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On Bullying

Right now I’m supposed to be writing over on A Beautiful Bite. That will have to wait for a bit because I have something to say…

I’ve shared before that I have a childΒ who is bullied. I’ve also shared with you that I have no easy answers on how to deal with it. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to allow it to go on without a fight.

It’s hard to write this post because I have to be careful not to expose the child who is struggling with this issue. However, what I have to say is important and needs to be heard.

My chid has very low self esteem. As much as I’ve tried to build her up over the years, she has been torn down by the mean girls at school.

Here’s her list of violations:

She is stupid because it takes her time to read out loud and she has to sound out some words.

She is ugly.

She doesn’t fit in because she tries too hard to get the kids to like her.

The music she likes is for babies.

Her clothes aren’t “in” enough because she doesn’t wear clothes from the trendy tween stores.

The stuffed animals she takes to school are for babies.

Her hair is not pretty.

Her teeth aren’t straight.

She doesn’t run right. Walk right. Talk right.

Those are just a few of the things that the popular girls say about her.

What are the penalties for her civil infractions?

She has to struggle to find somewhere to sit at lunch.

Finding kids to play with at recess is nearly impossible.

Getting a seat on the bus? Good luck with that.

Birthday party invitations. Yeah, right.

Having one good day when she gets off the bus smiling? It doesn’t happen.

Now, to be honest, my child Β is in special ed. She struggles. Reading, writing and math do not come easy for my child. Passing grades in these courses were hard won accomplishments. And I am so incredibly proud of her.

I’m broken for her too.

Because she knows that she will never be quite enough. She knows this when she goes looking for that bus seat, that lunch chair, that one friend who will give her a push on the swing if she is lucky enough to get one on the playground.

Because there doesn’t seem to be anyone at her school that is strong enough to be her ally.

And this makes me feel a mix of angry-sad that I can’t even put into words. Rage comes close, but doesn’t really express how I’m feeling. Extreme sorrow is more accurate.

The key tormenter has “anger issues”. Well, forgive me for not giving a crap. Truly. And the other girl who is instrumental in the torture of my child is an elementary schooler going on sixteen. Too old for her age.

My daughter doesn’t have a chance. She just isn’t savvy/worldly/mean enough to cope with this.

And as pissed as I am with the mean girls, I’m equally furious with their parents because they are the reason why their girls are as out of control as they are. Period.

So, what can a child that’s bullied do? Nothing.

Other than “tattle” on the bully, which only leads to additional torture, the victim can do little else. They have to weather the storm. She comes home to me and I try to repair the damage, but frankly the damage has already been done.

Her self esteem is like a war torn flag. Full of holes and only still waving by the grace of God.

As her mother I feel helpless. I can pursue school administrative and legal channels, which I have and will continue to do so. But let me tell you, the damage is irreparable. My daughter isn’t even in the double digits yet and she feels like there’s no hope for her to have a friend.

Our society is failing our children. Every year we hear more and more about bullies and anti-bullying programs, but is it making a difference? I don’t believe so.

I truly believe that nothing will change until the parents are held responsible for their children’s behavior. The parents are the ones that are raising their kids. The ones who are supposed to be instilling values.

You can suspend, penalize, counsel the bullies until the cows come home, but it won’t make a damn bit of difference until the parents are called to the carpet for their crappy parenting.

Until then, I will stand by my child, fighting every step of the way because I will not let this child feel alone in this battle. If she is going to have one ally, then by God it will be me.


  1. Ohhh my goodness Melanie, my heart is aching for your daughter. She should never have to go through something as awful as that :(. I agree with you 110% that the parents need to be held responsible !!!
    Maybe if there were tougher penalties for parents , they would do a better job parenting and teaching their kids right from wrong.

    Your daughter is lucky to have a wonderful mother like you, sticking by her side and standing up for her . You’re girls are beautiful and they have a beautiful mother inside and out as well !!!

    You give that daugter of yours a big hug from me and tell her she’s beautiful !!!

    • Thank you. I truly appreciate that. I’m so overwhelmed I can’t even begin to figure out how to move forward. I’m at a loss….

  2. Oh Melanie, I just don’t know quite what to say except that I’m so sorry she’s going through this. I hate bullies of all kinds, young or old. There’s just no excuse for people to be so mean to each other. I was in an emotionally abuse relationship for 8 years and although its not quite the same and I was older than your little darling, I can assure you that I came out stronger on the other side. Hugs!

    • I’m sorry that you had to deal with that Suzanne. It doesn’t matter what age, it still hurts. I’m so weary of people making other people feel small so that they can feel big.

  3. This breaks my heart right along with yours, Melanie. First, I want to say that your daughters are beautiful (your sons, equally as handsome) so I don’t know what the heck the mean kids at school are even talking about. Secondly, this statement really stood out to me, “Because she knows that she will never be quite enough.” She IS already enough. I homeschool my kids for many reasons, but bullying is definitely one of them. My oldest is an Aspie kid and he has very particular ways about him that other kids (and even adults) would find “weird”. Neither of my boys learned to tie their shoes until they were 14, for example. They have recently started attending some teen events at a local teen center with public schooled kids and surprisingly, my Aspie seems to be doing really well and is liked there. My other son struggles to fit in. It’s painful to watch from the sidelines and I am very sorry your sweet kid is going through this. Being an advocate for your child is the only thing you can do. Build her up until she really truly knows what a gem she is. And shame on those parents who think it’s ok to allow their children to be bullies. They are doing a great disservice to their kids in the long run.

    • I hear you Krista, but in her mind she has lost the battle. I can’t quite convince her that it gets better. I guess because I’m not sure that it will. I know she is enough, but it’s very hard to get her to see that when everyone else (peers) are saying otherwise.

      What an experience you’ve had with your sons. I can so relate because one of my girls fits in just fine. It’s hard to feel good for her while the other suffers. I’m sure you can relate.

      Where’s that damn easy button when we need it????

  4. My heart is aching Melanie. This should not happen and it is criminal that parents of bullies just don’t care, they like their ‘strong’ child and don’t care about those that they pick on. It is a battle that you must fight every day, exhausting as it is, you can’t quit. Fight the good fight and keep the faith. We (readers, parents) are with you and pray to give you and your daughter strength. Such a depressing episode to come after the fantastic NYC weekend. Maybe that is what set off the bully; a child who is jealous of the wonderful weekend your daughter just experienced. Maybe?

    • Sometimes I think it is jealousy. And for awhile I told my daughter to be quiet about her special opportunities because my kids do get to experience some things that other kids don’t. Now, I’m starting to not give a crap if the kids are jealous. I know that sounds horrible, but if the only good thing in my daughter’s life is that she has special activities, then thank God for that. At least she has bright spots here and there outside of school. Does that make sense?

  5. So sorry your daughter has to deal with this at such a young age. Kids can be so horrible and its just not fair. She is lucky to have a great mom that is willing to stand by her and fight for her. I hope things get better for her. It just makes me so sad.

    • Thank you Tia. I really appreciate it. This was definitely a venting post. I just hope it gives other parents who are dealing with this issue solace to know that they aren’t alone.

  6. Children can be so very mean and they do portray and reflect the attitudes and prejudices of their parents. I am guessing the girl or girls tormenting your daughter have very low self esteem and use these put downs and teasing as mechanisms to fell good about themselves. The bullies are the ones who are flawed human being and will be until they can reconcile their own low self esteem issues and feel good about themselves without hurting or belittling someone else. The bullies are the inferior personalities here but you have the tough battle of reassuring your child to keep fighting for truth and righteousness. If only for themselves it will be worth it.

    • I agree with you that these kids have their issues. But honestly, that’s not my problem. As callous as that sounds, it’s true. I just want my daughter to go to school and have an unencumbered chance to learn. To learn in an environment that allows her to grow and not become twisted by others expectations as to what/who she should be. I can only imagine how she would’ve been if she had been left alone these past few years. Sadly, I will never know.

      • I feel terrible for what you guys are going through. I feel very strongly about situations of injustice… passionately in fact.

        The one thing is, in this case, it kind of is your problem. It is your problem because, it is affecting your child. It is also my problem because, the idea that we are all separate and that our actions occur independently of one another is an illusion. What is happening to your daughter is disgusting and unacceptable. It is terrifying to me, as a daughter of a 2 year old girl. I am TERRIFIED in so many ways. But it DOES matter “why” children do what they do. To say that you don’t give “a crap” about a child having anger issues, makes it sound as if you don’t really care about solving the problem. I understand that comes from a place of protectiveness, which you need to be for your girl – but it does matter. We DO need to give a crap about “the anger problem” because that is the only way to fix the heinous and horrible things that children are doing today. And those other children are suffering and putting their suffering onto other children, or are not being taught appropriate ways to be in the world. Which is not okay in any way. You don’t have to feel sorry for that child – though teaching empathy is an extremely important value, and as you point out, it is our job as parents to teach those values – but, I do not blame you for not feeling empathy for her, because I’d probably want to slap her silly if I were you. That child is being unkind to yours and you do not have to feel for her. But I do think you need to give a crap about the why.

        • The reason I say I don’t give a crap that she has anger issues is because it is used as an excuse to continue with the abuse of my child. After several years of dealing with this bully, I no longer care about her anger issues or the why of her situation. Let her parents deal with that. I know that sounds harsh, but you have to understand that after all of this time I’ve seen no change. So, the only thing I can do is worry about my child. That is my focus.

  7. I feel for you and your daughter, from what I have seen and read on your blog, she is definitely living in a loving and supportive home and has a Mom who loves her so very much! It’s a heartbreaking situation, hoping for better days ahead….

    • Thank you Jill. I’m not perfect, but I try to raise my kids as best I can to be good people. Good manners, good grades and all that stuff is important, but my main goal is to raise kids who are empathetic.

  8. You can’t change the bullies behavior, you can only repair the damage and continue to build her up as best you can. Do you know the girls and/or the parents? Can you confront them somehow? I don’t know how you can reasonably or sanely but I’m asking. Can you shame them somehow into taking action against their own child? I don’t think so, they will protect their child like they were Ted Bundy. Maybe that’s how you can shame them, claim that they are raising the next mass murderer and tolerating unacceptable behavior and allowing the virus to grow. Prisons are full of bullies who never learned to live with other human beings and were allowed to run a muck in society.

    • I don’t think I should contact the parents directly. I’ll let the school handle that. I’m not thinking I’d get anywhere with the parents if I called them up. I’ve only met the families in passing, but due to the tension between the girls over the years, we don’t chat. I think they know I’m less than impressed with their kids.

  9. I can say that being on the other side of this coin is no different, for some parents like me, that it is for you! I am a parent of a (former) bully! For a VERY long time you could have told me over & over that she was a bully & I would have never believed it! Mainly because she didn’t act like that at home & we DO NOT act like that, as her parents, either! It is something that is not tolerated! Even when she was with her friends at our house they never put off the vibe that they were like this at all!!! To say we were oblivious is an understatement! It wasn’t until I saw it with my own eyes (without her knowing) that I truly believed it! Just writing about it here makes me sick to my stomach! She was being exactly the way she had been taught not too & so were her friends! With some serious consequences, she turned it around & is no longer that way! With all this said, maybe their parents truly don’t know/believe their girls act that way. I am certainly not condoning it at all but maybe they really don’t know! It is amazing how some girls act when they are away from their parents!

    I am truly sorry for what you & your daughter are going through. I cannot even imagine the hurt she has. Just like I cannot imagine the hurt my daughter caused certain girls! My prayer is that the girls that bully your daughter will be “caught” by their parents so maybe your daughter can get some relief & live a normal school life!!! Many prayers for you & your daughter!

    • Heather- Thank you for being so brave as to share your experience. Your comment has really moved me. In this situation, the parents are aware. This isn’t the first time it has happened. Why the administration allowed these two girls to be in my daughter’s class is beyond my comprehension.

      It gives me great hope to hear how your daughter has changed. I applaud your efforts to help your daughter change her behavior. If more parents were as mature as yourself, things would be so very different.

      Thank you for telling your story from the other side of the fence. It helps.

    • I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter who I am currently fighting “mean girl syndrome” in. I can’t stand the things that I find coming out of her mouth sometimes and when I walked in and found her in the Pre K class with a few other K kids telling the little ones they couldn’t come in their “5 and up club” I joined the little ones and we formed the “pretty pink princess” club with them since none of the 5 and ups were wearing pink that day! She falls right into that “mob mentality” and it makes me nuts. I can tell you that mine is currently without tv for 2 weeks because of her attitude, but when the other influences are there 8 hours each day, it is incredibly difficult to undo the damage. I wish the mothers on both sides of this dilemma strength and patience. I would like to know when this became a problem with them starting so young, I remember this starting in 4th grade (but that was the 70s).

      • I have 4 children, a boy & three girls. My youngest girl is HARD. She was the leader of the mean girls in preschool. “Both E & K wanted to be my best friend today, and I told E she could be today, and K could be tomorrow. M wanted to be my best friend too, but we only have 2 more days of school this week so I told her we couldn’t be friends.” I was supposed to be pleased that she had “shared”. It truly is in her genetic makeup to be the queen bee. I’m not having it, and have fought to weed this out for I don’t know how long. In fact, we homeschool in part b/c I was afraid of what she would become if I let her go to a school environment where I couldn’t keep my thumb on it.

        We have a loving, Christian home. We talk a LOT about kindness and thinking of others. We are not so strict as to cause rebellion, but I do keep the reins fairly taut. I feel like I model appropriate behavior. The only possible source I have been able to think of – this child has triplet siblings who are 17 months older and have some minor developmental delays, and she has always ruled the roost. From the time that child could sit up, she had them fetching toys for her and would grant a smile to the one who offered the best toy. I try to keep my thumb on this tendency, and encourage the others not to let her run over them, but she does at every turn.

        It’s so, so hard to have a child who you truly don’t know what in the world to do with. When she is sweet, she is the sweetest kid in the world. To adults, she is the sweetest kid in the world. To most kids, she is the sweetest kid. But then to those she feels are weaker, she will take advantage and dole out her personal favor in a heartbeat, and if you don’t get favor, you aren’t “in”. I truly am at my wits end about it. It breaks my heart. I wish I knew what to do, other than continue to try and teach her and steer her in the right direction.

        • Megan-

          Ugh. I’m sorry. That’s really hard. You are doing the right thing by staying consistent. That and prayer are the only things that work. My heart goes out to you. I wish you much strength in the coming year.

  10. I am so sorry for you and for your daughter and for anyone who has to go through this! I was bullied myself in elementary school, and what really helped me was to get out from the ‘territory’ of the bullies. My mother took me to church in a nearby town, and there I was able to make some friends without the stigma of being the weird kid. Also, my cousins lived nearby, and were pretty cool in comparison. I went with them to a summer camp and was semi-cool by association, which did wonders for my own self-esteem. My mom, bless her, nurtured any friendships I managed to make in those outside activities, and I think that made it much much better. I wish I was a grade-schooler with your daughter now – I would give those bullies the what-for! Sheesh, can’t someone just say, “hey, not cool!”

    • Rachel- Your mom is a good woman. I’ve tried numerous things to help, but she just hasn’t clicked with anyone yet. Well, that’s not true. She made a little friend that lives in North Carolina, but that doesn’t help when we live in Massachusetts, lol. She does have a nice school counselor that she can talk to when she’s upset, but it’s not stopping the bullying.

      What I wouldn’t do to shrink down to her age and go to school with her. I need a time machine or a shrinkerator.

  11. Wow, now this is the true question. Why do ‘normal’ kids who behave at home become bullies in the school social environment? Mob mentality where the masses pick on the outcast or minority? Low self esteem of their own where they literally pick on others to feel good about themselves? Why do human beings torment other human beings? The true answer lies with answering the question, Why?

    • For many girls, and boys for that matter, they do it because they think it make them look cool!!! Plain & simple! They want to fit into the “crowd”! And since they are only kids they can’t comprehend how their horrific treatment of another affects that person!

    • I agree. The kids want to look cool. At any cost.

  12. I’m sure you’ve looked into this, but just in case…in my county, if a child is in an unsafe situation (definition defined on a case by case basis) at a local public school and the school system does not offer a safer situation (transfer to another school with busing) they are required to pay to send a kid to private school. Obviously, private school is not always the answer but sometimes a new environment is a good “restart” – I am sure the biggest thing for you guys is to not split up the girls but its worth a shot. We had to pull my cousins son out of a school for bullying (teacher encouraged it – horrible is an understatement – he is hearing impaired) and homeschooling was the only viable option in that county. I’m praying for your sweet little one who is PERFECT in her own way. Kudos to you for doing everything you can to help her. She deserves the best and gets it!

    • Sarah- I’m not sure what the policies are for this, but I’m going to find out tomorrow. My daughter’s school has always been highly responsive, but there just isn’t any lasting change with these kids. It’s a heart issue that no school can address.

      If I thought I could handle homeschooling, I would. I’m just not the homeschooling type. I tried for a few months when my boys were younger. They were very happy to go back to school. πŸ™‚

      I often times hear heart warming stories about how kids come along the side of bullied kids and defend them. I so wish that would happen for my child. She sure could use an ally.

      • First: I am so sorry. My son has difficulties in speech and it used to break my heart to see one boy in preschool being mean to him, probably b/c he wasn’t so great at communicating to the boys he hung around with in class.

        What about short-term homeschooling until the school comes up with a better solution (e.g., puts your daughter in a new class for the following year without these girls)? I’m not sure what grade you are talking about but unless she’s in high school, there is very little learning curve and she should still be eligible to attend school for her special services (heck, my son goes for speech and used to go to OT too (he has an IEP) and he’s never spent a day in a public school classroom) (he’s 8). If she’s in less than, say, fifth grade, it doesn’t take long to do “school” stuff and then she’d be free to play and heal on her own.

        I just think if she is really, really unhappy—-and it sounds like you are (rightfully) sick over this—bringing her home, even for a few months to get her out of a toxic situation could be the right move for you. My online friend Audrey did it with her daughter last year and it made a huge difference in their lives and gave them time to come up with options without dealing with the emotion of the day-t0-day hell.

        (And I’m not saying groups of homeschooling kids are angels—and there are definitely a few kids in our coop that aren’t really part of a “group”—but I think they are more open to differences between each other and aren’t so caught up in being “cool”. I don’t see nearly the amount of meanness in our circles than I hear about from other parents—probably b/c you have a whole bunch of alpha mamas nearby!)

        • Today I talked to the principal and he is going to speak to all of the parties involved including the teachers. I’ll wait to see what he comes back with before I make any major decisions. My daughter is switching to a different school next year and I am hoping these kids stay at the school they are at. If not, the school that my daughter is moving onto is very on top of social issues. But to be fair, the elementary school she’s at has a zero tolerance for bullying policy as well and that hasn’t stopped the problems. We’ll see what happens when the powers that be come back to talk to me. Thank you so much for your thoughtful advice. I appreciate it.

  13. Wow Mel…OMG. I can’t say I can figure it out because I know I don’t have answers. If the children of that age are acting the way they do, all I can say is the parents are acting in much the same way…and that unfortunately I’ve seen. All I can say right now (probably because I’m not shocked, but sad) is that prayers are sent your daughter’s way…may she realize that she is a gift to the world.

    And after reading all of the other comments, I don’t know what else could be said. My heart hurts, not only from reading this, but for every child who has to suffer in this way. I have seen it firsthand and although not my child, it was my sister. And I would fight until my last breath for anyone that would endure such torture from others, regardless of age. For just as disease does not discrimates against age, sex, religion, gender, nor does the antidote to fight off the same.

    God is watching…if it’s of some comfort.

    Love you and your family Mel.

    • Thank you Nancy. Just the fact that my daughter is my daughter is God watching over her. I’ll explain that statement in greater detail some day.

      So, yes. I agree with you. God is watching. Thank you so much for encouraging me. I needed it tonight.

  14. So sorry your daughter is going through this! My daughter & niece, both in a rural elementary school, have been victims of bullies. I totally agree with you that regardless of what the schools teach our kids it all goes back to the parents. Last year after one incident my niece had, the β€œmean girls” were actually suspended for two days. I walked into a local convenience store and heard the father bragging that his daughter was suspended! Like you said once the child arrives home the damage is already done. Building that esteem back up in them is sooo hard & takes a while too. This week is Anti-Bullying Week at our school.

    • Oh Cindy, that is horrible. I wish I could say that I’m surprised. I’m not. And all of these anti-bullying programs, I wonder if there are any studies on their effectiveness or if they are a waste of tax payer dollars. I bet the latter.

  15. Dear Melanie,
    I can only begin to imagine what you and your husband are going through.
    I have an inkling of what it’s like for your daughter.
    As a child I was bullied – but not as relentlessly as what you are describing. Two things helped me. One was a fine teacher who was incredibly empowering of me. The second was that I became a protector of other kids who were being bullied.
    I know that Massachusetts has a program through EDC called “Aggressors, Victims, Bystanders” which is an anti-bullying strategy for grades six and up. I don’t know if they have a version which is appropriate for younger kids.
    Keep being the fierce advocate and loving Mom you are. It really makes an enormous difference.

    • Lee- I’m sorry that you had to go through that, but also happy that you became something akin to an advocate. I pray my daughter learns something positive from this. I will look into that program and see if they have anything for younger students. Thank you so much for being here for me. It’s been rough going tonight.

  16. I don’t agree with the ‘look cool’ comment above. The vast majority of kids don’t bully as a routine or normal part of their day or school life. Most kids are just trying to find their own way. I truly think the ones who pick on others have low self esteem and don’t feel good about themselves unless they artificially feel good by putting others down. The only way they feel good is to hurt and belittle others to try and feel part of the ‘crowd’ that doesn’t accept them anyway.

    • I hear your point. I think it’s a combination of the two. Kids want to fit in because they have low self esteem and that can lead to bullying. Or it can make them look desperate which can then make them a victim to bullying. I can see it go either way. Regardless, it sucks.

  17. Hi,
    My daughter in seventh grade was bullied. It was a horrible time. She had about seventy yes seventy students that ganged up and wrote nasty stuff about her on facebook. The made a facebook page about her. It broke my heart. I was a single mom who had purchased my first home in a lovely area. I never thought I would beable to have a house built and it was a dream for me to move there. I was so excited to be in that area and raise my children. It was so bad that I actually had to pull her out of school. She temp. moved in with my parents and started back at her orig. school that she was at for years until I could get things situated and find an apartment in the same area. Since then she has battled with I feel every issue under the sun. I saw this tear her apart. She was so depressed and this was not the child that I knew. I can honestly say up until this past year things have settled down and she has started doing good in school and everything is looking up. With the help of so many (my parents, school counslers, therapist) I don’t know what I would have done. It was really hard for me to deal with as a parent. I would get angry , frustrated, so tired didn’t think I could manage at times. At times to upset with the young girl ( our neighbor four houses down) that started all of this. Then I have to think well she was just a child. I never went back to that house and just got rid of it this Oct. I think sometimes wow that young girl sure did change the path of my life. I have to say when I looked at that house empty a few weeks ago before I locked the door for the last time I thought wow, I can’t believe how certian things will completly change the course of your life. I have to pass by her house to leave the area and I thought wow she still gets to live in her house. I have to not be angry now becuase she was young and a few years have passed. Oh and by the way the parents were contacted by the school and made aware of this. That same evening the father came over to my house and was pounding on the door so hard I wouldn’t even open it. I got on the phone to a friend and was like OMG I can’t believe the father was acting like this. The nerve, I thought. This was your dang kid that started this. Uggh it made me so angry. Hang in there it is hard very hard. Keep doing your mommy and daughter days and spending the time tog. I have to also tell you I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy it. I have posted a comment maybe a time of two. It is obv. that your children are your world and you look like your a great mom! How lucky they are to have you!

    • That is a horrible story. I’m so sorry that was your reality. I can’t even imagine how hard that must’ve been for you. You’re right, our paths are dictated by our kids and what we think is going to be our reality is sometimes so far off the mark. Sometimes I feel like I can’t catch my breath in all of this. If I had known before having kids how painful this would be, I might have reconsidered. It’s a lot to watch someone you love be tormented.

  18. Oh I wish I had a child to be a friend to yours!

    What about a big brother big sister or mentorship program for her to have some else (not in the family) to look up to and chat with outside of school?

    • Jessica- Our calendar is so full that it can’t tolerate one more addition. That said, my daughter does have an adult counselor/advocate at the school that she adores and can talk to. It certainly helps. I too adore this woman and am thankful for her influence in my daughter’s life. Unfortunately, as amazing as this woman is, she can’t influence the behavior of the other child. I wish she could.

  19. My heart breaks for her πŸ™ I was bullied my entire school life for being overweight and very shy. I choose not to let my parents ever in on how bad it was because I was too embarrassed. As well as worried it would get worse if they were involved. Now being an adult I wish I would have let them in and had someone on my side willing to talk and help me out. It’s very sad nowadays how many parents aren’t willing to get involved and help their child stop being a bully. So many are in denial and think their kids are perfect. I hope that she gets all the help you can give her and that the kids parents will step up and stop this nonsense.

    • I’m so sorry that you suffered Jennifer. I too was bullied. But I was a feisty pain in the ass and defended myself. My daughter does not have a fighting bone in her body. I wish she did. If she could just once stand up to this kid, maybe the bully would back down. But that is just not the way my kid is wired.

  20. Cassie Sue says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. I am wondering if there are things she really enjoys. Public speaking? Writing? Arts? Music? Maybe if you get her involved in an activity that she loves and can be good at, then she will find friends with similar interests as well as build up her self esteem. I ask because my stepbrother is blind and has been since birth, and even though he rarely lacked self esteem, he was picked on for a while for being “different” and it really started to bother him. Well he found out he’s a great public speaker and gives inspirational talks to his community. Once he got involved with that he made new friends, and stopped getting picked on. I’m not sure if it was from his confidence from public speaking, or just having some friends on his side, but I do know it helped a lot.

    Or, if that doesn’t work, maybe your followers could all tell her how amazing she is. Because she is amazing! And then you could take all of the comments and make a book for her so when she has a bad day she knows that there are tons of people in the internet that think she is one cool chick. πŸ™‚

    I know school is hard (as a girl who was almost 6ft tall by 7th grade, I was picked on) and I hope she really can see it gets better (because it totally does!).

    • That is an amazing story about your brother. We each have our strengths. My daughter hasn’t found her gifting yet, but she loves to be where the action is. I’d like to get her into something, but I’m not quite sure what that something is yet. She doesn’t have a clear passion. I am planning on reading some of these comments to her over the holiday break. I think she will take comfort in them. Thank you!

  21. Jess McCarthy says:

    This blows my mind! I ‘ll never understand why there are people like that- it DOESN”T matter that they have anger issues. Is this the same daughter whose reflection in the mirror (in the previous post) was so beautiful? She is right in feeling that she will never be good enough in their eyes- their view is so messed up! But, that doesn’t help her every day dealing with this. Did you say that they are in her class this year; is there another class she could be in? Would she like that? If she would, try to see if she can get it changed. Throw a rip-roaring fit if you have to in the principal’s office! I’ll go with you if you want- Pennsylvania’s not that far. πŸ™‚ Seriously, I wish I could offer a solution that would help ease her pain. I can’t even imagine how frustrated you must be! I’ll keep thinking on it (my heart is heavy for her!). Maybe someone will visit your blog with a helpful suggestion. Just a little side note, I am really impressed with the progress you mentioned that she made in school. To keep growing in knowledge , in such adverse cicumstances, is AMAZING!!!!

    • Jess- She really likes her teacher and apparently this bully is only in the classroom for part of the day. It’s recess and lunch that’s apparently the big issue. The times when adult supervision is at a minimum. And she has made great strides. I haven’t shared much of my daughter’s birth story, but I’ll suffice it to say that she is very lucky to be alive. She was in critical condition for awhile after her birth. Just to be where she is today is such a blessing. If only these kids knew what she had to endure. She’s been through enough. Sigh.

      • Jess McCarthy says:

        Wow, I’m sorry. My youngest was marked failure to thrive at 3 weeks old. When you fight for their life like that, your heart just can’t bear for anything else to happen to them. I figured you had already thought of my suggestion and others mentioned here. I just wish so bad for you that we could find a solution for your sweet baby. Keep fighting and we’ll keep praying!

  22. too often we have to survive childhood, rather than relish it. the lunchroom note got to me….and the whole year i spent seated alone…. there are more than a few scars and i felt a tug at the memory when you mentioned her praying for just one friend (i’d been there….had a few till they “left” for more popular quarters)

    for her — you will survive. it DOES get better. i found HS better than JHS and college a whole other world (esp if it is one equipped to give her a learning plan).

    for you — the same. and the confidence that while you cannot make it all go away, you most definitely make home a bright spot and help her know, deep down and even if she doesn’t always truly know she knows it, that she is valuable, is loveable, and is loved. i’d brainstorm ideas, but i know you’ve heard it all before. you can’t replace the missing friend, but you can help so very very much. just hug her lots and love her lots of love. and assure her the day will come (even if it is a long wait….seriously, college was a revelation after feeling like an outsider most of my childhood/teens). keep encouraging her to try but comfort her if it fails and when she’s just discouraged and needs to heal before trying to put herself out there again (from one whose mom made me feel like not having weekend plans was my shortcoming and that i caused her pain by it….the joy on your girls face when they are with you makes it 100% clear that is NOT the case in your home and that it IS her safe space, one she most definitely needs)

    • Oh, your comment broke my heart. I don’t want to ever make her feel that her home isn’t her safe haven. We are all she’s got at this point. Thank God that she has three siblings and a very busy home life that’s filled with activities. I think that’s what gives her respite. Her home life is her bright spot. Something to look forward to when things are miserable at school. I can’t imagine a parent not providing that for their child. I’m sorry your mom did not provide that for you. πŸ™

      • in all honesty, i don’t think it was intentional. she didn’t know what to DO with a kid who had no friends. a psychologist said to try punishing me by making me go out….really the dumbest advice ever (and luckily not followed) since it makes socializing a punishment and it is hard to fulfill the punishment when you just dont have the tools (i.e. the people to go out with).

        you are giving her support and warmth and love. which will equip her to build a wonderful friendship when it presents. and it WILL present….i wish we could magic wand it and have it happen tomorrow, but it WILL happen. and she’ll rock at it b/c she knows how to play and have fun and how to care

  23. I am so sorry this is happening to your girl. I really don’t know what to say except it does get better. I was bullied, I was a fat kid. One boy down the street from me was cruel and encouraged others to do the same.
    I eventually got over it and moved on. Life does go on, but a young child doesn’t understand.
    What is a mama to do? My heart aches for your whole family.
    My son is homeschooled and is still feeling some of this because he’s different.
    This year though he’s finding that not everyone is the same and is finding friends in other “different” boys. He’s having a blast. There are still no birthday party invites. Not many playdates. But he’s moving in the right direction.
    Just one unsolicited suggestion… have you looked into 4H for your girls? This is our first year participating and I am quite impressed.
    Hugs to you!

    • Thank you Polly for your words of encouragement. I’m glad things are getting better for your son. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place for kids like ours to meet other kids in the same situation? Why isn’t there something like that? My daughter loves animals, so the 4H idea is a good one. Something to consider!

      • Joining 4h has definitely been an eye opener. It’s not just animals, or at least in our area. For instance my son is participating in dog training/showing, shooting sports, and speaking with confidence. There is also photography, science, and cooking/baking projects.
        The woman that oversees our program says their goal is to enrich kids’ lives, give them self confidence and organizational skills along with the skills they learn in their projects.
        As I said, so far I’m impressed with 4H.
        Happy thanksgiving to the Melanie fam!

  24. Good morning Melanie. You and your daughter have received quite the out pouring of love and support from us readers. Too many stories of similar tales of bullying above to think this is a new problem. Obviously there are no easy answers or we would have implemented them already. I pray for you and your daughter and hope it does all work out and she continues to blossom into a fabulous young lady full of confidence, compassion that achieves success and happiness!

  25. Please give her an extra hug for me. There is nothing worse than your own child being hurt by others. It sounds like the kids have found an easy target and there is not a whole lot that can be done. Parents, educators, admins can tell them to stop but sometimes it is just lip service.
    I think getting her in counseling might be a good idea there are some wonderful child services in this area. I can email you a name if you want. My son sees her and we just love her – lots of therapy through play and she involves the family.
    Have you considered changing schools? I know it is a drastic step but I feel that there comes a point where you have to do what is best for your child and not worry about the others. There is great Charter School in Plymouth. I understand the homeschool thing – I would love to be the kind of mom that could do it but sadly I am not.
    I am sure that you have thought of all of these but I am just throwing them out there,
    I sincerely hope things work out for you and her.

    • Yes, she does see a wonderful counselor that we both adore. She is amazing. Unfortunately, this lovely woman cannot change the bully’s behavior. It would be wonderful if she could. And yes, we are switching schools next year. We just need to get through this one. And to be fair, the administration listens to my concerns. It’s not like they are blowing me off. I just think that they don’t know what to do with the other child. It’s a problem that is not easily solved.

  26. Wow…that’s really tough. I would home school (which I am planning to do anyways). I couldn’t bare the thought of my child going through that day in and day out.

    • I wish I was more like you. I’ve tried homeschooling. It didn’t go well, lol. Not to mention, my daughter really likes her teacher this year. I’d hate to take her out of that classroom. Especially with all of the progress she’s made. Also, the bully isn’t in her class for the full day. Just part of it. It’s lunch and recess that’s the issue.

  27. Patricia N. says:

    Dear Melanie,
    I cried reading your post. I taught in the public schools in Mass. for 35 years and I saw this every day. Is your child in a conventional sped class, or is she mainstreamed? There is a national program for kids in the special needs classes that has solved many of these programs and it should be used for those sped kids who are streamlined, too. Each child has a Best Buddy who accompanies the child to lunch, on the playground, on field trips, etc. The kids in the school in which I taught used to fight tooth and nail to become a part of this program, and sped kids made lifetime friends because of it. We also had peer leaders who also helped in this way.
    No child should have to suffer the way your little girl is suffering. See if your school has a peer leader program where there are kids who are willing to befriend these beautiful, lonely children. These mean girls should be taught by their parents that all people are beautiful and deserve a chance to have friends. Like I used to tell my students, “People are people!!! If we were all the same, what a boring world it would be.” Part of the problem is her teachers!! They should be keeping an eye on this problem and doing something about it!!
    If you would like to talk to me about how some of these problems have been solved in my school, I would be more than happy to speak with you. I am appalled that this is still going on. We need to stop the hate and the bullying.

    • Patricia- Yes, she’s mainstreamed. She is just at the edge of her peer group and she is doing ok academically. It’s the social that’s the biggest issue. Like, if a kid sarcastically says “I like your outfit” and the kid really means she hates is, my daughter believes her and thinks the kid wants to be her friend. She doesn’t pick up on social cues. She is just so trusting. I wish there was some kind of peer modeling program. My daughter belongs to a counseling program where she can go with problems and for that I’m thankful, but as I mentioned in other comments, this doesn’t change the bully’s behavior. Thank you so much for your support. It means the world to me that you care.

  28. Your post reminded me of when I was picked on during grade school. : ( I was picked on because I could speak two languages and my mom was from Spain. I dressed differently, look different and sounded different. Pretty cool in my eyes but not in my close minded small town. My parents helped me find the friends that were important and spoke to the school. Today I have a college degree when no one at my school thought I would and I am co owner to a 600 acre farm. Not bad for a pair (my husband also bullied) of bullied small town kids. All those old bullies, no bodies. They work in the poultry plant were I send my turkeys to be processed. Keep being your daughter’s best advocate and friend. She will remember!!!

    One day when the mean girls have lived out their glory days in school (and are washed up), your daughter will be a shining star. Stronger not because of them but despite of them.

    Lots of hugs going your way!!!

    • Martha- That is a great success story! You made me laugh!! I’m so happy that you prospered. I bet Thanksgiving is pretty yummy at your house. πŸ™‚

      And I agree with your thoughts on mean girls. They will flash for awhile and burn out. I saw that at my 20th reunion. A girl that was a cheerleader and thin as a rail when younger would tease me because I was chubby. At my 20th reunion she was quite large while I was rocking a size 8 Victoria’s Secret mini dress. Best payback ever! πŸ˜‰

  29. I am so sorry for you and your daughter that people feel as if they need to do that to a young child. Kids can be SO mean, and I am thankful that my son is the kind of kid that will sit with a kid when he is by himself just so he doesn’t have to be alone. All of your kids are wonderful ( just by going on what you say about them, they seem so great) and I wish them the best!

    • Brianna- Thank you for saying that my kids are wonderful. To be honest, they are normal kids. They are nasty to each other at times. They fight. They get grumpy. They are kids. That said, there are consequences for their actions. My kids have gotten int trouble at school before like every kid does. And I deal with it as I should since I’m their mom. There are always consequences for bad choices. My kids aren’t prefect. I don’t claim that they are. I just wish all parents would look at their kids and understand that part of being a kid is screwing up and learning what they did wrong. If we ignore that, then we are in big trouble as a society.

  30. I always love your posts but this is so heart breaking. My daughter has never had to deal with this. She was one of the “popular” kids with a great group of friends (They’re all kind of goofy). She wasn’t a bully to my knowledge. Her friends were/are always at my house and I know the parents. I can’t imagine what you and your daughter are going through. My thoughts are with you and your family having to deal with this.

    • Seana- I’m so thankful that you don’t know what this is like. I wish no parents/children knew what this was like.

  31. Wow! Your post brought back memories of when I was picked on in school. I wore braces and glasses! I was VERY smart (I’m a Chemist now :)). And, I did not get the expensive school clothes either! I HATED elementary, junior high and high school because of that. Eventually, I realized that I am ten times better than those bullies because I had a very bright future.

    You hit it right on the nail when you said it is the parents fault. Kids are a reflection of their parents.

    I feel awful that this is still going on today! Will kids ever learn? I will keep your daughter in my prayers. I know that God has something special for her future!

    • Thank you Kellee. Wow, a chemist! That is quite the accomplishment. I’m flattered that you read my blog. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for praying for my daughter. I’m a firm believer in intercessory prayer. I’ve seen it work first hand.

  32. Oh this makes me so sad for you and your daughter! I HATED dealing with bullies and their parents when I was a teacher. Now as a parent, I try to teach my children how to stand up for a kid that is bullied.
    When I was teaching, we had an in-service on bullying. I would highly recommend this book to you and even the staff at your child’s school. It helped me understand a lot about bullying! “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander”


  33. I’m so sorry, Melanie. πŸ™
    It’s so hard to stand by and feel helpless….but know that you are not alone in this fight. Praying for strength and grace during this trying time.
    I, too, agree that parents need to be held responsible for their children..in all areas. It’s not enough to think you are a parent just because you keep a roof over their head. You have to love them and instruct them.
    I think you are a wonderful mother, who does everything she can for her children. You are an example to others!

    • Thank you Sonya. To be sure I have my moments. Just ask the principal about our chat this morning, lol. I’m sure he was wishing he had brought a flask to work. (totally kidding) It’s tough being a mom. Watching our children suffer is so contrary to how we are wired. I’m ok with her having some adversity in her life as it does build character, but this is just unacceptable. There are limits.

  34. I am so saddened to read this, but bullying is such a common thing in our society. I’ve read your blog for a long time now and anyone who does so knows how much you love your children and try to teach them the proper way to act in the world.

    It’s the people who aren’t happy with themselves and angry at the world who pick on your young daughter. Continue to do what you’re doing, they seem to be such beautiful and kind little ladies.

    I wish you could tell her when she gets older there will be no bullies, but there are always bullies. I work in an office where there are plenty of them always ready to try to cut you to the bone or spread false tales.

    We all just have to hang on there. My best wishes to you all.

    • Felicia- Yup, you’re right. The bullies will always be there. My prayer for her is just one or two good friends in this life. That’s all we really need. I’m a communicator, which sort of goes without saying. So, for me I make friends very easily. BUT, I’m very very particular about my friends because I believe that friendship is a long term investment. One to feed and nurture. I want her to make just one good connection like that because it will sustain her. I just wish she was more like me when it comes to relating with others. You’d think she’d take after her mama, right? Not so much. Oy.

  35. Don’t let it go with the school, Mel…everywhere we look right now there are “anti-bullying campaigns,” yadda, yadda, yadda…in school and out of it. Make them own up to their responsibilities…go over their heads if you have to. I agree with you though, until the parents are forced to take responsibility, it probably won’t end. The kid with anger issues needs to be in counseling…it makes me want to vomit when students/parents use challenges as excuses for unacceptable behavior. Serial killers generally have issues too…does that make their actions ok? Of course not. We’re here for you…you may not feel like you’re making any headway with your daughter’s self-esteem, but I guarantee you, just the deep knowledge that you are there for her and believe in her unconditionally means a lot to her. Keep reminding her. I’m saying a little prayer for you and your daughter…hang in there.

    • Patti- Preach it. You and I are very like minded. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We enable people when we label them with issues. It’s just an excuse that allows them to behave poorly. We all need to be accountable for our actions. My kids too. They are far from perfect and screw up. The difference is that I correct them. I wish all parents looked at discipline as a learning opportunity. Thank you for the prayers. They help.

  36. this is the perfect example of why my daughter tries to be nice to everyone. she has been bullied a bit before last year by a new kid in her class (thinking he was scared and that’s how he dealt with it). because of this, she makes every effort to be friends with everyone and play with all of the kids in the class, especially those who are teased. this just breaks my heart that your daughter is going through this and she seems like such a sweet girl. really wish that we were near y’all. your daughter would for sure have a friend

  37. Oh the poor thing! I read this last night, while on vacation in our hotel room. I was checking on my kids, as they had to share beds (oh the horror!) and no one wanted to sleep with their younger brother. It made me so upset, ecspecially after reading this! They got the lecture of a lifetime, about treating others kindly, following the golden rule and never leaving anyone out. They probably had no idea what had gotten in to me, but that is ok! One of my sons (I have 4) has been bullied for the past two years. We have talked to teachers, the principal, etc. The child gets in trouble for a day or so, and then it starts all over again. Any time, my son wears a shirt that he wore last year, he gets teased that “he must be so poor his parents can’t buy him new clothes”, seriously?! I was talking to a friend about it and told her who the child was. She asked if I knew who the Mom was, and I replied no. I then learned exactly where the boy learned it from. His Mom is apparently just the same. The cycle has to stop! Give your daughter a huge hug for me and I hope and pray things will get better for her!

    • I’m sorry that you’ve been struggling with this too Marie. Kids can be so cruel. And the apple does not fall far from the tree as they say. πŸ™

  38. I feel so bad for your daughter. My son is going through the same thing right now. He is in and out of school due to health problems. That can not be cured. He has kidney disease and the kids pick on him even the teachers. Very sad state that we live in that we can not send out children to school and know they are safe. Just waiting for that call from the school. My son cries when he has to go to school. So sorry.

    • Donna- How horrible!! Have you reported the teachers? That is pathetic. Isn’t it illegal? Your poor son. He has enough going on. He doesn’t need that too. I will pray for him. I’m so sorry.

  39. Heart…breaking… UGH… I think it’s girls… “tween” girls… they are awful in our area… My heart breaks for my 10 year old every single day and I seriously don’t know what to do either… I try to just remember as a mom, my job is to “fill her selfesteem so full that nothing can penetrate it forever”!! I am sorry you are dealing with this too and your writing is so poignant!!!

    • Look at all of the people commenting on this post with the exact same problem. And I’m just one blog. Can you imagine how many other people are affected by this. Kind of scary if you think about it. It’s an epidemic.

  40. You know this is an issue dear to my heart and it kills me to hear that she is struggling. She is such a sweet, beautiful, innocent little soul. I’ve focused so much over the years on mean high school girls and vow that any that pass through me will not be the mean girl. But I fear it needs to be happening at such a younger age now. High school is almost too late. And, yes. It does start with parenting. But that’s not something changeable. I do believe that parents and coaches and other adults who come into contact with kids should go through training in order to be proper role models. Girls at this age are trying on different behaviors and they need to be rewarded for kindness and grace. Instead of anti-bullying, we need to focus on self esteem building and compassion.
    (stepping off my soap box)
    Love you guys. Please let her know that I think she’s pretty fabulous and beautiful. xox

    • Such a wonderful response. It’s true. It’s not enough to tell people to be kind. We need to give every child, especially our daughters, the self-esteem to not want to put other people down.

    • I know that you are a change agent in this area. You are guiding young women and helping them make good choices. It encourages me to know that there are people like you out there in the world who are positive role models who won’t put up with bullying. Keep doing what you’re doing. It makes a huge difference.

  41. I am so, so sorry she (and you) are going through this. It must be so heartbreaking, as a parent, to see this. I hope things turn around for her.

    I can mail you an antibullying guide and novel for young adults if you want it. Email me your mailing address. jmagnus13@gmail.com

    Hang in there.

  42. My heart goes out to your family. Although it effects your daughter directly it does effect everyone. I usually dont like to give my opinion on things like this because everyone handles things differently. This may not work for you, however from personal experience this has worked for me. Although I was a little older when we did this. If the schools are not going to get more involved. Involve the local police dept. Tell someone there what is going on if your town has a DARE officers they might be the person to talk to. Have them go to the school. The school will then get involved. I am not saying have the other child arrested, but having a police officer talk to them may help them understand why what they are doing is so hurtful/harmful. And if it doesnt open the kids eyes, it will surely open their parents eyes. I hope your daughter can find peace. Not only for her but for you as a mom.
    Do you have a girl scouts or 4H club in your area? They have great programs on getting kids involved.
    Good Luck!!!

    • Merri- The principal is being proactive and I’m going to see what comes of his ideas. If this were to escalate into something more physical than what it has been, then yes. I will reach out to the police. We have DARE officers in the middle and high schools. And my oldest was involved with the Junior Police Academy, so I know that they are really good with working with the youth. I’m going to watch the situation and proceed if it gets worse. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t.

  43. Oh Melanie – this breaks my heart. I found your blog a few weeks ago and have been reading ever since and this brought tears to my eyes. Your daughters are both beautiful girls and are so lucky to have such a loving supportive caring mother. I was made fun of all throughout school (I was really really shy) and never had many friends until I got into high school. I still remember how agonizing it was to have no one to sit with at lunch time. At the time you try to laugh off the cruel words but they hurt and even now when I think back and think oh that didn’t matter it still hurts sometimes.
    I have two younger daughters, one of which will start kindergarten next year and I worry about what it will be like for her. Already in her preschool class as a parent looking in you can see little cliques forming and its frightening that this happens at such a young age.
    My girls are much younger than yours (5 & 3) but they both love getting letters and little trinket in the mail (boxes of candy, pictures, etc). Maybe they could send some happy mail to your daughter? Or maybe there are others on here that have older daughters who would be interested in doing the same? My daughters would love to have a pen pal. I’m just not sure if your daughter would prefer someone her own age:)?

    • First of all, thank you for reading my blog and especially for commenting. It means a lot. Thank you for the pen pal offer. That is very sweet. I remember having a pen pal when I was little. It was great fun. We have adopted an 11 year old child in another country for the holidays and we are putting a package together for her as her family has been going through a financial crisis. This project is helping my daughter focus on something positive which is really awesome. I love how she has such a willing heart. It makes me happy to know that she can think of helping someone else when she herself is hurting. Good egg.

  44. My 6-year-old came home one day and told me that two girls were mean to her at lunch. That was the day I came close to beating up a small child who seems to have no regard for others. I told Alex that the child actually dislikes herself so much and that’s why she pretends to dislike other kids. But for me, as a mom, it didn’t help. I was LIVID. I literally went to school the next day and introduced myself to the kid and made it known that while my kid might play into her mean hands, she’d have to deal with me. We literally had a stare down. I know it’s different when it’s chronic bullying but all this to say, I have a tiny idea of how this makes you feel and I can imagine the rage it brings up.

    I’m so sorry for your family, for your daughter. I wish we could fast forward to the part when she talks about this experience and how she overcame it.


    • Oh Jill, boy do I hear you. I wish I could say something to the child, but I know that it will just make things worse all around. One of the bullies called my daughter a liar the other day for saying we used to live in Florida. How crazy is that? We DID live in Florida. I swear these kids are either jealous or nuts. It just doesn’t make any sense. Oy.

  45. Hugs to you and your beautiful daughter. You have two wonderful little girls who are kind and caring. I’m sorry she has to go through this. Much like others, I was bullied in middle school and high school and, as you know, I’ve had an adult bully in my life for some time now. I believe that people bully due to their own low self-esteem/unhappiness and it makes them feel better to tear other people down. I know that it isn’t your problem, but I also think that it gives the “victim” a certain amount of power to know this.

    It will get better, but that doesn’t really help right now. I agree with other posters that you might want to look for other activities she can engage with outside of school where she might make friends. I think she’d probably do well with some girls who skew slightly younger than she is (not too young, obviously) and in a smaller setting with a lot of adult supervision. Every child is good at something. Get her into a group or class where she can shine.

    • Christy- You’ve been a great support to me with this issue. Lord knows I’ve vented to you about this before. And I know it will get better. But for a child a week is a long period of time and a year is eternity. Telling her it will be better when she is a young adult is beyond her comprehension. And yes, I’m looking for something extracurricular that she can enjoy. I think she needs it.

  46. You are all amazing. Tonight after I get the kids to bed I will respond to each and every comment, but I just wanted to let you know how much you have all comforted me. It really does help to know we aren’t alone.

  47. Melanie~

    This post actually brought tears to my eyes. I almost stopped reading it because it was making me sick to my stomach. I had a nephew who was bullied all the time at school. It’s heartbreaking! The reality of it is when your daughter is older and looks back she’ll realize how pitiful and disgusting the bully was, but for now when she’s a young girl it’s very real.

    I’m so glad you’re her Mom, because I know you’ll fight to the end and protect her always.

    I think both of your daughters are absolutely darling and they look like very sweet girls.

    Come visit Chicago and I’ll wrap my arms around her and make her feel like a Princess!


    Mary Kay

  48. I very much feel your pain and anger. You are correct. The parents need to step up and realize that the world does not revolve around their children. Other children have feelings, too.

    My son is bullied. It has gotten so bad that he feels like a worthless piece of crap (his words). I’ve had it. I have reached the point where I am ready to stand on the busiest street corner with a big sign that reads “Jane Doe’s son John Doe is a bully” just to make a point.

    I am so sorry that your daughter is experiencing this. It breaks my heart. I wish you all the luck in fighting the fight.

    • Ugh. I’m so sorry that you are going through this too. As I read through all of these comments, I’m floored that there are so many of us struggling with this issue. Why is that? Is bullying getting worse or are we just hearing more about it because of social media and other media outlets that provide more discussion on it? It’s perplexing and disturbing!

  49. This makes me sick to my stomach. So so heart breaking. I know you’re doing everything you can so all I can do is offer hugs.

  50. Melanie,
    I am sooooo sorry to read this post. My heart breaks for your daughter. My oldest son was bullied horribly. It changed all of our lives forever. My son had been very popular and had many friends through elementary school. A few months into 5th grade his group of 8 friends all turned on him. They were relentless and incredibly mean. We were best friends with most of the parents in the group. Needless to say, not only did my son loose his friends, so did we. It was a terrible time. These kids were some of the best and brightest in our little school. They were smart and always made sure that no teacher even saw the terrible things that they did. My poor son, went from haivng a great life with lots of friends, to having no one to turn to….no one to stand up for him. I got to the point that I couldnt deal with it anymore. I had tried everything. I talked to our “friends”, the parents of the boys. I had a big “winter” party at our house to try to “kill them with kindness” I talked to his teacher, the guidance couselor etc. NOTHING worked. So, on a Monday morning, I sent him to school with a note. I said that if the school was unable to stop the harrasment, then to call me by 12:oo and I would come and pick him up. Well, all the boys were rounded up and were told in no uncertain terms that it needed to stop. The principal called me to tell me the results. I wish that I could say things returned to normal after that. While the bullying did stop, they were never friends with my son again. We were never friends with their parents again. Oddly enough about five years after this all happened we received a card in the mail from my sons former best friend. He had been overcome with guilt for the way he had treated my son. He said, he didnt know why he behaved so badly and was so very sorry. I was shocked that after so many years he sent an apology. While that was nice, the damage had been done and nothing could change that. On a bright note, my son did go on to make new friends the following year when a lot of elementary schools merged to form our Middle School. While he never regained the popularity he once had, he did make many friends, was very involved in sports and band and had a good school experieince. Now he is in his second year of college and is doing great. lots of friends and very involved in various sports teams for fun. So, what I wanted to say was, he did make it through and is living an excellent life. I pray for the same outcome for your daughter. Heidi

    • Oh Heidi, what a story. That is awful. While I’m thrilled for you that he is ok today, how awful that must’ve been for him. I wish I knew why kids form those cliques. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. How a kid can watch another kid suffer while doing nothing to help is just inexcusable. πŸ™

  51. Melanie,
    I can’t say anything else from what others have said, but wanted to respond somehow. Know this: I am praying for you as always. I love how you share your heart! Don’t give up! Fight the system. You will find a way to repair her sweet little heart. My favorite Bible verse has been: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Here’s to a good Thanksgiving with many blessings and memories…
    Hope from OH

    • Thank you Hope. I share your faith and know that He will make this right in the end. However, I have learned in my life that my timing and His timing are vastly different. I just wish He’d hurry up with a solution already. πŸ˜‰

  52. So sorry to hear about your daughter. Middle school was hard for me socially at school. I second all the comments to look into a different school. Also, what about starting horseback riding? That has helped me and I have seen several younger and teenage girls who come to the barn to start lessons that have major problems socially at school, and they have blossomed πŸ™‚ I would ask for a place by word of mouth for a smaller barn that has fantastic beginner ponies, and a few (not the majority of the barn) other younger girls there. If it is a smaller place, the younger girls tend to be completely different in a small -2 or 3- group when they do stuff/chores around the barn together. It makes you more self confident. The other part being that adults at the barn/ instructors shut down that kind of negativity Quickly, so it’s not a problem. (one girl tried to even start down that path amd got kicked out of the barm for a week). Your daughter can get confidence slowly at her own pace, and eventually
    it can carry over outside of the barn. Something about being around a horse (or small pony so it’s not intimidating size wise) works miracles. Especially if you find a place where she is welcome to help feed, hand out hay, brush extra, etc. A good hint for whether the trainer is good (at an english/foxhunter/jumper/dressage barn) is to watch more experienced
    riders there – if the horses all have their heads and necks stiff and held high up while riding- not good. If the horses head is held more towards his chest, ie “rounded”, thats a fantastic sign. It means the horse knows how to balance itself- which it can only do if the rider is balanced correctly and the horse is well trained and maintained. THe barn does not have to be fancy, so long as the horses and trainer is decent. Just driving up amd asking “is this a good kids place? Amd reccommendations? ” works too.

    • Thank you Heidi for your recommendation. I have thought about horse back riding lessons. Not only for the social aspect, but for her core muscle toning. It has been suggested before by a specialist. I’m going to look into it. Thank you so much for sharing your insight. You’ve made some excellent points.

  53. Sorry my comment got so long. But I totally believe in the horse thing, havimg seen it work for myself and others. And if all your daughter wants to do the first few times is brush the pony or walk ten steps and then get off, thats fine πŸ™‚ it takes some people awhile to build confidence back after bullies. Just tell the trainer you need a horse that can take care of your kid and give them confidence.
    Sorry, getting off my soapbox now…
    your kid

    • Do not apologize for a lengthy comment. You take the time to read my verbose posts, lol. And your comment was truly helpful. I learned a lot from you and I appreciate that.

      • I know you got a lot if people giving you their opinions/ideas here, but if you do pursue the horse thing, feel free to email me (h l s w a i m at s m c m dot edu). There are actually discount codes and I can ask around/give pointers on how to find a place πŸ™‚

  54. Heartbreaking. I echo everyone else’s disgust that children have to deal with this.

    I’m sure you are getting swarmed with resources & some are helpful & some are not, but I’ve worked on this campaign before, and it’s really echoing what everyone has been commenting, “it gets better”.


    It started for LGBT youth, but really the message is for EVERYONE who is “different” and gets bullied. It may be helpful for your daughter to watch some of her “idols” as well as ordinary people tell their stories, but it also may be helpful for you, too.

  55. between 1986-1990 i was bullied in high school, in high school i was poor overweight(still am) female and coming from a russian background, the kids were not MEAN to me especially the girls , they would bring mini skirts and ask me if i wanted to borrow one and they use to call me communist…it still brings me to tears thinking about it…when i see girls at that age i try to tell them not to be the mean girls because we never forget them…for this reason majority of my friends are foreign …they tend to have similar experiences being left out..

    • I’m so sorry that you suffered through that. Kids seem to hone in on other kids who are different. I can only imagine how rough that had to be for you. I was bullied as a teenager. It’s a kind of hurt that never truly goes away. It just dulls with time but the hit on our self confidence is permanent.

  56. I have commented when you posted about this topic before and sent you the link to my dissertation on bullying. My heart aches for your situation. You are right the victim pays the price. The line that stands out from your post is “Because there doesn’t seem to be anyone at her school that is strong enough to be her ally.” This is the key. It is the bystanders that have all the power in a bullying situation. If they did not go along with it, the bully would be isolated herself. Unfortunately, teachers do not understand this and continue to just address the bully and the victim. The entire school culture must change in order for bullying to decrease. 79% of all bullying takes place during the school day on the school grounds according to the government statistics.

    The only programs that work are those that have been not only scientifically tested and involve the entire community but have the support of the teachers and administration with proper training. Look into Dan Olweus’ work on the subject. Any hope must be addressed by the whole school. If the teacher brings values into their teaching that stress the importance of not only acceptance and diversity but also standing up for the right thing no matter the consequences this is a start. Then the teachers must praise students who stand up, foster the belief within the victim that they can evolve out of the situation and make the bully responsible for their behavior. This must also have the support of the administration and then filter to PTO and the entire community.

    My heart breaks for you. My own daughter (now 15) spent much of her elementary years bullied by one particular child. We are still dealing with the aftermath. She does have friends, but there are still those who continue to thrust hurtful statements toward her. She has a twin sister who mediated much of the conflict so she was not alone like your daughter. Local community theater helped my child overcome much of the self esteem issues. Is there some after school activity where she could meet other kids and gain some self esteem? You may also be interested in the work of Albert Bandura and his self efficacy theory.

    Please feel free to contact me by email if you wish. I am in the process of launching my own website/blog about parenting. I teach human development from conception to death at the college level as well as learning theories so that will be the focus. Remember no matter what those in power say, there is nothing normal about bullying behavior.

    • Thank you Pam. You have tremendous insight on this topic. I remember your paper. I wish that more people had a heart for this topic like you do. If they did, we would be in such a better place.

      The principal did call me today and shared an idea that may help my child. I can’t get into the details, but I appreciate that he is making an effort. He is a good man and has a good heart. And I know that he wants what’s best for my daughter too. But as wonderful as he is, he can’t change the child’s heart and that is the key to solving this problem.

      Thank you again for your support. I so appreciate your expertise on this subject.

  57. Melanie, I wanted to cry for you and your daughter as I read this post. You’ve mentioned before that your family has to deal with this problem and I completely understand where you’re coming from…my daughter has been bullied since she was three (yes, three) years old. She is currently twelve and only just now starting to find a place in the school world. She heard the same things: buck teeth, stupid, trying too hard,no play/party invitations, etc. no friends, period. The truth is she is a smart beautiful girl – inside and out. It breaks my heart into a million pieces, it isn’t just the child that is affected. Last year it got so bad I was afraid she was going to hurt herself – and the school counseller just said the the girl that was doing the worst bullying was just uncomfortable in school. I’m supposed to feel sorry for her?!? And mine is a school that prides itself on its zero-tolerance bullying stance…my girl says that the films and programs only show the kids how to do it better and get away with it more.

    Our turning point came last year when I was terrified about self-inflicted injuries. I looked into cyber-school. We found a good one and took my daughter for an interview. This is a last resort – she and I would fight tooth nad nail over school if she were home, but it’s better than the alternative. She ultimately decided that she didn’t want to go but knew she had the choice. That choice seems to have made all the difference.

    The other thing that helps is to nurture what she’s good at. My girl is very creative and artistic (one of the few good things from having ADHD) and I’ve gotten her involved with making jewelry with me. She has gotten so much positive support from shop owners and vendors and it gives her an arena where she is ‘cool’.

    The sad truth is that, through no fault of their own, some kids tst don’t thrive in the public school setting. Like my daughter, they are the gamma dogs of the kid world. I know a couple of adults who had similar experiences as children and did so much better in a different setting. Not at all fair, I know…punish the victim, but if it helps the child…who’s to say it’s punishment.

    If it helps, I’m sure my daughter would be happy to email with yours. She is great with younger kids and you know as well as I that kids don’t believe a word their parents say πŸ™‚ . I’m not sure how to finangle that through comments, but I’ll keep an eye on this post. I hate to hear about kids going through this kind of thing.

    • Oh my, I’m so sorry that she went through all of that. It’s awesome that she found a creative outlet where she could excel. The more I read these comments, the more I think that I need to get her involved in an activity that’s just for her. She and her sister are 10 months apart in age and tend to do everything together. I think it’s time that she does something just for her. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your daughter sounds like a strong young woman.

  58. Stevie Nanstad says:

    I teared up while reading this. I was bullied in middle school. High school not as much but the boys always wanted to date my “hot” friends and a few would make comments about my weight.
    I want to say that your daughter will forget about the comments said to her but in my opinion that is not the truth sadly. I am 26 and the things said to and about me are in my head all the time. I often don’t feel good enough and feel like I am the fat person no one wants to be friends with. No matter the reason people are bullied it is a HUGE issue. My son is in Kindergarten and my biggest fear is of him being bullied. He is definitely a mommies boy and has great behavior (at school..home not as much) that people compliment. But how much longer will he want to be the “good” one while other kids push, butt in the way, name call,etc..!?!

    • Yup, you’re right. I have the same issue as you. What I see in the mirror does not match the voices in my head which is just a chorus of high school mean girls. Boy that stuff sticks around. I pray that your son goes through school oblivious to all of these issues and has a happy stress free education. πŸ™‚

  59. This just confirms what I know and that is there isn’t leadership nor communication skills taught to children on any level…..let alone parents or those who are responsible for children and their behavior.

    As a communication & leadership major in college, I believe that this is truly needed. Part of communication and leadership is how to deal with all types of people and be effective and I believe it needs to start all the way back to kindergarten.

    Bullying should never be tolerated. You know this type of behavior is mimicked from adults. Agreed that parents are responsible but in today’s liberal, morally deteriorating world, do you really think you’d get a judge to hold parents responsible? Good luck with that!

    Perhaps I will do what my friend Steve said I should do and that is to get involved with the federal school board and see what I can do to get communication and leadership classes as a requirement to be added to each grade’s curriculum.


    • Yes Barb. Leadership and communication skills are sorely needed in the schools. I agree with you that it should be part of the curriculum. Anything that teaches setting a good example and how to effectively communicate is something that I support. Now get on it and get it into the schools. πŸ˜‰

  60. I was one of those kids who was bullied. By the time I hit 6th grade, my parents had to intervene with school staff after I had a meltdown at home. I didn’t start making real friends or allies until I was in 7th grade and even then I always felt I was at the low end of the totem pole. My grandmother was much like you; always comforting, supportive and always trying to be helpful. I understand your frustration with intervening. Many times it back lashed on me. Things did get better, but slowly and bullying wasn’t as high profile as it is today. I understand your daughter’s despair. I was not, however, a special needs child, but it did not make it any less awful. When I was in 7th grade and began getting involved in school activites, things seemed to get better. There is no easy answer for this, but her teacher(s) and school staff need to be proactive in this. If it is possible to separate her from the classroom these bullies are in, she may find the ally she is looking for. You can’t stay out of this Melanie. I encourage you to have a conference with school staff or schedule an IEP (where she is a special needs student) specifically to address the problem. These bullies won’t be changed overnight, but steps can be taken to protect your daughter. If the school is unwilling or unable to curb the situation, then it might be necessary to speak with an attorney and look into a protection from harrassment in the courts. However, I believe this to be a last resort and extreme measure. It is the job of the staff at school to not only educate your daughter, but protect her as well. I know you feel helpless Melanie, but take heart. It will get better. Keep leaning our Lord and Saviour and he will carry you all through. God Bless.

    • Melissa- I’m sorry you suffered with this too. It’s a horrible thing. I’ve talked to the principal and he is being proactive with the situation. I am on top of it and if it doesn’t get better, then I will look into other solutions. My main concern is the mental health of my daughter and I won’t backdown until I’m assured that she is in a healthy learning environment.

  61. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. For so many reasons. I think of the mom and child at the bus stop that I used to pass on the way to work. They’ve apparently moved, but every morning there were three girls and their three moms at the bus stop. Two moms and their daughters would always talk to each other with their back turned to the other girl and her mom. It was obvious that they had less money, often both of them looked unkempt and underdressed. It made me sick that the mothers were obviously contributing to the girls ignoring the other little girl by their ignoring her mom. I shouldn’t stereotype as I may sound like a bully here, but it was obvious the moms were popular back in the day. Often I wanted to stop and tell the mom that was being ignored that if anything, the other moms looked ridiculous in their short shorts, trying to look cool, all we can see from the road is cellulite and their bellies hanging over their belt. I know being mean back isn’t the answer, but you just want to help someone know that they’re not alone, that someone is on their side and most adults do look down on bullies.

    It’s easy now to say that it’s going to get better, as that doesn’t help her today. I wasn’t bullied, but I was too shy and self conscious to stand up for the kids who were bullied, which makes me no better. I know that one of the bullies was too embarrassed to show his face at our high school reunion a couple of years back. You almost pity him, he’s a grown a*# man who doesn’t have the balls to show up because he’s embarrassed. Man up and apologize to people for making their lives a living hell. You should be embarrassed.

    I’m so glad my parents always pushed me to be nice to everyone. As a kid it’s hard to be the only one hanging out with the “weird kid,” for whatever reason they think the person is weird. I wish I had the self confidence back then that I do now, I would’ve kicked some bully tail! Just because someone’s a little different doesn’t mean they’re a disease. On our senior class trip, myself and another girl were assigned a hotel room with the “weird” girl because we were the only ones the teachers trusted to be nice to her. Heartbreaking. 20 girls (private school), practically adults, age-wise anyway, and only 2 could be trusted to be nice. She wanted to fit in so bad. Her father was well off and even paid extra money (as in around $4,000) towards the trip so we could go out of the country after the first plan fell through. You’d think the bullies could appreciate that, a great vacation? Absolutely not. They were entitled, and someone should be paying their way. The girl was adopted and had different interests as well as had emotional issues. I did like her, not just because I felt I should be nice to her. She was kind and generous. So I didn’t have the same interests as her, you find something in common. Unfortunately she went out of town to school and we lost touch. That “weird” girl is now an adult and is a lost soul. Her parents threw money at her rather than their time and love. I guess I say this to encourage you. I don’t have to say to never give up on her, I know you wouldn’t, but just to let you know that the bullied ones I know who had their parents’ love and support turned out okay in the end. They’re strong, self confident people who are doing amazing things. They are admired by others. The bullies? One is a washed up drunk who doesn’t speak to her family and relies on plastic surgery to keep her “hot,” another is miserable in her career choice and has a husband who cheats. Of course there are the ones who turned it all around and did reach out to those they bullied and now have friendships. It’s so crazy to see some of these friendships. You never know how someone’s going to turn out, but her bullies will suffer consequences eventually, even if it’s not apparent on the outside.

    Also, this book is from the 80’s, but I always enjoyed it. http://www.amazon.com/If-We-Were-All-Same/dp/0394887786/ref=sr_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353438766&sr=1-19&keywords=fred+rogers Let her know it’s okay to be different. You don’t want to be clones of others. You’re a very cool individual who is going to find that friend or mentor and your life is going to get better. You just have to get through these awkward school years. I hope that shy person, like I was, has the courage to befriend her. Not because her parents make her, but because she truly likes your daughter. That’s what I will pray for, is for that person to not care what other people think. Oh, and to show up ASAP! πŸ™‚

    • Amanda- Wow. I’m blown away by your story of the women at the bus stop. Some things never change I guess. Such a sad thing. And your story about the girl that was bullied in high school is equally sad. Ugh. Reading through these comments I’m struck by so many terrible stories. And it spans many years. Not just today. Thank you for praying for my daughter. I’m certain that it’s the only true solution.

  62. As a mom, this was so painful to read, so I can’t even imagine how painful it is to be in your shoes and your daughter’s shoes right now. I am so sorry. I hope and pray it gets better. My boys are young and I’ve already started drilling into their heads that they are to stick up for themselves and their friends if they are getting bullied. I told them if they stood around and did nothing, they are just as bad. I hope they heed my advice, and God help them if I ever find out they bullied someone!!!!

    I would like to say I am surprised this happens, but I’m not. Some of the ways adults behave toward each other is nothing short of bullying. Sigh.

    Hugs, mama.

    • Thank you for teaching your kids to be kind. It really does matter. If more parents made it a point to teach their kids to be nice, this would be much less of an issue. It’s encouraging to know that there are moms out there that care about this topic even if their kids are not affected by it.

  63. Melanie,

    I live in Massachusetts too. My son is in high school now and was intensely bullied in 6th and 7th grade for how he looked. In 9th grade another teen tried to hurt him because of who he is and who his friends were. We worked with the schools and got it stopped in its tracks but he still carries it with him. Thank Gd he was not seriously hurt. We would love to reach out in some way and connect with your family. My son is a teen now and is an amazing person with any other person of any age. I don’t know if he could offer support to your daughter and to you but we would love to try.

    Your daughter is a gift to the world and deserves to be treated that way. She is so lucky to have you in her corner. Stay strong. We are with you.


    • Thank you Kimbell. That means so much. I’m sorry your son was a target for bullying, but it sounds like he grew from the experience. Thank you so much for supporting us. We appreciate it.

  64. I cry for your daughter… and know that there is another tender hearted soul out there who needs her as a friend.

    In fact, I wonder if your daughter would be interested in a pen pal? My daughter is 7 1/2. I’m guessing she’s a little younger than yours, but I’m sure she’d love emailing and getting to know a new friend.

    You have my email… and we’re here.

    Wishing your family a Happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

    • Thank you Trish. I wish you a happy holiday as well. I will hold onto your email. Things are hectic right now, but maybe down the road we can connect. Thank you!!

  65. Melissa J. says:

    I have no words….but tears streaming down my face! my heart aches for your daughter and for you as I know all to well that there is absolutely nothing worse than seeing your child suffering and not be able to fix it!
    I will definitely keep both of you in my prayers. on the positive side (for lack of better words) she is extremely fortunate to have a loving family and a mom that won’t stop until she stops this horrific crime.
    sending best wishes, prayers, positive vibes and hugs to you both

  66. Our elementary school did some intervention with the social worker who pulled out small group of girls during lunch to work on these type of issues. I think it really helped. The key is to get bystanders to become an ally. Sometimes this requires adult intervention. Can you ask some moms of kids who might stand up to the bully to coach their kids to help as well? She just needs need to make one friend and that will make all the difference. One mom I know called a handful of moms to help. Some of the moms were not helpful but a few were and that made all the difference that year. Can you also meet with your principal to ask about social worker intervention?

    • Yes, my daughter is part of a small group and it does help. While it doesn’t take care of the bully situation, it helps that the kids have a safe place to talk about what’s going on. And we have talked to the principal. He’s working on it.

  67. Melanie your post makes me tear up…. why because my own brother went all through school in special education and I saw exactly what you are talking about with my own eyes in what he dealt with on a daily basis. What I saw at home was a young boy, middle schooler, young man and now a grown man who lacks self confidence to go above beyond what we all know he can get past. He was a talented basketball player who didn’t try out in middle school or high school due to confidence, but who had my dad measure out a 3 point shot on our driveway. He broke my parent’s backboard numerous times due to that great shot… He wouldn’t go out for high school baseball due to this also, but could pitch, catch and outfield well. I saw teachers who while he was mainstreamed in to regular classroom didn’t care to make fun of him or give him lower grades just because he was in special education. We had to challenge him to finally get his driver’s license at 19,but he did finally do it. He is a wonderful man who wouldn’t even try taking college classes one at a time, even though my parent’s offered to go to class with him take notes. He is a man who helped inspire me decide my major in in college- communication disorders (speech-language pathologist), because I wanted to help kids like him. I am doing just that now and he is a happy, wonderful person and a great little brother and the best uncle to my 3 kids. Your daughter can do anything, be anything that she wants to in life…. It’s so hard to deal with bullies and confidence, but you can only do it one day at a time. Chin up! Help her to find the one thing that she’s it great at in life and expand on that… My brother continues to make us smile and has found what he is good at in life and no one can take that away from him as also with your daughter.

  68. My mom friend whose daughter was bullied also pursued friends from other schools … preschool, cousins, etc. It doesn’t matter is the friend is not at her school as long as she has she feels she has a friend. I think there are also places that counsel kids on how to make friends. Let me know if you want me to find that place for you. It’s like social emotional counseling groups for kids where they teach them basic skills in a small group setting and it might also be a good place for her to make a friend. My heart goes out to her and to you.

  69. Breaks my heart to read this. I experienced the same thing in school. I was too nice. I didn’t stand a chance against those mean girls. God is truly using that experience though, as I am in the process of starting up a bullying ministry/site. There just aren’t enough Christian resources for students going through this. It’s so rough. I recently wrote an article on this subject for Unveiled wife (http://unveiledwife.com/enduring-lifes-trials/) and how God brought it all around for the good. I’m sure he will for your daughter as well! It’s just SO hard in the meantime πŸ™

  70. Hi Melanie! I used to have this issue when I was younger (I’m 21 now) when I was in school. I never told my mom I was bullied. It was a horrible experience. It was always one thing or another. I remember two instances in particular when I got a new Arizona sweatshirt and new rain boots (they were brown and kind of boyish). Both times I went to school loving my clothes and this one girl would point it out how “ugly” they were, until everyone in class would laugh, etc. It was terrible. It gave me self esteem issues for years. I wish your daughter knew that it would get better. She has a good head on her shoulders, and all of your children are gorgeous! Anything those bullies say just reflects on how they feel about themselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter, they try to pick on her to hide their own flaws. It is definitely their parents fault, and I wish they were held more accountable! Just try to stick in there and know that it does get better.

  71. Melanie,

    I’m sorry. I’m sorry that some parents can’t seem to see how their own irresponsible and hateful attitudes towards others who aren’t up to “their” standards so easily trickles down to their children. I’m sorry for your daughter’s sweet heart and the slice upon slice that it receives at every thoughtless act and word.

    But, I’m thankful, too. Thankful that you are willing to write about it. I’m thankful that your daughter has an ally in you. And I’m thankful that she has a guardian for her heart.

    Thank you for sharing these words. May they be spread all over the place and touch as many hearts as possible!

  72. Let your daughter know that there are many people that have been bullied but have gotten through it. Tell her she has beauty that goes way beyond appearance because it is a beautiful soul and it is such a special kind of beauty that only truly special people get the rare joy to see it. People like her family and over time some special friends will see it as well. (This is what my mom told me.) But all your readers can see it in every picture you post of her and we all see what an amazing and beautiful girl she is.

    What helped me when I was bullied was to realize that the bullies did this because there was something broke in them either they had their own low self esteem or they were not really loved by their own parents. I ended up feeling sorry for the kids because I realized that they actually had it worse than me, that I would always be a better human than they were, and their “friends” that they had were not really friends but people that were scared of them. Tell her I survived it and I have an amazing husband, three great kids, and I teach Spec Ed. It got better for me and I promise it will get better for her.

  73. I rarely comment on anything, but this touched me. I don’t have any words of wisdom; I just wanted to say I’m so very sorry that both of you are dealing with this. I will say a prayer for her. If you get to my comment after so many others-tell her from me she is adorable & I would love to have a little girl just like her.

  74. Hey all, I’ve been plugging through the comments and answering them one by one. But for tonight I have to go to sleep. I’m exhausted. But I wanted to let you know that I am going to address each comment. It will just take me some time to do so. Luckily I’m cooking all day tomorrow and home over Thanksgiving break, so I’ll continue to answer comments over the next several days. So many of you poured your heart out to me that I want to make sure I respect each of you by commenting back. It’s just going to take some time. Thank you all for your support. You are amazing.

  75. Melanie, you do not have to reply to everyone’s post! I am finding this run of posts absolutely amazing and I think it is a testament to thriving despite bullies! Like many others, I was bullied in the 4th and 5th grades at a private christian school. Melanie, you are blessed to have a school administration that listens to you – my principal did not believe my mom that “those girls would do things like that.” I tried to hide it at first from my parents and I think they found out through another parent… It stopped when I switched schools and went to public middle school. My brother was bullied in middle school and it was stopped by a bystander calling it out -peer pressure helped him. I assure you, we both have turned out to be a productive members of society (I’m a transplant nurse and he is an electrical engineer). It sounds like you have things in place for your daughter with plans to switch schools next year and having her in counseling, which is something that I should have done at the time to stop the self-blame and self esteem issues that come with the territory of being bullied. As a parent, you are doing everything you can 0ther than maybe getting a countdown clock for the end of the school year ;). When she’s having a bad day, remind her of other things than school that are positive and fun- she’s had a nice cruise and a girls’ weekend lately that should make her at least get a little twinkle back in her eyes.

    • Yes Cindy, I do try to keep her focused on the positive. When she comes home I ask for one good thing that happened that day before I let her vent. I also point out exactly what you mentioned. All the special things she gets to do. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why she gets picked on. As crappy as her school life can be, her homelife is pretty great. But 8 hours a day in a crappy environment can’t be easy for a child. But we’re working on it.

  76. Melanie,

    My heart breaks for your beautiful daughter! I think that I speak on behalf of anyone who has read your blog for any length of time but your daughters (and family) are like a part of our long distance family! I am so angered and hurt to think of the pain and confusion that she must feel at such a young age. No one deserves to feel that way especially such a young person. Both of your girls are little darlings and seem like such sweethearts! I always love when you include them in your posts because there is something so innocent (don’t worry, I am aware they have flaws and probably have many moments that make you want to scream – like all children do. lol!) and pure about your girls specifically. It’s like most kids their age aren’t really kids and are already trying to grow up way too fast. I don’t get that vibe from your girls. They seem so carefree, wild and plain old fun like little girls are SUPPOSED to be! I can tell that you have done a fantastic job raising your children and I am not just “sucking up” because you are a blogger. I truly mean that.

    I am not sure why children are so mean these days and why parents are allowing it. I understand that people might have a “problem child” and no matter what you do, they don’t listen. I get that there are kids/people like that but there are WAY too many of them out there now. It makes me sick when I see that kids (and super young at that) are obsessing over suicide and hurting themselves due to other kids bullying them. Just last week I was watching a You Tube video where someone did a cover of a song. I don’t always read the comments but I did for whatever reason on that one. I forget what the song was but it was basically about loving yourself even when people knock you down or had some meaning along those lines. Well one of the people that commented on it said “Thank you so much for this. It literally saved my life tonight, if you know what I mean.” I decided to check out the person’s page and it was a girl maybe 15 years old. I watched a few of her videos and she reminded me so much of my baby sister who is 17. They both are what I like to call “socially awkward”. I am the same way but am good at covering it up most times. She just made silly videos that I personally thought were cute of her dancing around and lip synching to Justin Bieber and the like. I can tell that she is probably the sort of girl that acts like kids her age USED to act way back when. I also noticed that she didn’t have many if any view on her 40+ videos so I subscribed to her and “thumbs upped” a bunch of her videos. I also left her a comment letting me know that I was super happy to find her channel because she reminded me of my baby sister who I miss and let her know that she made my night. She replied and is such a sweetheart. I don’t know if she meant what she had posted on that youtube video. But now I am all concerned about it so I think I will be stalking her YT page with love for a little while. I hate that kids can make other kids feel like they are nothing and not worthwhile.

    Please give your sweetie a big hug from me and let her know that even if the meanies in school say mean things to her, she has a bunch of much more awesome people on her Mommy’s site that love her and think she is a VERY special little girl. We are adults so we are smarter than the kids in her school πŸ˜‰

    This got much longer than anticipated but my baby sister is bullied all the time and she is threatened to be “destroyed” and other bull like that just because she isn’t all boy crazy like everyone else. It hits a deep spot in me and makes me want to hit something! I wonder if Hubby is awake? LOL. Just kidding, no husbands were harmed before, during or after this extra long comment was posted. <—–I told you that I am socially awkward. πŸ˜›

    • Wow! I am so moved by you supporting that young girl with the videos. How amazing that you took the time to do that. Really, that is inspiring. I bet it made her day! It’s the little things like that that can make a huge difference in a person’ life. You’re a good egg.

      I think the kids today are much more mature than they should be. My kid still likes her dolls while the other girls are wearing hip huggers and makeup. What the hell is up with that? They are between 8-9 years of age. Aren’t kids supposed to be kids for awhile? Good grief.

      I’m sorry about your sister. Some people are rotten. I understand your desire to hit something. I have that feeling now and again, lol. Thank you for your comment. It really does help.

  77. Melanie, you are so brave to share your family’s struggle. I don’t have any magical words to share, but I did have a thought.

    I’m the mom of a special needs child…but she’s on the opposite side of the spectrum…she’s gifted. As a result, she doesn’t fit. For example, she likes to make up 50 rules for a game of hide and seek. This does not go over well with the elementary crowd. πŸ™‚ I had to teach her social cues, because often she didn’t pick up on them. She always sees the good in others, and often has her feelings hurt. I’m very fortunate, she has friends, especially the other gifted kids in her grade…which is why I’m surprised your daughter doesn’t have even one friend who is also mainstreamed…she can’t be the only one!

    I’m currently participating in a support group for parents of gifted kids, and as a group we are reading “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.” One whole chapter is devoted to friends/peers/acquaintances, as it is a struggle for so many. One thing in the chapter that really resonated with me, and something I’m going to seek out for my child, is that a PEER is a friend who shares an interest…but they can be vastly different in ages/backgrounds/etc. For gifted kids, they often get along with adults better…and I’m wondering if the same isn’t true for your sweet girl. Which makes me wonder if an adults at the school might be able to help…like maybe instead of playing on the playground, she could have a school job – the nurse could have her be an aide or the lunch ladies have her help with lunch prep or the office might have a job she can do. I hate for her to give up her play time, but if it’s a source of conflict, then she’s not getting what she should anyway.

    I hope you find a solution that helps, and please keep us posted on how things are going.

    • Heather,

      I am so getting this book! This is one of my worst fears! My daughter has been bullied (see post #14) but not because she is gifted. When we first learned she was gifted, one of my first thoughts was “what if she gets bullied” So so so sad we have to deal with this in society. Doesn’t seem right that if a child doesn’t fit in with the mainstream kids they are picked on.

    • Thank you for sharing that. Your daughter sounds amazing. Yes, we are looking into an alternate recess activity as this is where part of the problem is manifesting. But let me say this, you can take my child off the recess field and the bully will find another target. I have no doubt about that. At what point does the school address the bully? That is the question. There are fewer and fewer consequences today for poor behavior.

  78. Melanie– I wish we could get our girls together. my heart breaks for your daughter. my oldest was one that didn’t fit in with others, but she was lucky enough to have a couple of good friends but that was all and at times in school even they turned their backs on her. I have always tried to teach my girls that if a group of kids are being mean to someone or someone is left out that they should be big enough to not turn their backs and go with the “crowd” and friend them. so far it has seemed to work. my oldest came home one day and told me that her group of friends outed another girl in their group, so she went and sat with her at lunch and stayed with her etc.
    my middle one is friends with one girl that doesn’t have very many friends, she does say she can be mean to the other kids so that is why she doesn’t have friends so my daughter will tell her that she shouldn’t be mean to them. but unlike the bullies that your daughter is with this girl doesn’t have anyone so think she is lashing out for being “outed” by the school so is nice that she has at least one friend. my middle one is very very shy so isn’t bouncy and outgoing like a lot of girls so while they are friendly with her she doesn’t quite “fit in” but she does get along with them.

    so far my youngest hasn’t had to deal with any of that but she gets along with just about everyone so I have no doubt she would stand up for someone that was being bullied.

    but seriously if your daughter needs a friend while it won’t be someone in her school I don’t think I am TOO far away from you as I am in East Bridgewater.

    • Just wanted to add that I told my daughters (10 and 7, almost 8) your daughters story and they were so sad to hear that she was going through that and both said if you lived here they would be friends with your daughter. my 10 year old took RAchels challenge at school (against bullying and making a pledge to be friends with those that are left out) and really does believe strongly in it and believes it. she didn’t just do it because the others were. My 7 yr old asked why you didn’t just move somewhere that the kids were nicer, if only it was that easy right……..
      they did ask if you were close enough that they could meet up with your daughter and be friends with her. so just wanted to share that other kids do feel for your daughter. (((((((HUGS))))))))))

      • Wouldn’t it be great if there was a town where all the people were kind to each other. I imagine that would be a very expensive place to live, lol. Your daughters are so sweet to offer their friendship. You’ve done a fine job with your kids.

        My hope is that my daughter clicks with someone at some point. It takes just one good friend to make things tolerable. That is my prayer not only for her, but for all kids who struggle with this issue. Thank you so much for supporting us.

  79. So sorry you are dealing with this. Be the squeaky wheel. Do NOT give up. You need to be the one to insist the bullying stops. At the very least your daughter will see that you know what is being done is wrong and that someone, YOU, will always be there to support her. Make an effort to find out who that one child is who will push her on the swing. Chances are that child needs a friend too. Get them together outside of school, just one good friend can make a huge difference. Build up her self esteem outside of school but encouraging her in activities she excels at, try for something with small groups of children. Just telling my daughter that there are mean girls and what they do is wrong and how I wanted her to watch carefully what they did and make sure she never, never, ever, ever made someone feel the way those girls were making others feel really helped her deal with bullies. I told her to look for children that looked like they needed a friend, watch the kids who are good friends and see what they did, what she admired in them and most of all how much better she felt about herself when she was a good friend.

    • Thank you for teaching your daughter to be an advocate for others. Teaching kids how to be a friend is so important and we all need to take the time to teach that to our children. It is so very crucial in a civilized society.

  80. I have come back to this post time & again since you put it up yesterday. It distresses me that your beautiful and sweet daughter is being bullied.

    My husband and I were both bullied and we turned out fine.

    Your daughter is so fortunate to have such a loving mother and family.

    I am taking something from your post and the replies that have been written:

    Be as kind as possible to everyone that I am in contact with.

    I usually am kind and patient, but I will make an effort to go a step further. A simple kindness can make such a difference.

    Thank you for sharing such a difficult subject with us.


    • Yes, a simple kindness does make all the difference. Thank you for making a point to be sensitive to that. It’s a wonderful thing.

  81. Melanie,
    My heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughter. It sounds like you have done everything and more that you can; it is up to the school and to the parents of the bullies to rectify the situation and create a positive atmosphere for all students. I hope you will keep us posted….I have been following your blogs for over a year now and feel like we are all family. And its so important for family to support each other in good times and in bad. Please give your girls a hug from me….they are very fortunate to have such a loving and giving family. You will get through this….and will be stronger as a result.

    • Thank you Cheryl. That means so much. I do look at you guys as my extended family and the support you give me sustains me.

  82. Melanie, I know you said that you tried homeschooling with your boys and they were glad to go back to school. You said you aren’t the homeschooling type. Your boys are nearly young men, so it seems that it may have been quite a while ago that you tried this. Heck, even a year can mean a bid difference. People change and there are more resources and support available –more than ever for homeschooling. I’m just trying to say you could do it but I’m not saying you *should* home-school. What you could do is just open the dialog your with daughter to see if this may be an option she would like to try? BTW I don’t home school my son…I’m not a huge homeschooling advocate, but I do know some families that successfully home-school and for your situation it might be a good option. Peace & Love Suzanne

    • Suzanne- The thing is that my daughter gets excellent services at her school. She loves her teacher. She also has a dynamite counselor, although she isn’t there often enough in my opinion. I’m going to wait and see what the principal does and if I hear that this particular bully does anything else to my kid, I’ll change course. But I want to give the school the opportunity to make it right for my daughter. I don’t want to take her out of a class where she likes and learns from her teacher. Unless I have to , of course.

  83. Using annon. because I am a local poster and most likely know the bull(ies). If nothing changes, please get her out of the school. Think about a sending her to a close, smaller school, the fact that their are fewer students really does make a difference, don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t. It’s worth it even if you have to drive her, other families are doing it. You know how the grapevine is, your school doesn’t fare so well in that grapevine. I know it will be hard but, really, consider it. You can’t afford to wait until the school changes. I bring my kids to the playground after school almost everyday we’d love you to join us:)

    • I have sent my kids to a small school once before. And let me tell you, it wasn’t any better that way. In the smaller school the kids had even less of a chance to make friends because the pool of students was so much smaller. There were a host of other issues as well that would take me 100 blog posts to flesh out, but suffice it to say that our years of experience with a smaller school were not all gumdrops and rainbows. Yes, there were some advantages, but kids are kids no matter the size of the school. Thank you for reaching out. I really appreciate it!!

  84. This breaks my heart. She is such a beautiful, sweet girl – no one should ever be allowed to make someone feel badly about themselves. I try to teach my son everyday that it is the most important thing to be kind to one another. I completely agree it’s the parent’s responsibility. You are entrusted with this child, it is your job to teach them. I’m so sorry – your children are welcome anytime!! Judy

  85. HI Melanie
    My heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughter. I can’t imagine the pain you are going through watching this happen and feeling so helpless as these awful words are hurting her so much. I also have a son who is in special ed and struggles with reading and came home telling me that the other kids are smarter than him and that he is not in the smart group at school, and as parents it pains us so much to hear these things.
    I don’t know how close you live to Norwell, but there is a place called Skills for Living, where they have social groups and I’m pretty sure they deal with friendships and bullying. I had a friend whose son was being bullied and she had Katy Shamitz (founder of Skills for Living) work with her son to find ways to overcome this issue and deal with the bullies. I don’t know if there is a place like this near where you live or if you live close enough that maybe she can be a resource for you. She came to speak at my daughter’s preschool a few years ago and I learned so much from her.
    Good Luck to you and your daughter! I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I can tell that you are an incredible mother and they are so lucky to have you as their mom!

    • Thank you so much Catherine. I have my moments. Just ask my kids. πŸ˜‰ The thing is that I don’t expect them to go through life problem free. That’s not reality. I just want them to be able to learn in a mentally healthy environment. I know as they grow older the kids will encounter this type of stuff in the workplace and that they will have to learn how to cope. But to expect a little kid to deal with this is absurd. I’ll look into the program in Norwell. It’s a hike, but maybe it would be worth it.

  86. I don’t know if you daughter is in to Taylor Swift but as a young girl she had a hard time fitting in. There is a song by her called The Best Day and it mentions about girls being so mean and how she doesn’t know who she is going to talk to at school. And it really talks about about how she would have the best days with her mom. If you You tube it I promise you that you will just cry a cleansing cry. It does get better Mel. It is so hard now but all it takes is that one friend who will make everything alright. I pray for her to find that one special girl that she can call her bestest friend.

  87. Gertrude E. says:

    I agree! Well said. Its damn time parents step up and be responsible, kind and courteous people and teach their children to be so too.
    Parents need to be PARENTS FIRST and friends LATER.

  88. Melanie, My heart aches for your daughter. I was bullied when I was in school. I remember coming home crying in grade school and in high school (I grew up in small-town VT and K-8 was in the same school).

    It sounds like you’re doing everything you can for your daughter. Kudos to you. Though I had been through it when I was young, I didn’t know what to do when my oldest was being teased. Fortunately, we moved and got him out of the situation, but that’s not always the answer.

    Though many who were bullied turn out fine, I know that I have lingering self-esteem issues from what I went through, but I didn’t feel like my mom supported me either. On the other hand, I did everything I could for my son and he has a healthy self-esteem – and as a Marine has much to be proud of.

    • Yes, he should be very proud. You should be very proud too for raising such a fine boy!! My hope for my daughter is that this doesn’t define her like it did me. I still struggle with self confidence issues from the bullying I endured during my childhood. It’s hard to shed that judgement of your peers even if they are just big mouthed kids.

  89. I’m going to speak up as someone who was bullied mercilessly during elementary school – move her to another school, FAST!

    For me, it was 3rd grade. I am 43 now but that year still haunts me.

    There was Tony Riva and Laura Boyce – go ahead and print their names, I’m pretty sure they are both in prison now and won’t ever have the opportunity to read this. I was too fat for them, too nice, too quite, too friendly, too smart, and my brother? He was fair game for all their teasing and bullying – he was mildly mentally impaired (think, “retarded”, in their words) and I was teased about him every single day. So even if your other daughter doesn’t seem to be affected by the teasing of her sister, it is still hurting her. Then there was Pat Jelsema – he bullied and teased me about anything and everything, despite his mama being a room mother, preachy, church-going woman (his sister came out in high school and I thought the family was just gonna shrivel up and die – they were so freakin’ superior to everyone, it still makes me sick.) Even the son of one of my moms’ best friends teased me – there is a song called “The Erie Canal” that we had to sing in music class. Well, instead of “16 miles down the Erie Canal…” he liked to sing “16 miles around Mary Xxxx…” (my last name rhymed with ‘canal’ just perfectly.)

    So 35 years later – if I still remember 3rd grade as the Worst Year of My Life – trust me, your daughter is living in a hell right now that she will remember forever.

    It’s easy for me now to say, rationally, well Laura and Tony both ended up in prison (seriously, I am pretty sure they both did some time in the pokey), and Pat ended up in his own world of shit, and my mom’s friends son ended up for a couple years in a mental rehab facility and has had family issues beyond imagination (I truly believe in karma, you get what you give). I have a steady job, a great life, and though my brother passed a few years ago and I miss him dearly, I have a wonderful family and home. I’m still on the chunky side but I love who I am now – maybe it was that year of bullying that has made me who I am – I’m confident, settled, I don’t let things rattle me…but I still have those awful memories.

    Is there another school she can go to? Maybe a charter school or some type of church-affiliated school? Seriously, this is going to affect her personality for years to come. It took me thru my 20’s and most of my 30’s to be able to put those few years of feeling so inadequate and ‘less than’ behind me. Don’t make her go through that if you can do something NOW.

    Please…at least look into it. Another school wasn’t an option for me back then, but it’s much easier now to try out another option. For her sake – it may not show all the time, but it is harming her.

    • Lord have mercy. I’m so sorry. First, I’m sorry that your brother passed away. Truly. And it makes me sick that someone bullied him. Unbelievable. How kids can be cruel to someone fwith a disability, I’ll never understand. There’s a special place in the universe for people like that. And it’s really hot there.

      Moving is not so easy. I have three other children to consider. That said, you better believe that I’ll be making even more noise if anything else happens to my daughter. Huge noise that involves words like “court, restraining order and lawyers;. Trust me when I say that I will not put up with any more shennanigans. I’m at my limit already.

      • I’m so glad to hear that! Even though my mom let me fight my own battles, which I can appreciate now, I do wish the teacher would have been more aware of what was going on and that she’d done more to help me. She was nearing retirement, though, and more than likely was burned out on teaching.

        All of your kids will be proud that you stick up for them – I know I appreciated my mom’s input. I am a better person now because of all of it – I have a lot more tolerance for those that are less evolved (nicest way I can say it) but I have a feeling your girls are pretty great already, without having to go through all that at this point in their lives. Wish I lived nearby you – I’d love to hang with y’all!

  90. Danielle K. says:

    I cannot understand how parents seem to let their children be that cruel to other children. My brother has severe Autism & gets teased almost every day in school & every time he’s in public. My brother has been called the “r-word” by GROWN ADULTS more times then I care to remember. I’ve cried for my brother because it is simply just not fair that he will probably never live on his own or get to pursue his passion for animals into a career. But he is the most loving and passionate 16 year old boy I’ve ever met…& NOBODY can take that away from him.

    It makes me sad just reading what other kids do/say to your daughter. I cannot believe how much worse bullying has gotten within the five years I have been out of school. I fear it will only get even worse.

    • I’m so sorry. That is heartbreaking. The thought that even adults can be cruel is just more than I can handle. I pray that he gets some peace and finds some joy in this life. Everyone deserves that.

  91. That breaks my heart, Melanie. I can’t even offer any suggestions, just offer a virtual shoulder to cry on. Children can be so cruel. My oldest son was bullied up until middle school. He is very soft spoken and has a tough time standing up for himself. There was a boy who bullied him so badly that my son would come home with lumps and bruises on his head and face. The school did absolutely nothing. I was ready to come to school with a switch because this boy clearly needed a beating. Or so I thought. It turned out the bully was beaten on a regular basis at home. His oldest brother eventually beat him to death. That didn’t make me feel any better about my son being bullied, but it made me wonder if the school could have done more. If someone could have done more. If the signs of abuse had been noticed sooner, my son could have avoided some very painful incidents, and the other boy might still be alive.

    Sorry for being so long winded, but these stories really hit close to home. I hate to hear that your daughter is having such a rough time. {{HUG}}

  92. I have been a longtime reader of your website and reading this post really broke my heart. Your children are all beautiful and talented, and I know they are such bright spirits. My oldest daughter was the victim of bullying when she was in first grade. I didn’t understand what was going on with her and finally, one day, she broke down and told me that she had been pushed down on the ground and choked by a gang of girls (after a month of being tormented) — one of whom she had been friends with.

    My husband is pretty bad with social situations, but since he was home when she came home and told him what happened, he took matters into his own hands and called the parents of the one who was her “friend.” They were mortified. The dad actually took off from work and came home, they cancelled her planned birthday party, and she had a long, hard month. My family told me to never speak to these people again — that there was something wrong with the parents, otherwise the kids would have never done something like this. My older sister, who is a pediatrician, told me to cease all contact. But what I saw on the other side was the mom of this 6 year old, standing above the school with binoculars every single day for a month, texting me updates on where her daughter was and where my daughter was and where the “ringleader” was. The parents we spoke to, along with the principal, were mortified. Every girl who was involved in the incident fessed up and confirmed the story — which basically involved a jealous girl and a cute pair of shoes. But the mob mentality was insane. And to think it was among 6 year old girls, I could not comprehend how it could happen.

    Five years later, our girls are BEST FRIENDS. I credit it entirely to the parents, and my husband, who just talked one on on about it with her parents. Sometimes relying on the school or teachers to handle it isn’t enough. And had I listened to everyone else about how the family had to be bad, I would have made a big mistake. And an added bonus — the mom and I are great friends. Direct communication is often overlooked, but at your daughter’s age, it could be very effective. Best of luck to you and your sweet girl.

  93. Melanie – I can’t begin to express how much my heart aches for your daughter! Thankfully, I have no frame of reference for your issue as my child has never been bullied. She was an active homeschooler for her first several grades then she transferred to a Christian school on the South Shore in 6th grade. She’s now a sophmore. After reading your post as well as other’s responses, I now realize how grateful I need to be for how she has developed. My daughter is very secure with herself – she is her own person and isn’t bothered by what other people think. Couple that with a seemingly healthy environment … I have nothing to complain about!
    Personally, I understand how you feel and believe your frustration with “the system” is totally warranted.
    Your daughter already has educational challenges that she deals with – they should have already been aware of her fragility and have taken extra care of others behavior towards her. Now with an already established series of issues … they need to take responsibility for this bullying and move heaven and earth to stop it!
    The people in authority (teachers, administrators) need to step up and protect your daughter. Where is the teacher when all this is going on? They know that there is an existing problem and in my opinion, need to separate the offenders from your daughter.
    Beside my opinion, I have no other great words of wisdom to impart. What I do have to offer is to keep your daughter in prayer. Matthew 19:26 says, ” … For people this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” I am praying that the bullying will be resolved SOON and that your daughter’s heart is healed quickly with no lasting scars!

  94. Melanie, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart…. and my sons ( who is a 13 yr old, He has not been bullied to the extent of what your explaining, but he believes NO one should and was honored to take part in an anti bulling campaign ) my son Is a local actor and he was part of a New Anti-bulling curriculum that was founded and filmed in NH it includes videos of different senarios plus an open conversation between teachers and students to help kid understand the ramifications of the actions of not only the bully but also the bystanders ( who may as well be bullies too) , NO child should have to endure such torture. The curriculum Is called ” Courage to care” It has been implemented here in NH schools and is being well received. One of the actual scenes that my son is in is him walking into the cafeteria and looking for a place to sit and none of the kids will accept him. The video will cut and the teacher or Guidance councilor ( who ever is teaching the curriculum ) will then follow the guide lines to teach the kids what they can do and how they can make better choices when it comes to Peers. It’s worth a try to see if your school will bring this in. I hope this helps. And I hope that your child gets some relief from this awefull treatment. It’s just not fair for kids to judge others by their clothes, toys or appearance. People are people and we all have feelings!

  95. My kid struggled with a girl doing it physically with her in preschool and the catholic school did not have the strict code of bullying as the public school. They just said that is how kids play. I made myself a pain until something was done.

    My special needs kid had several issues of bullying on bus and in class. Thanks to her lack of social awareness she did not even know it was happening to her. Once a neighbors son saw it and told his mom since he hated watching it and a popular girl offered to “pay” my kid for being away. Yet I invited them all to her birthday and it killed me to see how they not only attended but treated her at it.

    I have good self esteem now and use it to show my daughter the same. In spite of everything she perserveres. Wishing you much luck with your kiddo – it is hard not to watch it and not internalize it.

  96. Mother of bullied child says:

    Hello, I can totally relate to your story. I have a beautiful daughter who has been bullied and teased for being too smart, too talented, too happy, etc. She too has been called ugly since the first grade, teased for being able to sing, not using bad words, not let to roam free on the streets, for having a mother her cares about her and wants to know where she is. We had to take her out of one school and put her in another because she came home crying from school every day from bring called ugly and that no boy would ever like her. This was 6th grade. We went to new school for 7th grade. She tried too hard to fit in. By 8th grade, they were getting up and coming over to her at lunch and telling her how ugly and annoying she was and each person throwing their garbage on her and her food. Calling her names and saying she is worthless, ugly, nothing, less than nothing etc. She just sat there and took it to be liked. They planned to have her beaten by a crowd on girls and boys, kids were told to come watch and video with their phones and ipods. This was to happen at half time while she was not cheering during halftime. She was called 3 times to go back into the dark crowd of kids waiting to beat her as a crowd. They were smashing their fists, saying get her back here, why doesn’t she come back here. Luckily I saw and heard this and was their to stop it and not let her go back there. The kids were all waiting to beat her up. No one stepped in to warn her. That was the last straw. No we are back at first school again. She thinks she is so ugly and no boy will ever like her. She tried too hard to have girls be her friend. Bullying is seem by teachers and other students who do not step up for other kids. It needs to start there. Parents are usually always to blame also for knowing their child is mean to others and they do not care. I hope your daughter will some day see that they are all just jealous of something your daughter has and they don’t…a loving parent. That is enough for kids these days to hate another child. I feel your pain. I thank GOD I over heard the plan to beat my child who is a small tiny 13 year old girl. Thank GOD I stopped it. Kids need to step up for others. It will not be done by parents. Kids are too sneaky. It has to come from other kids to stop it. Good luck and GOD bless you and your child.

  97. Melanie have you the option of cyber school? Sometimes I think if there is no fighting it, that maybe looking for alternatives may be healthier in the long run for your daughter. My son had issues with high school, bad ones, and I so wish I could turn back time and cyber school. He ended up quitting school in his senior year. Thank God he wised up and went back to get his diploma. He did it at the school, not the ged program. He faced down all the haters and just did it.
    I hated high school too. kids can be so cruel. What about a christian school that will be better monitored?

  98. I am so sorry. I was bullied myself. I didnt want to come home and tell my parents because I didnt want to bring my sadness home to them. It was horrible every day and I even missed 33 days of school because it was easier to be sick then go to school. I ended up making some amazing friends that are my best friends still twenty years later. I have received apologies from the bullies as we became adults and found each other on face book. Have I forgiven sure but forget never. I ache for your daughter. I know its the schools responsibility however if I ever heard my daughter was the bully my husband and I would be heart broken. We would then handle it so that it stopped.


  1. On Bullying says:

    […] of violations: She is stupid because it takes her time to read out loud … … Excerpt from: On Bullying ← Little Shop of Horrors: The Director's Cut [Blu-Ray Review] Not Wearing My Glasses […]

  2. […] I read a post on bullying by Melanie from Melanie in The Middle.Β  I followed a link from facebook, not because my own children are bullied, but because I know it […]

  3. […] carelessly – one without easy solutions. Melanie from Melanie in the Middle shared a bit about her daughter’s bullying story this week with her readers and it broke my heart. No child should feel that kind of dismissal and […]

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