Archive for the ‘Telling an Adult’ Category

Why Me?

I don’t get it.

I just don’t get it.

Why me?

I mind my own business.

I stay out of their business.

Why me?

I’m so insignificant.

They are oh so significant.

Why me?

I don’t hurt a flea.

Yet they cause me to flee.

So why

I want them to stop.

But they never will stop.

So why?

I go ask my Dad.

And he really got mad.

He said:

It’s not about you.

And it’s all about them.

Just be.

It’s they who don’t get it.

But you’ve totally got it.

Just be.

Give them some space.

A chance to save face.

Just be.

Until then be strong.

It is they who are wrong.

Just be.

I tried to stop asking “why me”?

And I tried to simply “just be”.

You know?

On some days I’m strong.

Feel someday I’ll belong.

You know?

On days when that just doesn’t work.

I feel such a pitiful jerk.

You know?

They still do not get it.

But they think that they’ve got it.

You know?

Because I’m intact.

Doing better in fact,

Since rising above all that shit.

Topics for Discussion:

  • Why is it so helpful to enlist the aid of an adult? Did this parent help? What else could he have done?
  • How can you decide who has the problem? Me or him/her? How does this help you deal with the situation?
  • What is a “strong sense of self” and how can that help you navigate social interactions?


  • Try imagining the scenario, following the poem and plot your anxiety levels on graph paper.Using a red pencil, crayon or marker, scribble your response to the poem on a long, blank sheet of paper. Try to read a trend from your scribble.
  • Describe a bullying situation and then write a list of adjectives to describe the emotions both the bully and the victim might feel. Do any of the adjectives coincide?

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What shall I do about Carla McFee?
The girl is truly getting to me.
All her mocking and taunting.
To face her is daunting.
Tormenting me gives her such glee

At night in my bed,
You know what I do?
I imagine her dead,
And suffering too.

I inflict on her torture.
She’s tied to a stake.
The flames singe and scorch her.
Her insides, they bake.

Or …

I know what to say,
And I use a firm tone.
And lo and behold,
She leaves me alone.

But …

Back at my school,
Our roles are reversed.
I forget all the lines,
That I’ve tried to rehearse.

My mouth goes so dry,
And my heart is aflutter.
Not one of those words,
Do I manage to mutter.

It’s all I can do,
Not to break down and cry,
I stammer, I stutter.
I feel I shall die.

What shall I do about Carla McFee?
I’ll ask my Grampa.
He’s wise as can be
He says …

Although it feels good to dream of her torture,
It really won’t stop her abuse.
You need to put your imagination,
To more constructive use.

The next time Carla starts taunting again,
Protect yourself from the pain.
Imagine you’re wearing a rubber skin.
Her insults bounce off you in vain.

She’d love you to cry.
Or to show a reaction.
She mustn’t be given,
That grim satisfaction.

Just hold you head high,
And show no dismay.
Look her straight in the eye.
And walk calmly away.

So …

The next day, Carla was at it again;
She ridiculed how I was dressed.
I imagined I put on my rubber skin,
And I managed to feel less stressed.

I kept my cool and looked at her calmly,
As if not a thing was amiss.
I walked away and said to her simply.
“I haven’t got time for this”

It took a few weeks until Carla got bored,
Of seeing me so unperturbed.
Her mocking and jeering I simply ignored.
I managed to seem undisturbed.

The memories continue to haunt me,
That I cannot deny.
So then I go to see Grampa,
I have a little cry.

If you should meet a Carla McFee,
Remember Grampa’s advice.
I don’t know why it has to be.
Why can’t we all be nice?

by Andrea Wilson

Topics For Discussion:

  • Is the desire for revenge healthy? What could be the results?
  • How does anxiety manifest itself? What can provide relief?
  • It is important to seek advice and assistance from adults. Why?
  • Define coping mechanisms. Explore ones which are effective and appropriate. Which aren’t?
  • It is possible to defuse a bully. What can happened when a bully doesn’t get a reaction? What attitudes (verbal and non-verbal) might suggest to a bully that a victim isn’t reacting? What is the bully likely to do? Has he/she learned anything?
  • When is it not advisable to cry, and when is it safe to do so?

Classroom Activities:

  • In groups of three, re-enact the story.
  • Draw illustrations for the poem.
  • Practice adopting a nonchalant attitude and using phrases intended to defuse (and not provoke) a bully.
  • Expand upon the story. Adopting the role of the Grand-Father, brainstorm a list of other advice and coping mechanisms.

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Monday his homework was torn into shreds.
Tuesday it took him an hour to come home.
And he said:
I found another route.

Wednesday his jacket was ripped and maimed.
Thursday he needed a very big snack.
And he claimed:
I lost my lunch money.

Friday he limped and had blood on his knee.
Saturday he wouldn’t answer the phone.
He told me:
I want to be alone.

Sunday he’s lying awake in his bed.
Monday’s tomorrow. I won’t go, he says,
Full of dread:
I won’t go back to school.

Day after day, many things were amiss.
He needs to tell me or I cannot help.
I ask this:
Please, can I help you, son?

by Andrea Wilson

Topics For Discussion:

  • Often bullying incidents are surrounded by a shroud of secrecy. Why is this?
  • The parent in the poem has recognized signs that his/her child is being bullied. What other clues might indicate this?
  • The parent wants to help. Should the child confide in his parents?
  • Sometimes another person who is aware of the situation needs to tell an adult, but children learn from a young age that being a “tattle-tale” is being a traitor.
  • What is the difference between tattling and telling? When is it the right thing to do? (Tattling gets the person in trouble. Telling gets the person out of trouble)

Classroom activities:

  • Divide the blackboard into two columns. Brainstorm two corresponding lists: What the parent could do to help the child. What would make the situation worse?
  • Imagine a short scenario which ends with someone telling an adult about what has transpired. The class takes a vote on whether this is tattling or telling. This can be done verbally or on paper.

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My Mom and Me

It used to be I’d hop out of bed,
So eager to start my day.
But times have changed. I ask my mom,
“Can I stay home from school today?”

I find a lot of grounds,
To justify my stance.
I plead, I beg, I frown,
I do a little dance.

“My ears, they ache. My tummy’s sore.”
I blow my nose and cough some more.
“What are these spots upon my chest?”
I wheeze. I sneeze. I do my best.

My Mom sits down beside my bed.
“You are not sick.” I turn bright red.
I know she hates it when I lie.
She’d understand if she knew why.

So should I tell her of my woes?
And will it change things if she knows?
I fear she’ll only make things worse.
If I don’t tell her, I think I’ll burst.

And so I tell her of the clique.
The girls who say that I’m a “geek”.
I tell of giggles,
The whispers,
The rumors.
I talk of their spite,
They cruel sense of humor.

And …

It feels so good to vent.
Although it’s so private.
I talk and talk.
My Mom’s very quiet.

She says to me gently,
“I’m terribly sorry.”
We hug and we cry.
We go over my story.

Together we look at the things we can do.
I’m no longer alone; we have a plan too.
I think I can face being teased and harassed.
With Mom on my side, my power is vast

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for Discussion:

  • The narrator doesn’t want to go to school because she will encounter the clique. What other effects could the experience of being bullied have on a person?
  • Why is it so important to tell a trusted adult about being bullied?
  • What is social or relational bullying? How does a clique ostracize a child?
  • What are some helpful thing adults can do. How can they “make things worse”?

Classroom Activities:

  • In small groups, come up with a “plan” to help the narrator.
  • Turn the poem into a song.
  • Continue the poem by repeating “It used to be …” and “But times have changed …” as they are used in the first stanza. This time use them to demonstrate what she has learned.
    • For example:
      It used to be I’d shake with fear,
      Whenever they’d come my way.
      But times have changed; when they come near,
      I simply walk away.

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