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to speak to DS's friend's mum and the teacher about this?

(73 Posts)
RainWildsGirl Wed 09-Dec-15 17:19:33

DS is in Y1, about to turn 6yo. He has been best friends with 'Henry' since reception. I get on well with Henry's mum and the boys have had plenty of 'playdates' (hate that term but it does work!) and get on well. both boys have their boisterous moments but I have never had an issue that worried me when I've had them at mine and Henry's mum has never said there has been a problem at their house either.

a new boy 'Josh' started in September. this boy has an awful lot of issues (no SN as far as I know), there have been many incidents of bad behaviour from Josh, swearing, inappropriate games/gestures and he has exposed himself to classmates.

DS said he doesn't play with Josh because, in his words 'he is naughty and does bad things and I don't like him' but it seems Josh has now befriended Henry so by association DS now plays with Josh because, again DS's words 'I want to play with Henry and Henry plays with Josh so I have to play with Josh'. DS has also told me of a couple of occasions of 'Henry was in trouble because Josh told him to do xxxx and he did'.

DS's behaviour has taken a turn at home, rude, aggressive at times. I queried with his teacher at parents evening and she assured me his behaviour in class hasn't altered and he is very good in class. However today I have been called in because DS said 'fuck' in the lunch room. DS says that he was with Henry and Josh and Henry told him to say it so he did. DS has no idea what the word means, it is not in our household vocab, even when the DC and not in earshot, in fact I cant think of anyone the DC spend time with that use the term so I know he cant have picked it up anywhere else. Teacher was fine about it and said that she knew it was completely out of character for him to say something like that and confirmed that when asked DS didn't know what the word meant.

So to the point:

1) do I speak with Henry's mum and explain what happened so she is aware and can speak with Henry about it? not in an accusatory way as I'm fairly sure the origin of the word will be with Josh, but so she can try and nip this behaviour in the bud.

2) do I speak to DS's teacher and ask for him to be separated from Josh? I know they are only young but I do not want DS being influenced in this way. DS is very intelligent (that's not just me, he is overachieving on his levels etc) and I don't want him thinking school is for messing about and bad behaviour.

Thoughts please?

LittleBeautyBelle Wed 09-Dec-15 17:27:26

Yanbu at all.

Yes, I would speak to the teacher and I hope the teacher has spoken to Josh's parents because his behavior is unacceptable and the other children do not need to be around that, and Josh himself deserves to be taught better.

Should you speak to Henry's mother? It sounds like you have a good relationship with her, so yes. I would speak to the mothers of my son's friends that have played at our house/played at their house a lot, I would feel comfortable doing that.

There's a boy in my son's class right now saying and doing very inappropriate things...I encouraged my son and his friend (who is the one who actually told me) to speak to the teacher and I encouraged my son's friend to talk to his mother about it first and she would help him know what to do. I just learned this recently so haven't talked to the other mother or the teacher, but I plan to.

Totally agree with you, OP.

TheHouseOnTheLane Wed 09-Dec-15 18:11:00

Don't speak to Henry's Mum. It will seem gossipy. I've been in similar situations and apart from talking to the teacher, it's best left alone to the DC to sort out.

Friendship issues and dealing with threesomes is part of social development and while it's hard to see, all you can do is guide your son.

SuburbanRhonda Wed 09-Dec-15 18:19:17

It might be better to let the DC decide for themselves who to play with. It's all a learning process for them and if they can sort out for themselves who to be friends with, rather than have their parents decide for them, it will be more beneficial for their social development.

RainWildsGirl Wed 09-Dec-15 19:01:45

belle I have had a long chat with DS and encouraged him to speak to a teacher if he feels he is being asked to do something 'naughty' and that it is ok to say 'no' to his friends. I did touch on 'guilty by association' too.

thehouse and rhonda So you would be happy with your DC's behaviour being adversely effected and just let them carry on playing with the child causing the issues?? really? they are only 5!

DS has said that the teacher was going to talk to Henry's mum too so I might see if she mentions it.

DH has just got home, he agrees I should see the teacher and ask for them to be monitored more closely.

Aeroflotgirl Wed 09-Dec-15 19:08:13

I would speak to ds teacher, encourage ds to play with other kids, not just Henry. To invite Henry for play dates outside school.

lljkk Wed 09-Dec-15 19:11:03

So, er, do you want your DS to be kept apart forever? Wouldn't it be better to teach your DS to think for himself & not do things that are naughty even if his friend thinks they're cool.

Are you busy telling your son not to play with that naughty Josh? You certainly don't like Henry choosing Josh as a friend. What would it take for you to think that Josh is an okay person? Would you like the whole school to ostracise him too?

pictish Wed 09-Dec-15 19:11:10

Do you really think Josh has that much influence as to make your lad and Henry misbehave? They did that all by themselves you know.

honkinghaddock Wed 09-Dec-15 19:16:54

I think you should tell your son that he doesn't have to do or say something that another child has told him to do. I suspect he knew he shouldn't have said it.

Nataleejah Wed 09-Dec-15 19:19:35

To be fair, its the easiest way to blame your child's bad behavior or somebody else's "bad example". Why isn't your nice child showing a good example?
Where are Josh's parents on this?

pictish Wed 09-Dec-15 19:21:48

This reminds me of the time I got called into school when ds1 was was about nine because the HT had received a tearful phone call from the mother of ds's friend, saying that my son was teaching her son bad language.

I told the HT that would be fine but for the fact that I'd seen this impressionable little angel give my son two middle fingers while calling him a 'cocksucker' the year before while they were both eight.

Don't be too quick to make Josh the font of all evil here. Kids are great at playing the innocent.

pictish Wed 09-Dec-15 19:22:28

And shifting blame.

tomatotoad Wed 09-Dec-15 19:26:51

Are you expecting Henry to chose your ds over josh? Because that might not happen. Is that why you want to speak to Henry's mum? I would be guided by the teacher in this case I think.

RubbleBubble00 Wed 09-Dec-15 19:32:06

it's easy to blame another kid. Boy in my eldest class was only diagnosed Sen recently and they are 7, he was hard work in first two years of school. Similar issues to what you have described.

I taught my son to think for himself, don't play with people who aren't being nice ect. I never discouraged him from playing with 'problem' child, just to be his own person. They do egg each other on at this age. Everything has settled down now. This boy and ds get along quite well now that they worked out their boundaries.

you can't blame another child for your sons bad behaviour at home

AnnaMarlowe Wed 09-Dec-15 19:35:06

Personally I'd concentrate on teaching my son that 'he told me to do it' and 'everyone else was doing it' are never acceptable excuses.

5 yo is not to young to learn to take responsibility for their own decisions or to have the courage of their own convictions.

You have said that your DS is very bright - in which case he needs to analyse situations a bit better 'say this word' is always because the word is rude/offensive.

Teach him not to use words he doesn't understand.

DelphiniumBlue Wed 09-Dec-15 19:37:25

Is the school aware of all this? Sounds as if there are child protection issues, so you should be informing the school, giving as much detail as possible.
Realistically, the school are not going to be able to keep your son separate from Josh, especially if they are in the same class, and so you and the school need to work together with your son to give him strategies on how not to get drawn into trouble, and maybe encouraging him to make other friends.
I'm not so sure about speaking to the other mum, you'd have to be very careful to make it clear you are not blaming her son- I'd say that this is a conversation which could easily go wrong.

sofiahelin Wed 09-Dec-15 19:43:44

You can't keep him in a bubble op. He's got to experience this and other social situations to learn how to be able deal with them in the future. And he'll be watching you and your reactions to this as well so lead by example. It's not ok to behave badly because someone told him to. He needs to recognise this for himself. I know it's hard you want to keep him in a little high achieving well behaved bubble but that's not life is it?! His whole schooling & future is not going to be affected by a bit of bad behaviour aged 6.

Jux Wed 09-Dec-15 19:45:05

TBH, it sounds like there's more going on with Josh than just undx possible sen. There was a girl who behaved a bit like this in dd's primary. I don't know about Y1 but she was certainly doing those very same things as Josh, in Y2, when we ca,e into contact with her for the first time. There were a lot of very nasty things going on in that poor child's home, and a few little chats from a teacher made no difference whatsoever.

What did work was for other concerned parents to tell their own children not to play with her. So she was isolated too. Actually, the majority of parents thought that it would all come out in the wash, and left the children to make up their own minds.

She's all grown up now.

Domino777 Wed 09-Dec-15 19:50:49

Id only speak to Henry's mum if she was a very close good friend. Otherwise speak to the school

needastrongone Wed 09-Dec-15 19:52:50

Agree re child protection issues.

However, friendships are hard. You can guide them to make the right choices. But, speaking as someone who has teen DC, getting involved never works.

LittlestLightOnTheTree Wed 09-Dec-15 19:55:17

You can't 'know' he's not heard the word in someone's home or from someone you know or in your family!

RainWildsGirl Wed 09-Dec-15 20:09:54

I'm afraid I can say categorically that the issue is Josh and not my DS. without going into too much detail for fear of outing there have been safeguarding concerns raised by other parents as a result of things their DC have said/done because Josh told them to/showed them things. his homelife is chaotic to say the least. whoever collects him is called over for a chat with the teacher at least 3 days of the week. This is the first instance of me being called in over something DS has done, the teacher told me she knows this is really out of character for him and at parents evening a month ago she had no concerns at all with his behaviour (I specifically asked) and assured me he was 'lovely to teach'. so I'm afraid I very firmly reject the idea that I am 'blaming' Josh for my DS being naughty of his own back.

the school are aware of the incidents, Josh spends a lot of time visiting the head.

Some good points raised of what I should talk to DS about - I have now spoken to him about 'if your friends jumped off a broken bridge would you?'. I explained to him that even if a friend says to do something it is important he thinks for himself about whether that is a good thing to do, and if he's not sure to go and ask a teacher or us.

I have also encouraged DS to play with his other friends in class, judging by the amount of party invites he gets, he clearly gets on with plenty of other people!

tomato no I don't expect henry to chose my DS over Josh but I doubt henry's mum will be encouraging the friendship.

lljkk I am certainly telling him that if Josh is doing naughty things then maybe its not a good idea to play with him. Obviously it is sad for Josh that he is in this situation but it is not my DS's job to be his friend so Josh doesn't feel 'ostracised' if it is causing problems for DS.

RainWildsGirl Wed 09-Dec-15 20:13:05

littlestlight beyond all reasonable doubt I can, other than school the only people he is out of my earshot with are my parents who do not swear at all, and close friends who I have never heard swear in all the years I've known them. DH and I do not swear either.

fusionconfusion Wed 09-Dec-15 20:16:38

This kind of thing infuriates me.

Kid has chaotic life so ipso facto friendships are to be discouraged and the naice kids are abdicated of all responsibility for being kids who might think it is funny to say rude words.

In Y1 the amount of party invites says nothing about your son's social skills, sorry. It is generally fairly normal to get a reasonable number of invites at this age.

I hate demonisation of little kids. It is just pathetic. You're talking about a rude word and a normal Y1 friendship triangle as though there were a whiff of sulphur in the air. Please step back and take a more balanced perspective here.

AnnaMarlowe Wed 09-Dec-15 20:16:49

Rain it's not really about whether you are 'blaming' Josh, it's more that there will be kids with behavioural issues everywhere your DS goes, school, Beavers, swimming class, rugby, Sunday School etc.

Your DS needs to learn not to join in. And when to actively step away.

It's less about right and wrong and more about good decision making.

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