Hi there, I have 3 children and I have recently been concerned that my eldest child who is 13 is being bullied.
For quite some time now I have noticed that my daughter has gone very introverted and quiet. At first I didn’t think too much of it, ya know just thought it was teenage hormones slowly making their appearance and that my not so little girl was growing up.
However, the quietness wasn’t the only personality shift that I noticed, she began snapping at us at the dinner table whenever she would be complimented or praised of her work at school. For example I would tell her how pretty she looked in her dress and she would snap “Just shut up mum you would say that I am your daughter, you would never see me as ugly.” It was that moment I began to think something was really wrong. Why is my daughter associating herself with the word ugly? Who is putting this into her head?
I know we are surrounded by so much fake beauty and unrealistic societal expectations on social media these days, so perhaps that had played a part in all of this? I knew in my gut that this wasn’t all it was, something inside of me was niggling away that there’s something more going on here.
This behaviour went on for months, the bubbly, free spirited happy little girl had turned into my daughter who I could barley recognize.
Call me a snooping mom but I had to do some digging for myself as she would shut me down completely if I tried to communicate any kind of concerns. One night after school my daughter came home and told me she was going to her friends house who lives down the road for dinner. After she left I noticed she had left her computer turned on and logged in.
As I read through her facebook notifications and messages my heart completely sank.
Comments on her photos such as “You are disgusting, get your ugly fat face off my screen” and “How can you even look in the mirror without being sick, you are vile.”
Then I realised there had been many more comments prior to those that she had already deleted. The comments above were new ones that she obviously hadn’t seen yet. I knew this because of the messages in her inbox. “Why do you keep deleting the comments they’re the truth!”
The messages from the bullies had dated back for months and months and explained exactly why my daughter had been so quiet. She had been going through her own secret kind of hell.
It broke my heart that my daughter felt that she couldn’t come to me as we really do have such a strong bond and have always told eachother EVERYTHING. But I guess when you are being bulled a lot of it makes you feel shame, embarrassment to the point where you can really believe what they are saying is true.
I was lucky to find out what was going on, I followed mother’s instinct and yes that meant invading her privacy but god only knows what the outcome could have been if I hadn’t. Poor children take their lives because of bullying and there needs to be so much more awareness made about this in school.
I think the bullies at this age do not really understand how their words can lead to such serious consequences, that it can make someone take their own life or mess them up completely mentally.
I took screenshots of the abuse into the school and the students were dealt with swiftly. My daughter was mortified but she soon came around and understood that what I did was for her, to protect her.
If you suspect your child is being bullied then follow your instinct!