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To feel really sad after reading a message on my son's phone?

(51 Posts)
Fedupfeelingthisway Fri 31-Mar-17 12:41:01

Apologies in advance this could get long, but I'd really appreciate some advice!

My son is in his final year of junior school and will be starting secondary school after the summer. We have managed to get him into a private school as we felt that it was the right thing to do for him.

He's never particularly fitted in at his local (small) school. He gets on with the other kids fine and he's never been bullied as such, but he's always been a bit of a square peg and very different to the other kids. He's not into sport and all the other boys play football at break times, and he really isn't interested in hanging around with the girls either. He tends to just spend his time with the adult playground assistants and is happy in their company as he is with them. (I've always asked him if he's ok and he insists he's not lonely!)

He's 11 and the school have always said that they feel he's socially advanced for his age which is another reason why he doesn't relate so well to the other kids. He's never been invited to play with the other kids or join in with activities and socialise with them, but equally he's always said he doesn't want to, he's fine just to observe. (Again much of the kids social activities revolve around football!)

Anyway. I've always felt he's a bit anxious and at this stage in life it's totally understandable than anxieties are pretty high, especially since he'll be starting a new school away from the kids he's grown up with after the summer. He's seems happy and excited about it too so it's not an over consuming negative anxiety or anything, if that makes sense.

He's also a very sensitive boy. Now, I know it's not nice to go taking through your kids phones but I've allowed him one the last few years with the understanding that I monitor it while he's still at junior school.

Last night I was checking his messages and they're the usual 11 year old nonsense. However there was one message that really made me feel bad for him and actually pretty pissed off, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

There was a girl at his school who started st the secondary he's going to last year. Seemed like a nice girl and he'll be seeing her every day on the bus. He'd been in contact with her since he found out he was going to be attending and it all seemed fine. Yesterday I see a message from him saying "'Melissa' says that everyone at New School hates me, is this true?"

To which she replied "Yeah they don't like you so far, even 'Jamie' and he likes everyone."

My heart just sank a little.

He's been given a fresh start and new opportunity and there's now this little tiny seed of self doubt that has been planted by this girl and I'm worried that it might really get to him.

I mentioned it to him this morning and told him that no one can say they don't like you if they've never met you! He's obviously mentioned it to one of his teachers as he said this is what they said too. (He saw this girl and her friends when he went for the entrance exam)

I know we never should project our own anxieties and history of negativity onto our kids, but I was horrendously bullied at school. It was absolutely awful to the point I self harmed and just spent 6 miserable years having to mix with kids who made me feel worthless and ruined my secondary education (obviously it's all ok now...but it has stayed with me in the form of being terrified of it happening to my own kids!) . I know kids will be kids but I'm slightly concerned now that if there's a kid who has got it in for him when he starts, that it could really affect how things go. (I always thought they were friends and had never known of any hostilities between them)

AIBU to feel really worried?

Beingsued Fri 31-Mar-17 12:44:11

That's awful, heartbreaking to read. My ds had a tough time at junior school as did dd2 who has autism.

The good thing is that there will be a much larger group for him and he will find his people, it might be tough for the first term but my experience with three dc has shown that they often don't hang around with the old crew.

Beingsued Fri 31-Mar-17 12:45:14

Could you invite the girl over and kill with kindness or too old for that?

Littlepeople12345 Fri 31-Mar-17 12:51:25

I'd take your son's phone and show it to her parents. Do you know them?

MrsJaniceBattersby Fri 31-Mar-17 12:53:25

Do you know Melissa or her parents ?

Topseyt Fri 31-Mar-17 12:53:54

I wouldn't invite over anyone treating my children like that.

Who will be his head of year when he moves to secondary school? I would try to have a word with them in advance of him going to the school. Tell them what you have found and how it has worried you. Ask them to help deal with it. After all, one of their current students is intimidating one of their September intake ones and it needs to be stopped.

MrsFarm Fri 31-Mar-17 12:55:16

oh. that is sad. That would make me cry actually.

Topseyt Fri 31-Mar-17 12:56:25

Yes to speaking to the girl's parents too, though perhaps take the school's advice first. Might be better to come from them.

BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack Fri 31-Mar-17 12:58:44

Your poor son. My son was the same, never really fitted in at primary, didn't like football, didn't get party invites etc etc, such a shame as he is a wonderfu wonderful boy.

However, when they get to secondary school once they find their feet they usually drift off into completely different frindship groups. It took my boy a couple of years to settle but he's year 10 now and has so many friends and is never in, life so different than what it was for him at 11 and I am sure that will be the same for your son too.

It's horrid for you as a mum to see it but honestly, it will be ok.

Beingsued Fri 31-Mar-17 13:00:12

I only said that as I did it with a dc who was bullying my dd, they were quite a bit younger though. It did help

Gazelda Fri 31-Mar-17 13:00:23

I agree with Topsey. Ask both schools to help you resolve this. There's still plenty of time to address it and to help build your DS's confidence in his new school.
Poor chap though, I really feel for him (and you).

PoundlandUK Fri 31-Mar-17 13:02:29

What TopseyT said.
Melissa and the bus girl are horrible, horrible people.

viques Fri 31-Mar-17 13:07:23

Unfortunately paying for your child's education is not a guarantee that the other children will be kind, friendly or emotionally intelligent. If you contact the head of year in the new school you should be able to gauge from their response to your concerns whether Melissa and her friends attitude is reflected in the school culture, or whether it is a case of thoughtless teen behaviour.

CinnamonSwirlGirl85 Fri 31-Mar-17 13:08:48

I'm so sorry. This breaks my heart sad. Your son sounds like a lovely little boy and this girl sounds incredibly cruel. Do you know anyone else who is starting at the same school/the parents of anyone else starting at the school? If so, is it possible to set up a few playdates before he starts so that he knows someone else/has a few friends?

You really have my sympathy and I hope everything works out for your son.

Fedupfeelingthisway Fri 31-Mar-17 13:17:40

Thank you so much for your responses!

I don't know the parents of this girl at all. I really don't think he'd be interested in having her over at all either and I'd be reluctant to invite her if she's been like this. There won't be any other kids from his year going to this school either so he's starting on his own. I absolutely realise that kids can be horrible no matter where they are. It's just the way of the world but this seemed so out of the blue!

I've no idea who to approach at the new school and I'd hate for them to think that I was causing trouble as I really don't want to but I want to make sure that he has the bet start that he can.

Serialweightwatcher Fri 31-Mar-17 13:20:51

Poor kid - I would also have a word with the school in advance. Obviously he keeps himself to himself and other kids can be cruel and not understand why he doesn't do as they do. The school need to be informed so they can keep an eye out and hopefully encourage others to be more tolerant to his needs. Good luck flowers

Beingsued Fri 31-Mar-17 13:24:15

I think that you should speak to the school, you are not causing trouble at all

Saltedcaramel2016 Fri 31-Mar-17 13:25:30

Sounds horrible but that girl will be the year above so will probably have little influence on his day to day life. I would not worry about that too much, she sounds nasty but he will make friends in his class who will all be new too. It is a good opportunity for him to reinvent himself a bit. Try and be a bit proactive with getting friends over etc in the first term as after that they become too cool for the mums to get involved!

Also, try and influence your son not to get in touch with this girl again. It is probably better for him to ignore any messages, she sounds like she is enjoying the drama and stirring things up.

Are there any induction days before he starts the school where he can meet his class and you could meet parents? This might make him feel better about starting and he may get some contact details of people in his class that he could meet up with over the summer.

PetallyTyrants Fri 31-Mar-17 13:26:41

Are there two girls: Melissa and the girl who told DS no one liked him?

If so could (let's call her) Jenny have been joking (you know how weird their humour can be at 11) and then Melissa carries on the joke with the Justin Beiberesque "my mama don't like you and she likes everyone"?

steppemum Fri 31-Mar-17 13:27:29

oh your poor ds sad

one thign I would say, is that this girl will be year 8 and it is totally uncool for year 8s to like/be friends with year 7. This may be her way of pushing him away so that she doesn't have a year 7 tag along in Sept.

I had to drum it in to dd when she started to ignore ds and leave him alone, and I knew he would be mortified by her talking to him.

There is a whole class of year 7 for him to meet and get to know. Many kids who don;t find friends in small primaries do find like minded people at secondary. My ds was one (although for different reasons to yours) and the fatc that the school was a good fit for him helped, as it will help your ds.

Do give the school a heads up, email to the form tutor. We met their form tutors at a parents evening for new starters in July, so hopefully there will be an opportunity to say something.

Girlwiththearabstrap Fri 31-Mar-17 13:29:23

I'm sorry to read that. Agree with others that you should contact the school and let them know your worries. If you call the office and ask to speak to the head of year or head of pastoral care, or even a depute head they will be able to reassure you hopefully.
Also as others have said, secondary is bigger and whilst that is scary, it can also offer a whole range of new people. At my school the library is a great place for people who are feeling lonely or lost as the librarian puts on a whole range of clubs designed to include people who are nervous. I hope your sons school has something similar.

Pigflewpast Fri 31-Mar-17 13:33:14

I've no idea who to approach at the new school and I'd hate for them to think that I was causing trouble as I really don't want to but I want to make sure that he has the bet start that he can.

You wouldn't be seen as causing trouble, you'd be seen as a loving parent who is concerned about her son, which is obviously what you are.
I would email or phone the head of year 7, they will want to be made aware of this. You don't need to name the girl if you don't want, just make them aware so they can look out for your DS. I would also tell his current teacher so they can hopefully try to boost his self confidence at school.
Are there any clubs or groups he could join where he may be with future class mates? It's hard when they don't want to do sports clubs but is there anything else he's interested in?
Really feel for you and your DS. flowers

Backingvocals Fri 31-Mar-17 13:34:20

God that's awful. Kids can be such shits. I would also be speaking to school.

I think your next step is to focus on building up his sense of who matters and who doesn't. These particular people are not going to be his friends so he needs to find a way to discount them and move on. DD is going through a similar learning at school at the moment (much less horrible tbh) and she's beginning to understand that some people rule themselves out of your world by being people you cannot trust to be decent and friendly.

I know you are worried about his social interactions anyway given your history but it sounds like he actually has quite a clear sense of who he is and what sort of thing he likes doing so you need to focus on that and empower him to carry on being the boy he is. It's hard to keep your own experience at bay but that's quite important I think.

justanotheryoungmother Fri 31-Mar-17 13:34:58

I actually teared up reading that sad
My little brother is the most sensitive little boy and it'd kill me if someone said something like that to him, so I understand how you feel.

Is it possible for him to be home schooled for the rest of the year? I understand that may not be an option, but it would get him out of the situation for the rest of the year (and then he never has to see them again) flowers

Pigflewpast Fri 31-Mar-17 13:38:39

Also, my friend had very similar anxieties about her son starting high school ( without the text incident obviously) as he is a "sport hating geek" in her words and had similar primary experience of being surrounded by sporty boys. He's now in year 8 and very happy with many friends with similar interests to him. There's so many more potential friends in the much bigger school that there's bound to be some he clicks with.

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