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Advice Needed re: bullying

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by qtlaw, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    So my 12 yr old is a very sensitive soul who has a hard time believing that people would pick on him. Rather than staying in the background he unknowingly draws attention to himself (eg. last night at the post game pizza, he put on a windbreaker because he was cold and probably told his teammates why). Which makes him a target. He's one of the better players (LL Majors) but not the top 2 or 3. Well last night as we are going to the car (I had been with the parents and seen nothing) he breaks down crying and says his teammates were whipping him with leaves from some plant because he had a jacket on. I first told him I loved him and pumped him up by saying they are just punks who are not going to go very far later (the Bill Gates v. jock comparison because my boy excels academically). He did fight back some he said using his martial arts training (2 years.) I told him I was proud of him for doing so.

    My question is, I am the asst. coach on the team, should I ask mgr. to make a statement to the boys next gathering about supporting each other and not picking on each other? Would a non specific email to all parents asking them to remind their boys to support everyone and not pick on anyone help? Last night I was thinking to just pump up my boy, but this morning I thought of these two things. Your sage thoughts?
  2. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I don't have any sage thoughts, I just want to say I'm sorry he had to go through that. Makes me want to whoop somebody upside the head. You son sounds like a great kid.
  3. I like the idea of putting it in the manager's hands. If you go to the parents, all you'll get is denial. We had the same problem with our youth team, and the head coach told players in no uncertain terms there would be repercussions for their actions. He meant it, and because the players absolutely loved him, they took it to heart.
  4. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind that coaching in a team sport gives you an ideal platform to have a strong dialogue about teamwork -- supporting each other and having each others' back.
  5. NDub

    NDub Guest

    I don't have kids, but I was bullied. I don't want to discourage you, but it was so bad that I stopped playing team sports by the end of middle school.

    Looking back upon it, it always seemed like my coaches singled out players and tried to pump them up individually. Often times for me they'd use the wrong language. It was positive punishment, not positive reinforcement. I'd get down on myself (I was fat and had glasses by fifth grade) and they'd say "Come on, NDub. Don't put your head down." At the time, it rarely made me feel better. In hindsight, I don't believe that worked for me as it took many years for me to find my way.

    What I'm getting at is to try positive reinforcement for your boy, but also what cranberry said when it comes to team activities such as games, practices, pizza parties, etc. Always remind them that they're in this together. Hopefully that will teach them to respect each other.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I lived with some of that too when I was in Little League, qt. The alpha dogs are going to be the alpha dogs, I'm afraid. I'm sorry your boy has to go through it.

    I'd urge you NOT to be too transparent in efforts to address this. The bullies are just going to be further alienated from your son. Have an underlying message of teamwork and getting along ... but only as far as the average 12-year-old can't connect the dots.
  7. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    He got picked on because he wore a jacket? And they whipped him with leaves from a plant because of it?

    Those are the worst bullies ever. Good Lord.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    You want to see the whip marks around his eyes and face? Really?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  9. Care Bear

    Care Bear Guest

    I think Sonner is seriously saying that their behavior is atrocious, qt.
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    I'm not questioning your story. It sucks your kid had to go through that. But those bullies are idiots. Who picks on a kid for wearing a jacket? And who whips another kid with leaves? They've giving real bullies a bad name.

    Yes, I realize none of that helps you with your problem. I'm not a parent, but I'd start by addressing the team maybe. Then again, if you do that, the awful bullies will know exactly why the coaches are giving that lecture and could make it worse on your kid.

    Good luck.

    Edit: CareBear is correct.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
  11. rmanfredi

    rmanfredi Active Member

    What's your relationship like with the manager? Is he someone who seems like he would take the problem seriously, or just roll his eyes and say "yeah, we'll deal with it" and then do nothing? Generally, I would think going to the manager first is a good way to address it and see if you can come up with a way to talk to the team about the situation with addressing the specific problem. If that doesn't work, talk to the league president.
  12. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I thought you were being facetious.
    I get along with him very well. He's a serious want to win guy, but I think he'll be serious in telling them he will not stand for that type of behavior.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2015
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