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Old 01.07.2008, 08:06
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Young children bullying

One of my twins (Nearly 5 years old) were outside of the house in a small lane playing with his twin brother the other evening, when two Swiss boys (aged around 10) came along. We are not 100% sure what happened, but have ascertained that one of the older boys was hurling his jacket around in a circle in the air. Unfortunately the zip of the jacket hit my child and gashed his tongue. He came running into the house with blood pouring out of his mouth and a subsequent trip to hospital. The older boy did come an sort of apologise and scarpered, but since there was quite a lot of blood coming out of our sons mouth, he got our attention. We did not know the older boys.

500m from where we live we have the local village school and I have often seen groups of young children laying into eachother, ie fighting, even in clear view of a teacher having her coffee. I am talking about older children fighting younger children in the street outside and in full view of the school. I just have to question why is this so in Switzerland?

Our German neighbours say that this is not the norm in Germany!
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:33
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Re: Young children bullying

Inacceptable! I'm not sure if you'd better contact the school or the police about this.

So you don't know the address of the jacket-swinger's parents? They should be contacted the sooner the better and made aware of things to come.
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:50
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Re: Young children bullying

I am sure that a jacket can hit a child by accident, and of course the problem is...any wound to head/tongue bleeds a lot, which REALLY could have been an accident. And, if the boy came to apologise, then you should take the apology.

I think the matter of teachers not watching kids is quite common here in CH, I have heard that before from other people to. One friend of mine even had to go onto the playground herself (where the teachers was once again just watching) and threaten the kids that bullies her son with the police (this matter was eventually taken to the police as the parents also turned a blind eye). I think that bullying is everywhere, in every country..but from where I am from, parents are (over)protective on their kids, and here in CH its common for the parents to just leave teh kids playing wherever, and be a bit more relaxed about the kids. And that means the kids are left to do a bit more freely whatthey want, say what they want and do things that is not good.

I also found that when my kids get their school reports, I am not surprised at what is in there, but many CH parenst are schocked and easily say that the teachers do not know their kids...but I promise you, its the other way around, the parents do not know what their kids are up to.
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:52
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Re: Young children bullying

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I am sure that a jacket can hit a child by accident, and of course the problem is...any wound to head/tongue bleeds a lot, which REALLY could have been an accident. And, if the boy came to apologise, then you should take the apology.
Agree, I'd say you need to substantiate the conditions under which it happened before you go on the war path.

I hope the little fella is ok physically and mentally.
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Old 01.07.2008, 08:52
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Re: Young children bullying

The fact that the older boy did come and appologise says a lot, I think. Too many kids would have ran and you would never have known who it was. Obviously the kid felt bad and actually had some remorse or he wouldn't have bothered. Usually when anything has happened to my kids in the past all the older kids feign ignorance or try to blame the one kid that isn't there. As for kids fighting younger kids outside of the school in full view of the teachers....time to talk to someone in charge, that is unacceptable!
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Old 01.07.2008, 09:56
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Re: Young children bullying

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Agree, I'd say you need to substantiate the conditions under which it happened before you go on the war path.

I hope the little fella is ok physically and mentally.
The child is fine - it was just a panic at the time. We will not pursue it, it happened a week or so ago and the fact that the boy came to apologise said alot. Our next door neighbour has a ten year old and we put put the word out on the street that this was unacceptable!

Regarding the bullying in schools, it is one of the things which concerns me regarding putting the children through the Swiss system! The other thing is that our twins can read and write at 5 years, while the Swiss kids are not at this level yet. International school again, but wanting to integrate!
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Old 01.07.2008, 09:57
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Re: Young children bullying

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Inacceptable! I'm not sure if you'd better contact the school or the police about this.

So you don't know the address of the jacket-swinger's parents? They should be contacted the sooner the better and made aware of things to come.
No we hadn't seen these children before!
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Old 01.07.2008, 10:12
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Re: Young children bullying

That is an awful incident, however, I wouldn't say that you can generalize that for Switzerland as a whole. In general I think the Swiss are not aggressive at all.
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Old 01.07.2008, 10:50
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Re: Young children bullying

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Regarding the bullying in schools, it is one of the things which concerns me regarding putting the children through the Swiss system! The other thing is that our twins can read and write at 5 years, while the Swiss kids are not at this level yet. International school again, but wanting to integrate!
Bullying is, unfortunately, a problem which is found in schools everywhere in varying degrees. I've had experiences involving bullying both in swiss and british schools and the school's reaction always depended on individual teachers, not on the school or school system. The only thing to do to prevent or work against bullying is to (a) make sure you are in touch with your child and they know that they can always come to you (which you clearly are) and (b) be prepared to go to teachers and parents of the offenders. The worst bullying scenario is when the victim doesn't feel they can tell anyone (and I speak from personal experience).

As for the reading and writing, although swiss children start later, they catch up within the first year (or maybe two), because given their age they get through the material more quickly. If you are worried about your children being underchallenged during kindergarten you could always do some reading and writing exercises with them at home.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:05
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Re: Young children bullying

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Old 01.07.2008, 11:32
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Re: Young children bullying

according to this book i'm reading right now, Beyond Chocolate, Understanding Swiss culture (recommended by one of the mods here, i cant recall off-hand), in switzerland children are supposed to deal with minor skirmishes among their peers by themselves and can hit back in self-defence if someone hits them, and that swiss level of intervention is at the point of injury. An anecdote recounts an english mom being the only mom chasing her toddler around the playground telling him not to hit the other children, while the parents of the other children had their afternoon tea. bringing bullying instances up to the teacher probably won't help: teachers will tell the students to stand up for themselves.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:39
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Re: Young children bullying

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according to this book i'm reading right now, Beyond Chocolate (recommended by one of the mods here, i cant recall off-hand), in switzerland children are supposed to deal with minor skirmishes among their peers by themselves and can hit back in self-defence if someone hits them, and that swiss level of intervention is at the point of injury. An anecdote recounts an english mom being the only mom chasing her toddler around the playground telling him not to hit the other children, while the parents of the other children had their afternoon tea. bringing bullying instances up to the teacher probably won't help: teachers will tell the students to stand up for themselves.
One-off, minor skirmishes happen and are part of school life and, tempting as it would be, I would probably not intervene if my son had such an incident but sustained victimisation, physical, mental or both is bullying and should be dealt with immediately and severely by the heads of the school.
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Old 01.07.2008, 11:52
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Re: Young children bullying

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according to this book i'm reading right now, Beyond Chocolate (recommended by one of the mods here, i cant recall off-hand), in switzerland children are supposed to deal with minor skirmishes among their peers by themselves and can hit back in self-defence if someone hits them, and that swiss level of intervention is at the point of injury. An anecdote recounts an english mom being the only mom chasing her toddler around the playground telling him not to hit the other children, while the parents of the other children had their afternoon tea. bringing bullying instances up to the teacher probably won't help: teachers will tell the students to stand up for themselves.
I partially agree with this, but on the other hand I think a child needs to learn that hitting is wrong and a parent or teacher has to make this clear. My four year old son knows that if he hits other children he will hurt them and make them sad (and will get into trouble with mum and dad). It can happen that a child gets frustrated and hits another one and then they should sort it out among themselves, but if a child is continuously bullying other children they need some proper talking to.
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Old 01.07.2008, 12:00
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Re: Young children bullying

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bringing bullying instances up to the teacher probably won't help: teachers will tell the students to stand up for themselves.
There's a difference between a one-off conflict and bullying. Bullying is when one child is repeatedly attacked whether verbally or physically. It may be true that teachers won't react as you'd like if it's a one-time incident, but if your child is really being bullied, no teacher will tell them to stand up for themselves (especially considering that there is usually more than one bully involved.)

(PS: beyond chocolate is fantastic, the author is actually working on a second book, too.)
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Old 01.07.2008, 12:34
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Re: Young children bullying

you mentioned about integrating yr twins into normal swiss schools vs private schools. My one child is leaving private school tomorow and will start local school in august. She is extremely happy to be able to walk to school and come home to me during lunch hours, whereas in private school she had to be at school the complete day and also eat there. I guess that we thought to make the change rather sooner than later, as it suits us and also the driving for me was a lot. I rather try the local option, and then take my child back to private school IF it does not work out for whatever reason...but I want to try, and it helps that she is also very eager to find friends in her own village, rather than me always driving her 30min to see her other friends..
Good luck
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Old 01.07.2008, 12:37
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Re: Young children bullying

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There's a difference between a one-off conflict and bullying. Bullying is when one child is repeatedly attacked whether verbally or physically. It may be true that teachers won't react as you'd like if it's a one-time incident, but if your child is really being bullied, no teacher will tell them to stand up for themselves (especially considering that there is usually more than one bully involved.)

(PS: beyond chocolate is fantastic, the author is actually working on a second book, too.)
i stand corrected: "bullying" is indeed more sociopathic, doesn't work there. one-off skirmisches probably make more sense

yes, it is a great book... i'm beginning to understand my colleagues and former landlady better. certainly helpful for my new swiss house-mate too!
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Old 09.07.2009, 14:30
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Re: Young children bullying

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Regarding the bullying in schools, it is one of the things which concerns me regarding putting the children through the Swiss system!
We also were extemely concerned about what seemed to me to be higher levels of aggression displayed between younger children here. To be honest prior to Kindergarten I did find it an issue, and our kids joined international groups. However, after thinking long and hard about where to send them to school we opted for the Swiss system. I can honestly say we have had no problems (on any level) at all. As other people have said, the Swiss do prefer to let the children sort things out amongst themselves whereas we are more tempted to step in and stop any issues before they reach a head.

Bullying is, of course, a truly horrible thing and, in my experience, the schools are aware of it. How well it is dealt with is another matter. General aggression in children (particularly boys) seems to be dealt with quite well in Kindergarten and we do not regret our decison to out our 2 boys in the Swiss school system.

Last edited by Longbyt; 02.07.2011 at 10:56.
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Old 29.06.2011, 22:12
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Bullying in local school

I have a child in the local kindergarten. She is in the second kindergarten and is preparing to move to the first grade next year. Her Swiss German is good and she is integrating well. The problem is two kids in her class.

Since we moved here last year, these two neighborhood kids have been bullying her. Really, they bully everyone. It has been a real problem. I spoke with the moms of the kids and one was helpful, the other not so much. Kindergarten hasn't been that bad because it is very close to our apartment but I am worried about school for next year.

Next year, there is one first grade class for the area but the class is split into 2 groups. The groups are together about half the time, but are separate the other half. They also go to school in the afternoon different days of the week. When I got the school assignment, I realized my daughter will be in the same group as the 2 bullies and she doesn't know anyone else.

I talked to the teacher and the principal about switching groups and they don't want to without reason. They said I could file a letter of protest.

Also, the kindergarten teacher is pressuring me to have her walk alone. These two kids are not trustworthy. They wait until they think adults are not looking and then hurt the other kids. They are a year older and bigger and my daughter doesn't stand a chance against them.

Just last week, one of the two got mad at my daughter and grabbed her wrists so hard, she was saying 'stop' and pulling away. Then the bully started spitting at her. All of this in front of her mother!

I don't know what to do. The attitude I've received is to let my kid get beat up and maybe she'll learn. I don't know what she'll learn except the adults are failing her.

Ideas?
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Old 29.06.2011, 22:25
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Re: Bullying in local school

Video it (or pretend to), and tell the parents that you'll first put it on you tube, and then sue if it continues.

See what they say.

Tom
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Old 29.06.2011, 22:26
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Re: Young children bullying

Hello pencil and welcome to our forum. I have merged your thread with another one on the same topic. If you look into the search on "bullying" there are many threads that might give you dome handy ideas how to deal with the situation. Good luck, having our little ones aggressed is always a difficult situation.
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