Inappropriate friendship?(20 Posts)
DS2 is 15 and has recently befriended a 12 year old boy in his school. DS1 looked out for this boy when he first started the school last year when he was being bullied and both of my sons are friendly in the corridors with him. They have also played alongside him on the school football team since September
However, recently DS2 invited him on a day out with some of his friends over the Christmas holidays and since the new term has begun they have spent time together every day, with this boy joining my son's friendship group and leaving his own. DS2 has disclosed this to me himself but clearly did not think it was an issue when I brought it up.
My son is Year 11 and the other boy is Year 8. DS2 is quite a racous child and is not exactly what I would call a "good influence". I am also concerned particularly about what the other boy's parents, as well as other students and parents, are going to think of this.
Am I being unreasonable to bring up the topic again? Or should I just let it go?
Can you explain what you think is inappropriate?
Is it the age difference that bothers you? Because it is only three years.
This is a non-issue unless yo don't trust your own DS?
What do you mean by not a good influence?
On the surface it sounds like your DS2 has followed DS1's example of befriending a slightly younger child who was getting bullied.
I think good on your sons for standing up for this child when he was being bullied. Could you have a quiet word with the mother of the boy to make sure she is happy with the friendship as you are concerned about her perceptions? I think it is nice that you care and are worried for the other boy as well as your sons.
My own nephew is into the BMXing/skateboarding community and it really is a community. At the skatepark there are people of all ages hanging out. It seemed strange when at 15/16 they mentioned friends in their late teens/early 20s! Actually it turned out to be anything but sinister - these older people looked out for the younger boys, gave advice on GCSEs. E.t.c... Similarly now there is a younger group of boys who my nephew and friends look out for. Again, nothing sinister but just a community.
It is certainly unusual to have such big age gap friendships at school- although it certainly happens at out of school clubs. My Ds's best friend at drama club is two years older. But I think I would want to know more if my year 8 was spending a lot of time with year 11s at school. For two main reasons- lots of activities- games, films, even conversations which are entirely appropriate for year 11s certainly aren't for year 8s. And what happens when the older ones leave? Will that leave the younger boy friendless?
I can see your point. I wouldn't be pleased if my 12 year olds friendship group were 15/16. It's a different stage and they will expose the younger boy to more than his peers might. They may not of course but my 12 year old hasn't matured in many ways yet. He's little, he's niave and being age appropriate. Even if your son was the loveliest boy in the world, I would still want my child to be with his own age group.
Not sure what you're worried about? How is your DS a bad influence?
When I was 15/16, I befriended a girl who was just into year 7. I knew her from a training group with the dogs on the local park and had assumed she was more my age until she appeared at my school! I was also very good friends with someone 13 years older than me, from the age of about 13 (still best friends to this day), again met through the dogs. I would have hated for anyone to have thought either of these friendships were sinister!
I think my main concern would be that he will be left without any friends in may when your son leaves. Could you ask your son to start helping him find friends nearer his own age for this reason? He can still be friends with your son as well.
I'm having a hard time imagining what is inappropriate or wrong about this. Three years is quite a common age gap between siblings. Would people not expect two brothers aged 15 and 12 to hang out together, talk, etc.?
Many secondary schools now have 'vertical' tutor groups (a few students from each year group) to encourage this kind of thing. The older ones look out for the younger ones and help them out where needed.
A friendship is one thing. The younger one leaving his friendship group to join the older one is quite another. As I said, there are things entirely appropriate for year 11s that aren't for year 8s. And if the younger boy cuts his friendships with his own peer group he may well be very lonely in the years to come.....
He'll still be with his peers during lessons, though. There's nothing to say he's fallen out with them -- just that's he's currently choosing to spend his free time with some older students. It seems to me that vertical integration within schools is much stronger now than it was in the old days, when I was at school, and so these friendships between students of different ages are a lot more common. My Yr8 DS is friends with students in all year groups -- and, through outside activities, with children who are still at primary school. The nice thing is that everyone seems very accepting of the fact that some children are 'allowed' to do more than others, and that they can't all get into a 15 film, for example.
Can see all the sides above op and Hakluyt is right I think.
If I was the lads mum I would be worried he would be left high and dry when your lads leave.
Think it's really something for you to get involved in though apart from mentioning this worry to your lads.
They sound lovely by the way.
Sorry for you not to get involved in.
I think this type of friendship group is quite common in high school - 2 of DS's group will leave school this year. DS is year 9 and his friends range from year 7 upwards. As long as this lad still has friends his own age and doesn't end up isolated then it'll be fine.
Thanks for all your responses!
That's what's worrying me, I'm not sure he is getting on with the students in his year and I am concerned the bullying has started again and that's the reason for the switch, hence questioning DS2 about it.
He's just a bit of a troublemaker, he's not malicious in any way but he's known throughout the school as a bit of a prankster. Very popular and can be a little bit full of himself because it. I know he's only taken to the other boy though because he's concerned, he doesn't like anyone to be on their own or feel isolated. He does have friends in all years but they do have to have other friendship groups of their own ages they spend time with too. This other boy spends all his time with DS2 and the rest of his group.
Thanks again for the responses. I'll give him a couple of weeks and maybe just check the other boy does have some other friends to go to
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