Why don't bullied children as for help?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Why don't bullied children as for help?
Thu, 04-19-2012 - 10:18am

Well, apparently about 1/3 of bullied children do, indeed ask for help. But that still leaves a whopping 2/3 remaining silent. WHY?

If they are being bullied, it makes them feel helpless and weak. To go tell an adult about it, may reinforce that feeling of helplessness and weakness. I find this odd - Wouldn't you think it would empower them to know they could just tell an authority figure? Sort of like us being able to get the police to help us when WE feel threatened?

But then... what about being afraid that the bully will then do something worse to them if they tell? I knew a family who actually moved away from their lovely home - just upped and left, simply because they felt very insecure and threatened by a former felon who moved in next door to them. Just because the person had been in jail was NOT the reason, of course... it is just that the man seemed very hard and threatening still. At least they could move away. Children are often forced to continue being around the bully (or bullIES).

Some may think they will be seen as a "tattletale.

If you found that a child in the neighborhood hit or bullied your child - what would you do? Go to their parents (who will probably do nothing except get mad at you and their child may indeed retaliate against yours)... or ... what?

www. It's Not Mental .com

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2010
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 8:06am

Perhaps they become more afraid of what might happen after they tell than what is happening before they tell. "What if" the bully gets angry, really angry with her instead of just teasing. "What if" the bully goes after her parents and harms them. "What if" everyone else finds out and they start picking on her too.

One of my children was bullied at

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 1:39pm
I've found that kids tend not to tell or go to an authority figure because they are worried about retribution from the bully. It's different from going to the police for most people, because you aren't with them for 7 hours every day at school, the police aren't your peers in a way. It's sad because if they don't stick up for themselves, nothing will change.

If I found out a neighborhood bully was hurting my child, I would want to confront the parents. I do have friends that ended up calling the police on some neighborhood bullies, because they wouldn't stop harassing their child and the parents were incapable of controlling them.

Your poor daughter, I'm glad she had her friends around her to stick up for her. Did you confront the boy or his parents?


"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-1999
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 4:46pm
Simple, the bullied child is afraid of retribution from the bully. My son had a terrible experience in middle school and the bully told, my son if he told anyone his sister would get hurt. He also told my son his father was a good lawyer and would be able to get him out of anything. Couple that with a group of lax teachers and administrators and you have a perfect storm. Trust me, we have lived it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 7:07pm

Your poor daughter, I'm glad she had her friends around her to stick up for her. Did you confront the boy or his parents?

www. It's Not Mental .com

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 7:13pm

My son had a terrible experience in middle school and the bully told my son if he told anyone his sister would get hurt.


www. It's Not Mental .com

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Fri, 04-20-2012 - 10:10pm

My 8th grader was bullied for 3 yrs in middle school.

Last year, she had a fellow 7th grade, 8th grade girls gang up on her. The bullying got so bad that the school after the 6th time. FINALLY threatened both girls w expulsion not only last spring but this entire school year. That stopped it.

Which stopped that problem.

In 7th grade she was hit in the glasses by a 12th grader. Unfortunately I didn't check the glasses good enough. It turned out that they was broken slightly. The girl was a good friend for years. But it happened at the bus stop at 7 am. *Middle school kids and high school kids SHOULDN"T BE on buses together*. The police was willing to press charges though. The girl was a week away from 18. Instead the high school said that the girl never done this before. She outweighted my daughter by 60 lbs or more. But school did nothing just gave her a day of detention.

We had an intervention meeting w the principal, guidance counselor, assistant principal, superintendent and assistant superintent.

She been reporting it but has trouble w names. This year she started to truly try to remember or what they was wearing. She had been shoved down stairs, shoved against lockers and shoved into glass display cases.

This helped w a group of 8th grade boys picking on her and calling her names.

So this year found out that my daughter been having trouble w the same girl since 6th grade. This November my daughter was talking w her hands. And that girl got too close and got hit in eye. Yes my daughter gave her a black eye. My daughter got 3 days out of school.

The girl kept messing w my daughter. Well in Feb. That girl and 2 of her friends. They was walking close and saying mean things to my daughter. My daughter accidently bumped the main bully. Well that girl went and grabbed her by the hair. She pulled her to the ground and proceeded to hit her head off the floor.

My daughter was in the bathroom the next day. The one friend came into the restroom and yelled thru the stall. "GET READY FOR ROUND 3."

My daughter went right then and sent a text. GET ME OUT OF HERE! I don't feel they can protect me anymore."

She went to the assistant principal. She told her what had happened both the last times. The girl and her 2 friends was called in. The girls friend said it was my daughter.

My daughter got 5 days out of school suspension. When I tried to find out what was going on. My daughter came home and she said that. The superintendent told me to report the bullies. The school would protect me and take care of the bullies.

My daughter asked to be homeschooled. I went and enrolled her in k12 that night.

She has been homeschooled since Feb 22, 2012. She went from a d,f student to a B student. She has been working on her lessons w no problem. Where before she hated school. she helping around the house. It has been good for her. She is happy.

It has been so good. that I am going to homeschool my 1st and 3rd grader next year. 3rd grader isn't expriencing too much bullying. But some due to his speech condition. The neighborhood kid thinks he is dumb because he has a speech issue. It works on a higher grade level. so k12 be good for him. My daughter has problems w sitting still. so at home she can dance between lessons.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2001
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 9:50am

Wow, BrownieTheGremlin, what a sad story, but a positive ending.... only because you did what I was so close to doing myself - pulling your daughter out of school!!

www. It's Not Mental .com

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-20-2012
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 10:25am

I totally understand.

My son has speech apraxia. He is missing vowels.He is moderate to severe.

I was talking to James speech therapist in the school hall.The neighborhood boy that messes w him at school. Made the point of telling me that my son hit him. This was the day after the bullying. I was like shall we go to the office? He only hit you because you called him dumb. The boy ran for the playground. His therapist was like what happened. She went to the office herself and had an intervention w the boy. Didn't help much but my son felt good. If they don't ride the bus together things work better. The kid always wants to play w James. But James doesn't w him. He goes down the street to his best friend house.

Homeschooling been good for Lizzie. She is back to wanting to learn. Not sure how state testing will be next week though. She not a morning person.

The school isn't challenging to James. He doing his sister's 8th grade math for fun. He does good by showing the example and reading and go take th test. The school kept saying well he does so good in school why you pulling him out. Hate that they think only bad kids homeschool.

Then our Rachel. She had a stroke and it hit her frontal lobe. So she has behaviour issues. She is severe ADHD, ODD. So we have a time w her. It is hard for her to sit at a desk for evening the morning. She was in all day kindergarten. But they had to take her to half day 2 wks early. She in title 1 kindergarten in the afternoon. But you cant' have title 1 and have an IEP.

She has fine motor problems, mild sizures, headaches, functional heart murmur all going back to the stroke. She had that at about 7 wks in womb.

The school has been fighting me for 3 yrs to get an IEP. This year I had to call Ohio legal defense fund. They got the ball rolling. Now we are 2 wks away from the IEP

Well the kindergarteners call her a brat and other things. Nothing nice. I was sitting at grandparent's day having lunch w her. And one of the kids said it to her while I was there. She had tears coming down. She was like mom I don't like it here.

Later that day she got in trouble and got put to half day. I mean like within an 30 min of this incident.

I went home that day and registered the two little ones for OHVA.

Maybe it is her class mates causing the problems. She doesn't read at school. She does have some mild speech problems. But I got her a book from the library and read the whole thing to me.

She gets occupational therapy, James gets speech therapy. All at the local children's hospital every week.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sat, 04-21-2012 - 3:37pm
For one thing, they are embarrassed. For another thing, they have seen that the adults and the schools do nothing about it - even which a child is in real, physical danger. I
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 04-22-2012 - 10:32pm


Hi. I was bullied as a child - mercilessly from grade school until I could drive by kids on the bus I rode. It only stopped when I got my license and could get off the bus.