is it bullying
Children, Friends

Handling possibly-bullying

Bit of a parental pride one today.

I was scrolling through Facebook on Sunday and came across this:

I showed it to large boy see what he though and got a non-committal nod for my trouble.

However, he must have been paying attention because yesterday had came out of after school club and as soon as we left the building he was very serious.

One of his friends in his class has had ear troubles and used to wear hearing aids. Large boy had to repeat a question to his friend a few times yesterday because he was absorbed in what he was doing.

A much older boy, in year 6, made fun of the friend and called him deaf. Large boy protested that saying that wasn’t kind but the older boy said if he winked, it meant he was saying the friend was deaf.

Large boy was quite upset by the older boy’s behaviour, drawing him into silent teasing without wanting to be involved.

Instead of making a fuss at school, large boy told me as soon as he could. I advised him to tell a grown up at breakfast club or his teacher.

When I picked him up tonight he had spoken to his teacher. The teacher was disappointed in the older boy’s behaviour, particularly in light of large boy’s friend’s history.

I’m so proud of how large boy handled the situation. First, he stood up to an older child. Then he ignored the bad behaviour. Then he talked to trusted adults who were able to make sure the older child’s bad behaviour was addressed.

I don’t think this short episode quite counts as bullying, but it was certainly mean.

Sometimes these pointless memes can make a difference, maybe. I don’t know whether large boy would have handled the situation if he hadn’t seen that picture, but I hope he would have made the same choices. Either way, it can’t hurt to gently reiterate these sorts of values from time to time.

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