How Do You Handle Bullying?

Junior High for me was horrible. I was a total nerd, and I heard that all day long. I was tall, lanky, wore glasses, had short, permed hair, and just looked like a total dork. I was constantly made fun of. I even had a boy spit in my face because of a “dare.” Sure, I had a few friends, but I spent most nights in my room in tears because I was hurting so much.

It lasted until my Junior year when I dove head first into anorexia, lost 40 pounds, and then finally got my first boyfriend. He happened to be one of the most popular boys in school. Suddenly, I was no longer the “geek.” I’m embarrassed to admit it now, but I ended up hurting many of the friends that stuck by me through my dorky years. I will always hate that I did that.

Me in 7th grade

Now, it’s my daughter’s turn to suffer through the horrible effects of Junior High and being picked on.

There’s one difference between Ashley and I, though. Ashley is gorgeous. She’s already developing in all the right places. (I was married and had 2 kids before I developed!) She has gorgeous blond hair, captivating blue eyes, and a smile that can light up a room. (Notice the difference in the pictures of the 2 of us?)

Recently, Ashley had to get glasses. They’re just for reading, and she doesn’t have to wear them all the time. I *love* the way she looks in her glasses. She picked a trendy brown pair that makes her look so sophisticated. I wish she’d wear them all the time.

Ashley in 7th grade

But, I found out that she doesn’t like to wear her glasses at school, because as soon as she puts them on, she gets made fun of. She gets called a nerd, of course. Kids today still have no tact or imagination, and continue to say the same old things. But, if she tries to defend herself, the kids will say something like, “Oh, look! An an angry nerd!”

Ashley has never been made fun of in all her years of public school, and now she comes home crying every night because someone has said something hurtful to her.

How do I handle this? I don’t want Ashley going through what I did as a kid. How do I make her understand that what those kids say doesn’t matter, and that the real friends that she has now may end up being the friends she keeps for life.

Of course, I’d like nothing more than to flick those kids in the head and tell them they’re idiots, but I’m quite sure that won’t solve anything.

Do your children get bullied at school? Have you been able to help your children through it?

I know it’s a part of life, and Ashley will have to learn that not everyone is going to like her. People can be mean – even in adulthood. But that still doesn’t mean I want to see my baby girl hurting every night because of something someone said.

Any tips or ideas that you have to share on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.



Comments

  1. 1

    Well, I went to junior high with you, and I will say this- out of all of us in the "nerd" group, you were probably the coolest one. As far as Ashley, I have no idea what to tell you. I'm dreading that myself. I did have Annalise come home from Pre-K and tell me, "Angel was mean to me today." I asked her, "What did Angel say to you?" To which she replied, "He said, 'Stop it, leave me alone.'"
    Hmmmmm…. I do think that with all the emphasis on bullying now, it may be easier for our kids than it was for us. Good luc k.

  2. 2

    I don't have any advice… but I'd make sure she knows that any teasing is most likely due to jealousy or (from boys) probably liking her. She's gorgeous! Gosh I wish I had been so cute at that age.

    I'm so sorry she's going through that, though… I wouldn't have understood, either. Kids are not sensitive at ALL. At least not all of them.

    So can she get contacts? It might be worth it…

  3. 3
    Donna Perugini says:

    Bully's are totally insecure. The best way for them to be on top is step on people to get there.

    You can either get her contacts for reading (I think a prescription is on the bottom and clear on top) or she can come up with some totally disarming witty remark in response to the bullies.

    Hopefully she will continue to wear her glasses in spite of others cruel remarks. I grew up the geeky looking eyeglasses girl. I don't remember people bullying me, but I do remember being the leader of the 'underdogs'. If anyone picked on people around me, I'd be there to push back on the bully.

  4. 4
    Susan M. Heim says:

    Junior high/middle school seem to be the worst years for that kind of behavior. I know one mother who had to homeschool her daughter through middle school because the other girls were so mean to her. (She was beautiful and a champion baton twirler, and they were jealous.) I've known other families who have gone through the same thing, especially with girls. There are no guarantees, but often it does get better in high school. Often, it's a bigger school and there are more social groups where people can feel accepted. But knowing this doesn't make it any easier in middle school, I'm sure. I hope that it improves for your daughter.

  5. 5

    I'm not a mother. However, I'm in college and I remember oh too well what it was like in school. I've had to wear glasses or contacts since kindergarten. People did call me 4 eyes in elementary school and I cried. However, those people eventually moved on to torment other people. Then, I got the nerd thing. Over time, I've come to accept the fact that I'm probably a nerd and I kind of like it. I like being knowledgeable and respected for my mind. My only advice is to tell her that she is beautiful and that people will eventually move on to other things if she doesn't respond. I hope things get better.

  6. 6

    Call or visit every teacher your daughter has and let them know that if your girl cries herself to sleep one more time, you'll go to the PTA and the Media: There are effective ways to combat bullying now that didn't exist when we were kids: Anti-bullying posters, movies, even reading assignments for teens-all of which are completely free to any public school, just tell them to contact the Dept. Of Education in Washington DC.

  7. 7

    I am an elementary school counselor and I am constantly trying to work with kids on this problem. Nothing seems to be working consistently! There is no one program that seems to reach kids. There are some kids that have empathy and some that simply don't. My heart breaks for the kids that get picked on. My school district has recently developed a new bullying policy that is going to be formally adopted by the school board very soon. I am not sure if it will help, but it will certainly be calling more attention to the issue. My daughter is young enough that she hasn't dealt with it yet – I say "yet" because I feel like it's inevitable. Girls are so nasty to each other. I have read a TON of books on relational aggression in girls. I can email you a list if you want 🙂 Good luck with your daughter. She is beautiful!
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  8. 8

    I would definitely let Ash know that the people or persons picking on her is jealous in some way or another. I always beat up any one that picked on me or my sister, luckily it was never at school where I got in the fight and rarely got in trouble by the daycare workers after they found out why I attacked the boy/s. Just remind her to stay strong.

    I have a 3.5 year old in my preschool class that is already presenting to be a bully. I am determined to help him realize that is not a good choice, if he plans on having and keeping friends.

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  1. […] year, I posted about my daughter getting bullied at school – just for wearing glasses. Around that same time, a boy in my son Jace’s kindergarten […]

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