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To call out these kids in front of their parents who’ve upset my son?

(182 Posts)
KeepYourDistanceFFS Mon 06-Jul-20 11:33:26

DS is 9 and struggles socially as he’s quite shy and finds it hard to assert himself. He is well liked but doesn’t have a firm friendship group, not invited for play dates etc. As such he hasn’t had any contact with his school mates over lockdown. He has older siblings though so hasn’t been too lonely.

Anyway I encouraged him to set up a Zoom meet up with his classmates just to chat and have some peer interaction. Only 3 kids joined, one disappeared after a few minutes but two of them sent him messages on the chat function calling him a dickhead and telling him to fuck off before leaving.

He was quite shocked and upset. I am furious on his behalf that he found the courage to reach out and got that in response angry.

He has a day next week where he has to go into school. There’s a big chance we will see both the kids and their parent's while queuing up to go in. I know he won’t stick up for himself as frustratingly he worries about getting other people into trouble, and one of these DC has been very mean to him on lots of occasions since they started school, the mother seems to be oblivious.

WIBU to loudly call these kids out on what they said to DS in front of their parents and demand an explanation?

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MrsTWH Mon 06-Jul-20 11:36:26

He’s 9, I’d be standing up for him and messaging the parents directly. Were you supervising the zoom call? Did you get a screenshot?

MegaClutterSlut Mon 06-Jul-20 11:38:04

I would go directly to the parents with the kids there, I would also let the school know too so they can keep an eye on him

Hibbetyhob Mon 06-Jul-20 11:39:38

I’m sorry they were so horrible to your son - that is really upsetting and can totally understand why you feel you want to do what you suggest.

However, you need to think about what this will achieve. How will it help your ds?

The reality is calling them out publicly is only going to make you look bad, and probably embarrass/ upset your ds further.

Could you contact the parents separately & privately to let them know how their dc behaved? Alternatively you could talk to school about it (this would be my usual recourse) though of course this is more difficult at the moment.

Ultimately though my main focus would be on my dc, directing them towards more appropriate friendships & coping strategies for similar things. Far better to equip our dc with their own strategies for dealing with all life throws at us.

SoupDragon Mon 06-Jul-20 11:40:37

WIBU to loudly call these kids out on what they said to DS in front of their parents and demand an explanation?

I think you would be unreasonable to approach the kids, yes. Go straight to their Parents.

Ch0colatecake Mon 06-Jul-20 11:40:47

KeepYourDistanceFFS I’d take a screenshot and send it to each of the parents, and get them to sort their little shitbags out.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 06-Jul-20 11:43:50

Your poor DS. I can understand completely where you're coming from, but I think loudly confronting them would be a bad idea. Supposing it escalated, or suppose they just decided to make unfounded accusations against your D'S that upset him further?

I think raising it with the school is a good idea, particularly if you screenshotted the messages.

formerbabe Mon 06-Jul-20 11:44:47

Your poor ds. Don't say anything to the kids will make you look really bad and you'll be gossiped about, though I would understand the temptation.

The parents should be told though.

Gazelda Mon 06-Jul-20 11:44:45

I'd be speaking to the school this week. They need to be aware of this so that they can quietly support your DS when school restarts in September.

I'm on the fence about tackling the parent though. Do you know them fairly well?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Mon 06-Jul-20 11:45:03

And little shitbags, this x1000!

KeepYourDistanceFFS Mon 06-Jul-20 11:47:01

I don’t have the parents contact details!

I was within listening distance and DS was laughing and it seemed to be going well. No screenshot as the messages disappeared and couldn’t get them back.

They knew to message him rather than say it on screen, the sneaky little shits. They told DS they meeting up afterwards so pretty sure they planned it beforehand. I know who would have been the instigator as the other boy has never been mean to DS and was given the joining details by the one who has.

OP’s posts: |
Dieu Mon 06-Jul-20 11:47:27

I would absolutely message the parents. So sorry for your son thanks

KeepYourDistanceFFS Mon 06-Jul-20 11:48:48

Not sure about involving school as it happened when school was shut?

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KeepYourDistanceFFS Mon 06-Jul-20 11:50:01

Can I ask why people think I would look bad to other parents in tackling this?

OP’s posts: |
Tinamou Mon 06-Jul-20 11:54:28

I would talk to your DC's teacher about this, rather than approaching these kids or their parents.

user1471530109 Mon 06-Jul-20 11:57:38

Of course you can contact the school about it! Doesn't matter if it was out of school. They need to be aware.

If you don't have contact details of parents I would not confront them. I think the school won't be able to deal with it directly but would be able to say a message to whole class about appropriate use of social media and zoom calls etc.

Tinamou Mon 06-Jul-20 11:57:42

The problem with your idea is that, if a child is accused of this kind of thing in public, many parents will automatically leap to their child's defence and assume that you're lying. They're more likely to take it seriously if you go through the school. Don't worry that it happened outside school - the school will still want to know (if they have a decent approach to bullying etc).

formerbabe Mon 06-Jul-20 11:58:10

Talk to the teacher. It may be an opportunity for them to discuss online safety and behaviour.

GeneParmesanPrivateEye Mon 06-Jul-20 12:00:31

Can you find the parents on facebook? You could message them, and say you saw the messages even though they couldn't be saved.

Mention it to the teacher, on the grounds that you want them to keep an eye out, rather than insist they deal with it as such.

My kid would never do this, BUT if they did, I'd want to know, so I could deal with them.

petrocellihouse Mon 06-Jul-20 12:01:42

Zoom keeps copies of the chat and sends to the organiser. Check your emails for details. They should be there! Hope that helps.

wishing3 Mon 06-Jul-20 12:02:41

How horrible for your son! As a teacher I would expect to be told about this, and would also deal with it in school even though it happened outside of school. We tend to ask parents to mention to us rather than directly to the other parent if there is a chance of conflict.

CluelessBaker Mon 06-Jul-20 12:03:40

That will be mortifying for your son.

Contact the parents directly to discuss. Don’t involve your son in some kind of public humiliation scene which will in any event make the parents defensive and totally unwilling to engage with you.

Hibbetyhob Mon 06-Jul-20 12:03:46


Can I ask why people think I would look bad to other parents in tackling this?

Because an adult ‘loudly calling out’ other children in a public situation is never going to look good. Quite simply it’s not a mature way to deal with an issue. I get it is really upsetting to see your ds treated badly and I totally understand feeling anger at the other children involved but publicly humiliating a child (cos that’s what ‘loudly calling them out’ is going to do) is never going to effectively resolve things and onlookers won’t have the context, just you bawling out some 9 year olds.

A quiet word with parents (which you could possibly do on the in school day as you say you don’t have contact details) is far more likely to result in effective resolution of the issue.

spiderlight Mon 06-Jul-20 12:04:10

Oh, your poor DS. That's made me so sad for him sad I agree with previous posters, though - talk to the teacher. The only time I have ever approached a parent about her son's nastiness, it made the situation a lot worse - the boy ramped up his bullying tenfold in retribution and the parent sent me a horrible text accusing my DS of lying about it all and never spoke to me again. I let the school deal with it after that.

FizzFan Mon 06-Jul-20 12:04:47

That’s horrible, your poor boy. Some children are awful. I’d definitely tell the parents.

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