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Child being called names. Advice needed

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by jennie1120, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. jennie1120

    jennie1120 New Member

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    Hello. I really need some advice.

    My son is 13 years old (hes had diabetes since he was 16 months old). we all know how hard it is to be a teenager, let alone having diabetes along with it. My heart is breaking right now.

    Last night my son had a basket ball game that I couldn't attend because I am very sick at the moment. My oldest son picked him up and brought him home. He was a little teary eyed saying he got elbowed in the head during a game, took some ibuprofen and went to his room.

    A bit later I was on my phone scrolling through facebook and saw a posting from him. It said "yea I have a disease but it's cool you can make fun of me all you want". There were a few other postings after. It looks like one post from someone else was deleted as the next one was posted by my son and it said "oh so calling me diabetes b*tch is teasing, most people would take that offensive". There was then a post from another child saying "you are not dr phil. think of your diabetes compared to other kids losing their hair and dying from their disease".

    I went to my sons room and asked him about what happened. The kid that made that comment, he is telling me that it wasnt him, that his friend is the one that called him the name. But he said he couldn't remember his name, so I think he is covering as he doesnt want me going to this childs parents, or going to the school with this childs name.

    He said what happened was they were arguing over basket ball and he said "yea you know everything diabetes b*tch". They dont play on the same team, this kid is a year older than my son.

    I told my son we would go into school together in the morning and speak to the principal, and he said no. He would do it himself, that he was going to go speak to the school counselor about it.

    My question is, what do I do? One part of me thinks that this will not be the only time he will have to deal with something like this, and he will have to learn to handle it. He is a teenager now, and I don't want to cause him any more problems at school with this boy.

    On the other hand, he is 13, hes still a child. He's MY child, and this is bullying. And what about the "zero tolerance" for bullying. Should this child not get away with this? Should the school and this boys parents be aware? Or maybe I should leave it, let those two sort it out and step in if this ends up not being a one time occurrence.

    Then the worst thoughts going through my mind are, there are so many children being bullied these days and some of them are taking their own lives.

    Also, this is the first time that I am aware of anything like this happening. I appreciate any and all advice please. Id love to hear from some of you that have maybe dealt with this before.

    He did not go to school today. He actually had an appointment with his Endocrinologist. I was hoping I would be well enough to take him but am still so sick this morning I called and cancelled it, but I let him stay home from school today anyway. Which under the circumstances I was more than happy to do :(

    Thank you,

    Jen
     
  2. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

    Helenmomofsporty13yearold Approved members

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    Your son seems to have a good plan in place, so I would let him handle it for now, but keep an eye on the situation. All our kids have had to handle a comment like that at some point. It is absolutely not right, but those early teen years are tough. If the other team had to resort to a head shot in the basketball game, I am going to guess that your son was beating their a$$ on the court and they wanted to bring him down a notch. They could not do it athletically, so they resorted to violence and cheap, mean comments.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

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    Kids are going to call each other names. Be it about diabetes, braces, glasses, wheelchair, etc. It happens.

    To me the line between bullying and normal teenage name calling can be a fine one. If this continues or escalates, then I would respond accordingly.

    Your son wants to handle this now so I would let him. You can talk to him about how he is feeling about it, about different ways of handling it, about why people call names, etc. But let him deal with this and learn from it, with you supporting him behind the scenes.

    Also, you may want to reconsider letting a 13 year old be on FB.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  4. DavidN

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    Ditto this and if your son follows through with speaking to the counselor about it I'd take him out for a big dinner treat anywhere he wants.
     
  5. Beach bum

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    This is exactly what I was thinking.
    Too bad an official didn't catch wind of it. Un-sportsman like conduct.
     
  6. selketine

    selketine Approved members

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    I think the name calling on the court was one thing - taking it to Facebook is another. I'd take a screen shot of what is there.

    I would make sure he followed through with talking to the principal and the counselor (or at least the principal). Is he in middle school or high school?
     
  7. 3kidlets

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    I have a 13 year old son as well. He does not have D. He's had problems with other boys from time to time. Last year, he was new to his school. He had a horrible time with the boys in his grade for te first few months of school. I was shocked that boys this age would be so mean to a new student. It was terrible to watch. But it was short lived. I did speak with him about it frequently and keep the lines of communication open, but I did not get involved with the school or parents. Eventually it all stopped and things were fine. This year he's having a good year.
    I have seen things like you saw on Facebook. Not so much on his wall, but I do troll his account to see what's going on and I am shocked by how the kids "speak" to each other. The language, the meanness.
    The only time I did get involved was when I found a Facebook chat where a boy wanted my son to take responsibility of something the other boy had done. He said he would kill my son if he didn't. I contacted the mom and the headmaster. Obviously, sending a death threat over the Internet is serious. But even with that, it all blew over and now they are friends this year.
    I would give it a bit of time and see how it plays out and how your son is doing with it. I do think they need to learn to deal with jerks without us always getting involved. Sometimes kids are just jerks and say mean things. But It usually blows over.
     
  8. jennie1120

    jennie1120 New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your advice. It is really appreciated. He is back to school today though he said he wasn't feeling well and wanted to stay home :( His blood sugar was good and there really wasn't anything wrong with him, so I told him he had to go. I had another talk with him and am going to leave things for now and let him handle things. He says he is going to speak to the counselor. I hope he does. I just needed some outside input. My first feeling was mad, and that never is good to react then. Then it was sadness. You just have to step back for a while before you act, and am hoping things work out.

    Thanks again!

    Jen
     
  9. Heather(CA)

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    I'm glad you are letting your son handle it at this point. You are sending the message that you trust him. And letting him know that you are willing to help if need be. You can help him without going to the school. I have worked with kids my whole life and I have 3 sons 17, 18 and 19. Below is a tool you might want to try :)

    This early in the game, going to the school could make it worse. Instead. explain to your son that teasing is a game. This is how my conversations about this usually go...

    Me"Teasing is a game. If someone is teasing you, what are they trying to do?

    Kid "Make me mad"

    Me "Right, the're goal is to get a reaction. So if you get mad, who wins the game?"

    Kid "They do"

    Me "Right, If you give a reaction, they win the game. If you don't, or manage to make them feel stupid, then who wins?"

    Kid "I do"

    Me "Right, and if you can make them feel stupid for trying, even better"

    I would practice some responses to getting teased. Such as when the kid called him a Diabetes B... He can chuckle and say something like Wooow, that was original, is that all you've got? Diabetes, good one! (Sarcastic) Haha The kid will feel like an idiot and will think twice next time.

    This does work, I had these conversations all the time when I worked at Juvenile hall. You can drive the point home by asking your son this question...If you were really mad at me for grounding you, really mad, then I just laughed at you, how would you feel? Madder. Teasing is just a mind game kids play, it's rude and annoying but if you give them the tools to handle it, it wont affect them.

    I hope this helps :)
     
  10. denise3099

    denise3099 Approved members

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    Kdis will not only make fun of D and other illnesses or whatever, but of being tall or short or fat or skinny or having a zit or pretty much anything to put somone down or get a laugh. I mean even making stuff up. Remember yo mama jokes?

    the only way to not get made fun of is to act like you don't care. Seriously, the less said the better. You have to pretend that someone just gave you the stupidest insult you ever heard, qiuck reply and let it go. Tell our son when somoene calls him a name, look at him amused, and say, "So lame." and let it go. Pretend someone just said, "yo mama's so broke, she put corn flakes on lay-a-way." Just shake your head and let it go.

    One time someone told me that the leather bag I was carrying was the only nice thing I had. Everyone looked at me. So I said, "Oh yea, well I found that!" and we all laughed out loud and everyone knew that I was un-insultable and the other girl looked so stupid.
     
  11. DsMom

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    I think you are doing the right thing....keeping close tabs on it for now, and letting your son take the lead.

    My son was bullied (by his "best friend!") last year via text..calling him fat. It was a very brief incident...but it did make my blood boil and my first instinct was to text the kid myself and tell him to cut it out. I didn't. I didn't know whether to let his parents know that he was using texting inappropriately...they were only 9 last year...but held off on that too. I waited to see if it would continue or repeat...which it didn't. My son distanced himself from the friend for months...and I wasn't too keen on having him in my house again...but they seemed to patch things up over the summer...and are still friends. I was really too judgmental in my initial reaction. What the kid did was mean...and it got my "mama bear" all in an uproar;)...but in time I realized the kid is still a kid and will make mistakes. It was a quick spat...the same way boys can get mad and tussle on the playground and forget about it by the end of the day. I figured if my son could forgive, there was no reason I shouldn't. I do, however, still keep tabs on their friendship, and check in with my son to ensure this friend is playing nice and being kind.
     
  12. Flutterby

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    I'd take a screen shot of it as well. I'm dealing with a child picking on my oldest, she's been doing it for several years. My daughter is now in middle school, I thought it would stop as they are no longer in the same class..it didn't stop and only got worse by other children joining in. I went to the teacher first, she notified the principal. The principal called me immediately and said that she will take this very seriously, spoke to my daughter, and the other girls.. seperately. She told my daughter not to let the other girls know she said anything (it only makes it worse).. that an adult saw it happening. These things DO escalate, sometimes very quickly, taking it to fb is another level. I'd call the principal, I wouldn't go in with my child, just because someone is going to see that, and they'll have someone else to pick on them.. I'd bring the screen shot. I'd ask the principal not to let the kids know where it came from because it'll only make it worse. My oldest daughter's Principal wants to know immediately if anything else happens. Because of the school setting we left and what we went into were vastly different I was a little hesitant to go to the school, but it was clearly getting worse, to the point of my daughter coming home daily crying. It IS bullying, and it needs to stop.
     
  13. Heather(CA)

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    I understand what your saying and I agree with everything you said. I do think at this point the situation is a little different though. This was the first time the teasing happened for her son, it has not been going on for years... Just thinking it might be good to give her son the chance to handle it himself, per his request. In your daughters case, I'm glad the principal is taking it seriously, enough is enough.
     
  14. jennie1120

    jennie1120 New Member

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    Thanks guys. Heather I really liked your game idea. I agree with all of what each of you said, but I think leaving it for now is best for us. I have the screen shot, and will keep it if I need it in the future. If something else happens, then I have that to go on as well to show it wasn't a 1 time thing.

    Things are going well, hes coming home laughing and in a good mood, and I think if anything were going on at school that wouldn't be the case.

    I DO know that a lot of kids, in his middle school and the high school due to his big brother, know about the incident. Since it was on Facebook there were posts from others sticking up for my son and telling the boy what a terrible thing that was.

    I did find out from my oldest son that it was the child that I thought it was, Kyle was defending him by saying it wasn't him, it was someone he didn't know from the visiting team.

    I think the fact that others got involved by telling the child (not just on Facebook but at school) telling him that it wasn't ok helped, is a good thing. My son is well liked and has some good friends and since the others didn't stand behind that boy with the teasing, I think it may not happen again. But I'll be ready if it does :)
     
  15. DsMom

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    That's great that your son has lots of friends to back him up. As long as he doesn't feel isolated and alone with this...I'm sure it will be fine. Hope it all blows over quickly. Stinks that our kids have this whole other level (FB/texting, etc.) of teasing and bullying to deal with.:(
     
  16. Lovemyboys

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    I came across a great article a few years ago called, "teaseproof your kids", it has suggestions along the lines of what Heather was saying. It's put out by Love and Logic, if you want to google it. Sorry your son is going through this.
     
  17. Heather(CA)

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    That's awesome :D
     
  18. Anyelday

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    I just went and read the article! Thanks for sharing. I was teased a lot as an elementary school child (bad perm and buck teeth) and as soon as I let the teasers...often my friends who were girls....know that i wasn't going to let it bother me they gave up. I rose to their level without stooping to their level. I did see other girls who continued to be manipulated and pushed around well into high school.
     
  19. natallia

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    I love this! Heather, I am going to print your post and keep it for the future. I have two boys, they are still very young, but I am already constantly worried about how the whole school thing will go... Kids can be so cruel....
     

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