Reading old school reports and fretting about DS' future a bit.(28 Posts)
My mum gave me a bundle of my old school reports she'd found while clearing out. They were sort of amusing but sort of took me back to being a miserable stressed teenager again, and now I am worrying a bit about DS, who is very very like me, and hoping he won't be miserable and struggle the way I did. OK, his current school has already picked up on what they think is mild dyspraxia and are aware of it (brilliant school, no issues there) whereas one thing that shows up in my old reports is that I clearly had/have a touch of it too only it wasn't recognised at the time. But it's the negative stuff about 'immature, egocentric, eccentric, ^insists on having own opinions no matter what her peer group think, must learn to fit in with peer group' that worried me. I don't think having a different opinion is a bad thing and I would hate for DS (who is very much his own person) to be bullied and belittled like I was.
I don't understand your reasoning. Your school reports pointed out your weaknesses, which made you unhappy. You think your DS is like you and are therefore worried he will be unhappy for similar reasons. Why don't you want to help him overcome those weaknesses, rather than insist he keeps them as you did?
YANBU to worry bit, but schools are very different now - or at least they're meant to be.
Don't know how old you are, but a lot of what was said by teachers to me and lots of people of my age would be deemed bullying now - and probably result in teachers being disciplined for it.
(Please NB: I make no value judgment about this development in teacher responsibility - tis merely an observation... )
Bonsoir: Having different opinions and wanting to be your own person rather than follow the herd is not a weakness. The motor skills/co-ordination issue that DS has and I have are being addressed (which they weren't for me when I was little) which is some comfort.
Tchootnika: I am 46 so I think you are probably right about some of the more aggressively negative stuff from teachers being less likely to occur now.
I honestly don't think teachers nowadays would see having your own opinions as a bad thing!
What they might stress is that others also have their own opinions and they should be listened to and not dismissed (this was what was said about our DS when he was at Secondary a few years ago now- he was (is still!) somewhat forthright!).
As long as your DS accepts that others have valid opinions too I don't think you should worry.
"Fitting in with your peer group" does not preclude having your own opinions, SGB. School requires children to fit in at school - unhappiness, bullying etc are frequently the outcome of children who do not sufficiently fit in with school and/or their peer group. Ergo it is parents' responsibility to try to help their children fit in. Loving parents do this...
There's ways of expressing your own opinions though, no? So that you don't alienate your peers. It about managing social interactions. And it's our job to help teach them that. DS has learned pretty quickly but DD is always going to struggle with that sort of thing. She is an algorithm driven kind of girl. So we teach her the code for easier social interactions.
But the mere fact that someone is "different" or not a sheep is not a green light for bullying. Differences should be celebrated, not condemned by bigoted or thuggish bullies.
Too much store put on "fitting in" nowadays and no-one encouragement to be an individual.
SGB is that really you?! I know that I don't know you in rl, but as a mumsnetter I have formed an idea of you as self assured, sexy, brave, independantly minded, etc. Your teachers sound quite twattish - all children are to some degree egocentric - it's part of their psychology and part of maturing is to become less egocentic.
which is why so many men are so fucking immature It's like being a midwife and complaining - 'newborn seems to lack muscle and ability to walk.' And saying immature - ha! I know that's a bit obvious but it sounded like you were still berating yourself for being this terrible, immature, egocentric teenager! Too many young people get a really hard time for developmentally normal stuff imo - for instance sleeping for long periods (teenagers are now known to need as much as around 14hours of sleep per day)
Me and my dd sound very much like your ds and you - with regard to the eccentricity and 'differentness' - and I must admit it worried me greatly when she started school. But what I have realised is, she is a happy, confident girl - and secure in her differentness. Plus I am there to tell her it is ok - and not join in with the persecution as my own dear mother did with me
Don't let him pick up on your anxiety, congratulate yourself on your fab ds if he is anything like you, he sounds just fine to me. Convince yourself that everything will be just fine, and if for any reason it is not, you will deal with it just fine, there will be lots of great things going on for him as a teenager. I grew up in a foster family with 4 teen boys and it rocked!
Thanks MP and Salmotrutta: I know my mother often tried to nag me to be 'more like other girls' and it drove me nuts, so I won't do that to DS.
Well, nagging would be pointless and counter productive of course. Do you actually have concerns about him socially, or are you just fretting (as we do) because of the other things you have in common?
You were bullied by mean adults (don't hang out with that bonsoir anytime soon).
No reason to think your son will be.
I suppose what I'm concerned about is that the stuff people think is 'cute' now - his interests, his confidence and his love of the limelight - is stuff that people are suddenly going to find less cute as he gets a bit older (he is nearly 7). Mind you, thinking it through, I was fine being myself up until I was 10 when I got a class teacher who hated me (even my mother agrees now that the woman was an unreasonable cow) and suddenly everything I did was wrong... I think it might have been the same at secondary school: some of the teachers did like me and 'get' me but a couple really didn't. And I was a bit of a PITA as a teen but no more than most teens (not wildly inclined to do my homework if it was boring, easily distracted by surreptitious gossip in lessons...)
He's 7. You see the things you share but not the differences. Your outcome won't be him, not least because he has a mother who will support her child's individuality.
The comments are truly shitty. Name me a child or teen who is not egocentric. And 'insists on having own opinions' as a criticism??? My grandmother would have had words with that teacher and my mother has 18 years on you, so the era doesn't make the comments more acceptable, just more common.
I think because you know what its like and because you are now as far as im aware a very nice,patient,educated informed person your Ds will benefit from your experiences and the way you deal with him.
Chin up .
bonsoir I am a little upset by your post.
School can be a very difficult place for children that don't tick the required boxes to be deemed an acceptable pack member.
There is nothing a parent can do to alter that IMO.
I think if the child wants to do what everyone else is interested in, fair play...some children are not wired that way.
sometimes my eldest will (of his own accord) choose to do things that make him a 'pack' member ...other times he is exceptionally eccentric with (to some) peculiar ideas.
For me,that is really cool!
It is up to parents to help children become secure in whatever personality traits they display/ are happy with
Sod fitting in
Bonsoir- You are suggesting that the blame for bullying lies not with the bully bit with the bullied, for not being clones of their peer group??
spiderpig8 - not exclusively, of course; there are myriad reasons for bullying.
But when I look back to my school days and think of the children who got picked on (in a school where bullying was not rife and children were generally from supportive homes), the children who did get picked on systematically had weirdo parents who took a perverse pleasure in making their children stick out like a sore thumb.
SGB, my ds1 is 7 aswell. Has very mild Aspergers. He is quite quirky and has been bullied a bit. but often seems quite happy.
I think you need to get this into perspective. If he is very like you, then you have the benefit of hindsight, and can watch out for these things. If you are having regular very mild chats about who he plays with, mates, me being aware that he actually is invited to occassional parties (which is good), etc etc, which I am sure you do. as I do. Then this will not turn into a problem, because you won't let it. = majority of problem solved. awareness is the key thing, right ?
"But it's the negative stuff about 'immature, egocentric, eccentric'"
But surely that is merely the OPINION of the writer, not necessarily accurate? You say your mother accepts that the teacher you had aged ten was an unreasonable cow, why not the author of this?
"insists on having own opinions no matter what her peer group think"
I'd read that as a massive, massive compliment!
"must learn to fit in with peer group"
Bollocks to that. Again, reflects more on the author than you. Aren't we normally advised against that, with the classic "If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you do the same?"
You're almost my age SGB, things were on the change then, there were still teachers who thought that they were preparing girls to be the next generation of housewifes working for pin money. These comments look to me as if they were written by such a teacher.
So why is this getting to you now?
Probably bothers me now because I have only just reread the things after a good 30 years (and am generally a touch unsettled at present, the reason I have them to read is that my mother found them while clearing out my dad's desk - dad died a couple of months ago). DS is currently fine and cheerful and looking forward to going back to school so I will just endeavour to chill out. Thanks all.
But the peer group isn't just a passive herd. It's a bitchy, attentive, ready herd who will react.
It's great if fitting in means something like not calling attention to yourself but still being an individual. But more often it means completely blending in, because if you commit the "crime" of voicing mature/unusual/different thoughts about what seems like an innocent key topic, it will get you noticed and pushed out. That suggests a weakness on the part of the peer group, not the OP's son, and shouldn't call for a sacrifice on his part.
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