To feel sad for DS(22 Posts)
DS is 5 and is struggling with school. He is in a big group of friends but the kid who is the “leader” keeps telling DS he can’t play with them. All the boys in the class are in the group. DS often spends his lunchtime alone and is getting increasingly upset. The school seem less than useless at addressing this and tonight DS was sobbing at bedtime at the thought of school tomorrow. What do I do?
Maybe ask for a meeting with the HT? Is there another class he could move to? Perhaps suggest to the HT that you regard it as bullying, which in effect is what it is, and a possible safeguarding issue. Those words might encourage HT to take more notice and act.
It may be a case of moving schools if the HT won't help resolve this. Sympathy to your poor DS, horrible experience at the start of his school career.
Start by talking to the teacher about it. The problem might be solved by a chat to the class about friendship and bullying, and some thoughtful pairing up of your ds with another child in class.
The other thing that helped my dd when she had difficulties with friends at that age was having loads of 1:1 playdates, as she seemed to find it easier to make friends 1:1, but the friendships would continue at school.
I also used to roleplay through things like asking to join in with a game.
It’s a small school with only 1 class per year group. The teacher just says they will keep an eye on things but everyday this week he has come home crying so not sure what they are keeping an eye on exactly. I will try speaking to the head teacher. He has lots of 1 on 1 time with other children and gets on brilliantly with them when he does. Unfortunately the rest of the kids when all together seem to follow the ringleader who for whatever reason has decided he doesn’t like DS.
If he is being deliberately excluded I think that should count as bullying and be addressed by the school. If he is upset and spending lunch break alone for whatever reason I would expect the school to offer some help anyway. My nephew had issues at lunch time (no bullying he was just shy and didn't know how to approach others in the class). The class teacher has a strategy where DN was asked to choose a friend to help with some special job before going out to play. DN and friend would then go out to play together.
Either the school deal with it, properly, or you move him. They are at school for too much of their time to be miserable there.
I will definitely try mentioning the “bullying” word and see if that sparks a reaction. I hadn’t thought of it as bullying before because they are so young.
Could you invite the ‘leader’ for a play date? That way you can see what the dynamic is yourself, and maybe help them to chat and bond a little? I’ve done this in the past, and it worked out really well. Helped the more forceful child to see another side of my ds. They played nicely at school after that. You will also then get to see if there is something more serious going on between them that needs addressing. Worth a try?
Poor little poppet it makes your heart break for them doesn't it. My DD is 5 and in reception and finds it hard to integrate with a group of girls at playtime as she's quite shy and lacks confidence. She's an easy target and has come home saying the alpha female has told the others not to play with her etc
I spoke to the teacher and they are keeping a close eye on it, we are going to ask 1 or 2 of the girls she seems to like best over for a play date in the hopes that will help, maybe you could do the same?
The other child may not be intentionally bullying your ds - he may not be thinking of how your ds feels as the result of his actions at all - so he needs to be clearly taught that his actions are wrong. Because whether he means to or not, he is making your child unhappy.
Add bless him - poor little thing I's be so upset in your shoes.
Definitely go to head if the teacher doesn't seem to be helping. The school may have some sort of 'buddy' system where some of the older children play with/look out for the younger ones - something like that might help while he finds his feet.
You mention the group of boys - are there any girls he gets on with and could play with? Or anyone in the year above him?
The school need to be doing more though - at 5, they are too young to really be able to navigate friendships/disagreements themselves.
Throw the word bullying in there and make the school react.
They need to pair kids of j to groups for activities etc at break and shift the friendship groups and have an assembly talk about not excluding anyone etc.
It’s awful for you too but I promise it doesn’t last forever. At that age the leader will change eventually and if not you will find as the other kids grow they will split off into smaller groups and form their own friendships
Test their tiny heads from their bodies???
No seriously though it's really not on get into the school and discuss how they go forward as this is bullying.
I'm a Learning Mentor in primary school and part of my job is to deal with friendship issues. Does your school have a LM or TA who deals with wellbeing?
It's a common problem all through the primary years, but with intervention it can be successfully resolved.
I agree with Barbarian mum that the other little boy may well not be intentionally bullying your son. He still needs to be shown that his actions aren't OK for the sake of his future behaviour as well as DS's well being.
Op, you go into the school and keep going in until they sort this out, I had this with ds2 and it took 4 visits till they took me seriously, I was shushed and dismissed and told boys will be boys, well sod that, my son wasn't happy and I wasn't letting it go
Stand up for him he's just small, he needs you in his corner
Dont let it go OP, your little boy needs you.
We had similair with DS1 at primary.
One nasty little upstart refused to let anyone play with him.
Put up with schools weak platitudes for 4 years before we moved him to a new school where he flourished from day one and made wonderful friends.
"Nasty child" ended up in young offenders at after he stabbed someone. I actually feel like the school failed him too as it was obvious he had major issues from a very young age and nothing was done to help him.
I agree with others that think you should invite the ring leader on an expenses paid 1 to 1 fun play date. Think full day Saturday so his parents can’t reisit being child free, and their child being fed ect. They’re 5 nothing is really understood or meant at this age.
Good luck let us know what you decide.
Chris no, the last thing the op's son would want is a play date with the wee shite who's bullying him
Get back into the school op
Can you not have an open transparent and civil conversation with the wee shit's parents?
I had similar with DD8 and tackled with the mum and other mums. Was very stressful, as I was well out of my comfort zone, but it got resolved.
It's bullying by exclusion. Definitely see the HT and let them know this is affecting your DS.
Speak to class teacher or Head Teacher. School should be able to put some strategies in place so he is not. being excluded like this. Do you know any older children at the school who could maybe look out for him at break and lunchtime? Having an older friend might help his playground cred and pique the interest of his classmates. Many schools use older pupils as buddies for younger ones so your school could try this if they are not doing so already. Also, there must be some supervision in the playground, do the school expect them to take an active part in promoting kind and respectful play?
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