To keep DS off on Sports Day?

(132 Posts)
NickNacks Thu 19-May-16 20:59:35

I'm really upset so please be gentle if I am being unreasonable.

I had a call from Ds1 school today to say he'd had a break down (her words) in PE today. He was in such a state that the pastoral leader was called to calm him and she took him off to her office for a couple of hours.

The crux of it is, he's being bullied and today a comment about him probably not being strong enough to throw shot put as he was stepping up to take his go just made him snap and weeks of incidences and problems that he'd been bottling up just came flooding out.

He's been chosen by his house sports captain to run a race that he will almost definitely come last and he's so emotionally that I know it will make him cry on the sports field. Adding fuel to the fire if you will.

School are being very good. The pastoral leader has already spoken to the children involved (ironically these are his friends!) and referred Ds1 to a one to one therapy course in school aimed to boost his self esteem and support his emotional wellbeing. We are also working on this at home.

So would you (and should I....) keep him off school for sports day? I know it isn't right to avoid things we find hard but I just can't put him through it. sad

Forgot to say he is 12, yr 7 but we are in a three tier system here so not at secondary (for some reason this always comes up when I talk about my children's schooling and I get moaned at for not mentioning it).

lljkk Thu 19-May-16 21:04:20

What does your DS want to do? I'd go with that.

NickNacks Thu 19-May-16 21:08:05

Without a doubt he would stay off. I've never presented it as an option so he hasn't said anything yet but I know he would bite my hand off if I suggested it.

QueenMolotov Thu 19-May-16 21:08:46

I think YWB a bit U to keep him off on sports day. However, I totally understand why you'd want to.

He needs to attend to demonstrate he is emotionally strong, and to develop resolve - don't let stupid bullies break him.

BUT, I would have him pulled from that particular race. I would want school's support in this. If they were to insist he do that race, then in that case, my boy wouldn't be attending.

I hope everything works out for you both flowers

lljkk Thu 19-May-16 21:11:19

yeah, I would give him the option. He has to face up to explaining why to the house captain & others: "Everyone was nasty so I can't be asked... You didn't want me so I'm not bothering". That won't be very easy, either.

GC79 Thu 19-May-16 21:11:33

I think I would be inclined to skip it this year.

NickNacks Thu 19-May-16 21:16:41

I would probably speak to the school prior to see if it could be changed. I mentioned it to the PL when she called and she implied she might be able to sort it. If she can't though I would just phone him in sick.

Willow2016 Thu 19-May-16 21:17:19

I would definately let it go this year if he is so upset by all the bullying. Its only one day in a life so not the end of the world.

Mind you when my ds1 had the same issues the teachers gave him jobs to do to help them instead of competing. One year he took photos. Would his pastoral teacher be able to do something like that so he gets some confidence in himself but doesnt have to do the sporty bit?

SabineUndine Thu 19-May-16 21:19:16

I am convinced that sports day was invented to make the lives of unathletic people miserable. Let him take the day off. I wish my mother had done the same for me. I was bullied into running the 800m by my teacher, although I was a size 16 in clothes and felt like a baby elephant.

ThatStewie Thu 19-May-16 21:19:32

I'd keep him off. I hated sports day for same reason & would have loved to stay home

molyholy Thu 19-May-16 21:20:03

Wow OP. I could have written your post. I have been the school this morning because I will make no bones about it. Our 7yo dd has been having the same problem. Last sports day she spent nearly the whole time crying trailing behind everbody coming last in everything. She has p.e every thursday. Last night I said 'early up tomorrow, we need to be in for the sports coaches'. she started to cry and said I think I feel poorly and won't be able to go to school tomorrow. When I got to the bottom of it, a couple of boys have basically told her she is rubbish, don't want her on their team so they will lose etc. I went and spoke to her teacher and she was brilliant. Boy has apologised etc, but sports day is not for another month and she is already anxious about it. Teacher and I reassured her, she is brilliant at other stuff and doesn't have to be good at everything but it doesn't matter. It still breaks my heart. I will be keeping her off. No doubt about it. I really do emapthise and sympathise with you.

Thisismyfirsttime Thu 19-May-16 21:20:11

I'd keep him off and I'd do something fun and engaging with him so he didn't feel left out. I'd take him to the Science Museum or Natural History based on where we live but something like that. (I only have a 2yr old so I say this based on my own thoughts of how my DM would have handled the situation as there would have been no question that I'd have attended vs how I would now with my own.)

newtscamander Thu 19-May-16 21:22:05

He's 12, miserable with low self esteem. Keep him off, have a fun day with him, remind him that one day he wont ever have to do stupid races or shot put again!

molyholy Thu 19-May-16 21:23:13

Apols for my long and uparagraphed(!) post, but I have been dying to get it out somewhere.

Purplepicnic Thu 19-May-16 21:26:11

I would keep him off in this situation and wouldn't think twice about it. You'll get differing opinions and I don't think there is a 'right' answer so do what your gut tells you.

WLmum Thu 19-May-16 21:27:08

I would keep him off without a shadow of a doubt. Poor thing - if he's feeling fragile he needs extra tlc and a break. Could you take him out for a bike ride or a swim - exercise is healthy, but there are many ways to do it that don't involve stress to the point of tears. I expect you also need tlc! Hugs.

Ffion3107 Thu 19-May-16 21:27:14

This is a hard one, because although it is "just for one day" he will have to face the other kids the day after it who will bring it up with him and question him.
What if he doesn't do the race and asks to do something different?
If not, can you help him to become a more confident runner?

pearlylum Thu 19-May-16 21:27:30

I would keep him off.

I think PE is badly taught in schools, far too much emphasis on competitive sports, rather than giving children a hunger for lifelong fitness.
I know that playing hockey outside in sorts in January put me off any form of exercise for years.

Sports day at our local school is optional, only the kids that want to compete do so, many just sit and cheer along classmates.
Keep him off and do something nice together.

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 19-May-16 21:27:42

I was once asked by my house captains to not Compete as I was useless and they wanted to win that year.

A week later those of us who had 'chosen not to be team players' were named and shamed in a whole school assembly and told we would have to litter pick all day at sports day as a punishment.

I was never in trouble at school and I was beside myself. I refused to go in on the day (it didn't occur to me to talk to any teachers about it beforehand) and my mum rung up and dobbed me in.

When I went back to school the head of year pulled me in for a lunchtime detention and a "I'm not cross just disappointed" chat and I told her what had happened. The house captain in question denied it, saying I must have misunderstood but as others corroborated what my story she believed me - because of that I didn't get into much trouble.

I don't regret missing the day. Sports day is great if you have a sport you're good at but every year I dreaded it, sports were never my thing and it made me feel utterly crap every single year. Despite all the resulting trouble it caused that remains my favourite sports day of my school years.

Do what feels right to you, and don't write off what your son wants. I was only 13 at the time but I'd stand by my choice now at 26.

Jimjamjoos Thu 19-May-16 21:28:13

Keep him off and tell him now so he doesn't need to stress any longer. Maybe at his next school he might have to tough it out a bit, but not now.

CheesecakeWarrior Thu 19-May-16 21:30:30

I was horribly bullied at school for not being great at sport. I was so nervous & ashamed because of the constant comments that I didn't even want to try. I took detentions when I was caught faking sick notes to get out of pe.
I'd have given anything to not go to sports day. You get nasty parents who laugh at kids too.
My parents didn't appreciate the extent of this until years later & in hindesight say they'd have kept me off.
In your case op, I'd keep your ds off. This has had a lasting affect on my confidence, particularly around sport & fitness

(I was only bullied at pe, not the rest of school time)

AYD2MITalkTalk Thu 19-May-16 21:30:49

If I had a DC who was bullied for having trouble reading I'd keep them off on Competitive Reading Out Loud In Public Day. I'd also keep a tone-deaf DC off on Singing Day if they were going to be taunted for not being able to sing the notes.

What, you mean they don't have those? I wonder why.

ollieplimsoles Thu 19-May-16 21:32:41

Op some kids are sporty, others are not, it doesn't mean the ones who are not are going to end up obese and devoid of fresh air.
I'm projecting over this but at my school this was the philosophy, that without p.e lessons a kid would just sit inside all day, its ridiculous.

Its a stupid sports day! He doesn't need this now, he needs to stay home and have fun and feel safe.

I hope he's ok soon flowers

ToadsforJustice Thu 19-May-16 21:33:10

Keep him off for the week. Sports day will be old news by the time he goes back.

averylongtimeago Thu 19-May-16 21:36:55

Sports day is only fun if you are good at sport. PE teachers don't understand this as they are good at sport. If you are not they can be hell. speaks from experience
Keep him at home.

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