Our Kids

 

 

I thought of sharing these photos in light of what’s happening in news lately. So much hate, cyber crimes, cyber bullying and actual bullying in schools. Should we discuss this? I’ve been really disturbed by what’s happening all over – the young guys in Pampanga, the 11-year old boy in Toronto and the 14 year old gay boy in the US.

As parents of young children, we’re constantly holding their hands trying to raise them in an environment filled with love and understanding. Then after preschool, they’re faced with mean kids, bullies, scary people. What do you do?

There’s no step by step manual for parenting. I’m not a fan of reading parent guide books. Luckily I’m surrounded by friends who happen to be professionals in psychology and family counselling. I try to work with the wisdom they impart regarding parenting. And I also base a lot of my parenting skills on the way my parents raised me. I don’t really have a formula. I try my best to be present and active in their lives – together as a family and one-on-one with each kid. We balance being doting parents and imposing discipline in a positive way. Only time will tell if we’re doing the right thing.

 


Sophia’s “novel”

 

My 8 year old started writing her “novel.” She told me that they would be quizzed in computer classes this week. Unlike most urban private-schoolled 8-year olds in Metro Manila, she does not have a Facebook account. I refuse to let her into this crazy world of the internet just yet. Facebook rules say – no kids below 13 should join. There’s a reason for that. So no Facebook. For keeping in touch with our family overseas, we have the iPhone Facetime. For games, they borrow our iPads. For talking to friends, we try to arrange parent-supervised play dates.

But she wanted to practise her typing skills. So I taught her how to use Microsoft Word instead. Hence, the novel. Chapter 1 and 2 deals with war, moving from Japan to Canada, bullies, money for college and going back to Canada. I posted this in Instagram and I got interesting feedback, like “war?”, “complex topics for an 8year old?”, “wow!” It got me thinking. Yes, she is a bit deep. Deeper than I was at that age. She’s a voracious reader! I met with the school teachers over the weekend. She’s doing very well academically and she finally has a school best friend. I almost cried when the teacher told me she’s very intelligent and that they were very proud of her. We don’t even give that much emphasis on academics right now. Absolutely no pressure. Same way our parents did with us.

She has depth, yes. We do not let them watch noontime shows, ASAP or telenovelas. But she’s been to rock concerts and to TV stations and the set of Willie’s show (off hours). We turn off the TV if there’s sensational news like a horrible car crash or riots. But despite those precautions, she’s still very aware of the general issues of the world – the tsunami, earthquakes. She made up a club called Peace Club. She learned about World War 1 and 2 because of Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. She learned about fatal diseases because of Beatrix Potter and the recent AH1N1 and Dengue scares. She knows about poverty and malnourishment because of my UNICEF work. So really, we can only shelter them that much. They eventually have to know about the world. In the case of my 8 year old, she just seems more interested in current events than most kids her age.

So now I’m thinking, should she really be this deep? She has her diversions; she watches pre-approved and age-appropriate movies, she plays with Barbies, reads Total Girl magazine every month, she plays in the park, practices ice skating and she has her BFF’s (one unfortunately moved to Oman, perhaps the inspiration of her novel). And lately she started playing Moshi Monsters online – only while I’m around though. Those networking games are so scary as well. I told her to never give her name, address and school’s name to her “friends.” Naturally she asked why a hundred times. So I had to tell her that there could be bad people pretending to be kids – with the intentions of being “children grabbers.”

It’s so scary to be a parent now…

 


While we live in this crazy cyber world, I always make it a point that the kids play outdoors. They get their park time. One afternoon, I had to force the 5-year old to go for a walk. She didn’t want to get sweaty. Uh oh. The cutest thing about their outdoor play is their “pasalubong” for me. Lily never fails to bring me a flower everytime. Sophia has outgrown this ritual.

 


Lily’s been doing this flower thing for years. I treasure these moments.

 


This was Lily’s present before I went to India.

 


And when I got back from my Maguindanao mission with UNICEF, Lily presented me with this.

 


Last Thursday Lily, 5 and Stella, 2 gave me Kalachuchi flowers from our garden.

 


On Friday, it was Santan again – from Lily and Stella.

 


Then Saturday afternoon, we had Kalachuchis again from Stella.

 


Lily’s been teaching Stella about this afternoon ritual.

 


And for a change, she gave me weeds. Or as my mother calls them, “wild flowers.”

 

I wish our kids’ lives could always be as lovely and friendly as it is in preschool. With drawings and hand-picked wild flowers. I want to protect them from mean people. But I want them to learn to stand up and fight for themselves.

I want to rid this world of bullies. Every child deserves an environment with no violence – from adults and fellow children. I talked to my sister about this. Hanni’s son, a 4 year old, had an anti-bullying day in his Toronto preschool. I asked her to share what they learned. Maybe parents and teachers here should start talking about this. I’ve been hearing too many bullying stories lately. I wish we could do something about it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

 

Leave a comment

  • http://twitter.com/iamcatbantug cathyne bantug

    i have an 8-year old too. a few months ago a male classmate said things to her. harsh words she haven’t heard from our home. i don’t want to barge into school and make a scene so i just wrote her teacher a note about the incident. i told the teacher to handle it first with the boy’s parents. it is very hard to be a parent nowadays.

     (i blogged about it na lg when that incident happened kesa magalit ng todo) http://mysocalledpurrplelife.blogspot.com/2011/08/school-bullies-scary.html

    • Anonymous

      thanks for sharing

  • http://twitter.com/pepperstitch maureen grace

    You’re absolutely right, there’s no formula on how to perfectly raise the kids and keep them out of harm because as soon as they become an adult they will encounter situations which will gauge their ability to resolve it on their own,should i say sometimes parents should let their children go into trouble so they’ll know how to get out of it, be proud that once in their life they took the risk and realize they made the right decision no matter how painful it gets. I myself grew up without my parents beside me since my sophomore year because they separated and mom went to US. It pushed me to be independent and i was glad despite of it, having troubles and question while growing up I was able to finish school and that’s my way making my mom proud of me. Just when i started reading your blog, it became an eye opener for me, thank you for being an inspiration for people like me who needs to be enlighten. Your kids is so blessed to have a mom like you,endearing, caring, indespensible, needed mom. If ever i’ll get the chance to meet them or you’re parents then i’ll tell them they’re so lucky to have you. God bless Ms. Daphne

    • Anonymous

      There’s no formula. i encountered bullies – a mild form. both in my elementary school here in Manila and in my high school in Canada (not really bullies but crazy jealous friends). for the most part, i had to fend for myself. but when things went really tough i always ran to my parents. They didn’t actually always get involved, which left me to still fend for myself and make my own decisions but they were always my cheerleaders. Somehow I always knew that I had an amazing home and family. And I always believed my parents that things would get better for me.

      Up to now, I still need to hear the voice of my mom and dad… and i’m so lucky to have them around.

      It’s amazing that you learned it your way. 

      There is no formula…

  • http://twitter.com/renzalcantara Renz Alcantara

    My daughter’s about to step into “big school” next year and I can’t help but feel butterflies in my stomach when I hear stories about bullies at school. I would want to teach her to fend for herself but how?…I still have 6 months to figure that out. Thanks for the post! 

    • Anonymous

      surround our kids with love. be present. be involved in parent-teacher-school activities….

  • mbcc

    I remember when my daughter in her Kinder2 days told me that she doesnt want to go to school anymore coz her classmate was following her and imitating whatever she does all the time. I wrote a letter to the teacher requesting that she be transferred to a different row in the classroom. I was so thankful that the teacher was very cooperative and was able to make my daughter and the classmate become bestfriends. I believe through experience we need to closely monitor our kids daily experiences and activities by spending time talking to them. Always I remind her in the morning before leaving for school that she be nice and dont fight back when someone bullies her instead inform her teacher. I have to always talk to her coz she is the youngest in her class.

    • Anonymous

      our family counsellor told us though that the only way to stop a bully is to STOP a bully. tell them to stop! of course this is easier said than done. especially if it’s a group that’s bullying.

      one thing we could do also is to make sure we have a great relationship with our kids, so that they can tell us whatever is wrong. i feel so sad for the kids who turn to hurting themselves… as a way out. God help us all.

  • Ina

    I’m not a mom, but I do have younger brothers, one of whom was bullied into doing something against the rules (a prank that was really, really disgusting). He didn’t tell my parents right away because he was scared of getting in trouble with them. But of course, my parents found out because the teacher informed them of it. I remember him shaking, trying to keep the tears in while explaining what happened, and it broke my heart. It brings tears to my eyes now. He was suspended, along with the bullies, but got the shortest “sentence” of the entire group.

    I definitely think parents and teachers should be more proactive and start talking about this NOW, while it’s still early. I think it’s important for both parties to be involved, because the parents can’t always know what’s going on at school. And kids won’t tell their mom and dad out of fear, shame and guilt. So yes, it’s in the parents and teachers’ hands, I think.

    I really am amazed how different every thing is now. When I was in grade school, I’ve never heard of anyone being seriously and constantly bullied, I read about it in Sweet Valley books, but that was the extent of it. Now, with Facebook and Twitter and BBM, every thing moves so fast, a cruel joke or a rumour could spread so quickly, that the meanness just spreads like wildfire. It’s a much scarier time to be a child. :(

    And, yes, I completely agree with the age limit on Facebook. I don’t understand how some little kids have their own accounts. With the iPad, iTouch and other hand-held gadgets, it would not be possible to supervise what they’re doing on there all the time. Don’t their parents read the news or even watch CSI? The internet is terrifying.

    PS: I apologize for the lengthy comment.

    • Anonymous

      I totally appreciate your comment.

      I wish we could encourage kids to speak up. Expose the bullies.

      There should also be a buddy system at schools.

      We should all be role models in our own way – to treat others the way we want to be treated.

  • ChinChin MD

    Hi Ms. Daphne, as a mother, I believe we share the same sentiments when it comes to our kids.  I myself would do anything to protect them from hate, from violence and everything that could harm them physically and emotionally.  I used to think that bullying only happens to grade school kids, but sadly my 3 year old daughter has encountered some form of bullying from her classmate in preschool.  It started out when we noticed things missing from her bag, like her erasers, her pencils and crayons.  Then one day we noticed her lunch box missing, and the following day I followed up with her teachers to see if she left it behind, that’s when we found out that the kid sharing her locker had all her stuff.  This little girl who also happens to be my daughters seat mate was older by a year.  Teachers informed me that they would wonder why  my daughter would suddenly cry in a corner during recess, and they observed that this other girl would start getting my daughter’s food.  I asked the teachers if they were able to inform the parents, and they told me that the kid was in the care of yaya as both parents were working abroad.

    This just made me sad, because it only shows that maybe the reason why kids act the way they are is because they lack the care and guidance of parents.  They transferred my daughter to another seat, and I guess the teachers were the one who talked to the child and telling her it’s wrong to get things that does not belong to you.   So far, the incident never happened again.

    • Anonymous

      It boils down to a parenting problem again. Kids who are bullies have problems at home. 

      How do we make things better … the family’s structure is changing. Parents working overseas. Schools have no anti-bullying policies.

  • Jayjayvg

    Thank you for writing about this. Bullying is a problem in girls’ schools, boys ‘ schools whether in a private or public school. Most schools turn a blind eye to this and most parents have nowhere to go. It is a problem that can scar our kids yet it’s not addressed seriously by most schools. It’s treated like corruption. It’s happening for so long that people have gotten used to it and so just accept it. It is a scary world but I wish we can do something about it . This is one step. Writing about it and saying it does exist even in the small classrooms of our young children.

    • Anonymous

      Bullying is first and foremost a parenting problem.

  • http://twitter.com/ursweetmelody Melody de Leon

    “It’s so scary to be a parent now…” so true Ms. Daphne.
    I’m wondering how our parents deal with this issue during our time (i was born 70’s).. my 8 year old boy-in grade 3 had several bullying incidents in class..he’s the one who asked me to talk to their class adviser to move his seat, happened twice… hopefully, that would be the last.

    • Anonymous

      good thing he talks to you.

  • Belle Villegas

    Hi Daphne, my kids have been bullied in school. my 7 year old daughter was punched by her classmate just because she was (according to the boy)was blocking his way and my 8 year old was son was pranked by his seat mate by putting spider in his shoulder and once his classmate borrowed his eraser then instead of giving it back to him, he threw it far from my son. I am very proud that my kids didn’t fought back they just told the teacher what happened and let the principal do the necessary actions.

    I would just want to ask if the parents of these bullies know what their kids act in school. We really shouldn’t blame the kids. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them and to raise them well. 

    To stop this, in my opinion,I suggest every time the parents file for a birth certificate they should attend a parenting seminar. Whether they are single mom/dad or parents for the first or the nth time there should be a corresponding seminar for them.

    Another thing, Conduct or Volunteer to a  Parenting Seminars in the communities/barangays/parish or church they belong to.

    Being a parent is really hard but if we help other parents and help ourselves also we can raise good children and this bullying will stop.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a parenting problem…. 

  • Nimfa

    Sad to hear stories of kids who are bullied in school or even their playmates,as a mother of  a teenaged boy, my son also experience being bullied even in facebook, yes he’s turning 13 yrs.ols and he has an Fb accnt.but i get to sneak on his account from time to time i saw 1 picture of him in one of their field trips  in school and his girl classmate took a stolen shot of my son and post it on facebook then they started to post comments that i myself during my teenaged yrs cannot fathom that young girls now teases boys with such harsh comments, yes kids now wether boys or girls do that..i sent this girl a message in her account and reiterate that she should not do that because she will not earn respect from boys and maybe she too will be bullied if she continue do that,i ask my son if he’s been tease in school he said yes but did not mind them he told me,  but im worried about the temper of my son coz i know him too well that once he is provoke he can hurt someone that’s why i always ask him everyday how he’s day been, and so far after that incident i never get to hear any nasty comments on my son FB accnt..( btw i deleted that girl on his friends list and blocked her friends too). I think DEPED should have a strict regulation regarding school bullying to prevent worse things happening in school,and as  parents  we should always be on guard on our childrens behavior specially teenagers today.

    • Anonymous

      wow, you told the girl off? good thing this ended with no violence.
      i’m not even in the teenage years yet and i’m already scared.

  • http://twitter.com/spookyhontas Riz Dela Plana

    The last two years of my now 12-year old in primary school were spent in a democratic school.  It was a non-traditional school which put emphasis on community building, equality, freedom, compassion, and fun.  It’s a small school of about 200 kids and they all knew each other from pre-school to 6th grade.  Kids did not compete against each other, they were not graded based on pre-defined standards, walang honour roll to speak of.  The kids call their teachers on a first-name basis and I have not seen any other place where the kids loved their teachers more.  You can tell the kids respect each other, and my daughter was so proud to be in that place, to be part of that community.  No bullies! They had a regular school meeting and also a class meeting chaired by the kids themselves. A kid raises an issue and the kids agree in that forum how to resolve it. Agreements formed become “rules” so everyone is aware and they cooperate. Everybody gets a chance to speak. Respecting others is their big thing.

    As a parent who was schooled the traditional way, I struggled with the perceived leniency.  There were times na I thought, parang puro fun na lang.  Yoga, bush-walking, rock-climbing for PE.  Camping to start every term. Free Fridays as long as you get all school work done by Friday.  And no homework.  Secretly I complained to my husband na baka mag-rust away ang anak ko academically.  I was not used to seeing kids have so much fun in school.  As in ayaw mag-absent kahit may sakit!  

    But you know what … at the end of the day, she may not be the best student academically speaking, pero those two years in that school taught her a lot.  Stuff they don’t teach in most schools anymore.  Life skills.  Even my daughter acknowledges that.

    • Anonymous

      That’s great. As for the rest of us who chose the traditional way, I guess it’s up to the family’s foundation at home – to surround children in an environment of love and respect. 

      The real world is tough. There are bullies in the work place too. There’s inequality. Horrible bosses. Hopefully with children such as yours, and hopefully mine, we can make this world a better place.

      I was just talking to my sister about a different topic – our women’s fraternity in university (Toronto). We learned a lot there. Sure we partied! We were exposed to leadership conferences. But the best thing we valued other than the sisterhood was our ability to conduct parliamentary procedures during our meetings. 19-24 year olds learning to resolve problems in a parliamentary democratic way. That there are pros and cons to an issue. That everyone has a voice, at the right time. But that’s in university.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • joseph henry

    I’ve been bullied when I was in elementary, it is really hard for me sharing the same room with my bully classmate, i can’t focus on the lecture, and have been teased because because im the shortest among the class, and sometimes i just pretend that i’m not feeling well just to have an excuse not to come to school and to keep away from those bullying. when i reached high school i thought those bad memories from my childhood would stop but, it seems so immortal that even with most more mature classmates and people i have been, it is always the same story, bullying would knock again, that until i found a companion my history teacher, she always reminds me not to fight back, and she explained to me that most kids or most bully kids, are those who were deprived in their own homes, that’s why bullying is the way they can see to release that deprivation that they are feeling, since then.. i started walking chin up saying… “pity you guys!!! i have a lot of people, who love me”

    • Anonymous

      That’s great. 

      But I wish that bullies could be exposed. And that they are stopped. Before they even hurt anyone… or get out to the real world and grow up to be evil people.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Ms Daphne for this sensible blog about bullying. I studied in an exclusive for boys in my elementary and high school days and as a gay in that school, I was bullied everyday by my classmates and what is even worse, some teachers would humiliate and ridicule in front of the class for being gay. It has taken significant effect on me and to my gay classmates who had been teased by our school mates. Some of us had low self esteem but what I d really like about my gay classmates are their strong will to fight and do good in academics and to other school mates despite being ostracized by these people. Sometimes I  ask myself why do they bully us when in fact we are not doing something wrong to them and what is their point in making fun of other people. I know my teachers and the school administration is aware of these situations before but they turn a blind eye on it. I dont know how I was able to survive ten years of bullying from my classmates but I guess I have found refuge from few gay and straight friends and one teacher who understood my sexuality. I guess each school administration should ratify regulations and policies about bullying plus parents should be oriented by the media or schools on how to know if their child is being bullied by their classmates. I just dont want other school kids to experience the ordeal that I have experienced.

    • Anonymous

      Good for you! 

      I’ve been reading up on this and some recommend this buddy system. And “expose the bullies.” And “stand up against bullies.”

      • Anonymous

        luckily I have one classmate who defended me from bullies in school and he taught me how to fight for myself because he will not be always there to defend me if these kids would tease me again

        • Anonymous

          Hugs to you.

  • jd cañeza

    Sadly, sometimes, bullying comes from within the kids’ families itself. Some parents and family members would always compare their kids to others who seem to do better in terms of academics and extra-curriculars, among others. I guess this leads to kids being bullies themselves. They tend to compete, protect and defend themselves in such a way that they want to express that they, too, are strong or something like that. 

    “It’s so scary to be a parent now…”    

    — I so agree. My kid just turned 11 months today and yet I’m afraid that what’s happening in the world right now would turn him into something that we never wanted him to be. We cannot safeguard him all the time. A few years from now, he’ll go to school, meet other kids who were probably raised differently. 

    But I understand that the best thing that we can do as parents is try to be their best friends. That way, they would feel free to tell us their thoughts and feelings. I guess that’s the best opportunity we have to do something to get them out of harm. 

    • Anonymous

      it always starts at home. it’s a parenting problem. 

  • Julmin4u

    hi daphne, this is so timely as we just drafted a letter addressed to the school bus operator, my son’s class adviser and their principal. my son, a grade 1 student is bullied in the school bus. he is a tough kid, never learned it from him, he asked for his cousin’s help and it was his cousin who informed us. long story, i’ll be going to the school tomorrow to handcarry the letter to the principal. as what you said, we protect our kids from mean people. we choose his friends while we can because I know when he’s older, us  choosing his friends would be difficult. we supervise his tv time, he’s only allowed to watch disney junior, never cartoon network because of the violent cartoons there. it’s sad those kids who bully small children though sometimes it also makes me think why these kids became bully.

    • Anonymous

      Good for you! 
      Don’t stop. Talk to the parents of the other kid.

  • http://dorigami.tumblr.com cf

    I was bullied back in elementary and half of high school. They would hide my bag, books and mess up my table. And buried my lunchbox onto the ground….which the guard found it 3 years later (I was already 3rd year high school when he found it). I was called worthless, weird, strange..and even, abnormal. They are a big group by the way. Some even pretended to be my friends so they can prank me easier. 😛

    My teachers would often tell these to my mother during PTA, and my poor mother (bless her heart) didn’t know what to do. Of course, she didn’t tell me of her distress then, rather, she put on a brave face and made sure I was kept busy, she encouraged me to write, to draw, to paint, to read. Thanks to her, reading, art and writing became my therapy. Those became my comfort, my opium pipe and my outlet. Those bullies became nothing more than inspirations for my writings and I took it as ‘social experiment research’ so I can understand them better. They became materials, subjects to my scribbles..so to speak. 

    I would hide in the library between shelves of greek mythology and japanese short stories during lunch time to read everything in that section. (and to avoid the bullies.) But in the end, it got me through high school. I was so relieved (truly, truly relieved) when high school was over. 
    I was never really sure why they picked on me till years later in a reunion….they (some of these ‘former’ bullies) shared that they really found me ‘weird’ and kept to myself. They didn’t know or understand what is going through my mind…and my interests is something they couldn’t comprehend as well. So they…..tried to do something that will ‘set me off’ to ignite some sort of reaction. And it frustrated them that I only give a shrug and just walk off without a word. (I guess to each his own way of coping.)From my perspective anyway, These bullies tend to gravitate on things they don’t understand. On things or situations they have no control over. They do things to provoke, to elicit a reaction that would grab attention, to seek attention…for that minute outburst of emotion that mirrors their inner turmoil. 

    Daphne, continue to encourage your girls to love art, writing and reading. I tell you right here and right now, those 3 things saved my life. It gave me something to hold on to. Until now I still look into writing as my therapy. 

    2nd, be there for them. Because my mother played a big part in that tumultuous era of my life. I am sure as your girls grow up to be tweens, then teens, then eventually adults, they will need you. They will look up to you. Give them your strength and it will theirs to channel. I admire how you try to only give them the best, and not tolerate negativity in all things. As for bullying, there is light at the end of that dark tunnel, just let them know what is true and what is the bigger picture. That there are things bigger than bullies. Greater things to look forward to. :)

    • Anonymous

      You brought tears to my eyes.

      So true. And I’m glad you… we… turned out fine.

  • Nom De Plume

    Dear Ms. Daphne,

    I would to share my short story about my experiences from ‘BULLYING’.

    When I was in highschool, I used to get bullied by my classmate especially my boy classmates. I am stout in built that time. They always make fun of me.. I am good in drawing illustrations and thanks God, he has given me an artistic talent. When we had an assignment that time, they ask me to do their assignments and I am doing it in sake of I believe that they will not make fun or tease me any more. But I was wrong, they still did that. They always threw my bag outside like a soccer ball and slid it on the floor. They stole my pens (different colors and its my collection that time). They hid my bag keychains and notebooks. I don’t ever dare to tell my parents about that for almost 2 years and until now I can’t forget, and it sometimes its affect me psychologically and emotionally. I always locked myself in my room when I got home. I know it is not right to get bullied. I thought that my environment that time is nasty. I feel so lazy when getting up in the morning and feeling that I don’t want to go to school. As may they say that ‘highschool life’ is the one of unforgettable highlight of teenagers life, but for me, I strongly disagree on that. Unfortunately, my teacher doesn’t even care. 
    Then I once knew, they are victim of a broken family.

    But now, I am happy, studied in a well-known university in Manila. I took Architecture course and gratefully, in God’s grace, i passed the Architecture Examination, and i am now a registered architect based in Singapore.

    When i went back to my hometown, I found out that they did not finish their schools and they are now supposed to be ‘tambay’ in colloquial term.

    P.S.

    Please excuse for my grammar, for I am not technically good at it but I believe I expressed all my thoughts. 

    Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing! And congratulations on your success! Happy ending.

  • itskayemiranda

    Its sad but I have experienced bullying when I was much much younger. Not in any of my schools but in the neighborhood where we live in. Some people would tease me about my weight and I would cry myself home being careful not to show my parents. At that time, I didn’t think it was a big deal even if it did hurt because I would always compare the bullying being shown in Hollywood films and think that what I’m experiencing is nothing compared to the ‘bida’ in those films.

    I’d like to think that I’m better because of those experience. Better in a way that I know how NOT to treat other people. But its just sad that I wasn’t able to tell my parents about it. For what reason exactly, I don’t know. Maybe I was scared. I don’t know.

    Now, my younger sister experienced bullying too. One time, she came home from school crying. She was in grade school then and I think I was in high school. I asked her what’s bothering her. She wouldn’t answer. You see, I’m very makulit and I kept asking her what the problem was. Then she answered, “May nang-aaway sa akin sa school.”

    I asked, “Ha? Bakit ka inaaway? Sinong nang-aaway? Ano ba ang nangyayari?” (Not exactly a great way to talk to a kid. Hehe. Bombarding her with so many questions. :p  Remember, I’m just an adolescent that time.)

    She answered, “Ewan ko kung bakit niya ako inaaway. Basta pinapili niya ako kung ano daw ang gusto ko. Kung ito,” she then made a fist out of her hands, “o ito,” she demonstrated her hands as if she were about to slap me. In short, the kid in question wanted to let my sister choose between suntok o sampal.

    Saying that I was furious was an understatement. Not only that, I felt like I let my parents down. Both of my parents were out of the country. My mom was in Canada working. My dad was a seaman working as well. Before they left, they talked to me that as the eldest, I should love and take care and protect my sister. I took on the challenge. A lot of responsibility for me. But I won’t blame my parents because both of them felt that they needed to go out of the country to provide for us. That’s a whole new discussion, though.

    I felt compelled to do something about that bullying incident. So I decided to call the parents of the girl. During that time, I felt that they need to know what their kid was doing. So I called and the kid who was bullying my sister answered the phone. I asked for her parents and she said that they weren’t there. So I introduced myself and said (in a calm but with authoritarian tone), “(Insert girls name), umiiyak yung kapatid ko kanina pag-uwi ng school tapos pinapili mo siya kung ano ang gustong gawin mo sa kanya – kung suntok o sampal. Bakit mo ginawa yun?” Then she started saying sorry. She was apologizing profusely. I asked, “Anong oras dadating ang parents mo para maka-usap ko sila?” She was bargaining already she said, “Ate, wag munang kausapin sila. Hindi ko na uulitin. I’m sorry.” So I said, “Huwag mo ng uulitin yun ha.”

    I didn’t call her parents. She kept her end of the bargain and didn’t bully my sister again.

    Now, my sister and I look back on that incident smiling. That made us closer. I love you sis! :)

    Side Note: Looking back on that phone call, I can’t help but think that I was bullying the other kid, too. But what is the best way to handle that though?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know what’s right or wrong in that case. But I feel like you did the right thing. Stand up to bullies! I think that’s my new slogan!

  • http://thekaloka.com/ kaloka

    Im currently in Oman, hope Sophia’s BFF is having a great time, there’s not that much stuff to do here. Anyways, I have this nephew around 7 who is really full of energy and rowdy but when he is being told off by his mom, he will cry and this is his dialogue (has nothing to do why his mom scolded him) :

    Nephew: Why people are being so mean?
    Me: Whose mean? You are naughty that’s why you’ve been told off?
    Nephew: No, the kids at school. They are being mean.

    Maybe he’s trying to say that though he’s rowdy at home, there are boys who are more naughty and bullying him at school. He looks really sad that’s why I asked my sister to check if there are in bullying issues at school.

    Elna (the other Elna)

    • Anonymous

      Elna, the other Elna… haha. So cute!

      Ya, that’s a pretty strong sign. Please check what’s up in his school.

  • alynn

    Hi Ms. Daphne.  I’m currently working for a school abroad and our school just recently discussed  how to prevent these issues.  This is because one of our new student in Grade 6 experienced a cyberbullying from his new classmates.  This girl tells this new boy the 4 letter “F” word  on Facebook.  When their homeroom teacher asked the girl why she did it, she said she’s mad and don’t really know what to say.  Most of the time, bullies do not know that they’re bullying maybe because they were bullied when they were young and they thought it’s just alright or they simply do not know what it is.  The school do not allow them to access Facebook in school, so these things happened after school but because all these kids are free to access the net at home and even using their phone anywhere anytime. 

    As parent, we can only protect our children at some point but we have to prepare them so when they are faced in such circumstances they know how to handle it.  Many parents are not widely informed on these issues, many do not even know that Facebook has age restriction, they are even friends with their 7 y/o kids.  Parents need to work hand in hand with the school so the internet use procedure implemented in school will be followed-up at home. 

    I read one article by Jonnie Santos on Online Safety for Families.  It is concise and helpful for families.  

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Daphne for writing about this. I’ve been bullied since Grade 6 until 4th year high school. I’m scared of saying to my parents about the bullying thing for so many reasons. I remember those painful and sad days and moments when I cry secretly in the restroom after classes. They are bullying me because of my weight (I’m fat kasi before), my arms, my academic standing and my achievements. And they always make fun of me and backstab me. Those were like the nightmares of my life and I was traumatized. God is the only one that I can talk to in those days of my life. Fast forward to today, I’m now a freshman college student, gained new friends, now confident, lose weight (the bullies were shocked when they saw me and my  slim figure…the expressions were priceless I tell you) and spreading positive vibes. I can proudly say that I’m a survivor and will survive all obstacles, challenges and bullies in life.  And karma will come to those bullies.

    • Anonymous

      Stand up to bullies from now on. 

      Congrats! Be brave. You are beautiful!

  • Carla

    Thank you for writing about this topic… It seems to be a sensitive one with different kinds of people, no matter what race, age, or gender they may be. Other than negligent parenting being one of the contributing factors, I think complacent and spineless school authorities are also to blame. I’ve heard too many stories of teachers turning a blind eye to bullying just because the kid happens to be the child of a politician or powerful businessman or school benefactor. I’m blessed that my kids go to a school that is very conservative Christian and the teachers are some of the most loving and firm ones I’ve seen, so things like this are really dealt with gravely. Still, we really have to constantly pray for our children. We can’t control all the things at happens to them, so we really have to leave the rest to God.

    • Anonymous

      Schools/teachers. Yes I’ve heard about that too. But the truth is that there’s no course in teacher-school/ teachers’ ed that deals with anti-bullying.

      There are online courses for teachers, on how to deal with the bully problem.

      http://www.bullying.org/

  • L.G.

    When my son was 9, he was bullied by a barkada of 4 of his girl classmates. But it was this one girl, the leader of the group, who always started it. Nothing physical, but she kept on calling him names, asking him to do stuff for her (and if he refuses, she’d get mad) and generally put him down. When he told me this, of course my first instinct as a mother, I wanted to confront the girl. But I also thought that maybe (at his age) he’d want to handle this himself. I asked him if he wanted me to tell his teacher but he refused. It never came to a point naman that he wouldn’t want to go to school or he’d cry — nothing like that happened so I wasn’t too worried. I just stepped back and see if  they can resolve it themselves. I also explained to him that maybe this girl was just jealous of him (he’s at the top of the class) and that he should stand up for himself. I told him that anytime he wanted me to take care of the situation, just let me know and I will call the attention of the teacher.

    I know the girl’s parents and they are very nice and God-fearing people. I suspect that it is also partly due to the influence of the barkada that she is doing this.  I do not dare talk to the girl’s mom about the bullying, knowing that she might get defensive. I understand that mothers’ first instincts are always to protect and defend their children.

    After some months passed, I noticed my son getting teary-eyed one day telling me of a certain insult this girl said to him. (I pick up my children everyday in school so anything that happens, they tell me right away.) I thought, that’s it, I have to do something na. With consent from my son, I told the teacher everything. The teacher told the mom, who had no idea about her daughter’s bullying. The mom called me up immediately. She was very apologetic to me, she even asked me how come I didn’t tell her right away, kawawa naman daw my son, etc. She also told me she noticed some behavioral changes in her daughter, becoming more materialistic, etc and she also thought it might be because of the crowd she’s in. She also voiced her concern about how to handle her daughter. In the end, she  forced her daughter to approach me and apologize personally (aside from saying sorry to my son as well), explaining to her that when she hurt my son, she also hurt me. The girl was crying when she said sorry to me, however I felt that she was sincere, and I honestly did not have any ill feelings toward her (knowing she’s still a child and just misguided).

    All’s well that ends well. They are still classmates until now and she has never bullied him or any other person since then.

    • Anonymous

      That’s great. How I wish all bullying stories end this way.

  • http://www.chocolatecookiesandcandies.com chocolatecookiescandies

    This topic is close to my heart. As a youngster, I was bullied by many kids for 10 years until I was 17. My parents both worked long hours and I didn’t have anyone to talk to. At one point, I fell into a deep depression. I’ve come to the realization that the bullies due to their own insecurities and issues at home would then pick on a weaker child with low esteem.

    I had a long and heart to heart chat with a bully 20 years later. She’d never forgotten and was gripped with guilt for treating me so badly. It took her decades to locate me (thanks to Facebook) and wanted to apologize personally so that she could move on. I was touched. It’s never easy to put your pride aside to apologize. I’ve also realized that what didn’t break me made me stronger. If I hadn’t been bullied, I wouldn’t have been as compassionate nor understanding. There’s always a silver lining in every mishap.

    A year ago, my 4 (now 5) year old was bullied in school. Needless to say, I was furious but I remembered an advice my best friend gave to me years ago. I got my daughter to role play to understand how to tackle the issue. I wanted her to learn the skills to be more assertive and independent as I wouldn’t be able to fight her battles all the time. It worked and the bully never bothered her again. I had a quiet word to his mother and she was heartbroken but determined to deal with the problem.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing this. I’ve learned a lot from you.

  • mmc

    House Bill 2361 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2010 was filed in congress last August 2010. As an advocate for children, I think this is one that is certainly worth passing.

    • Anonymous

      how many laws do we have that don’t get enforced.

      violence is a crime. 

      even without this bill I think all schools should have a policy against bullying. kids should be able to tell someone – teacher, parents, guidance counsellor. 

      and every parent should do his/her part to be present and actively involved in the lives of their children. no to violence against kids. 

  • Laurice Ambrosio

    Growing up i had my fair share of being bullied and in my way of standing up to the bullies i became a bully to the kids i could handle. I eventually grew up that regretful phase of my childhood and my “bully” behavior. I thought at that time i simply couldn’t bully some kids everytime i’m being bullied. And as advised by my mom, “wag mo na lang pansinin magsasawa din sila” or “if they hurt you that’s the time i’ll step in”. In a way that gave me courage to just put on the blinders and go on my merry way and to say sorry to my victims for a fresh new start. I never thought that in ignoring them would also be considered as tolerating them. In time I have learned to empathize with other people’s feelings. 

    Now that ‘m working, I am now being placed in a terrible position of being bullied (again) by a group of people which even extends to the internet. I have tried informing the office of my dilemma and they are alarmed that people with my age still experience bullying but on a different level. They actually don’t know how to approach them. Which explains the ignorance in our culture in dealing with bullies (kids or professionals). I am just thankful of the support i am getting from my family and to my “boss” that knows what is happening with.

    I hope bullying would stop, its not nice no matter what age you experience it or which end you are in.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry to hear that. you are right though, bullies have to be dealt with. or else they won’t go away. most pros say “tell them in their face to stop!” But that’s so hard to do.

      Sorry that you’re still going through it. Is it bullying or are they making you chismis? That’s so rude. I hope something can be done. Please don’t let it affect you… Stay strong. Thank goodness for your support system.

      • Laurice Ambrosio

        Its really bullying. :(

        The kind of bullying kids make, they laugh so hard when you pass by them or say blurt out mean one liners when i’m around. I even apologized at one point if i offended them just to make them stop. When i tried keeping it to myself it got worse. Even after my apology. Then it extended to their facebook rants and even rude emails (in my office email add). When some of the boss learned of this, it died for a few weeks but they never wanted to stop. 

        The” bosses” in the office doesn’t know what to do because these people are not their employees (our office “house” their office). Its hard to keep quiet on these matters, and very hard on making things stop. I don’t know which is easier being bullied as a kid or as an adult.

        That’s why i’m very thankful for the support i’m getting from my family and officemates and bosses. I have this line on replay on my head everytime i’m being pushed to the limit, “I am better than you are, every insult you make at me is actually a description of who you really are”. 

        I salute you on how you raise your kids! Its refreshing to read that parents actually put an emphasis on positive upbringing and behavior. Kudos to you Ms. Daphne!

        • Anonymous

          take care.

  • http://miekezmackay.blogspot.com Mieke Zamora-Mackay

    This issue is always on my mind.  While we try to teach our children the value of resilience against adversity, it’s always hard to strike that balance to ensure that the coin isn’t flipped, and your child become the oppressor.

    All I can do is help my children see who they are, and show them that they are loved for who they are.  My only hope is that they will know to come to me when they need help.  And the help I give, is what they need.

    • Anonymous

      So true

  • http://fieryriver.wordpress.com yen

    Hi Ms Daphne, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time since a friend gave me this link but this is my first time to post a comment.  I couldn’t help but post since the topic you’ve written is close to my heart.  The rising cases of juvenile delinquency has gotten me too and it has made me run to God and ask Him what should we do as a response to these cases?  I believe that the older generation must pray and intercede for the young ones since this rising generation is under attack. 

    I quite admire how you bring up your children especially the ones about not letting them get an FB account or watch telenovelas.  I believe that watching TV must be limited to certain hours and that kids should be guided by parents when watching shows.  God bless you and your family. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks

  • Aira Uy

    During my days, bullying is not that as big issue as today, because we had good support system.  For me bullying then, was more of the problem with western countries, because here in the Philippines we have a good support system and we are taught to get rid of them. 
    However today, with the social media – we have the cyberbullying. So bullying can still follow you even at home. There are movies, cartoons and series that promote bullying in a way. So these bullies are reinforced in such a way. They are the “in” thing kasi nakikita sa TV.
    So as adults, we need to help our little ones to cope up with bullying and it starts with control with the medias they are listening or watching. 

    By the way, this blog entry is one of the best entries written by you.

    • Anonymous

      thank you

  • amielf

    I am also a parent of very young kids (one a pre-schooler and the other one a 2 year old) and bullying is also a concern for us. I think having the Internet provides an additional way for bullies to torment their targets. We, as parents try to screen what our kids see – we don’t let them watch TV at all. We let them watch videos that we approve of, but only during weekends and only one or two per weekend. It’s hard because TV/videos does give you free time as a parent, but when you raise kids to depend too much on the TV and the Internet for their information, it’s hard to undo this later. Until our kids grow up old enough to know better, we have to be there to explain that not everything in TV or the Internet is true.

    We’ve also given the same instructions to our yaya and luckily ours does not use the TV as a way to distract the kids when we parents are at work. My fondest wish is to win the lottery so I could give up my job and stay at home with the kids. Even with a good yaya, it’s still different when a parent is at home with the kids – specially when they’re growing up. And they do grow up so quickly….. 

    • Anonymous

      not everyone can be a stay at home parent. you’re doing a good job balancing parenting and working. 

  • Mary

    Hi Daphne,

    I’ll be 24 this year and married by 2012. Soon after, we’ll be having our own family and become parents ourselves. 

    Parenting gets more challenging these days. While traditional woes haven’t changed, the cyber world has indeed reinforced and transformed them into proportions we could only imagine. Bullying + Cyber Space = Cyber Bullying. 

    As much as we want to keep kids sheltered, we can’t afford to make them believe that evil doesn’t exist. Explaining to them is crucial (and excruciating). It’s important for parents to keep communication lines open and constantly available (in a non-intrusive kind of way) to their kids. 

    While 2012 is getting near, I’m more excited than scared. Excited to hear the first novel, cherish the adorable flowers, and all those peanut butter in between.

    I am happy to hear about your kids’ random sweetness and appetite for reading.

    May you continue to inspire and educate us.

    • Anonymous

      i think it has to be age-appropriate. like what i told my 8 year old, my 5 year old won’t understand yet. but ya, communication is key.

  • Toni Rose Requieron Alipio

    Hi Daphne,

    I have recently discovered your blog and love reading it. It reminds me of home (I am currently in the US) as I have been following/watching you since F! :)

    I have been working at a daycare for a few years and just recently got married and one of my concerns is raising a child here in the US. I have no children yet and I’m not even pregnant, but sometimes I think of how I can raise a good child here. Bullying is rampant  and young girls have a different way of thinking. So I am continually praying and hoping that when God blesses us with children we will be able to raise them correctly.

    The way you described your daughters and how you are raising them is very inspiring. Reading your post gave me hope for when it’s my turn to raise little humans :)

    thank you.

    • Anonymous

      thank you

  • http://www.topazhorizon.com Topaz Horizon

    I was bullied in high school. Some girls spread nasty rumors about me and one time they even locked me up in the bathroom and kept banging on the door of the cubicle where I hid, shouting, “Pok-pok! Pok-pok!” That’s another word for slut. I didn’t even know what they were talking about–I was 13 years old, fresh out of Assumption Convent, and didn’t even know what sex was. It was horrible.

    I couldn’t tell my parents because they never were around and they didn’t like any sign of weakness so I just silently suffered. The next year, though, my younger brother was going to enroll in the same high school and I just couldn’t bear it if he saw me going through that. So I had to stand up for myself. One time the girls started laughing at and taunting me, I really marched up to them and declared very loudly, for all to hear, “Stop it! Stop it! I will go to the principal right now and tell them that you, you, you and you (I said their names) are bad people. Bad people! Shame on you and your parents because they raised such bad people!”

    I never forgot the look on their faces. They were shocked and afraid. Afraid! And, I think, even ashamed. They never bothered me again. 

    Until now, I cannot tolerate bullying. When I see it happening in the playground or at the mall, I step in. Whether the parents are there or not! Some of my friends say I shouldn’t, that it’s none of my business. But I’ve been a victim of bullying and sometimes all a kid really needs is to know that he has a champion and that he doesn’t deserve that awful treatment. No one does.

    • Anonymous

      gosh sorry to hear about what you went through. and wow for standing up to the bullies!

  • http://www.topazhorizon.com Topaz Horizon

    And I also don’t approve requests from family and friends’ kids who are below 13. I always tell their parents, “It’s the rules! You’re supposed to follow the rules!”

  • Joya Genzola

    I’ve been following you since F! days Miss Daphne, ad through all these years, I’ve seen you become the mother who is an inspiration to us. I am 24 years old and my boyfriend and I would also want to raise our family in a very child-friendly and growth-promoting environment (hence our plan of raising them here in the province than Manila)… I have read your blogs since the LJ days then now, this daphne.ph… I’m always inspired. Each time you talk about your kids, your family and all those little and extravagant things you do for them like Fancy Nancy birthdays and the birds on your backyards, I forward them or re-share it to my boyfriend and ask him to read them because that’s somehow the idea we want with our family later on. Please keep on posting things about your little girls till they become ladies. We <3 you Miss Daphne. God keep your little girls safe and more power to you. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Joya

  • Lee

    My kids’ school has an absolute no-tolerance policy on bullying. Bullying (including cyber bullying) is discussed during parent  orientation at the start of the schoolyear. I was quite surprised when parents were asked if their kids had Facebook accounts (these were parents of kids 7 and below) and almost half of the parents raised their hands. I have nothing against Facebook and these parents but the teacher moderating rightfully said that kids these age don’t know the concept of security since they exchange passwords readily.
    If we choose to let them have a go at the internet at an early age, then we as parents should be right beside them or behind them when they do so. Like on all other things we should be the guiding hand to our children ready to let go when we think they’re ready.

    • Anonymous

      right

  • cl

    What if your bully is your older sister?  They have the same set of parents, so why would it happen? 

    • Anonymous

      i don’t know. talk to your parents?

  • chris

    I was bullied also, physically during elementary days. I’m a short girl, still am.  I remember I was at the playground with my friend when three big girls pushed my friend away.  All three sat on the opposite end of the seesaw and banged the seesaw hard while I bounced and clinged for dear life. I was cried out loud but my tears pleased them even more. My friend could only stand there and watch. I couldn’t tell my parents as they were too busy. They’re entrepreneurs and they were always busy with their business or entertaining clients.
    In highschool, the physical torment stopped, but bullying went thru another form – verbal. Like I said, I’m a short girl so I was called Pandak, unano, you name it. It bothered me a lot as I knew I was pretty, and smart! But I wasn’t the “palaban” type” (I guess coz of my bullied past) so I just ignored it, pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. It made me hate myself also.
     It took so many years for me and moving here in the US to build back my self esteem and make peace with myself. As fate would have it, I ended up befriending girls – white, black, filipino, korean, japanese, who are also short! Our heights ranged from 4’8 to 5’1. And let me tell you, I wasn’t the shortest one! They were ooozing with confidence, something of which I didn’t have. I was wowed. I guess God was trying to tell me something. So, I moved on and let the past be. I can honestly say I’m okay now, and proud of what my mamma gave me!
     On a family standpoint, I think it’s really best to have the parents involved in their kids lives. Stand up for your kids if you know they are being bullied. I never had my parents do that for me. This will boost their confidence knowing that someone has their back, and that they’re not left to fend for themselves. Just because you send your kids to a private exclusive school does not mean you did your job already. This is the attitude common with other parents I saw while growing up. They treat the school as a dumping ground, ignorant of their kids miguided and bullying ways. EDUCATION STARTS AT HOME.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.thebaghagdiaries.com The Bag Hag

    I love this “I wish our kids’ lives could always be as lovely and friendly as it is in preschool. With drawings and hand-picked wild flowers. I want to protect them from mean people. But I want them to learn to stand up and fight for themselves.I want to rid this world of bullies.” 
    I wish for the same for my kids and would have loved to rid this world of bullies– both in childhood and in adult life. But I suppose that would really be impossible. To pacify a bully without equal violence *of the spoken or written word, or worse, of the physical kind* could only make you exactly like them to other people’s eyes, Bullies.
    At times though, taking the high road of not retaliating, not doing anything about it, only makes it worse. I guess that is why there are those who don’t take things like bullying sitting down. And then there are those who just turn a blind eye. And the worst of them all, those who continue to egg on bullies to continue bullying and to continue harassing. Those who bully have serious issues to deal with– and this bullying begins at an early age. Sometimes the adult bullies are the ones who were bullied at a young age as well. It’s really terrible, a human tragedy of a different kind if you will.Whatever happened to those days of pure bliss, happiness, sincerity, and love when we were all so much younger? This is a tough world we live in I’m afraid. And our kids might just have to learn that sooner or later though, and here’s hoping they don’t go through the same pains as we did, if we did.

    • Anonymous

      you’re right. it’s a vicious cycle. and it always boils down to parenting.

  • http://twitter.com/pepperstitch maureen grace

    when i was still on my elementary days, mom’s cousin used to bully lots of children including me, that’s somehow affected me and i developed  inferiority complex so when she’s around i will just go upstairs and be alone. that’s why every time there’s family affair,i opt not to join and eat after they’re gone.whenever i see her it feels like there’s monster coz she’ll always have her eyes growing big,her mouth cursing words which she habitually do even if we’re just sitting quietly. until one time i was hiding in my blanket and started to cry, my cousin tried to calm and asked me, what’s wrong.then i told her what i truly feel all those times the bully aunt is there. my cousin happened to be a psychology student that time so she somewhat knew how to pacify me. she encourage me to let it out and so i did. relieved then. mom told me from then on never let anyone bully me, whether in school or at home, mom cuddled me, dad talked and made his point to stop bullying me and other kids and i felt it’s really over. although i must admit until now am kinda aloof  to her (aunt bully) but believing i have my parents love,i felt am safe and learned how to be more open to mom and dad.that made our bond stronger as ever. so to kids out there, no matter how many friends you have, our parents will always be our great protector so they deserve our affection until they grow old. make it  a habit to tell them we love them, kiss them and take care of them. i so love dad and mom.they’re the best i ever had. 

  • Toney

    I still remember when I was still in elementary and high school. I used to be bullied: they tease me, call me names, but thank God there was no physical bullying happened. I used to cry every time when my classmates or upper batch students made fun of me. But over the years I figured how to deal with them. I studied hard and joined school activities. Luckily, I was an honor student and had won awards for art contests back then.

    Now at 24, I realized and learned that there will always be someone who will make us feel bad but, just as Shamcey Supsup had said, ‘people will always step down on us if we don’t stand up.’ :)More power Ms Daphne!

  • Nida

    Hi Daphne..I’ve been following your blogs… Hope you can visit my website too it’s nidaventura.com..I’m a newbie so pls. bear with mine!i love watching UZ too!thanks.

    Nida

  • Ly

    My daughter also experienced bullying in an all girls Catholic school.  I never expected that bullying is possible even in a school where you expect them to be ladylike and proper.  She was the new student then we just got back from the US.  However, she began to excel academically and in co curricular activities and that’s when the bullying from a group of 6 girls started.  They would insult her singing even in front of the teachers.  They would call her names.  She would come home crying, sad and lonely. Her dad and I did some pep talking but to no avail. I went to her school and advised the guidance counselor and her teachers about the bullying hoping that they would find a way to resolve it.  I was promised that they would look into it but apparently not.  It came to a point where my daughter did not want to go to school anymore and would find excuses to be absent.  She always end up crying when we asked her why.  So i said it must be these girls again?  This time I was already fuming mad and the dad, being a military officer said stand up and I will teach you self defense and offensive moves.  It is time you stand up and fight for yourself.  She was like huh?  Her dad said either you stand up to these girls or your mom and I will go to your school and take their ears out.  She said fine tomorrow the bullying ends. But she requested me not to go to school and complain as she said she will handle this fight herself. However, I wrote down a complaint in legal form and went to school secretly the next day.  I advised the teachers that this paper they just received was to go to court should anything happen to my daughter since they did not do anything about my previous complaint.  My daughter did accept the challenge of the girls when she was asked to do a fistfight at the back of the gym (fistfight in a girl’s school!).  When one of the 6 girls lunge at her she said she remembered the moves her dad taught her she immediately kick her knee making her fall flat to the ground.  She did her fighting stance and the 5 other girls backed out went to find a bigger girl to fight her.  But she said she stood her ground and was still in a fighting stance.  When the big girl saw what happened she said I have no fight with Patrisha. That ended the bullying…I told her see they thought you were weak but then you showed them you will fight to the end to defend yourself.  They stopped stepping on her toes from that time on.

    Incidentally, the same group of girls were caught drinking a bottle of vodka during recess time (first year high school- dig that!) and I was hoping that they would be suspended or expelled but nothing was done.  I decided to transfer my daughter to another school.  Now on her final year of HS.  She is happy and very confident in her new school.  She excels and she is hopeful.  

    We send our kids to school to develop confidence, teamwork, have good friends and be nurtured as a person.  If a school environment cannot guarantee these but instead bring hurt, pain and feeling of rejection and doubt in your child, I’d rather move her to a smaller school where her full potential will be developed.  The name and the prestige of a school does not matter to me if it will only produced graduates of a bullying kind.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Kekang_ph

    I am a mother of 3 boys and my eldest in now turning 14, time flies so fast and I hate to admit that my eldest has his own thing now. I wish he’s still in preschool so I can still have  this kind of “hold.” He stop going to school. I asked him several times what’s the reason, he seems so afraid to open up. I’m afraid he will end nothing and will regret this decision later on…