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to not speak to my son about how his manner might have meant he asked to be pushed and taunted?

(73 Posts)
mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 09:26:37

Ds Is 7. He came out of school sad yesterday because at break time 4 boys were pushing him, pulling his coat and bag and calling him fat.

I didn't get a chance to speak to the teacher but spoke to my son and agreed I'd go to the line with him this morning and speak to her. From what he said it was being dealt with, they went to the head and are losing break today. I just felt it's important for me to speak to the teacher so he knows I take him seriously.

She seen us approaching and asked if we were o.k. I said 'we're fine, miniKeith is just a bit apprehensive about break after what happened yesterday' so not accusing, not shouting or anything. She goes onto say 'yes we'll be talking about it in class today and could you speak to miniKeith at home? The way he approaches people to join in games sets him up for this sort of thing'

Wtf?

MrsCantSayAnything Wed 21-Nov-12 09:27:58

I wanted to share what my DD's teacher did for her last year when she was struggling in the playground. DD was also 7..she was new to the school and shy (also slightly quirky but no diagnoses) her teacher began a thing where playtimes were about learning traditional circle games and she would choose a new "Games Master" every time....the games master had all the games cards and got to choose which game was played next and also who took what part...she told me that DD taking her turn at being the games master would help her....and it did.

They did this for almost a whole half term...one playtime a day....she also told me that in a class of 30 kids there were more than only DD who needed help and that it helped them all.

It really did help.

IloveJudgeJudy Wed 21-Nov-12 09:02:59

I'm glad you the teacher has given you something concrete to work with. In our case Ds changed his behaviour overnight and has not had any trouble since. I really think that some DC need to have pointed out to them that others have a point of view and feelings different to theirs. I just asked DS how he would like it if other DC tried to take over his games and 'boss' him about. I gave him different scenarios and asked him how he would feel. Luckily he got it straight away. It sounds like the teacher knows what's going on. Enlist her help, too, if your DS has any more grief. I wish you luck and know it's hard when you feel so powerless to sort it as you're not there.

mrskeithrichards Wed 21-Nov-12 08:17:39

Thanks for the perspective and advice. Spoke to the teacher again yesterday at pick up who said he had a better day and a lot of it is related to his 'best friend'. If he isn't there or playing with someone else my son struggles. We're going to have a chat about it all but leaving it until tomorrow because I don't want to link the two issues and make him feel he was at fault.

KurriKurri Tue 20-Nov-12 14:50:39

OP - sorry I haven't read all the thread, so don't know if this has been suggested, but this book is very helpful I have found for children (and adults) who struggle a bit socially, and sometimes get things a little bit wrong when making approaches.

Your son sounds like a lovely boy, and I don't think that asking people if they are his best friend is particularly out of the ordinary for a 7yr old, but if you think he is finding things a bit difficult in the playground, the book has all sorts of suggestions and things to practice that may help him smile

Good luck.

VicarInaTutu Tue 20-Nov-12 14:43:02

you also need specifics - you need to know exactly what he is doing that the teacher or other kids find objectionable.

my DS was the police man of the class room - he never let the teacher turn a blind eye to any wrong doing so ingrained was his sense of justice and right and wrong. he was probably a pain. He also had no idea about how things may affect others feelings - so we did lots of exercises at home on feelings. I always got the feeling that hte teacher didnt like him and i felt this didnt help - and she was actually a nice woman. (ive met her since at several social functions!)

he once pushed another childs toy on to the floor because he ran out of room on the table for his jigsaw. there was no malice at all - he just saw a problem (lack of room) and saw the solution (make more room by removing objects in the way!) he did not realise the reaction it would promote. these things do need teaching in a child with any social skills difficulties. but they need a sympathetic approach - after all - its not their fault and i think other children need to be taught to react in an appropriate way.

VicarInaTutu Tue 20-Nov-12 14:36:14

this resonates with me.

DS has AS and his social skills were lacking - he tried so hard and wanted to fit in and play but he just had no idea how to do it. He would go up to people and say "excuse me, please may i join in your game" which opened him up to being told "no". he was 7 when he was diagnosed.

DS was referred to a social skills group that was run for kids whose social skills lacked somewhat - but its different when they are trying to fit in with kids of the same age who have no issues with social skills.

i think i would go back in and ask for a quick meeting with the teacher and possilbly the SENCO who should be well versed in how to help kids who are a bit socially awkward.

my sons primary school were terrible tbh. They simply took the view that he brought it all on himself and refused to engage with things like "circle time" or buddying. it made for a very very difficult time for ds at primary. he is now 20 (21 next week!) and doing his computer science degree at uni. Things gradually got better for him the older he got, but i think the school could have done way more for him.

its easy for kids with any social skills difficulties to become isolated and their self esteem to suffer. Keep asking questions of the school.

seeker Tue 20-Nov-12 14:30:06

"Do not let the school use your son's issues as an excuse for the others. It is not"

Absolutely. But as a completely separate point, do not let the fact that other children have behaved outrageously excuse the school and you from helping him understand how social interactions work, and learning strategies for dealing with others.

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 14:20:05

He does beavers and karate just now.

DeWe Tue 20-Nov-12 14:16:01

Do not let the school use your son's issues as an excuse for the others. It is not

This really says it well.

At the same time the school is dealing with the others' behaviour at school. You deal with your dc behaviour at home as well.

I found roll play gets it across best for mine-you play him. "No you're not doing it that way. this is the best way..." They get cross and say you're not being nice. So then you discuss how you could do it nicely.

Dd2 has a set of phases. "Do you think we could...?" "What if we did it this way?" "Could we try...?"
Also she has get out phases. If she's getting upset because they seem to be ignoring her ideas (or not giving the due importance she thinks they deserve) then she says "I'm going to the toilet/drink of water" "I need to see Mr. X" "Oh there's Y, I said I'd show her something."
Being able to get out without loss of face is a great thing. Then when she comes back she's often thought about it and is more ready to accept their ideas.

It takes a long time of practice for them to be able to put it in when things are stressed though. It's not a quick fix. Ds could tell me a year ago what he should have done. By the summer term he sometimes did what he should do in a streeful situation. Now he usually does. But it's been a long struggle.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 20-Nov-12 14:13:29

I realise your DS is too young for Cubs mrskeithrichards does he go to Beavers or something similar where he can get used to other children? I know this doesn't help immediately and it's clearly more structured than school playground but he'd perhaps gain confidence and be able to assert himself better. There's also Woodcraft Folk or Boys Brigade, and later on stuff like sea cadets, don't know where you are but perhaps there's something around your area. (Sorry if the whole idea's not your thing).

seeker Tue 20-Nov-12 13:56:48

"hmm seeker, perhaps the other child's mother was trying to be kind to you and your son, instead of saying 'yes, dc was assaulted, you're child is a bullying little thug!'

violence is never the answer, and name-calling and exclusion in the playground is bullying. I'd be mortified if it was my dc calling some other kid fat and there'd be serious repercussions at home for it"

What a helpful contribution to the debate! I know the mother and the child very well- if I thought she was "trying to be kind" then I wouldn't have posted.

Things are very rarely completely black and white. Obviously sometimes they are, but not usually.

mummmsy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:17:22

sorry your child, not you're grin

mummmsy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:16:41

hmm seeker, perhaps the other child's mother was trying to be kind to you and your son, instead of saying 'yes, dc was assaulted, you're child is a bullying little thug!'

violence is never the answer, and name-calling and exclusion in the playground is bullying. I'd be mortified if it was my dc calling some other kid fat and there'd be serious repercussions at home for it

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 13:12:20

How did you get him to stop wanting it all his own way?

Just not sure how to raise or discuss this!

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:09:23

I agreed that you need to discuss with your DS why people don't play with him. We had the same with DS2. We questioned his way of playing and found he wanted it all his own way. Honestly, things changed overnight for the better.

Goldmandra Tue 20-Nov-12 10:51:49

Social skills is a part of the school curriculum and it is therefore the teacher's responsibility just as much as it is yours if not more to help your DS.

If she feels he is approaching children in an inappropriate manner she should be explaining this to him and modelling the language he could use instead.

She should also be planning a whole class activity to help all of the children understand and accept differences.

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 10:48:34

No that's ok it's all useful.

blanksquit Tue 20-Nov-12 10:41:35

Sorry took so long to write my post, it's all moved on and now seen your reply.

blanksquit Tue 20-Nov-12 10:38:10

I find with my 7 year old that it's usually a chain of events that end up with the resultant fall out. Recently she got pushed against a wall and had some minor injuries. When I got to the bottom of it, she had caused the argument and wound the person up beyond.

Not saying this is the case at all for your ds. But I'd be wanting to find out exactly what happened and how it escalated to this. The teacher has implied there's more to it. I'd be finding out what.

In my case, I could then talk to her about how to deal with a situation like this in the future without it resulting in somebody getting hurt.

For some social skills seem to come naturally, for others they need a bit of guidance.

GooseyLoosey Tue 20-Nov-12 10:36:52

Agree to treat your son's social skills as a separate issue.

I have been there with ds (9). He was bullied for a long time by a group of his class mates. I could see why they would pick on him, but it didn't make their behaviour any better. I told the school this. I was happy to work with them to improve ds's social skills, but at the same time they needed to provide a safe and secure environment for him and address the behaviour of those children who made it otherwise for him.

Do not let the school use your son's issues as an excuse for the others. It is not.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 20-Nov-12 10:33:15

OP yanbu 4 against 1 is wrong just for starters and I hope your DS doesn't feel put off trying to join in. Glad the boys in question did get a ticking off. I hope teacher talks about both sides of the coin, how to ask to be included without being a pain and how to turn someone down without name calling or jostling.

Is there a 'buddy bench' in the playground for those children not in groups?

Just referring to what other posters describe, sadly the lonely kid does often resort to winding up other kids because any attention is better than none! It's not just the socially inept or unpleasant who get blanked as they get older. Everyone else gets along and without being overtly cruel, kids do exclude others, it's the old glad-it's-him/her-not-me scenario. Even the "nicest" children can be quite ruthless.

Selim Tue 20-Nov-12 10:31:29

Ds also found this book very helpful at that age. It honestly is completely pointless to just dig your heels in and say the other dcs are the bullies, they are the ones who will have to change because they are in the wrong. They are in the wrong and they will have to change but the dc being bullied also needs to know how to deal with it it a more constructive way that will break the cycle.

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 10:25:11

Seeing things a bit clearer now.

I'm happy the school are dealing with it. Me speaking to the teacher was more about my son seeing that I'm there and listening to him. I was taken aback with her reaction.

However I can see her point a bit. I will speak to him but treat it as a totally separate issue. He's kind and all the rest of it, maybe just a bit in your face at times and does get upset when he's ignored or dismissed. How do I help him with this?

DeWe Tue 20-Nov-12 10:24:54

I agree with seeker too. I've seen it from both sides.

Dd2 can try and join a game along the lines of "I'm playing with you now and this is the way we're going to play it. No you're wrong if you want to play it differently". Then she goes crying if they say "no she's not playing".
We've been working hard at the way she plays, giving her ways of suggesting, not ordering, and if everyone else disagrees, even if she sees they're wrong (as long as no one is going to get hurt, or is breaking a rule) then she goes with the majority vote. She's getting better, but still forgets sometimes. She has often been hurt at not being allowed to "join in" but if they let her, expects them all to do what she wants. That's not going to win her any friends and she has to learn to be a friend not be the boss.

Ds had a child in reception who would target him with irritating behaviour. Things like he'd be doing a jigsaw and would walk past and pull one piece out and drop it on the floor. Another time he kept squashing the sandcastle he built. But he doesn't do it once. He'll keep doing it. So Ds would tell him "stop it" in increasing frustration until he'd snap at round about the 4th time and hit him.
Then he'd be in trouble for hitting (which is right, and I supported that) but it wasn't bullying. Actually, as his long suffering teacher said, it was more the other child was bullying him as he was making a target of ds, whereas ds would have hit any child who did that. But I know that they were struggling with the other child's parents because they were just saying "he's only playing", and feeling hard done by.

BarbecuedBillygoats Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:05

#thats the thing isnt it. You cant just take him to one side and say 'you're doing it wrong you should do this' you have to help them learn by doing and those around help by reacting but not overreacting

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