12YO picked on for being "ginger"

(35 Posts)
PreteenNightmares Wed 14-Dec-11 11:26:31

12YO son burst into tears last night when I affectionately (I thought) greeted him with, "Hiya, ginge" (we've called him ginger at home all his life as a term of affection and he's never reacted badly before...). Turns out that since shortly before half-term, classmates have been needling him with "anti-ginger" abuse (e.g. - Why is a redhead different from a shoe? Because a shoe has a sole. And other similarly unfunny stuff).

I'm sure that this has boiled over partly because it's the end of term and he's overtired, but there is absolutely no way I want it to get any worse. He's been really happy at the school up til now, and is a bright, sporty, well-liked boy otherwise.

I just don't get it myself - why is red hair something to pick on?? I think it's gorgeous.

Any advice for dealing with this specific kind of bullying? Much appreciated.

newgirl Fri 04-May-12 18:32:15

I think your child should reply by saying 'you are racist'. They are making comments based on his colouring. I don't see how it is different from comments about skin colour.

suburbandream Fri 04-May-12 18:51:18

sad I can't add any words of wisdom that haven't already been said, but I can offer you this to cheer you up (any excuse to see a bit of my favourite redhead wink) Tim Minchin Prejudice

suburbandream Fri 04-May-12 20:15:39

blush Just seen that this is a really old thread! Hope things are much better now, OP

schilke Thu 17-May-12 09:48:31

suburbandream - that was fab!!

FrauGrau Sun 20-May-12 21:03:27

First of all I want to say that along with some of the other posters, I think ginger/gold/ auburn/red hair is absolutely gorgeous !!! the idiots who make these negative comments are idiots with no aesthetic sense!
Do not blame the schools for bring unsupportive just because they can't solve the problem- it's your kid, and you having solved it either. Not an ideal answer I know but trust me if your kid stands up yo the bullies that will be an end to it. I have been there and done that. I have also seen it mang many times as a teacher myself. Professionally I couldnt endorse violence, but privately I know it works. Act like a victim and you become a victim. Sorry , but there it is.

FrauGrau Sun 20-May-12 21:05:07

Sorry loads of typos in last post. Should have reread before posting (autocorrect, I hate you!!)

QOD Sun 20-May-12 21:11:47

I was watch Keith Lemon the other day and he cracks endless jokes about being ginger, I wondered if that made being ginger MORE positive or if it had an adverse affect? Ie he's cool, funny and currently trendy?
What do red heads think?
Dd has a ginger friend, her mum has insisted she's strawberry blonde, friend has aspergers and so always speaks back arguing that she's not ginger etc, it makes it all worse as the bullies love to get a reaction.

I c&p'd a thread off facebook about her the other day, bitching about her and her food intolerances and ginger ism and personality traits..... And emailed it to the head with ALL the participants names grin

Gemtubbs Mon 11-Jun-12 09:35:43

Keith Lemon is ginger and I think that he is a pretty popular comedian. For some reason, these jokes coming from a ginger person seem funny rather than offensive, and that's coming from a red head. I try not to get offended by jokes any way, and just laugh them off. I think that there's a difference between a joke coming from a good hearted place and a mean spirited joke intended to hurt. Of course, that's ok for adults but it's hard for kids to feel this way, and jokes about their appearance do tend to hurt their self esteem and knock their confidence.

I do find it a bit offensive when I see programmes like One born every minute, and hear parents to be say things like "So long as the baby's not ginger, we'll be alright." As if being ginger is the worst thing for a baby to be. I don't think that they're even joking. A girl at my school once said to me that if she was having a baby, and she found out that the baby had ginger hair, she would have an abortion. Nice.

No one should be allowed to get away with pickng on any one for the way that they look. It's not acceptable. I was always told that If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I think that people being kind hearted is more important than being intelligent, pretty or wealthy.

I hope that your ds is ok now op.

claraschu Mon 11-Jun-12 09:40:26
NiamhThomas30 Tue 07-Aug-12 23:40:58

As a mother to three gorgeous ginger haired kids - I feel so sorry that your son (and you) have to endure this,.

My eldest has survived much of primary school without any serious bullying, but has had the odd comment that has upset him.

Personally, in my experience I'm afraid its the adults that have been worse! Since my eldest was born I've had the (head cocked to one side - pity look) "ahh he's ginger" or "don't worry, he can always dye it when he's older!! In fact, I have found that it's at family functions when I meet aunts/uncles/cousins etc. - a few times a year that I get the most insults! I think they think they are being funny, or maybe that they assume its acceptable to be so darn right rude!! My uncle recently said of my youngest (in his loudest voice - of course)"He's ginger!" to which I responded rather sarcasticly "Never! really thanks for letting me know that??" For once I made them feel rather silly, and I didn't care how awkward it was either.

Sorry for hijacking your thread with my own problems, but I thought I'd highlight the fact that these children who make judgement must learn this from somewhere and although this will not always be the case, I believe many learn from their elders...

All the best
Niamh

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now