Worried parent from across the way...
| Worried parent from across the way...           |
06/12/2016 15:10 - Bullying (Locality: Dublin South)
I wonder if you can help me, as I have a fear that is going round my head and keeping me awake at night at the moment.
Some quick background: We live in the UK and we’ve been given an opportunity to return to Ireland for work. My Wife is Irish and I’m English, but I lived in Dublin for six years during the 00’s. We have three amazing kids, (8, 5 and 2 years old), who are Irish passport holders, but have English accents as they were raised over here.
My eldest Son is so lovely, but is very sensitive and has a very strong Southern English accent. You can probably therefore pre-empt my worry…
I’m really nervous that he might get bullied in school because of his accent and it would break my heart for him to come home in tears one day because he’s being treated differently because the way he talks. This fear has been further compounded by articles I’ve read in the Irish Times and other websites that have shock headlines like “bullied at school because of my English accent” and “although I’m Irish, I was never been accepted because of my English accent”. Now most of these stories centre around secondary school and I get that kids will pick on other kids because they’re different in all walks of life no matter what. But I just wonder how far reaching these issues really are; if anyone else has experienced this and how did they deal with it; or are children super resilient and they’ll get over it; or would it get easier or harder for them as they grow; or am I just needlessly worrying about nothing?
I’m very worried, (you can see where my Son gets his sensitivity from), and as a result I’m actually thinking of turning down this opportunity of a life-time to protect him. My Irish Mother-in-law thinks I’m insane to think it would be an issue in this day and age, but I’m trying to balance the reality against the stories in the press.
Any help or guidance would be gratefully received.
| re : Worried parent from across the way...           |
07/12/2016 10:04 - Bullying
I can understand your worry, especially if your kids are well settled where they are. As you mention in your post, there will always be kids that pick on others because they are different but I think the article headlines you refer to are exaggerated (as is often the case with newspapers) or at least the exception. There are probably as many headlines in the UK about kids being bullied in school for all kinds of reasons.
Schools in Ireland are now much more multi-cultural than they once were, particularly since the celtic tiger times which brought and influx of families from various communities and different cultures across the globe. A broad range of kids from a range of different countries is now the norm in a lot of Irish schools and the general consensus is that most seem to be integrating and getting along just fine .
You might find the following article interesting to read and maybe a little reassuring http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/ireland-learns-to-love-its-growing-multiculturalism-360629.html
Best of luck if you decide to take up the new role in Ireland