Am I doing the right thing when it comes to my bullied son?
I have sat here and retyped this story, three times already. It isn’t that I do not have enough to say; it is because I am finding it hard to cram my son, Michael’s story into a short story/article. So much has happened to him that I start to ramble on and on and miss the point behind the title.
See my son has been picked on/bullied since he was in Pre-K. Everything from name-calling, to being choked, and even told he was going to be killed. Michael had two breakdowns in third grade, which he said he wanted to die. Yes, you read that correctly, my son, who was 8 years old at the time, said he wanted to die.
Michael was choked so hard in third grade, that six hours later he still had a red mark on his neck. His teacher didn’t even send him to the nurse. She just let him cry and told him to stop being a baby. I couldn’t believe it; my youngest son was not only being picked on by his peers, but also by a teacher. He was also not getting the justice he deserved, because the child that choked him did not even get a detention let alone a suspension.
My son stopped telling his teachers and even us what was going on. He was bottling everything up. My other three children never had a problem with bullies. I was unsure of how to help him, I felt lost and like I had failed him some how. That was when we started taking Michael to a professional.
I Dream of a World without Bullies
He was diagnosed with Anxiety and mild Depression, and started to take an anti-anxiety pill. We also had him transferred to a new school in hopes that the bulling would stop, but it hadn’t. Michael had a whole other set of issues to deal with. His new school doesn’t tolerate bulling, and actually does something about it, but that just fueled my son’s problems because he started to tell about every little thing, and letting even the littlest of things like a mean look bother him. His confidence had been shattered at his old school and now every little thing was upsetting him.
I can’t help think that if things were handled the way they were supposed to be, that my son would not have suffered all these years. Michael is ten now, and still gets picked on, however now he has decided to not tell, because if he does they will just start calling him a tattle-tale again.
I have spoken to his doctor and have decided that he needs a break from school, and what I mean by that is the normal, sitting in class with other children who may or may not contribute to his anxiety and depression. He will be attending an online school next year.
Michael will still continue to go to Cub Scouts, because he has made friends in his Pack and enjoys going, but we have decided to start him up in a sport and possible Karate. His interaction with kids his age will be more structured and in smaller amounts of time. My husband, his doctor, and I feel this will give him a way to boost his confidence in himself.
We have told Michael that there will be times where he still may be picked on, and that he will need to learn to rise above the bullies and to not let them see that it bothers him, that sooner or later he needs to stand up for himself. Like he has for other kids that were being picked on as well.
So am I doing what is right for my son? The answer I feel at the moment is yes. I have chosen a path for him that takes him out of harms way for now, one that will protect him and help him to rise above and learn to deal with his feelings in a more controlled setting. He will still get interaction, and he may still get picked on and laughed at on occasion, but it will not be five days a week, six hours a day. He will be able to concentrate on his schoolwork without having to watch his back. He will be able to interact with children that have the same interests as he does without fear of someone making fun of him.
This is a decision that was not made in haste. We have sat down and talked to Michael, his doctor, and even a few of his teachers that he or his older siblings have had in the past. We all feel that Michael needs time to heal, and this will help him in doing so.
Only time will tell if he can heal and learn to rise above, but I can say without any doubt that I am doing what is best for my son. Many parents have decided to home-school their child/children for many different reasons. Mine just happens to be for the safety and well being of my child.