Is your teen being bullied?
Our son was able to find and hang on to a good group of young men from middle school on. They made it through high school while doing the Running Start Program at the local college.
They were able to graduate from high school in 2014 with their AA degree as well. So Jordan really only spent 2 years at the high school.
Those 2 years were socially exhausting. He did well academically, he even play some sports. But he was on the smaller side of the rest of boys in his class. So he was picked on quit a bit.
Taking college classes solved that issue. College life is different. The professors treat these kids like adults. So many of the other students were adults, so there was no drama. It was a good move.
Boys and Girls are Different
My daughter however struggled as soon as she hit middle school. Girls are different than boys and the drama was horrific.
Even though she had some good friends, she still got stuck in the middle of the drama. Which made her a bit of a drama queen herself.
She was also a tomboy. The pretty pretty princess girls don’t understand the tomboy types, so she was picked on.
She was very athletic, but because she felt so out of place, she didn’t play well and eventually quit sports all together.
It’s sad to watch your child suffer because they feel as though they don’t fit in.
Micah did well academically, mostly A’s and B’s. Until sophomore year. Geometry killed her. Getting her help was like pulling teeth. The teacher was also the track coach. So when she needed help he wasn’t available.
Some of the other teachers were helpful, but they also have all their other students to help as well. It was a really tough year.
During the summers of her first 2 years of high school, she worked at a bible camp in Olympia.
It was a great place for her to be and she loved it. However, each fall when it was time to come home and go back to school, she would change. She would become angry and reclusive.
Our daughter would never really come home from camp. It was sad for us. We knew she was hurting, but didn’t know how to help her.
After sophomore year, I had made the decision that she would not be going back to that high school.
I had homeschooled both kids early on. Jordan for 4 years, Micah for 2. I figured I could do it again.
However, Micah is kind of a social bug at heart so that wasn’t her idea of “school”. I considered sending her to the school in the next town 10 miles away.
I did some research on the state website and found that that school did no better than ours on the state tests.
It was also a small town too. Living in a small town has taught me that if you don’t fit in the small town “box” then you are out. I didn’t want to send her to another small town school where she wouldn’t fit in.
So we began to look else where. Olympia is a much bigger place with several high schools. Way more than I even knew of.
We had heard some great things about a few of them, so I began looking at the state website again.
We picked one school district and applied for a transfer. In that school district there are 2 high schools and we picked the one we’d heard most about. It had great academics and sports were a top priority.
We received a call from the principle and they couldn’t take her. They were too big as it was and the classes she needed as a Junior were full. He suggested we try the other school. We were quite disappointed, but trusted God to work it out.
Since we already had the transfer papers into the district, I just emailed the principle of the other school. I received an email back from him the same day. They had room for her and would love to have her. That began the process of meetings and setting up classes.
It was an exciting but scary time for all of us. The reality set in for us as to what we had just done.
I Could Relate
I had moved to a new town and new school my sophomore year, so I knew what it was like to go somewhere where you knew no one.
I knew the fear and anxiety that could come with that. So I was able to sympathize with her and have some good talks with her. I had hope that things would be better socially and academically.
The New School
The first day of school came. I drove her up there and dropped her off. All the time praying things would go well. But to be honest, I was scared. She was scared.
The day went as best as could be expected. She came home with some good encouraging news. At lunch she had two girly girls ask her to sit with them and she did.
The teachers knew her story and were willing to help. She was still scared, but felt that there was hope too.
At the beginning of this transition, she had a hard time. She missed her school, her friends, her teachers. She wanted to go back. She was doing okay at her new school.
She wasn’t bullied and the teachers were helpful, but she wasn’t really connecting with any one.
My husband and I held firm. We weren’t sending her back to her old school. I would say it took about half the school year, but she settled in.
She loves band. She plays several instruments and this is where she found her friends. By the end of the school year she felt at home. It was a beautiful thing.
This transition came with some adjustment for me as well. We live 33 miles from her school.
My husband works 30 miles from our home the other direction. I work in our town about a mile from home.
As a junior, she has her license and no car. Which meant I either had to drive her to and from each day, but that would double our gas bill. Or, I had to find a different way to work and let her have my car.
For a while, my son would drive me before he left for work and my daughter would pick me up after she got home. It was working, but not ideal.
In the carport, I have a 70 Monte Carlo. I’ve had it for 24 years. It runs, but at the time it needed some work. We got it running and that’s what I drive. It’s only a mile each way, so for me the gas is almost nothing.
Worth The Risks
The angry and reclusive child never returned. I am so thankful we made the switch. I would do it again in a heart beat.
When our children struggle, as parents I feel it is our job to teach them to work through their adversity.
Teach them to handle bullies, or tough teachers. Push through and come out the other side better and stronger.
I believe teaching them that life isn’t easy or fair, is a valuable lesson. But when none of that is working, what then?
For us, we moved our kids to a different school. Jordan went to the college and Micah a different high school.
In both cases we made the right choice. It fixed the issues that couldn’t be worked out otherwise.
These changes didn’t come without sacrifice, but those sacrifices were well worth the wellbeing of our children.
Do you have a child being bullied? One who is struggling to fit in? What did you do to help them?