January 26, 2013 WHEN YOUR TEACHER WANTS TO HELP BUT YOU WANT HER TO BACK OFF This message comes from Mackenzie. (Not THAT MacKenzie!) She writes: I was having a major problem with my best friend and a boy who started to pick on me at the beginning of the year. Recently, this teacher told me about this group of kids from grades 6-8 that have been bullied. She gave me a permission slip and asked me to talk to my parents about it, to see if they thought it was a good idea. I didn’t talk to my mom about it. I just don’t want to do it. It’s sort of stupid. I mean, I’ve basically done this all through elementary school, and I don’t need to do this all throughout middle school. I need to be able to deal with my problems on my own, and even with my parents. The teacher who is trying to help me, she needs to back up and leave me alone. I don’t need her help. Is it wrong, to just want one person to leave me alone— even if it’s just a teacher? My Advice: Hi Mackenzie! I don’t think it’s wrong to want someone to leave you alone. I want people to leave me alone all the time…ESPECIALLY teachers! (And MacKenzie, and my mom, and Brianna, but that’s beside the point…) In this case, I think your teacher’s really trying to help you. I know you said you’ve been through this stuff before, and I get how annoying it probably feels to have to deal with it again. And I think I get why you wouldn’t want to be part of this group. It sounds like you just want things to be normal, and putting all this extra attention on the situation makes it feel even worse! Since your teacher asked you to talk to your mom, maybe you should do that. Just tell her that your teacher told you about this group, but FOR NOW you’re not really feeling it. You can say that you’d rather just talk things through with her, but you’ll consider joining the group if things get tough in school. Then you can tell your teacher that you did what she asked, and you’ve decided not to do the group for now…but you’ll let her know if you change your mind. That’s pretty much like saying, “Thanks for the offer. Now stop talking about it!” The most important part of my advice, though, is to ACTUALLY consider joining the group if things get tough in school. It might seem like you can handle everything on your own, but no one can! On days when MacKenzie has been SUPER mean to me, it’s really helped to talk to other kids who’ve been there too. (Which is pretty much everyone…she’s even made teachers cry!) The group may SEEM stupid, but it could also end up being a place where you make super awesome new friends who have your back if any other mean kids cause you trouble. So that’s my advice: Tell your mom how you feel, let your teacher know you guys have it covered, but keep an open mind about this whole group thing! Do you guys have any advice for Mackenzie?