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Son, 8, excluded by peers where we live

(12 Posts)
MistressMouse Sun 01-Jun-14 12:48:55

He's 8. He wants to play with the 3 other kids on our road (11 and 7 year old brothers and another child who is 10).
These three play together and when my child tries to join in they do one of the following
1. Ignore him and play on
2. Yell at him to go away
3. go to their houses and arrange to meet later

My poor son is so dejected and sad. It's hard on him. He watches them from the window wanting to be part of the games. Last night, he went out to join in, the three just left him standing there and his wee sad face said it all. He walked back to our house like he was carrying the world on his shoulders.

The previous history is that there is a bit of personality clash with the 2 brothers and my son. They are domineering (they fight among themselves) and have previously pushed and shoved my son. Once, a blow to the tummy. When he stood up to them, they went straight to their mother telling tales.

The other child is lovely.

We are trying to support our son. Trying to find him other friends nearby (hard) and reassuring him it's not his fault.

Privately I'm just finding it difficult. I'm astonished at the meanness kids show kids at such a young age.

Anybody go through this and have it work out? Or any strategies? We have to live beside these kids so we need solutions. I'm dreading the 8 week school hols.

sara11272 Sun 01-Jun-14 12:58:29

Could you invite the ten year old round to yours, without the brothers? If he plays with your son one on one, he might be more inclined to stand up to the other two next time your DS wants to join in with all of them? Or invite him out with you eg to the park if playing at home's not an option.

You could wait til the other two were obviously out for the day if you wanted to avoid any potential bad feeling..?

Lilaclily Sun 01-Jun-14 13:00:43

Tbh I wouldn't want him playing with kids who have pushed & shoved him and hit him in the stomach
I'd take him out & about
Have loads of kids round to play
Just because you live close to people doesn't mean you all have to play together

MistressMouse Sun 01-Jun-14 13:32:33

Sara, yes we did think about that. This child and my son play good together but add the other 2 in the mix and the energy/vibe changes. Yesterday he hung back and said to my son "I'm sorry you are not having much fun..." This kid seems to prefer the company of the brothers, is very quiet himself, he'd barely say hello when I say hiya to him. He's not surly, just comes from a very quiet family.
Lila, you have said what husband says. He thinks the brothers are bad mannered brats and thinks we need to help A pair up with other local kids. We just need to find them.
We are a very outdoorsy family and do loads together, and he has lovely school friends but they live a bit away, not round corner. It's a get in car job. Once hols are here I will invite them over.
Thanks for replying.

Bettercallsaul1 Sun 01-Jun-14 15:22:43

I agree with Lilac that these children (the brothers) don't sound like good companions for your son at all. If they have already hurt him at times when he has managed to join in, it doesn't sound as if it would be much fun for him even if they suddenly changed their mind and admitted him into the group. I suspect that what he is actually sad about, when he watches them play, is that he has no companions to play with, not that he covets membership of that particular group.

What I think you should is beef up his friendships at school - inviting friends round to play, or inviting a school friend to go to the park or some other attraction with your son. Another thing would be to encourage your son to take up interests and to join clubs, after school and at the weekends. If his school has a football team, the boys often train on a Saturday morning and there is a natural bonding within the group. Also, what about enrolling him at a club at the weekend - it doesn't matter if it's martial arts or drama, as long as he is enjoying himself and mixes with a group of children who can become his friends. I would also look for activity weeks in the school holidays. Going to clubs and groups means less time at home, watching these children playing without him.

I would definitely shift the focus of his social life away from home at the present - there are many other boys out there who could be much better friends for your son.

MistressMouse Sun 01-Jun-14 22:03:43

I suspect that what he is actually sad about, when he watches them play, is that he has no companions to play with, not that he covets membership of that particular group.

Yes, BettercallSaul, you hit the nail on the head. It's not them per se but the company. He is an only child. Despite being an only he's very sociable and loves company and when he sees those 3 he really feels like he is missing out.
Few suggestions to act on. We will keep him busy and get him into a club or 2. helping him cope on those days when we are home and the three are outside playing is also important. I am hoping that with a bit of time, the hankering/desire to play with them lessens, that he realises for himself they aren't nice boys and gets to the place where it's his choice NOT to play. And is at peace with that. If that makes sense. I really appreciate your input. Thank you.

nooka Sun 01-Jun-14 22:25:55

My dd went through a bit of a nasty time when her local friends decided they didn't want to be friends anymore (walking past our house on the way to school without calling for her, getting other friends to be mean to her etc) and it was very tough. We went down the route of developing other friendship groups, signing her up to new activities and keeping her generally busy. And talking about it lots and lots, giving her lots of love and support. One thing we noticed is that it was during the year when her older brother went to high school, we hadn't realised how much support he'd been giving her, sometimes just as a standby friend to hang out with but also standing up to the 'meaner' kids and letting them know he was on her side.

The longer term outcome is that she has become a lot more savvy about friendships, and the friends she has now are more loyal and more like her. I was a bit worried that she had toughened up a bit too much, but she has stayed her previous compassionate self, just with a little bit less of her heart of her sleeve.

But yes kids can be very mean.

DeWee Mon 02-Jun-14 16:02:30

Kids can be mean, but from the ages it is much more likely that the 10 and the 11yo are playing together and the younger brother tags on. The difference between a 10/11yo and an 8yo is quite a lot when it comes to playing, so they may well looking at him as being an irritating little one (possibly they would also like to do similar with the little brother, and they're transfering their irritation onto your ds)
That's not saying that what they're doing is right, but I wouldn't particularly expect the older ones to want to play with him at present.

I'd have thought the 7yo would be the one who potentially more likely could be a friend, have you tried approaching the parents and asking if the 7yo would like to go somewhere with you (if you invite round to your house, you may find the older ones turning up too). Try inviting him out for the day and see if they can strike up a friendship.

MistressMouse Tue 03-Jun-14 11:41:50

Thanks to Nooka and DeWee. Actually the dynamic is the 10 and 7 year old are playing mostly together and the 11 year old drops in and out. It appears to me that the 7 year old is driving things and the 10 year old just follows his lead.
We did think about asking him (7) to go to the local park with us but didn't take it further than a thought. It's still a thought though.
Thank you.

GotAnotherQuestion Tue 03-Jun-14 12:02:46

I wouldn't give them time of day. You can't make kids get on so if it's looking like they're not playing ball (literally!) then give it up.

My dear Mum made the mistake of trying and trying to have me included in a similar situation as yours. She now says it was the biggest and most damaging mistake she made, and given the time again she would move on.

It would have been better for me as I learned I expect to get ill treated and hang in there anyway. I had to teach myself as an adult that there are other people out there and I can chose who my friends will be - carefully and selectively.

MistressMouse Tue 03-Jun-14 14:44:56

GAQ, That is true and I've always felt that the 7 year simply doesn't like my son and no amount of enticing will change that. I sort of feel "** them" they not worth the tears and stress but husband wanted to try and make them get on for son's sake (8 weeks of hols looming here) BUT we could be nice and friendly and I feel it wouldn't change a thing. I think there will always be issues.
I think for us it's getting my son to not place too much emotional emphasis on those 3 playing right under his nose and giving him the strength to be ok with the situation. It's still hard though. Thank you.

WaffleWiffle Tue 03-Jun-14 15:02:24

There is a lovely group of neighbourhood children where we live. I think it is wonderful to see. They call for each other after school and weekends. Live in each others pockets over school holidays. Of course there are fall outs, but it is still a joy to behold and something to make an effort with, IMO.

If your son is the 'new boy' in the group, finding his place in the dynamic will be hard in an already established small group. But you could stick with it. I wouldn't be trying to break up the group into smaller numbers tho - that is likely to cause extra animosity.

You could do with a situation whereby you can supervise more closely. What about inviting the other three to your house to play?

Have the xbox out, or the paddling pool. Or start an inside-and-out hide and seek game. Organise the play a bit at first. This will help establish the friendship.

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