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My Child Is Being Bullied at School, What Should I Do?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 24, 2017

Question

My 6-year-old son is being bullied at school by a boy in his class. The boy is preventing my beautiful boy from playing with the other boys. As a result, he is playing mostly with girls. He pinches him, pulls his hair and pushes him over. My son won’t retaliate – it’s not in his nature. He has a sound sense of what’s right and wrong and he doesn’t want to be told off by the teachers. It’s turning him moody and it’s making him feel “useless” and “not good enough”. We have spoken to the boy’s mother and she said she’d talk to him. We’re also talking to the teachers. Any advice? It is breaking my heart and my husband’s. Thank you

Counselor

Answer


Bullied

In this counseling answer:

“Your son will need to learn to stand up for himself to some extent, even if it is just to speak up for himself without being physically aggressive back. However, it is understandable why he would be reluctant to do this if he does not feel like he has the support of the teachers. Before encouraging him to stand up for himself, it is important that the teachers are on board and understand exactly what’s going on and how its impacting on your son’s life.”


As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This is a very painful scenario for any parent to be in watching their child be bullied at school. Your son sounds like a well-grounded young man that despite this bullying continues to go to school and get the best out of it that he can give the situation.

This is an excellent sign of resilience and good nature by responding to evil with that which is better as Allah tells us to. Unfortunately, this also means that he is being prevented from doing the things that he really wants to do. Furthermore, it also means that he is enduring behavior that is unacceptable and this is having a negative impact on his psychological wellbeing.

Perhaps he is doing the right thing in not responding to the bully as like he says, it prevents him from getting into trouble also, but at the same time, the bully needs to know that his behavior is not acceptable. If your son, as well as his parents and the teachers, allow this behavior to continue then he will never know that what he is doing is not ok and will continue to bully your son and perhaps others too.

In this case, your son will need to learn to stand up for himself to some extent, even if it is just to speak up for himself without being physically aggressive back. However, it is understandable why he would be reluctant to do this if he does not feel like he has the support of the teachers. Before encouraging him to stand up for himself, it is important that the teachers are on board and understand exactly what’s going on and how its impacting on your son’s life.

It is suggested that further than just informing the teachers of what is going on, you ensure that they have some kind of plan of action to tackle the bullying. This way, your son can feel comfortable that something is being done about it, that they are aware of what is going on and he can go and do all the things he really wants to without worrying about the bully in the comfort that he knows the teachers are keeping a close eye on the situation and will deal with the bullies behavior accordingly.

Further to tackling the problem within the school, you might also consider approaching his parents again to let them know that things haven’t changed. Perhaps you could even go as far as inviting them for tea at your place with their son and your son present also so that you can talk altogether. Perhaps, this is even something that could occur during school time with the teacher’s involvement also.

This way, the bully can see that you are all united against his behavior and he might feel more pressure, therefore, to quit his bad behavior for fear of consequences both at home and at school. Your son will also feel comforted knowing that everyone has his support during this difficult time for him. Involving both the boys directly in this process is more likely to have an impact on them both, rather than being something that is discussed without them present.

May Allah make it easy for you to overcome the difficulties with your son. May He reward his patience and bring him comfort and success in this life and the next.

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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