Such an awful word any parent dreads hearing from their child/children. Every week I hear at least one parent tell me their kid is being bullied or I hear a child talking about a “mean friend” at school. Which is so contradictory! A mean friend doesn’t exist! I tell them they’re not a friend if they’re mean - but it just shows you how controlling and manipulative bullies can be. The problem is who are the bullies? You may ask your child if they’re being bullied but have you ever asked your child... “Are you a bully?” Because a few of your children are! Which is a horrible thing to think - but unfortunately is true. I do think some children don’t even realise they’re doing it and some would be shocked that they’ve displayed signs of being a bully with their actions! Whether it be secluding another child from joining in or just making other children feel isolated from a group. I was bullied in school (around year 7 to year 8) and funnily enough remember the bully’s name - Martin - something I think you never really forget! He made my life hell. On the bus (if he was bored) he’d take great pleasure in chewing bits of paper in his mouth and blowing them through a straw at me. Name calling, secluding me in PE, tripping me up in hallways and once knocking my lunch tray out of my hands covering me in the school dinner. He was my bully. Teachers didn’t really help - or care tbh. I remember one telling me to “just ignore it and he’d stop” - it didn’t.
Eventually, he pushed me too far and when putting his face through the seats of the coach (on the way to school) - he decided to spit at me... that morning he lost a tooth - split his lip and still to the day has a wonky nose. I then proceeded to get my own revenge on him by investing a lot of my lunch breaks (and time spent thinking at home) into destroying his life. First it was spreading vicious rumours about him, to then more physical threats and actions... of dropping pierced ink cartridges into his rucksack, sticking chewing gum on his uniform and in his hair to eventually me destroying his SATS exam work - making him fail the module. He lied constantly so the teachers had no problem believing my lies over his truth. I soon felt I had changed and had learnt that I was now, his bully. The “power” had shifted. It was only clear to me what I had done when I was called into the deputy heads office - with him. He was a mess. Once a boy who made me feel so insignificant, paranoid and pathetic was now crying, shaking, scared and looked pathetic. Just like I did months before. It had to stop. I had to stop. I saw what I’d done and I apologised. We never became friends as we were so different but we did sit and talk about why he hated me. It turned out that he was jealous of something so stupid...a part I’d got in a school production and the hatred grew from there. My reasons were plain - revenge. Something even now I still struggle with! Grudges - I find it difficult to just forgive and forget. However when looking back on the bigger picture I wonder how it could have been different. If I hadn’t have hit him back, if we hadn’t have spoken, if he had have just spoken to me from the start and told me how upset he was. I never set out to “bully” him - I just wanted pay back for all the hurt and upset he’d given me. But it easily got out of control. That’s the thing with being bullied or being a bully - sometimes I genuinely don’t think kids or adults even realise what they’re doing or being subjected too until you actually see the damage you’re doing or taking from someone. Maybe if schools spent more time finding the root of the problems within schools and eradicating that....than stopping one fight with a detention more would be achieved!
I think through talking and workshops to help combat and help children being bullied (or someone who IS being a bully just wanting to gain power of a situation that is out of control) would help far more than a detention - where anger grows. It’s a sad world we live in without having prejudice at a place of love, learning and life. If together we can get rid of bullying within schools now they too can help others when they’re older. If any parent is ever worried about their child being bullied OR think they’re child IS being a bully; they can always talk to one of us at JJD and we’ll always try to do what we can! I am holding a workshop centred around bullying on Saturday 17th February at Maidenhall Sports centre from 11-2pm. More information is on the website or feel free to contact me for more information.
Have a great week! Much love Jay x x