Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: How to feel hope for your child when it feels hopeless?

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3504 posts
    1 March 2019

    My babies Mr 5 and Miss 4 take a private bus to school and home again so I can work school hours. They are the only little kids on the bus.

    Yesterday our son reluctantly told us older kids slapped, bit and scratched him as a game even though he told them to stop. His ear was bleeding.

    Confiding in us took guts so we acted by speaking to the bus driver about keeping any little kids at the front where he can see them. Documenting and alerting the school and we had a meeting this morning because this is unacceptable.

    Today they went on the bus again. We waited for the bus at the school gate to meet our kids (and eye off each of the teenage asshats that hurt him for fun). A silent threat.

    My heart aches and I want to protect but my gut also says he needs to learn we will act to keep him safe but he must also learn to guard himself by staying with his peer group and knowing if someone touches him to speak up loudly because that is not permitted.

    But watching your little one slowly realising not everyone is kind or nice hurts.

    Hearing your five year old say that a boy said that "it's ok if we hit you because you're just a little toy" made me want to vomit.

    In the school meeting I just sobbed and couldn't speak. It feels so revolting. The school is taking it seriously but I have lost faith. There were young adults on that bus that watched and did nothing. Not even a word to the driver. Nothing.

    I am proud of how he bounced back and is back to his usual feral and happy self. But I am broken and hopeless. Tears keep threatening.

    How do you teach small children the world is a positive place when you need to teach them to develop resilience and defence?

    How do you feel hopeful for their future with proof people stand back and watch and do nothing?

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8356 posts
    1 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus

    It is the way of the world.

    Ladt week we had two polive in Stkilda bashed. The cab driver that filmed the event did good doing so...but why didnt he also render assistance?

    IMO your kids are too young to be able to defend themselves. The bus driver should be informed he/she, has a duty of care.

    My only advice is to approach the parents of those respinsible to inform them what happened.

    Thete is no place for such bullying.

    TonyWK

    3 people found this helpful
  3. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1487 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus

    For sure, there are plenty of little scumbags around, there's no denying it! If you're anything like me, you've probably imagined yourself putting the fear of god into them, so to speak, in a number of ways. The best we can do is put our imagination aside and maturely manage the situation, like with what you've done. I applaud you, you are a fine example for your kids to admire.

    My 13yo son is typically a non-confrontational beautiful caring soul who is unfortunately a target for bullies, because of his nature. We've been working on a few skills lately which have made a difference:

    • Developing skills in 'emotional intelligence' (processing emotions into constructive thoughts)
    • Developing the mantra 'How am I going to manage this?' as opposed to relying on the old sometimes debilitating question 'What am I going to do?' How am I gong to manage this, leads us to think of an empowering plan toward resolution
    • Developing skills in the area of self-esteem (consciousness, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and personal integrity).

    Understandably, how we manage to empower our kids will depend on individual personality and age.

    As for the idea that the world is scattered with cruel people and bystanders, yes, this is the truth. The world is also filled with beautiful souls and upstanders. I try my best to find plenty of examples, for my kids, when it comes to the latter (so they remain conscious witnesses to the beauty in this world). Again, you are a great example for your kids when it comes to someone who is both upstanding and outstanding. You really are a beautiful powerful person.

    'The bystander effect' is well documented in the world psychology. Apparently, the more people present, the less likely someone will act in coming to the rescue. As the amount of observers declines, the odds go up when it comes to someone helping. Basically people wait for someone else to step in. There probably were a few kids on that bus who wanted to step in so have faith in the idea that not all on the bus wanted your son to suffer. We humans can be strange creatures at times.

    It's definitely tough being a mum sometimes. I tell my kids, 'Even though the cord was cut at birth, the connection is still so strong to the point where I feel your pain'. Parents can be teary folk for good reason.

    Take care Quercus

    1 person found this helpful
  4. CMF
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CMF avatar
    8136 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat,

    I'm so sorry to hear of this. I can't reply properly as i am so upset to read what happened. I do however want to acknowledge your post and your feelings. I too would be heartbroken and so angry. I am here to support you as best I can.

    Cmf x

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Doolhof
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Doolhof avatar
    8099 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus,

    I am so very sorry to read your story. It does sound like you are trying to resolve some of the issues. Are your children able to sit close to the driver now?

    Could you enlist one of the other older children as a mentor for your children on the bus? Maybe the school could organise this?

    Has your son been able to tell you who the bully is or who they are? Can you confront them and their parents? Some parents may have no idea their children are right little hooligans.

    Showing your children that you are willing to listen to them, love them and act on their behalf can be half the battle. Having a parent that just tells you not to be a sook does not help!

    My siblings and I were all bullied. I became a very angry person who hated everyone and trusted no one. I hope you are able to get on top of this and stop the bullying.

    Cheers from Dools

    2 people found this helpful
  6. Guest_922
    Guest_922 avatar
    72 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat

    im a teacher and what you have described is assault. The school is responsible for ensuring your child’s safety as is the bus company they are providing to get your children safely to school. The bus driver should be held to account for not stopping the bus and protecting your child. Have you rang the company to report the incident? The school also needs to bring these teenagers in with their parents - there should be a consequence and they should be informed that if it occurs again you will file charges. Violence is not ok between children but with such a large age gap I am also concerned about the psychological development of these teenagers who believe it acceptable to hurt a small child.

    In terms of reassuring your child the school should also be delivering programs around respectful relationships, brave hearts and bully buster programs and your child should be celebrated for communicating the problem and seeking help.

    Xx

    1 person found this helpful
  7. David Nobody
    David Nobody avatar
    117 posts
    2 March 2019
    Bullies Again... (Hate, Hate, Vomit!)

    When I was hit at first, I didn’t announce
    The harder they all hit, the stronger I’ll bounce
    Why was I thinking “why did I catch that ball?”

    Sometimes the only way you win is to lose
    If that's the only choice left for you to choose
    When everything is good you shouldn’t ask why
    'Cause when it goes bad, the ask is “live or die?”

    When you’re the only brunt for the bully’s rage
    It’s better for you to stay inside your cage
    It doesn’t matter that you don’t want to dance
    That is the only way the peacock won’t prance

    Although it won’t seem when you are rejected
    The cruelest punishments can’t be deflected
    When your head is up, waiting for the smack down
    No one notices this strength on the playground

    Keeping all your vanity locked up inside
    Choosing to run away, or choosing to hide
    The victims of the bullies will never win
  8. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3504 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to white knight

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

    Tony mentioned this is the way of the world and that is exactly why I feel so so low. Hubby says the same constantly. That generally people are out for themselves and that I am naieve to expect better.

    I feel like if we expect the worst what is the point? Shouldn't we be allowed to expect better?

    The driver has been fabulous and the new rule is kids sit with age groups. But I think what I'm finding hardest is feeling hopeful and positive if this is what my kids have to look forward to.

    It is upsetting. I can understand given you have kids too CMF that this post would be hard to read but thank you for your support.

    Therising... As always your posts are helpful. I am sorry to hear your son has been bullied too. This bystander effect theory makes me feel a bit sick. Probably because growing up we were taught to always stand up for others even if it meant getting in trouble or even copping a beating.

    And Mrs D I do have names but we will give the school a chance. The school know if it happens again it will be a police report first then I will be asking for the parents names.

    Another day has passed. Everyone else seems to have moved on but my stomach feels like acid.

  9. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3504 posts
    2 March 2019 in reply to Guest_922

    Hi Guest922 and thank you for your reply and the extra information you've given.

    I was speaking to a friend today who works at a school too and she said many schools have a 2nd adult on the bus. One is responsible for driving and the other for safety and care. It made sense to me and I'm going to check with our school if this is possible.

    As much as I hate it I can see how our driver wouldn't have noticed. The road in our area is poor and he needs to pay attention. All the more reason in my mind there should be another adult on board.

  10. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10784 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus

    Im sad to read about what has happened to your son (and as you mentioned...good on him for letting you know!)

    Mr 5 sounds way too young to be on a school bus with the mongrels that bullied your son

    Has the school provided you with an assurance on what steps they will be taking?

    Can I ask how long the bus trip is to school?

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  11. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6322 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hello Nat

    So sorry to hear about your son's experiences. There is never an excuse for bullying or to stand and watch. Unfortunately it happens and sadly continues when no one steps in.

    In high school all my children had to travel on the local train. Twenty minute journey so not bad. The girls were the first to go to high school and I would never have doubts that the older daughter would be bullied or the younger one because they would be able to protect themselves though it would be in different ways. When my son went to school he was bullied by an older boy on the train. That is until one my eldest daughter leaned over the seat of the bully, grabbed him by his shirt front and told him in no uncertain words what would happen if he did it again.

    I didn't hear about it at the time otherwise I would have done something but my daughter's actions were effective. When I did hear the story I must admit I had a quiet chuckle at her actions, so much in her style although she never bullied anyone. Then I had a chat with my son. Maybe not the PC way of dealing with the situation but we didn't know about PC in those days. I was just pleased my daughter stood up for her brother without hurting anyone except for giving the bully a fright. My son was left alone after that.

    The children were older than yours but the story continues at all ages where there is at least one person who wants to take out his/her anger on the world and chooses an easy target. My son had not been exposed to these sorts of actions so was unsure what to do and no doubt very intimidated by the much larger bully.

    We do need to protect our children and those who have their care, such as bus drivers and teachers, need to step up when they become aware of these problems. I can see why your bus driver needed to keep his attention on the road but having a second person on the bus would be a huge safeguard. Perhaps it's time for schools to give a clear message about bullying and teach the younger and more vulnerable children how to respond.

    I hope all is now well with your family and that you are beginning to recover. It is hard on parents when they feel so helpless.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3504 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Paul and Mary,

    Thanks for your replies. It does sound like nearly everyone has a story about someone they love being bullied.

    Mary your daughter is awesome. My sister almost broke a bully's jaw at school and our parents stood by her. She wasn't punished at home or at school which was fair given what the boy had been doing.

    I think Paul you have got it in one... He is 5. All we can realistically ask of him is to speak up and to stay away from the teens. It really is up to us as adults to fix this.

    The bus trip is an hour so it means me giving up work again if I have to drive like last year. Last year was exhausting and financially we just cannot afford the fuel let alone losing my income even if it's not much.

    Worst case scenario we remove them from their school. Not keen on this as it goes to year 12 and the local school doesnt.

    I suppose we wait.

    Does anyone else reading have a story to share? I wonder if this is unusual to be dealing with bullying at so young an age?

    1 person found this helpful
  13. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6322 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Quick comment Nat

    Children can be bullied all their lives if they do not learn how to cope and stand up to the bullies. It's really heartening that schools are beginning to get on top of this. I have read about some wonderful programs being taught in schools to make children aware of bullying, what's wrong with it and how to stop it. This includes personal responsibility as well as group responsibility. Fabulous. It would be a great next step if they could implement self esteem programs as I believe bullying comes from a low self esteem in so many cases.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Guest_922
    Guest_922 avatar
    72 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to Quercus
    I think it is the schools responsibility to make sure your children get safety to school. You should not have to drive them. If they are not safe then those who are creating an unsafe environment need to be removed. The school need to ensure the bully’s are receiving help and education. They need the bully’s to knownthrough their actions that this won’t be tolerated. A big concern for me is the age difference of the kids. They are old enough to know better. I would ask to have a restorative conversation with the boys and their family. Facilities by the school but they need to know the significance of what they have done and be accountable.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. Guest_922
    Guest_922 avatar
    72 posts
    3 March 2019 in reply to Guest_922
    Sorry about all the errors. It’s annoying that you can’t edit posts.
    1 person found this helpful
  16. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10784 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus

    Thankyou for posting back. I know this would be difficult for you...(or anyone else for that matter..me included)

    I understand and respect that there are financial issues that are very important. I have been thinking about Mr 5 and yourself a lot recently....

    When my daughter was 5 in 1998 I did everything I could to ensure that she was okay getting to school (which was only 15 minutes away) I also had financial responsibilities which were mega important like yourself

    At the time I had a company vehicle and had some flexibility....You dont have that flexibility Quercus

    Has the school provided any assurance with providing a 'Bully Free' ride to school as yet?

    just asking if thats okay

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  17. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8356 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Nat

    In 1990 when my daughter was 1yo, a workmate was nearly obsessed with the IRA bombings. He said "the world is doomed, I fear for what world my child will grow up in"

    30 years later my child is married happily... and the world hasnt caved in yet.

    Yes it is how the world has become. For sure, we have to make changes to improve the quality of our children's lives (bus trips) but dwelling on the erosion of our world as we knew it isnt productive, its just fact.

    Worry only produces ulcers.

    Making your kids and other kids on that bus safe - thats productive.

    TonyWK

    1 person found this helpful
  18. DemonHeathen
    DemonHeathen avatar
    2 posts
    7 March 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Nat,

    I don’t have as wise advice as most others due to me being so young but two things:

    1.There are many who standby and watch as disaster strikes but there are also people like little Mr. 5 who will speak up when everyone else is silent. So for your second question just remember there will always be bad but there will always be good and I’m sure that you’re kids will grow up to be the kind of people who stand up for what is right.

    2. I was bullied several times as a kid and I did not tell my parents that being said I was around 7 and didn’t want my parents to stress. My advice would be to try and teach them that it is not ok for anyone to be treated like that and show them ways to stand up to bullies without fighting. If you are really worried I recommend martial arts or some kind of self defence which doesn’t involve much violence but rather defence. I realise they may be too young to do some of this but as they get older these are great ways to prevent bullying.

    I hope this helps and I’m sorry that you had to experience that.

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3504 posts
    8 March 2019 in reply to DemonHeathen

    Thank you everyone. So many helpful posts and TLC. I appreciate it.

    DemonHeathen welcome to the forums and thank you for choosing to reply to me. It is awful to hear you have been bullied too.

    No contact from the school yet saying what has been done so tomorrow is my follow up email.

    Shamefully though what HAS happened is my son has followed the crappy behaviours the older kids showed him. In his class a 5 year old hit his friend because she didn't want to play and my son hit her too!

    In time out he was distressed and unable to explain why he joined in. He told me as soon as I saw him and was utterly lost. The only reason he could give was an almost silent "thought it was a game". Thankfully her Mum said it was a non event to her daughter who just shrugged it off.

    I feel sick even thinking about this. Today I took him to school and we talked about how it felt to be hurt...He apologised to his friend and her Mum. Then I spoke to his teacher and said if anything remotely like this happens again I want to be phoned immediately and I will collect him and take him home.

    Part of me feels at fault. The kids have no routine and 3 matresses on the conrete floor.

    No mum extraordinary here just another Mum trying to figure it out!

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up