7 year old DS being rejected by whole class at 2 different schools - help...

(37 Posts)
HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 12:35:03

Hi

My 7 year old son is finding it difficult to settle at school. He had the same problem at his old school, was constantly coming home saying no one played with him, and went a full school year without being invited to a single birthday party. We moved home as I needed to be closer to my university and my son had to change schools. I thought this would be good for him, a fresh start so to speak. But the problems are developing at this school as well. After the initial "new boy" interest had worn off, all the boys at his school now reject him constantly and my son ends up spending most play times alone. Every time he strikes up a friendship with a new child, within a couple of weeks the child is rejecting him again and being rude and refusing to play with my son.

I have spoke to the school many times asking for help. As I am at University I rarely do drop off or pick ups so I do not know any of the mums in his class to be able to ask children over to play. They suggested they ring a couple of mums about possible play dates which I was very happy about. That was 3 months ago and every time I remind them I get told they will ring the parents when they get a chance. I'm getting to the end of my tether and can see me going in to the school and starting to get really angry about it as I just feel they arent doing anything. my son has started begging not to go to school as he is so fed up of constantly being on his own and even asked me to Google what to do if you have no friends today. It is breaking my heart. I have organised a big birthday party for him in August and am going to invite the whole class, but at this rate I am worried no children will show up and will break his heart.

What makes it worse is his younger brother is getting on great and has been invited to 2 birthday parties and I can see the disappointed dejected look on my older sons face everytime he comes home with an invite.

I just dont know what to do, the whole thing is breaking my heart as I can see how hurt he is, and I just dont understand why these kids are being like it with him, as he is such a lovely, lively funny little boy at home. I just dont get it. He isnt sporty or anything, and he likes science and maths, so you could class him as a bit geeky with regards to his interests, but I dont know why that would stop him even being able to make 1 single friend.

I went into the school to speak to the teacher again today and ended up bursting into tears as it has been going on for over a year and a half now, it's like he walks around with a sign on his back saying "I'm the kid to tease and ostricise". I just dont know what to do.

Any advise greatly received.

exexpat Tue 05-Mar-13 12:47:05

Have you tried getting hold of a copy of The Unwritten Rules of Friendship and seeing if there is anything you can work on with him?

Because it sounds as if there may be something in the way he interacts with other children which is causing the rejection, if you have made a new start at a new school and exactly the same thing is happening again.

Seeline Tue 05-Mar-13 12:49:41

In no particular order - at about that age, parties tend to lessen, with most having just a small group of friends to do something rather than a whole-class event so it may be that he just hasn't worked himself into a group yet.
Are the school admitting a problem - most kids go through phases where they say no-one will play with them, but in reality they are playing with someone most of the time. Do the school have a buddy bench or similar?
Is there no way you could get up to pick ups more often and get to know some mums? You don't have to know the mum to have someone to play though - give your DS a note to give to someone he would like to have to play to pass onto a mum with all your details and an invite to tea.
Does your DS do anything outside of school? A local Beaver group etc may mean that he could meet up with others from school in a different environment which may help forge friendships.
HAve you seen your DS playing with others? Is he particularly bossy or stubborn? I know my DD has problems because people won't play with her - in relity it's because they won't play what she wants to play, or they won't do things the way she wants them done.

leon1234 Tue 05-Mar-13 12:52:51

hernibs1980, i understand your plight .i am in this situation right now.my ds, 5 years old has no friends at school. sometimes he comes home saying he did not play in school at all .
1. ask him to be strong as he has done nothing wrong.
2. ask him to be bold and find a small group of kids playing during break and ask them if he could join in.
3. try taking him early to school so he can meet other kids before class starts and start a conversation.
4.take a day off and meet some of the parents during drop off and pick up and exchange contact details to arrange a play date. why wait for school to do it for you?.
5.ask your son to find out where his classmates go for football or other sports and join your son in these classes as it will help him get a few friends.
i have done the above and my son is in football class with another class mate and they play sometimes in school. i leave him at school at 8.15 and wait for him (approx 15 mins )to find friends to play with or atleast talk to.i encourage him by starting the conversation with his classsmate. a little bit of help from parents is needed for a such kids.hope your son finds a friend soon.
lol leon1234.

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:12:58

In year 5 I got to know a mum who had transferred in her DD because of 'friendship' issued at her old school. Inside of a month the mum was complaining about the same issues.

I asked DD what it was all about and she said that the new girl always want everyone to play her games and if they didn't then she would sulk and walk off. At first the other kids would give in. They later stopped giving in but someone would always try to coax her to rejoin the game. They later stopped totally hence her sitting by herself at breaktime.

In a 'normal' setting the girl is quite nice and polite and is quite chatty. This is the side of her DD that the mum sees. Hence her confusion as to why her DD has friendship issues again.

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:16:37

... I forgot to make my point. As a parent we don't see what other children see. Your teachers don't seem too competent. Even so, it's worth speaking to them, to see if your DC is having problems socialising.

DeafLeopard Tue 05-Mar-13 13:16:59

Lots of really good advice already, just to add re the playdates - if the school have not had time to ring other parents to try to pass on your contact details so that you can invite other children over, why not ask your DS who he would like to invite to play and then write some notes to put in their book bags inviting the children over?

givemeaclue Tue 05-Mar-13 13:19:15

I think you are going to have to be proactive in inviting other kids round to your house and not leave it to teachers to organize. Sounds like it would really help if you could drop off or pick up even once per week as you would get to know the other kids are parents. You would also get chance to see you son interacting yhuh other kids, man help identify the issues. Hope it gets better.

MTSgroupie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:21:50

I don't think inviting kids over for a play date is the answer. As the OP has said, making a friendship is not the problem. The problem is that her DC seems unable to keep it after a few weeks.

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:24:50

Exexpat No I hadnt heard of that book but i will definately look into it as I feel the same. It is definately something in the way he interacts with other children for it to be happening at 2 different schools. Seeline, when I went to the school today they mentioned making a friendship group were my DS can pick a few children from his class to go and do fun things to try to form some bonds with the others at the same time as monitoring how he interacts as at home he can be a bit bossy with his younger siblings and am wondering if he's like that with other children at school. The note is a really good idea to invite someone over. I may try that thanks. smile Yes my son has been doing Karate for the past year and a half, and I have also now started him at Drama club on a Saturday as at home he is very theatrical and dramatic so am hoping the club will bring this out of him when around other children as he can be very comical. smile Leon1234, he tries to approach children at play time and gets told to go away and that they dont want to play with him. sad The going in earlier could work I may try that for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunatly even if I did take a day off I wouldnt know which parents have children in my class, as all parents for the whole school wait at the front for their children. I would have to take a week off in order to get to know which ones are which. I break up from Uni in May though so I can definately try that then. smile My DS doesnt like football in the slightest, have tried to get him interested before but he doesnt want to. They run a cycling class every now and again though so may try to get him into that as he loves riding his bike. smile

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:28:15

MTSgroupie, that sounds about right actually, my son can be like that with his younger siblings....and me actually sometimes so that may explain alot. Deafleopard, that is definately a great idea and am going to give that a go soon and see what happens. smile

ShatnersBassoon Tue 05-Mar-13 13:29:38

Does he have any hobbies out of school? Sports, Beavers, drama group etc. are great ways to meet like-minded children.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 05-Mar-13 13:30:20

Sorry, you answered my question while I was still typing it!

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:23

ShatnersBassoon, yes he does Karate, which helps with his discipline and concentration, but as it is so disciplined there's not much chance for messing around making friends. I started him at Drama club last Saturday as I am hoping that will bring out the comical theatrical side I see to him at home. He's only been once so far but am hoping he'll enjoy it once been a few more times. smile

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:32:47

Lol. No worries at all. smile

Lancelottie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:35:11

Ah.

On past experience of two DSs, I'd say the only thing he's doing 'wrong' may be that he doesn't like football. It's very hard to be a little boy who doesn't like football.

claraschu Tue 05-Mar-13 13:35:45

I'm really sorry you are going through this: it is so painful.
I had a couple of thoughts-

Can you ask the teachers and TAs if anyone has noticed any sort of pattern in his interaction with other children (such as the sort of thing which has been suggested above)? The teachers should be trying to help him with socialising at school during breaks. They might be able to point you in the direction of like minded children to invite over for tea.
I have never heard of a school helping to arrange after school play dates, and I am surprised they offered to do this, so I wouldn't count on them actually following through.
As others have suggested, if you can arrange to be around school once a week, that would really help, and maybe you could even go in to help with reading for half an hour in the mornings (lots of parents do this at our school). If this is possible, you will get a much better idea of what is going on.

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:35:57

MTSgroupie, you have a point there, i dont think the playdate it the answer by itself. I'm just hoping that if a child comes and spends proper time with him one on one in his own territory, that they'll see he's worth playing with. Then I could monitor his interractions and gently remind him not to be bossy, sulky or whatever it is he's doing to upset these kids. Am hoping that may help. smile

I would also write a letter, stating what has happened so far and ask for a response from the school about how they will help your ds, put it in writing, generally gets a proper solution being sought, quickly. Buddy bench sounds good, if you want to give them an idea?

I agree about inviting classmates home regularly ( once a fortnight), maybe the class teacher could suggest someone your ds might share some interests with that will give them a chance to bond. Any after school activities that his classmates go to that he can join?

It is heartbreaking, I feel your pain, we have just moved area and it is hard seeing my sensitive ds, who has autism, struggling so much with the transition.

I think trying to get to the playground once a week might help, but you have to initiate conversation with other parents, which can be hard. It will also give you a chance to see your son with other school children. Getting involved with PTA, fundraising activities may help you meet some other parents too.

Blu Tue 05-Mar-13 13:38:41

I can understand your heartbreak and anguish, HerNibs.

I think you need to make an appointment and go and talk to the class teacher and ask for a very honest appraisal of why these interactions are not working. His relationships with friendship will affect his whole outlook on his school day, so hopefully the school will be prepared to work with you and create a happier experience for him.

Things which my DS has commented on about children he is more reluctant to play with:

A boy who likes to attract attention by annoying others - grabbing hoods, bags, hats etc, deliberately bumping into etc etc
Boasting
Showing off
Being over-affectionate - hugging etc
Being possessive - saying 'I won't be your friend if you play with X, Y or Z', getting sulky if other people are oinvolved
Always wanting to dictate the game or who is what.

I would ask him how he likes friends to be - and then get him to check that that is how he is behaving towards his friends. It does sound as if he is being not adopted as a friend rather than actually being picked on?

It's all so hard, I'm sure he is lovely.

claraschu Tue 05-Mar-13 13:40:04

Sorry- thread has moved on since I started writing. I'm slow.

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:40:49

Lancelottie, yes tell me about it...as stereotypical as it is I have tried on many occassions to get him into football, but he's just never that enthusiastic about it. May try getting him into basketball as he loves throwing balls around. Claraschu, yes I was suprised they offered too as they never offered anything like that at the old school, so maybe I should stop resting my hopes on that. The reading once a week may be an idea. I could start doing that when break up for uni in beginning of May. Do you think him having his mum in class may make him stand out even more for bullying though??

Franup Tue 05-Mar-13 13:44:59

Please please don't hold his party in August - lots of people will be on holiday (unless you are in are in Scotland). Hold it before they break up for summer.

Cubs and beavers are less structured than skills groups so more chance to chat.

Are there any other new kids if so invite them round. Try and get to the playground once a week yourself. You tend to invite people's kids who you at least see from time to time.

If he had mentioned any boys at all send a note to their parent for a play date or get in the playground and find the parent.

I think you need to set some stuff up. Also see if the school do any support or have a buddy scheme for kids struggling at playtime.

Also think about if there are any other issues stopping him making friends or making social interaction hard for him.

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:47:15

TapselteeriO, PTA sound good, just am not sure how to get to meetings as I am a single parent and have no family. Also only living in the area for a few months I dont know anyone in the area that would have kids regularly while I go to meetings. But definately worth looking into. smile Blu, you have just given me some insight into what may be going wrong. My DS displays at least 4, sometimes ALL of the traits you listed towards his siblings and me....so this may be where he is going wrong. Have spoken to him loads about not doing it at home. How can I help him stop acting like that do you think?

HerNibs1980 Tue 05-Mar-13 13:50:45

Franup, I've always held his birthday party in August and its always been alright at his old school. The venue and entertainer are all booked up and paid for now, so not sure I can change it. Will be giving invites out before they break up though, so will hopefully get replies back before then. Fingers crossed it wont go wrong. sad

givemeaclue Tue 05-Mar-13 13:59:21

Oh gosh no party in August isn't ideal. People on hols, people forget because they aren't
at school etc

Lancelottie Tue 05-Mar-13 14:03:18

Don't reject the girls as potential friends. A good feisty tomboy (sorry for appalling stereotyping) can be just what a slightly left-out boy needs to haul him into the thick of things. One of mine is now 13 and is regularly carted around town still by a couple of female friends. They're all into drama, songwriting, swimming and being rude about football.

Blu Tue 05-Mar-13 14:03:45

Oh, bless him, he's young in his year then, and immature compared to some others?

The chances are he will learn to absorb the nuances of socialising as he grows up a bit.

I am no expert in these things, but I wonder if it would help to suggest that he watches what other people do and follows their lead in how friends deal with each other? Talk to him about some of those issues and how they make other people feel.

Show him how pigeons fly off if you try and make friends by chasing them or being over-friendly, but come to you if you sit quietly and show that you are prepared to share your crumbs?

Set up some conventions amongst all your children - take it in turns to decide the game, and if someone says they don't want to play, they don't get to choose the next game?

He has you on his side, so he'll develop smile

Bramshott Tue 05-Mar-13 14:07:22

I wouldn't wait for the school to set up the playdates TBH. Can you find out who he'd like over, and then send a note in in an envelope which says something like "DS would really like your DS to come over and play - could you give me a call on XX number to see if we can arrange a date?"

BeckAndCall Tue 05-Mar-13 14:11:20

Don't wait til August to arrange something - can you invite the class over fro an Easter egg hunt, for example, in the holidays? Or invite your younger DS's friends and their mums and any older siblings over for an afternoon?
That way you can watch your DS interact with others and see if you can spot any issues you could help him with.

Also,does the school not have a friendship bench or equivalent where he can go at play time - where someone (an older child or a pair from his own class ) is on call to play with children who have no one to play with that day? I've seen this at my DCs' schools and it works well- in the longer term, you could suggest such a scheme at your school?

HerNibs1980 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:53:32

Exexpat, just wanted to say a big thank you for suggesting that book. It came through the post today and have just finished the first 2 chapters. Its brilliant and has ideas in there I hadn't even thought of. [Grin]

HerNibs1980 Thu 07-Mar-13 21:54:13

Well that was supposed to be a grinning smiley but didnt work. Lol.

exexpat Fri 08-Mar-13 10:15:17

Great, I hope it really can help.

HerNibs1980 Fri 08-Mar-13 18:17:04

Fingers crossed. smile

Magdalena45 Fri 15-Mar-13 16:26:44

I am concerned that people are assuming that, because this has happened in 2 schools, it means it is something your son is doing... It may NOT be. A lot of bullying is random. Or, the previous bullying may have knocked his confidence; bullies then sense this and single out the same kid. Of course it's important to look at all sides of these situations, but is very possibly not due to your son's behaviour at all!

AngryFeet Sun 12-May-13 18:14:01

Sorry to drag up an old thread but just wondering how you are getting on hernibs? I have the same problem with my 6YO DS. He is in year 2 now and still has no friends (after 3 years at the school inc nursery). He is very immature for his age and has some SEN (no statement as we are not exactly sure what is wrong yet but his speech is behind and he has some motor skills issues). He also hates football and just plays by himself in the playground fairly happily but the boys seemed to take a dislike to him from the start and tease him/hit him and refuse to play with him or have him sit near them.

Socially he struggles to interact with them and I do understand the problem stems partly from him. The school have been brilliant at trying to help him socialise with games and groups he attends with the SENCO. Sadly I feel like the other kids view of him is tainted and will never change but he doesn't want to move classes and keeps plodding on. He has great relationships with the adults (teacher, TA's etc) and seems happy but I find it quite hard although I never show him that.

To be honest me and his teachers have regular conversations and try different things but nothing works. The boys who were horrible to him were told that they didn't have to play with him if they didn't want to but to leave him alone and not tease him. The problem is now he tries to approach them and they blank him and walk away. He rarely gets invited to birthday parties and is aware as the others hand out invites to everyone but him sad Even playdates are a struggle as the parents of the one boy he really likes turn us down everytime.

He is currently being assessed by a developmental paediatrician which I hope will help.

Anyway just to say I really sympathise. It is so hard and when nobody knows how to help you feel completely alone sad

NotInTheMood Fri 24-May-13 22:20:55

I cold of wrote some of your post. M ds 8 also has SEN because of his speech and language etc which is effecting his schooling. For some reason friends in his class have turned against him and do not want to play. He used to be fairly popular and went on play dates and parties at the start of the year but now along of the kids in his class are forming groups. There has been a lot boisterous behaviour which my child doesn't really deal with and fallen out in the class. Ds just doesn't seem to fit in anymore and says every one hates him and no one wants to play with him. My heart is breaking for him :-(

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