I was badly bullied throughout my school life because I walked differently to the other children.
Surviving the bullies – part 2 by Emma Andrews – when I was aged 7
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The affects of bullying are life lasting which is why my series of blogs will look at how I coped from aged 6- 15 and hope that my experiences offer an invaluable insight for parents and carers to observe and address the tell tale signs of a victim of bullying.
Many things can lead to a child becoming a bully.
When you come from a single parent family as I did, children can be very unkind. For my brother, sister and I it was not easy to hide the fact that our parents had split; if the play ground whispers were a rumour, and children judged you on your break time snack, then sadly they were confirmed at lunch times, when we had free school meals and only the poor children had free lunch, meaning that the nasty children would easily see who they could pick on – they had been building momentum since first break time!
I’m not as good as you – aged 7
Ding ding went the break time bell and I knew that sound very well. Dreaded play time, later dreaded lunch time – always feeling like a frightened rabbit – waiting to be judged.....
Aged seven most of the children who came from a comfortable background were becoming very use to their delicious packed lunches their Mothers would make them in the morning. Their Mothers’ who still lived with their Fathers’ and so had the time to make tasty crusty ham sandwiches, fruit salads and a bag of crisps.
Our poor Mother didn’t have a husband to support her and so she had to go to work; she didn’t have the time to make us packed lunches, nor could she afford to because at aged 7 it was mostly beans on toast while the divorce, I’m guessing was finalised.
She had no time to take us to School either, I did that bit, and she was often out at work by the time we left the house to walk to school.
When you are seven, there seems to be a lot of comparing going on in the playground and at this age for me it was to do with what crisps you had at break time, whether you had the latest snazziest flavour and the “clicky” crowd would swap tasters or do the same, with the then popular fruit flavoured chewing gum that had a tear drop logo.
We had nothing for break time, nothing to allow us entry into the “clicky” club – we didn’t even have crisps at home – ever - our mother couldn’t afford them.
If you are a teacher, please be aware of this, and even if snacks are limited these days please watch out for comparing at break times. In my daughter’s school for example, when she was about seven she was bullied because she didn’t have a playboy pencil case!
It’s due to my experiences at just six that I know, how unkind children can be at primary school age and why I’ve addressed this in my series of books, Dilly’s Dog’s Disguises – www.dillysdog.co.uk