To have confronted these boys?(73 Posts)
Where to begin. My son is in year 8 and the start to this school year has been rough.
History - My son is a sensitive, a little hot headed (no idea where he gets it from) but is generally well liked by adults and peers. Had problems with one boy all through primary with name calling etc - I use the term bullying lightly. This boy was also complained about at primary by other parents. So was well known to be a trouble maker. Unfortunately at high school this same boy was in most classes with my son. I just told my son to be friends with him even though no-one else wanted to know him.
He started playing tricks on my son to try and get him into trouble - saying the teacher wants you when he didn't etc. Just told him to ignore it. They started hanging around with another boy and they would come to our house to play xbox and go to the others. I admit my son gets heated when playing games and can be a bad loser but the other two would wind him up and he would end up leaving.
Now yr 8 they have changed form and are no longer in most classes together. That's okay and I appreciate that as they get older they find people with similar interests and drift apart. But my son stuck up for someone this boy and others were excluding recently. They all then turned on my son. My husband is a teacher and says that this type of behavior from boys is unusual in that this is the type of behavior girls usually use. He went to speak to school- not to name names but just to ask if a PSHE lesson could be held on bullying and exclusion.
I noticed a change in his behavior - he was snappy, irritated and missing lunch at school. He started going to school later and dragging his feet to get there. He told me they had been excluding him from the group, name calling, ignoring him. I said it would settle down and to ignore them.
However they keep waiting for him in a group in the alleyway on the route to school. They don't need to as they can walk a more direct route but they do this to antagonize him and they pull away all the kids my son is walking with so he is on his own.
I followed him without his knowledge on Friday. Saw them in a group of 4 waiting at the top of the hill. They were name calling and making chicken noises and started to run away when they saw him. Well that was it I saw red and shouted at them. I was angry and I was about 6ft away.
I asked them what they were waiting for. The one that we have had the problems was is the mouthpiece - the others couldn't look me in the eye. Waiting for such and such. I said rubbish. You are picking on my son - leave him alone. They then mentioned a text which my son had sent them that included swear words when he had left their house one time after they had been playing xbox. They were threatening to show me it and I said I'd seen it and the only reason he said those words were because 2 of you were picking on him.
It sounds so stupid written down but I cried this week over it and its something I never do. I know they need to sort it out amongst themselves but it never ends - they are always falling out and arguing. My son doesn't go out anymore because when they do someone is always excluded. I think I did it to bring an end to their friendship and get my son to move on. Flame away if you are still reading this.
Op I have no experience of this age group yet but, well, there seem to be a trend now for parents to expect kids to sort things themselves. It wasn't like that when I was at school and parents did indeed stick up for their kids. I think it is good for kids to know their parents are sticking up for them especially if the school is not. Good on you.
I hope this means that your son is left alone and finds a good group of kids to hang around with. I will also be devastated when my lovely dc have all these horrible things to navigate.
I'm not going to flame you
It all sounds pretty complicated and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I would never have told him to become friends with a well known trouble maker in the first place.
Kids need to start and end their own friendships imo, with as little input from adults as possible at this age.
Does he have any interests outside of school, where he could make a different circle of friends?
I think you shouldn't have ignored it for so long. Maybe go into school and speak to them. It's bullying. And should never be ignored
Sorry for your ds, he sounds like mine, also yr 8. It's hard, but needs sorting
Worra that's the thing he is into loads of groups. We live in a really small close knit community and this boy is in the same things. He's goalkeeper in his football team. Plays tennis and cricket. This boy needs my son more than he needs them. He cannot rid himself of him.
We have numerous kids around that are not involved with this group so he does have other friends.
His mum called me last night asking why I had shouted at her son. Well I gave her both barrels as well. She is a teacher and her husband a headmaster - not sure what that has to do with it but I sort of expect more.
She turned it on my son - he does this he does that - a long list of complaints that have been told to her by her son. That's fine my son swears I will speak to him about it.
She asked me why I had not come to her first. I said because you are in denial about his behavior. I would have done if she was accepting of the truth.
Spoke to another mum as well as her son was there and she was completely supportive of me and apologized that her son was involved.
I'm not going to blame you either. Hugs
My DD was bullied by another girl and I told her off very firmly and it was the end of it.
Bullying is the very pits, I was bullied at school (and I am talking about over 45 years ago) and I have never, ever forgotten how it felt. No child should feel like that.
What you have written doesn't sound stupid. Personally I would arrange a meeting with his teacher / head of year and tell them what has happened. Just state the facts and ask them what they are going to do. Your child has a right to feel safe and protected at school.
I don't think that your were being unreasonable for confronting the boys just a little silly (from a protecting yourself aspect). Go through the school and the police if the harassment continues.
I agree with Worra, you say you told your son to be friends with him. That was the mistake. Uour son can go to the same clubs and not be friends.
Dd was bullied very badly and I never shouted at the children. I dealt with at the school. But I can't say Yabu because actually witnessing it must be awful and maybe I would have shouted if I actually saw it myself.
I am worried this may inflame the situation between the children. I think you need to tell the school
I agree I didn't think about it re protecting myself. My husband said if he had done it he would be in trouble. But I was in a public place with other kids walking past.
The reason we haven't made an official complaint to school is because I am being guided by my husband who is a high school teacher. If it continues we will. But we made sure the pastoral guidance teacher knows something is happening when we went to ask about PSHE lessons previously.
IMO - no matter what my husband's job was I would still be going into the school. I would want this firmly dealt with and stamped on.
Is your husband concerned that if it becomes common knowledge people may think less of him as a teacher? Does he work at the same school?
With all due respect, your dh may be a teacher and you are following his guidance. But it isn't working is it?
You need to speak to the school. Really OP. It's possible things will die down now, but also possible that it will increase
No he doesn't work at the same school. I think he is just waiting to see what happens and if my son can sort it out himself. But I scuppered that didn't I.
I think we need to take it to school now as I expect the other mum will be there first thing Monday morning!
Seriously OP, you DH has fallen into the same trap my parents did.
It was a close-knit community and the perpetrator was everywhere. I could not escape, weekdays at school and weekends at clubs and family events.
They believed they were doing right by being patient, but the perpetrator was so clever, she knew just which side of the line to keep on, and it was never quite enough to trigger their response to take it to the school. They kept taking it to the parents of the bully and of course they couldn't see how their precious child could be so awful. Meanwhile, I suffered every day of my childhood.
This is not a time to be patient and wait.
God Everyone that sounds just like him. He is a massive manipulator - I have seen him in my own house criticize my food within my hearing and say its not Jamie Oliver is it.
I think your husband is wrong. And if it's his/his school's policy to let the children always sort it out themselves then I'm not impressed.
I think you should go in. But perhaps be prepared to hear that your son contributes to the problems sometimes too.
I understand that NannyOgg completely. I know he is no angel and has a temper on him.
She asked me why I had not come to her first. I said because you are in denial about his behavior.
She's not the only one!
Look, it's awful what's happening to your boy but you keep talking about his temper, how he's hot headed, how he swears, how you've seen texts he sent to these boys (before this started.)
Then you 'saw red' and shouted at them in the street, then you let his mum have both barrels...
I'm just saying; nobody is coming off well here.
Thanks Walter - I agree with everything you have said.
But I think most 13 year olds would be a bit sweary!
I agree I've not handled this well. Its just been going on for so long and we've tried to keep the peace on many occasions. I am just tired of it. I said to the mum - they just need to cut all ties with each other and be polite but that's it.
Write down a list of incidents. Make an appointment with the school and discuss the list with them.
It does sound as though there are faults on all sides and although YWNBU to talk to the boys, I'm not sure that shouting at them in the street is the way to handle it. It makes you seem as hot-headed as your son.
So I think in the meeting, you have to acknowledge that you spoke to the boys and that you have spoken to two of the mums. Then ask the school to suggest strategies that could help.
Outside of school it sounds more difficult because you live in a small community. Could you find a group outwith the community, that your DS could join? You all need to work to break the dynamic that has developed between them.
Also - you have used a name in your OP - if it's the real name you can report your post and get MN to edit the name out.
Is there a chance your dh knows that if you go to the school it's going to be made clear that your ds is to blame as well.
It does sound like this child is a nightmare, but your son sounds like he has a part in this too. The mentioning of being a sore loser, temper and being hot headed etc.
I just can not understand why you dh thinks you shouldn't go to the school, or why either of you have encouraged a friendship, have this boy over and let your ds go to their house.
they just need to cut all ties with each other and be polite but that's it
I think that's absolutely what needs to happen.
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