Bradley’s normally quite good at school, so when he told me part of the story this evening, and then my mom filled me in with the rest of the details I was quite shocked.

He was a bully today.

And he got detention for doing what he did, and so did the 4 other kids that were involved.

It’s quite shocking, and if you knew Bradley you’d be very surprised too.  I’ve been worrying about him being bullied since he was tiny because he’s quite a softy, and for some reason it never crossed my mind that he would bully someone else.

But thinking about the events as they seemed to have unfolded, it does seem quite confusing and it seemed to have started as a game.  Except for the fact that apparently he was kicked in his stomach by a friend yesterday too which I’m not happy about at all!

The long and the short of it, is that 5 kids, including Bradley, chased another child around the play area at break and it got a bit out of hand in the end.

After talking to Bradley, and having to read him a letter about bullying and let him sign a form this evening for the school, he’s extremely sad about what he did, and we’ve insisted on him apologizing directly to the child tomorrow, because it doesn’t sound like he was made to apologise today and we both feel that he needs to.

He understands now what he did wrong.

But really and truly, for a 6 year old, the word bully is quite vague.  What does it really mean to them?! There’s a very fine line between a chasing game and bullying and they definitely crossed it but I’m not sure they all understand it.

Bradley thought they were playing a game and didn’t think that what he was doing was wrong.  But oh boy, he gets it now. I’m really hoping that he won’t do it again.  In fact, knowing him, he won’t make that mistake ever again.  I’m a little worried though about the gang mentality that seemed to have taken place.

It was only though, once I explained it very simply to him, that he understood.  The school put so many words into the act of bullying that I’m sure it’s too much for him to understand.

My explanation… if you think that something that you are doing to someone would make you sad or want to cry, if someone did it to you… then that’s bullying.  That to me, encompasses all their fancy words and makes it a lot more understandable to young kids.  You have to make it personal to kids or else they don’t get it.

Anyhoo, a very sad Bradley is now asleep, and I hope when he gets up in the morning he’s happier, but hasn’t forgotten this lesson.