Thursday, 8 October 2009

It's a jungle out there...

I haven't been around as much as would like to.
I have read my blogs I follow, but didn't have
enough time to comment.

Little Dragon just started to go to a nursery for
two and a half hours a day. In the afternoon, so
my day is broken up into short intervals. He is
loving it and first day was without a drama. Just
a simple "Bye mum!". Completely different from
his sister, who sent me on a right guilt trip with
a proper scream, holding to my leg till I ran in

And now again, although without the dramas, I
feel guilty. I feel guilty for having to pretend it's
all going to be fine soon. But I don't know if it will
be fine.

Cirwen has been bullied at school and after school
on the way to the bus stop. One day, during a lunch
break, a group of kids through plastic bottles and
stones at her. Nothing actually hit her, but she was
upset and scared. She is constantly pushed to the end
of the queue at lunch, so she is late for lessons.
Another day she called me in tears, as one boy through
a stone after her with insults, and threatened to beat
her up. Yesterday she got into a fight with another girl.

These incidents have been reported to the headmistress
and some steps have been taken. Cirwen will attend
a lunch club, where they have a separate room to eat
and hang during breaks. She has an assigned "buddy",
an older girl who will help her resolve such situations.

It's all good, but is it a right course of action? The school
separated the victims of bulling. Yet I haven't heard what
they going to do with the bullies. Shouldn't those hooligans
be separated from the healthy minded kids?!

This way, the school created a group of children, who now
will be marked as victims. A easy target. They might have
as well stick a sign on their heads saying "hit me!".

Some of the bullying goes after the children leave the premises.
Obviously, there is nothing teachers can do about it. My hands
however, are tied too. If i come and pick her up everyday, she'll
gain another label of a "baby", "sissy" or whatever they call it now.
I have to keep sending her to school and just hope she will be far
away from those she knows are nasty.

She puts her brave little face on and she goes to school. Because
she likes it, she likes the teachers and she likes her new friends
she made. Yet, I can see, there is a little bit of fear, of what bad
might happen as well. Although, both my husband and myself
told her to stand up and don't wait for the first punch any more.
No one likes to be hit. Even bullies.

We'll see. The lunch club and the "buddy" have just been
introduced on Monday. We'll see how it will affect her life.

We'll see. Yet, I still feel guilty. For choosing this school,
(although others wouldn't be any better), for my determination,
to teach Cirwen live independently, for saying it's going to be
better, for telling her now to fight for herself even with fists.

For not telling her earlier - it's a jungle out there...


  1. What you describe brings back memories of what it was like to attend a predominately White school in 1960's America; it was hell.

    I don't know if segregating students is better, it may be safer but in the long run if bullies are not told that, "Their behavior is unacceptable", won't they just continue the behavior?

    In spite of the labels, I don't think I could refrain from escorting my child when others throw objects at them.

    I find it very discouraging that even today, we continue with behaviors that allow an individual or group to feel better about themself by denigrating others. That parents teach this to their children; perpetuating hatred and bigotry.


  2. You know, while its got to be hard for Cirwen, I can only think of what it was like when I was at school. Bullies are bullies - they will pick on whoever they can.

    The reason doesn't matter. Only that they see someone weaker or different.

    I wish those kids who are perceived as 'different' were not just segregated and 'protected', but taught that their differences are actually ok. Its cool to be individual. Its cool to not be like other people. Geez, if we could teach kids that, then they'd be able to laugh in the face of the bullies, who, afterall, are just preying on the fear they can generate.

    It doesn't have to be a jungle out there, if only those in charge of teaching children could get beyond their own issues and just... help kids gain a new perspective!

  3. U, it is a catch 22. They are safer now, when separated from the mob. Yet there is nothing the school can do to discipline the thugs. Corporal punishment at school and at home is against the law in UK. Kids take a huge advantage of it. The biggest punishment is expulsion - is it punishment? They don't really want to be at school do they? I have asked Cirwen if she wants to be picked up from school. She declined, saying she has friends now to escort her and feels safe.

    Svasti, Ithink that is the problem. I taught my daughter that individuality is something good. To express herself and be proud to be different. Unfortunately, the society, especially the teenage, in majority still has the mentality of the sheep. We have generations brought up by mass media. It is not easy for teachers to break the process of thought or lack of it, if there is no encouragement at home.

  4. Ahhh! it is so hard to send our little ones into the masses! With the new autism stats, (1 in 91!!!) we need to find a way to work on acceptance!

  5. Somehow it just doesn't seem right to segregate the the children who are being picked on into a separate group. As was said above that only makes the child feel like more of an outsider. Why not roundup the bullies and separate them from the other kids, put them on public display. Of course they would then have even more aggression to take out on the other children.

    Libertine, I like your reply to Svasti above. You summed up the problem very nicely.


  6. It just seems to hard for her right now, after the initial optimism. I really hope this works out, but I too would be worried about the marking out for special treatment. Let's hope they know what they're doing.

  7. As the mother of a child who has gone through it and come out the other side, I can tell you that your daughter will learn to be brave, and she'll begin to understand that life is bittersweet--and she'll become sensitive to any brokenness in the people around her. In short, she will grow in wisdom and compassion. It will take time (my oldest Aspie daughter is now 29), and it's often heartbreaking to watch the cost of such growth. Although I am her mother, so, of course, ours is not a friend relationship, she has an uncanny knack for knowing what to say and when I am needing to hear it. The bullies all have difficulties of their own, even if their lives seem full of ease now. No one escapes life unscathed and each one will reap what they sow.

  8. Madame, Judy, thank you both for your support. I am finally due to see the team of teachers on Wednesday to discuss all the problems.

    eacoin, thank you for your insite. Your insite is so important to me! Strangely enough I don't have a lot of contact with parents of adult autistic people. Thank you for your insight, I think deep in my heart I know she'll come out of it stronger. It is heartbreaking to watch her cry, as it will ever be.

  9. How's our brave mom coping? :)

  10. I should have added that it's important to keep an eye out for special interests that are good physical outlets. Dancing, skiing, horseback riding, skating, or drama classes can help your child to develop an abiding passion that gives relief from the stresses of everyday life. When my oldest daughter was a teenager, and she had reached her full height, we invested in a $400 pair of figure skates. I convinced my husband that it would be the last pair we would ever have to buy her. Twelve years later she still skates (in those skates--her alma mater has free skating times), and the skating led to dancing (when she moved and found affordable latin dance classes were taught in her neighbourhood). One of her co-workers recently asked her how she stays so calm in what is now a stressful and competitive work environment, and she replied,"Cha, cha, cha, Steve! Cha, cha, cha!"