitive she just needed to learn how to be a little sassy and not let people get the better of her. She’s still not that great at it, but we’ve had some good laughs practicing the things she wishes she had said in the middle of the teasing. It helps to ease the tension about it and give her some sense of humor.

    If only I could make her less sensitive. I can’t. But then, it’s one of her strengths too. She’s a nice person. 🙂

    I do dread the days of middle school. The cliques are already starting in 4th grade. My poor kid has been ousted from her long-time group of buddies by a female bully. :ouch: Not much I can do about it. I can’t make the other girls stop liking this brat and my child is too much of a leader to put up with this other kid’s pushy attitude.

    I’m helping her develop some new friends. Not much else I can do about it. sigh… Motherhood is tough is so many ways! But I love my daughter and I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

    Did I get off topic??? :laughing:


    Theresa- sounds like you are on the ball. Glad you can at least give your daughter options of ways to deal with it all.

    Why are kids so mean? Who are those kids? Don’t their families care?


    I’m shocked at how early this ‘mean’ behavior starts nowadays. Last year my daughter was in the first grade. Whe was shy and a little introverted at the start of the year…she tends to be that way in new situations. Her little girlfriend that she had played with all summer long suddenly refused to sit with her on the bus because she wanted to sit with her ‘other’ friends. The problem with that was that the other girlfriends teased my daughter mercilessly … She came home from school several days and said that she wanted me to pick her up but wouldn’t really say why. Then I got a call from the school because my daughter was hiding under bus seats and this was ‘not appropriate’. The whole story came spilling out that she was hiding whenever she got on until the other girls got on the bus because she was afraid that if they saw her they would sit next to her and laugh at her. 😡

    What bothered me the most is that her little friend sat with those children and did nothing after having spent the summer playing at our house.

    I ended up taking action in a couple of ways:

    1. I started picking up my daughter at school for a limited period of time (2-3 weeks…can’t remember exactly how long)

    2. I called the parent of the little girl that she had been such good friends with over the summer. I was very, very apologetic and polite and gave the mom many ‘outs’ as to not put her on the spot. But you know, her whole response was “my daughter is just such a social butterfly…she just loves to have lots and lots of friends and your daughter just wants one or two. She just can’t sit with your daughter every day”. :rolleyes: I politely explained that that wasn’t really the point and that the problem was with the teasing going on …. she knew the other parents and agreed to talk to them and her daughter did make an effort from time-to-time then to sit next to my daughter…it bothered me that my daughter felt ‘honored’ anytime this little girl would sit next to her…so

    3. We started working on self-esteem more. We talked alot about why kids might act that way and I also encouraged my daughter to pursue other friendships by arranging playdates and getting her inolved in the brownies (which she absolutely loves).

    This year is much different. She is in second grade and never sees this neighbor girl anymore. This summer the little girl didn’t come over to play once…then at the end of the summer she came over and said “I’m not here to play. I’m having a lemonade stand and I want you to come over and buy some lemonade”. My daughter just looked at me….and so I told the little girl that we were busy. After we shut the door, my daughter said “she didn’t come over to play all summer. Why should I go to her lemonade stand”. I thought that was at least progress????

    But this year, my daughter has also made some friends with some of the younger girls in the neighborhood…kindergarten and first grade. My husband and I are encouraging the friendships because she seems to be growing a lot more self-confident…she wants to ‘take care’ of the younger girls and is trying to act like a role-model…which is cute.

    I do feel concern that she interact with her same-age peers…but at the same time, I’m happy that she is building some self-confidence socially.

    Where does this all come from? I don’t know!!!!

    One of the things that I truly dislike about our neighborhood is the attitudes that prevail here…clicky, snobby, people talking about each other behind their backs….I have often felt that that might be part of the reason? When children see this behavior modeled it is how they tend to interact???

    Any other insight?



    😮 That truly is early! most of my teasing started near middleschool- thought it was the body change and hormones that brought out the cattiness, but I guess not.

    I agree too that kids will pick up behaviors that they see in their parents and parents’ friends.


    It’s really true-
    Kids are little sponges, and if they hear their mom being catty or unkind, they’ll do the same.

    But on the plus side- if they see kindness and are encouraged to be kind, they’ll learn that too!

    Can I lend a few words as someone who was hideously picked on in middle school?

    Yes, it hurts. And yes, those memories stay with you, but when you have loving parents who listen, and help you develop confidence, those experiences can make you a kinder and more compassionate person when you’re older.

    The biggest thing that helps is having parents who encourage you to do things you love and grow in other ways. Choir, band and drama are great opportunities- most kids who are interested in music and Drama are a little more quirky to begin with, and that can make them more inclusive a lot of the time.
    And if your area has any summer camps or workshops for activities your child loves, this will give her a chance to do something she likes, and maybe form bonds with other girls in her class when the bullies aren’t around. 🙂


    Just a little input — I teach second grade and we already see some signs of bullying, even at this early age. I think the school needs to take a large, proactive role in helping to curtail bullying at the elementary level. Our school does many activities, including something called Peaceful Playground, where kids are involved in structured activities that center around self-esteem and kindness. In the classroom, however, I feel there should be continuous focus on being accepting (not just tolerant) of everyone, and of always finding ways to be a good friend to someone else. This being said, I am sure it is devastating for parents to have to deal with children who are intimidated at school or made fun of, and I already worry what the future might hold for my young son when he is in school.


    True true true

    setting good examples can help- it’s the parents that set the bad catty behavior examples that ruin it for all

    tchrdoc- i am impressed that such a program exists- there should be more like that in all schools.

    I was so disturbed by that story of the 12 yo boy who hung himself in his closet I believe last week. He had been bullied & picked on & just couldn’t/wouldn’t go to school. I’m sure there are other factors involved, but a 12 yo should not be “depressed” because of bullying. That just shouldn’t happen. And I think the school may have just let it go- which is sad. Also who knows about the mom & her contribution to the problem. Just sad all over.


    For my daughters it started in 4th grade. However, the older one moved to middle school in 6th, and suddenly had a lot of other friends from other elementary schools. I agree with the suggestion to help find some other groups — music, sports, hobbies, etc. Also enlist the teacher. They may not be able to do a lot, but they won’t see the verbal abuse that girls do unless they know to look for it.


    I read another article about “bullying” in jr high. A student (I believe football player) was harassed and bullied for some time and the coaches all said it was just part of the team dynamics.

    Anyway this poor kid ended up telling on the bullies- naming them- and that just made it worse for him.

    he ended up having to change schools. 😡

    Is this some sort of early beginnings to hazing? :confused:

    Come on these kids should be having fun and finding team cohesiveness, not beating each other up.


    hmmm…I remember some real mean girls as far back as 3rd grade, and that was 1976. At the time, I just figured it was because I’d moved to a parochial school and they were rich kids. Looking back, though, it’s easy to see they were just mirroring the grownups in their lives. We did have a couple of prissy-girl cliques and a pretty good girl bully in my public-school 2nd grade, but again, it was easy for me to see there was just something unhappy about this girl, even if she was big and scary.

    My parents never really talked about cliquishness with me, though. I’m not sure if I’m sorry about that or not. It would’ve been easy to get a “my parents are better than your parents” feel from the whole thing, which doesn’t sit well either. So I’m not sure how we’ll handle it, except that we don’t plan to send our daughter to the local elem. and high schools. They just reek of cliques…something about that whole rich suburban setup, very Election. No doubt she’ll run into plenty of kids with problems at the other elem school (lots of foreign grad students’ kids, many of whom are struggling with English, from overtly classist societies, etc.) but there’s something more chaotic & mix-it-up about that school, plus we want her learning the world isn’t made of Americans, and not every kid gets her own bedroom. Anyway. We’ll see how it goes. I really hope she’s willing to cross grades for friends.



    It started a little for my son in Kindergarten. Now my daughter is in Kindergarten so I’m watching to see how things will go for her. I’ve been trying to become involved in the Character Counts program, to get more emphasis on it. Also hoping we can do more for the kids who are bussed in from the inner city.


    Found this @ PsychiatryMatters.MD

    Child Develop 2003; 74: 1881-1898

    20 November 2003

    Bullying increases antisocial and depressive behavior

    Children who are bullied at school show high levels of depressive and antisocial behavior as a result of being victimized, say investigators.

    They found that, for boys, antisocial behavior appeared to reduce the level of bullying, at least in the short-term, whereas such behavior among girls appeared to increase their chance of being victimized in the short- and long-term.

    Observing playground interaction of children from the start of kindergarten to the end of the fist grade, James Synder (Wichita State University, Kansas, USA) and colleagues found that, while some children experienced harassment with great regularity, others were able to respond effectively to aggression from their peers, which in turn reduced the frequency of harassment experiences.

    The researchers looked at individual differences in victimization among 266 boys and girls aged between 5 and 7 years old over a 2-year period.

    “Substantial rates of victimization were observed. On average, children were targets of peer physical or verbal harassment about once every 3 to 6 minutes,” says Synder.

    Results showed that boys who were victimized were more likely to demonstrate antisocial and depressive behaviors at school, which, in turn, seemed to elicit more victimization.

    Among girls who were bullied, there was an increase in antisocial behavior in the home, whereas they acted more depressed at school if their victimization increased.

    The researchers conclude in the journal Child Development that more research is needed “to understand how some children learn to effectively cope with or avoid repeated victimization while others do not.”


    Or you could read Lord of the Flies again. (Apparently the boy who played Piggy in the movie never recovered from the experience. Had serious emotional trouble ever after.) I have a feeling that after lots of study they’ll find that the kids who avoid victimization are aware and sharp enough to know what “normal” is, stay there while avoiding looking weak, and are protected by more popular children. And that the kids who cope well with being picked on are the ones who genuinely don’t care or perhaps don’t much notice, and have some adult protection against routine beating-ups. The ones who are in trouble are the weakish stickers-out who want to be liked and/or who have no grownups looking out for them. Bring out the sadist in the others. Happens among grownups too.



    My oldest son started kindergarten this year and has already experienced the whole bully thing. He mentioned that there was a boy, “Joe”, in his class that was not very nice and that he liked to tease everyone. I didn’t really think much about it in till I had lunch with my son at school. I witnessed multiple times where this boy was just being a total pain in the tushy.( :yikes: pushing others, taking balls away from littler kids, ect…)

    When we got home I sat down with my Son and I told him that “Joe” is probably acting the way he does because he’s shy or has problems at home or maybe just doesn’t know how to make friends very well. My son is very friendly outgoing kid and we decided that he should try extra hard to be nice to “Joe” and that he should invite him to play with the other boys at recess.

    Well two months later “Joe” is one of my son’s friends. I don’t know if he is better behaved at school but atleast he’s not ripping up my boy’s art projects anymore.

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