Son in year 1 - spiteful friends

(16 Posts)
Tullippa Tue 30-Apr-13 22:25:40

My son is quite withdrawn in lessons at school, and has always been shy and reluctant with the teachers. He doesn't approach them a great deal so on occasion if he tells me something that has happened to him at school I have said to him, Im glad he told me but you can always tell the teacher, she wont mind.

There are 3 dominant boys at school, two started off in reception as my son's friends, these two boys live on the same street, and have therefore formed a strong bond and friendship, from observing at school hols break it was very much 3's a crowd. My son being frequently and purposely left out, they are all now in year 1. I met with the boys and their mums, and didn't like how they behaved, so avoided going out with them again, no pleasure in seeing your child being treated like runt of the litter. Their mums, besides telling them off, couldn't do much else about it.

Luckily my son is happy to have a mixture of friends at school - the two boys are both real rough and tumble boys, my son is boisterous and typical boy, but very gentle and can be jumpy so not into toy fighting really, prefers chasing and hide and seek, he is very innocent for his age. He is younger for his age. He has also been struggling to keep up with maths, and reading (reading is progressing however since I started self teaching).

So basically cut to the chase - he came home and his hood was full of tree bark, I asked him - he wasnt going to tell me I dont think, but his two so called friends held him down and filled his coat hood with leaves etc. and he didn't like it and how it upset him, a third child was also involved. He has come home and said little things the boys have said and I thought not nice, so I phoned school.

I told his teacher - she said to me that as she had not seen it, or any form of bullying going on that she couldn't say anything, as she wasn't there. I did say so unless you see something its not happened then? There has been another incident of screaming in his ear so his 'brain hurts' in his words. I don't want to make an enemy out of the teacher but I don't think that is a good enough answer.

I then took my son to a party and was flabbergasted to see how the two boys treated him, they were both pulling at his top, pushing a ball in his face, but in a toy fight but slight meaning kind of way, I was so sad to see my son just putting up with it. I went in and called over to him, to not play with them, but I guess when they are dragging him about he kind of goes along with it, and manages to squirm away. Thing is I will take him in the morning and they'll stand in line playful and he'll greet them and they'll chat so what can I say to the teacher to convince her that they are not being kind to him, I think the roughness is going on in the playground, I have asked him to go to the dinnerladies, but I know he wouldn't do that. Am I to just get over it and let it sort itself out, or is there something else I can do? I don't want to be the mum who says everyone I picking on their child. But even at the party, the father of the birthday child said to me - why were those kids invited - they are horrible - I hope one day he (my son) turns around and smacks them one.

PS. I cant say anything to their parents, because one of them is going to have surgery, and the other is now her best friend, and I see them a lot on school run, and hate confrontation, I get really embarrassed and will dread it if I tell them, and then have to face them daily.

Please give me some guidance, I know it sounds trivial, but I was so upset at the party, it was such an eye opener. Should I be laying it on thicker to hint to my son to not play with them, it s like they have no respect for him, and they will play with him if other not there.

lucidlady Tue 30-Apr-13 22:30:13

This is going to sound harsh but I mean it kindly - you need to tackle the parents and not shy away out of embarrassment or fear. What example are you setting your son otherwise? He needs you to look out for him. You don't need to have a row, just say something along the lines of, you've noticed that A and B are being quite unkind to your son and could they deal with it please.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Tue 30-Apr-13 22:35:44

Have you only spoken to the teacher over the telephone? I would make an appointment to speak to them face to face. OK so she didn't see that particular incident but she should still be taking your concerns seriously.

I may be being dense here but I don't see what the other mother having surgery has to do with anything. Her surgery is not your responsibility, your son is.

Betterbet Tue 30-Apr-13 23:07:37

poor ds and poor you. I think you need to try and persuade your son to stand up for himself. a loud "stop it I don't like it!' seems to stop a lot of boisterous behavior. is there anyone else he plays with - I would be having them round for tea and trying to encourage other friendships. then you can tell him to avoid the mean boys. I would have another word with the teacher - just ask her advice and say that the friendship doesn't seem all that healthy, that there may be some bullying and can she keep an eye on it. good luck.

WhiteBirdBlueSky Tue 30-Apr-13 23:52:31

I've had talks with my DD about not playing with people who are not nice to her. For some reason she didn't seem to realise that was an option. She does now. I wouldn't just hint, I would be quite explicit. The only caveat is that when you start meddling in friendships the law of unintended consequences comes into play. However it's important that he knows that you will support him I think.

FadedSapphire Wed 01-May-13 06:40:48

I definitely would make an appointment to see the teacher.
The school will have an anti bullying policy and should be on the ball about this sort of thing at every age group. They should have assemblies and the like about being kind to people and targeted year group talks if necessary plus talks with individual children.
Not on for you to be dismissed the way you have been.
If you feel you will get nervous at meeting have letter written too to hand over with concerns or simply notes to guide you.
Very good luck op.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Wed 01-May-13 06:50:21

I would advise making an appointment and telling the school he is being bullied and ask them what they are going to do about it. Don't be fobbed off. I wouldn't approach the parents as this can get messy.

alpinemeadow Wed 01-May-13 06:59:43

Definitely go in and see the teacher - and it can be helpful at the end of the meeting to arrange that you'll phone in, say, a week's time so that teach can report back on what action she's taken and how it's gone.

i know others may disagree! But i think it's better to leave it to teacher than speak to parents yourself - more likely to get results, and it can be very difficult to keep it amicable if you talk to parents direct.

Tullippa Wed 01-May-13 09:54:46

I agree, I think tackling the parents can get messy and ackward and if the kids are friendly on and off, I dont think it will help me approaching the parents. The mothers of the kids are really nice, but oblivious of the boys behaviour, telling them off with a boys will be boys thing, and are probably just glad they have eachother. With regards to surgery its spinal surgery she is having she is not a well woman at the moment. And I feel really sorry for her as she is a good person, but her son is out of control and also very bright, but arrogant with it.

I have also had a hard time, my mum who I was very close to died 2 years ago and then my gran 2 weeks ago, who I also had a strong bond with. So I would just get stressed speaking to the two mums, but if it got to that I would have to do that.

Lucid Lady, I dont want to picking arguments in the school playground with the parents, I dont think this sets a good example for my son at all. And its everyone's cup of tea, everyone is different. And I am looking out for him, I have spoken over the telephone last week to make an appointment which is tomorrow. So I am tackling it, of course I am, hence why I wrote this, Im really upset about it.

White blue sky when you say quite explicit, what do you mean? What do you say?

Many thanks for your advice everyone smile

WhiteBirdBlueSky Wed 01-May-13 10:05:33

Brilliant about booking the appointment OP.

When I said about the surgery, I didn't necessarily mean you should tackle the parents, more that the surgery isn't a reason not to.

Good luck.

iseenodust Wed 01-May-13 10:06:56

Having been there, some schools are useless with this kind of behaviour. Talk to the school and then follow everything up in writing. We followed their advice of 'tell a teacher do not hit back'. Big mistake IMO.

For your DS I would be on a campaign to help him make better friends. So have playdates at yours at least once a week, take him to the park after school or at weekends. I would also try to build some friendships outside of school. Is he in Beavers for example? Enrol him in a physical sport (DS did a couple of years of judo which helped with his confidence).

good luck.

Tullippa Wed 01-May-13 10:35:46

Thanks a lot.

Its a great idea, inviting nice friends back, I have forgotton to do that recently. In fact I am texting a friend who he plays with to the park tonight. Just hate the whole ackward thing, as have to keep it a secret from the other mums. He doesnt like being left, tried karate every few months, and also with the nice friend starting together, but soon as I left he gets so distressed. I have thought about Beavers...... but not sure....... thats me being over protective i know, its just the way things are these days. He doesnt like football.

Any other suggestions I will welcome. We go swimming but its more him and his brother larking about than actually making friends.

But Im glad I posted as given me a kick to encourage new friendships

Thank you so much smile

Great advice everyone

FoundAChopinLizt Wed 01-May-13 10:43:35

Tulip
Why do you have to keep it from the other mums?

cocoplops Wed 01-May-13 11:10:38

Maybe talk to the teacher not only about the two boys behaviour but about trying to talk to all the children about kindness, how to be a friend and ways in which they could try and help improve your DS's confidence.

I probably wouldn't phrase it as bullying per se to the teacher (unless of course seeing as you know all the instances etc and think it is), but unkindness and acting too roughly/unacceptably. Just because sometimes I think if you say 'bullying', and the its not quite that - more boys being OTT/bit naughty and unkind - then your valid concerns might not be taken as seriously by the teachers iyswim? I tend to think of bullying as more a 'with malice' thing, which I don't know if this is? Semantics aside, I think the teacher certainly needs to take your concerns seriously and not just say that seeing as she didn't see it, what can she do?! They need to speak to the lunchtime controllers too.

We've got a book 'How to be a friend' and although its a bit twee and American, is quite good at laying out what is a friend, what's not, how to deal with, etc... I'd get that and read it through with your son (maybe even bring it into school as a teacher resource on friendship!).

My youngest is in Reception and he came home last week upset by his friends. So I said (after checking he hadn't started it!!!) - well, what they did wasn't what being a friend is all about. If people don't treat you like a friend and aren't kind to you, then they aren't being your friend and you can walk away/tell an adult/ask them to stop and play with someone else. Following day he announced to me that no, he hadn't played with them as he wasn't their friend. Day after that he announced, 'they had made up' and were all playing Skylanders again!

I wouldn't go to the parents. Let the school handle it. And yes, playdates with other children is always good!

Last thing....if your DS isn't happy with you not staying for after school activities, would staying be an option at all? I know you probably want him to be independent and gain confidence, but sometimes just knowing you're in the background might be enough to let him relax and get into it?

alpinemeadow Wed 01-May-13 14:26:38

Other suggestions for out of school activities for your ds to make new friends - how about cricket or tennis this summer? That's often held in the park so you can easily stay if that helps your ds - lots of parents sitting around in the sunshine (maybe!) after school, watching/not really watching. Or, is there a weekend nature watchers club in the park? - they do things like pond-dipping and so on, which can be fun, and again parents can hang around nearby.

When you speak to teacher tomorrow, you could ask if one of the things she can do is pair him off with other boys she thinks he might get on with, to encourage those friendships - either in lessons or at break, doing something like taking the register to the secretary? She may also be able to suggest likely children to ask round to play.

iseenodust Wed 01-May-13 14:55:22

Agree with Alpine especially about cricket. At this age it's not like football in that you don't need to be 'in' to get a turn, it's everyone gets to bat, bowl, field, irrespective of skill.

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