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5.75 yr old suddenly being bullied and excluded by peer group

(5 Posts)
SarahB1971 Fri 14-Nov-14 09:39:43

Hi, my son (only child) sailed through Reception with lots of friends and heaps of parties. I am a single parent and can't afford not to work full time so we didn't really get into the whole having his friends round after school thing (combine that with my own massive social inadequacy I can see he has been doomed from the start).

The Summer was difficult because he spent a large part of it with his Dad (who lives 3 hours away) so he didn't get to see his friends over the Summer either. The one Mum who suggested meeting up so our children could play, flaked out of it at the last minute (4 times) so he didn't see anyone.

The result of all this is that this term has been horrendous: 4 party invitations out of a known number of 18; he has started wetting the bed again; absolutely NO weekend playdates (he did have at least a few last academic year) and he is now being verbally and physically bullied at school, mostly by his alleged 'friends'. He is unwilling to try to make new friends but instead is trying to appease them.

I would love to be able to say that I could work fewer hours, magically become more involved socially (babysitter anyone?) myself, or persuade his autocratic father that maybe my son needs more time here to be social during vacation time. The truth is though that I can barely get by on what I earn working full time and commuting every day (and yes I could work closer to home, but the pay is rubbish).

Having been bullied right the way through school myself, and knowing how damaged I am as a result, it is breaking my heart seeing him go othrough a very similar situation.

I have spoken to his teacher but need to know what I can do to help him, myself.

Pancakeflipper Fri 14-Nov-14 20:56:39

Oh the poor thing. What has your teacher said? And what about talking to the TA? Have they said he is being bullied? If so what are they doing about it. Schools do have policies on this.

If he is being bullied is there a ring-leader dragging others in? Or has something happened? Is it at all possible you child has upset the others and this has led to them not wanting to invite him over?

Or is it just a case of they all do lots of play dates and your son is not so much included?

Also parties do become smaller as children get older so others probably have not been invited to all 18 parties too.

Not being there over the Summer should not lead to bullying at that age.

I would encourage new friendships and get the teachers to say whom they think he will 'click' with.

It may just be a case of the others drifting away.

DeWee Fri 14-Nov-14 23:02:34

The dynamics in year 1 can be very different from year R.

Year 1 ime is when children start making less fluid friendships, and being more set on their group. In year R they seem to generally play with whoever wants to. In year 1 they get more choosy which, being only 5/6yo, means that they sometimes can be rather nasty in being direct.

I also found year 1 when they started using quite emotive language "he pushed me deliberately" (when you saw that he tripped accidently). "She took my pencil ^on purpose^" (it had fallen on the floor and she found it). "nobody will play with me ever" etc.

What's his teacher said? Is it over anything in particular, or general nastiness?

I found that year R tends to have big parties-often all the boys or all the girls (very few whole class round here) and then year 1 went down to 6-8, which is about half. I also noticed that my dc who didn't really have a best friend group got invited to many more parties when that happened. I think she came in as last on the list of invitees for a lot , whereas my one who had a definite best friend group only really went to those. In fact the one with the best friend group only had 5 invites over the whole year, so 4 in a term doesn't sound bad-for her that was over 2 classes so 60 children.
But when they got to about year 4, when they go down to parties of about 3-4, she was still getting around 5 invites a year, whereas my one who had lots of invites in year 1, would get 1-2 maximum.

I've never done, nor had invited to, weekend play dates. Nor have met up over the summer much at all. I don't think it effects friendships that much unless it happens that a group is constantly meeting up without one, and even that depends on the dynamics of the group. A group that meets up too often can implode too.
I wouldn't worry about him being around over the holidays, don't beat yourself up about that one. Really don't think it will have made any difference.

I would talk to the teacher, find out what her take on what's going on is. If she feels he's being bullied, then it's fair to ask what she is doing to stop it-and follow it up to make sure she is following it.
If she feels that it's not bullying, then say that he feels that he's being bullied and what are you (together) going to do to stop him feeling that way. She may be able to buddy him up for playtimes, or encourage him to play with a different crowd.

itsaknockout Wed 19-Nov-14 18:27:53

as the above poter said, in reception whole class parties are common and parents adesperate for their dc to make friends so will perhaps tolerate weekend playdates but it is not the y1 they settle into more definite groups.
I would definitely see what the teachers take on the matter is.If all his friends have suddenly dropped him, it might be because of a change in your DS's behaviour. Keep an open mind

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 19-Nov-14 19:42:58

My heart goes out to your DS and you. A not quite 6 year old shouldn't feel like an outcast.

Sometimes a teacher knows that something is going on, but school policies limit what can be done if they don't witness bullying.

If we parents all taught our DCs not to be bystanders but to stand up for others, it would dissolve a bully’s audience.

As it has reached a level where there's physical bullying happening, I suggest you go over the teacher's head if there has been no improvement and talk to the HT, ask what their policy is on bullying and ask why nothing is being done about it.

All I can further suggest is getting him along to some activity where classmates go after school or if that's not possible, at weekends , and being seen as actively joining in.

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