Here is one of the articles I wrote that was published in Blissfully Domestic this week in case you missed it!
It’s the first week of school. My daughter has ridden the bus home for 6 days now. Three of those days she has gotten off of the bus crying. The same little girl has been picking on her ever since school started. She whispers things in her ear like, “When was the last time you took a shower?” and, “your outfit is really ugly.” Yesterday she tricked my daughter into sitting by her on the bus. She was acting super sweet, and Whitney fell for it. She told Whitney put liquid soap on a boys water bottle. Whitney said she was afraid of what the girl would do or say, so she made a bad choice and did it. She felt terrible about it right away and said sorry to the little boy and helped him clean up his water bottle.
Why are girls so mean? A boy bully punches and kicks, maybe calls someone a name, but girl bullies are MEAN. They are catty and manipulative, unforgetting and unforgiving. Mean girls can hold a grudge through an entire elementary school experience and carry it into middle school and high school.
For my girls, the bus ride home is the closest place to human depravity they have ever seen. It’s where they heard their first swear word, where kids get punched when the bus driver is not able to see, and where you have to be stronger and smarter than everyone around you to survive that very long 15 minute ride home.
What can Mom’s and Dad’s do to help our kids survive those 15 minutes?
· Befriend the bus driver. If the bus driver is your friend and knows your name, she will be more likely to look out for your child.
· Be a pest. When you hear of bullying on the bus, call the bus driver to let them know. Chances are, she had no idea about what happened.
· Involve the principal. Let them know in detail about what happened.
· Tell your child’s teacher. The more people that are involved and aware of the situation, the more likely it is that the bullying will stop.
· Ride the bus home with your child. Talk to the kids around them and tell them what you as a parent expect of them.
These ideas may sound extreme, but your child’s safety on the bus as well as their well-being is worth it. Bullies bully because they can get away with it. Let them know they cannot get away with it by being involved directly in the situation yourself.