In two days’ time Dani goes back to school. Just one day this week in what is their first return after the long summer holidays. Easing them into it.
I was not expecting to have a conversation about bullying with Dani for some time yet. I mean, three and four year olds don’t really bully do they? Sadly, I may have to. I touched on this subject in my post about the final day of Dani’s first school year (read here)
I knew something was wrong when I picked him up on the final day of his first school year a few months ago. Carlos, the biggest boy in the class by far came out about a minute before Dani.
Supposedly big friends, Dani refused to acknowledge him when he shouted out grinning. When I asked what was wrong and what had happened I got no reply. Later that night being tucked up in bed Dani told his mum that Carlos had punched him. He had told the teacher but it happened again later.
In any school in any year some kids can be almost 12 months older than others. That is a lot at any school age but for Dani and his classmates it is a big difference. Carlos is only about 8 months older than Dani but twice his size. Really; he is massive for a kid that age. I can see why the other kids are afraid to stand up to him. He gets it from his father who is a huge bloke.
Is it bullying?
I honestly do not think he is a bully or even knows what it means to be a bully. He is just so much bigger than the other boys that when he says or does something the others invariably listen. When he plays rough the other kids are simply not big enough to push him back with anything like the same amount of force. He probably thinks that is just normal.
Is it genuine vindictive bullying? I doubt it. However, if it is not nipped in the bud it can become exactly that.
The school play their part for sure but as with everything in life you cannot rely on the authorities to resolve such problems.
I have told Dani not to be afraid and just hit him back. The only way to beat bullies is to stand up to them. If he stands his ground then he will get respect and it is important not to let the other kids know he is afraid. It is not Dani’s style though. He will only lash out when he is very upset.
By this time next week we will know whether it was a passing phase or whether there is a budding bully in our midst. I hope Dani can deal with it himself. Apparently one or two other boys have stopped playing with Carlos. Poor Carlos. He is probably oblivious to it all. I do hope so.
Otherwise it’s poor me! I wouldn’t want to have to confront Carlos’ dad. I would then know exactly how Dani feels craning his neck to look up at Carlos.