So in the news this morning I read about a mum who got involved when her daughter was bullied and assaulted by a group of other girls. (Read here).
I'll never forget once we went to a particular indoor play area and as soon as we walked in, this one little boy walked up to Caitlyn and pinched her. And of course she cried her little eyes out. We sort of left it at that, comforted Caitlyn and went to let the kids play. Now usually these areas are safe and secure enough that we can sit one side while they run around and have fun. Except on this day. On this day, this little boy and about 3 or 4 other kids from the same group for some reason targeted Bianca and Caitlyn. They kept following them around, pushing into them, if they built something with blocks, they'd run and push it over, shouted at our kids when they were playing with something. It was terrible! And the stupid parents were just sitting there watching it all happen offering the kids ice blocks every so often and refusing to do something about it. It got so bad that Terence and I had to physically follow our girls around to make sure they won't be hurt. And then at one point this one little boy did it again - ran right into Caitlyn and at that point Terence lost his cool and told the little boy off for his behaviour. Oh my goodness, that was the fastest the dad jumped up and told Terence off for telling off the little boy! Well at that point we had enough, loudly told the girl behind the counter and the group of parents that we were leaving because we refuse to let our kids be tormented by these bullies any further.
I have to be honest that reading about some of the bullying behaviour out there makes me feel a bit anxious. While it seems easy to protect our kids when they are little, when they are older and more independent, it won't always be possible to protect our kids from things like this. I wonder just how effective anti-bullying programmes at school really is? And whose problem does it become when these things happen after school? What is really the answer to solve these kind of problems? It seems to have become much more severe and vicious than I remember from my school days.