Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bullying

I just found out yesterday that my daughter was part of a bullying incident. I can't even describe how disheartening this is. My Hannah. Bullying? Can't be.

But it happened.

They played a game where one person sits and the middle and you say truths about them. They are supposed to leave the circle feeling better about themselves but with one of the girls, they said mean things. Hannah says that she only said she could be annoying sometimes. Does that make it better since you didn't say something really mean? NO! You can't stand around someone saying OR letting other people say mean things about someone. I don't care how annoying you might think this kid is. Yes, I can see how easily this happened and even though my kid has a good heart she did a bad thing. Can't you imagine being in the middle of that circle? It just breaks my heart. To top it off I never heard about this incident until I was at a Girl Scouts meeting to talk about bullying.

We've talked and talked about this with Hannah. With little tears streaming down all of our faces about how wrong it was and how it can NEVER happen again. EVER. Period.

The problem comes down to I don't know how to help her fix this. Sure she can apologize, as a matter of fact she has to write her a letter of apology, but how can we keep this little girl from getting hurt again. See, said little girl wants to be friends with Hannah's friends but they don't like her all that much. Is there ever a nice way to say, "Gee you are a great person but I really don't want to be friends with you." You can't just say sorry we don't want to play with you today everyday. What if this little girl doesn't have any other friends? Is it right to force Hannah to be friends with someone to save hurting this little girls feelings?

Hannah is a good kid. Growing up and learning how to navigate in the world is tough. We've all dealt with this crap. You can't sit with so and so at lunch because they don't like the other people you sit with or you want to play with one friend but they won't play with anyone else you like. It's stupid. It sucks. It hurts people. Girls, girls can be mean too. Boys use their fists to fight, while girls use their words. I want to make sure it stops NOW!

She knows first hand how much it hurts to want to be someones friend and have them be mean to her. We dealt with it in Kindergarten and and a bit in 1st grade.

All I know is she has to learn to stand up for other people. She should have said this game is wrong and I won't play it. But she didn't walk away. She bullied someone.

3 comments:

Pahsta said...

Growing up is so hard, especially when peer pressure can make standing on your own two feet feel impossible. Hannah's a good kid. She'll learn. Having the strength to protect someone else at the risk of getting shredded yourself isn't something that comes naturally for most people.

It's probably a good chance for everyone to learn something -- Hannah and her friends, how to disassociate from someone they don't want to spend time with without being cruel, and the other little girl, that sometimes people don't like you, but it's not necessarily because there's something wrong with you.

Amy Y said...

Oh no! I'm sorry you guys went through this... What a hard thing for Hannah and for you guys.

I wish I had good advice but I'm torn between telling her to be nice to everyone and not forcing her to be friends with someone she finds annoying. She's old enough to choose her friends but how to blow her off without hurting her feelings? Ugh.

Let me know what you come up with!

Laura D said...

One thing I have seen with comments is that if the first two comments in a discussion of a person or place is negative then the rest will also be negative. If one of the first two statments could be positive then the rest of the comments will be positive. Hannah might of been sweapt up in the negativity of her other friends while playing this game.