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Need help to help ds1

(21 Posts)
lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:20:50

Ds1 is 6, in year one . He took ages to settle in when he started in reception, he's a gentle and sensitive boy at school, quiet as well. After a rocky start he seemed to be doing so well, and his confidence was growing, but now this is all under threat, and i might be about to fall out with the school.

He came home the other day obviously unhappy, his behaviour at home over the last few weeks leading up to the start of term has gone downhill, with him being ultra sensitive, crying , tantrums, but i put it down to a hormone spurt or something. When he came home the other day he satrted crying about not going back to school, and looked so miserable my heart was breaking. Finally he said that a couple of boys have been picking on him and calling him gay. I was horrified. He was crying his eyes out about it (he knows what being gay means) and cried himself to sleep, begging me not to send him in the next day. He woke a few times int he night asking me not to send him and as soon as woke in the morning he was crying again asking not to go. Dh called the school to speak to the head before we sent him in, but she wasn't there and didn't call back, so we kept him off and took him out with us on a day we had planned for ds2 ( i know it probably sent the wrong signals out to him, but we didn't want to spoil ds2's promise of a day out). Anyway we called the school when we got back and spoke to the head, and she tried to talk about his attendance instead of the issue!

Sent him in today with promises of the school sorting it out, and i believe they have talked to the children in question, only for ds to come home and tell me that a new boy he had befriended, had now started playing with these other kids, and had started calling him gay as well.

I have called the school and said this really needs to be sorted, which they have promised to investigate again, but once more they tried to infer that his attendance is part of the reason he is being isolated. Anyway i have told them that i will leave it in their hands, but if they do not stop it , and ds is still being hounded then i will feel obliged to intervene and sort it out with the parents, which i am sure they would rather avoid, so i am giving them the benefit of the doubt for now, but what can i do to make sure ds knows he is not wrong, that the kids are, and how can i persuade him that he HAS to tell an adult as soon as it happens, and not wait til he comes home to me?

School also said that the kids in question probably didnt know what it meant and were using it as a term of ds doing something they considered girly, but i said imo the reason they are saying it is irrelevant, it's wrong fullstop. Then they said they probably picked it up from at home, again i said it is irrelevant really because they shouldn't be using it in school (or anywhere but i can't do anything about that). If they have picked it up from home, then it's likely the parents won't take it seriously, surely?

Sorry for long post and any typos, please help!

tamum Wed 20-Apr-05 16:32:21

lou, I am so sorry. I have virtually nothing to offer other than a cyber-hug, but I just wondered if it might help him at all to read some stuff about bullying when you say you want him to understand that he is not the one in the wrong? There seems to be some very good stuff aimed at children on Kidscape that looks as though it might be helpful.
Poor kid, I do hope the school do something.

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:33:10

thanks tamum

tamum Wed 20-Apr-05 16:33:40

Sorry, I just re-read, I thought he was in year 6, not was 6. Maybe it's a bit old, but it could be the starting point for a discussion?

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:34:46

i have bookmarked it for a lok at later when things are not so rowdy here

SoupDragon Wed 20-Apr-05 16:35:17

Have you mentioned the word "bullying" to the school?

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:35:36

no need they used it themselves

Fio2 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:35:43

I dont knoiw what to say. Your poor ds1 The school really need to sort it out

SoupDragon Wed 20-Apr-05 16:36:29

Ok - Wondered if they didn't consider it bullying.

Twiglett Wed 20-Apr-05 16:38:17

Don't know what to say either

but am thinking of you

I think maybe you should take it further - to governers, lea?? if it isn't dealt with within a matter of days

it is bullying and it is unfair, they have a duty to protect your child, not to 'toughen him up'

he's only 6 FFS

Twiglett Wed 20-Apr-05 16:39:33

do you think kidscape the anti-bullying charity could offer help - they have a helpline

Twiglett Wed 20-Apr-05 16:39:51

sorry didn't see Tamum's link

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:40:06

well i don't think so, i wonder if they are just not used to this sort of bullying, they seemed surprised kids of that age used the words. I have always told my kids that i se nothing amusing in making fun and hurting people for things that are not a lifestyle choice, and I consider this to be the same. I am adamant that i find this sort of behaviour offensive and will not otlerate it in my house. Maybe others are less like that?

SoupDragon Wed 20-Apr-05 16:40:10

Do they have an anti bullying policy?

katierocket Wed 20-Apr-05 16:41:27

can you make an appointment to go in and see the head? I think sometimes talking face to face it can be easier to get your point across, and make them understand how much this is upsetting your ds. Awful though, poor little mite. Kids can be so cruel can't they. BTW what do you tell him to do when they say things to him? and do you know what he does now? i.e. walk away, say stuff back?

katierocket Wed 20-Apr-05 16:42:27

I think it's offensive too lou. And fundementally they are bullying him.

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:45:58

Dh went in to see them this morning while i watched ds2. They do have an anti bullying policy, and in thepast when we have had trouble when dd2 was there, it was dealt with pretty well, but ds is not happy.

He doesn't say anything, he goes v quiet. I have told him to tell a teacher or an adult, and walk away, but he is like a little mouse at school.

katierocket Wed 20-Apr-05 16:49:42

I just don't know lou but I really feel for you, it's heartbreaking when your kids are unhappy. I only asked about that because a friend of mine had similar prob with her DS (who was admittedly older at 11) and in the end she had to teach him to stand up for himself a little bit more. NOt fight or anything but give it back a little. It was awful because it was totally not his personality (he's a sweet, quiet little boy) but she just said she felt he wasnt' going to survive secondary school unless he learnt to stand up for himself a bit more. It did work but not sure it's the same principle for a 6 year old. What did the head say to your DH?

lou33 Wed 20-Apr-05 16:52:12

pretty much what i have said on here, they would be spoken to, but no today since they were spoken to another one has joined in.

If he could be a bit more like he is with us at home and answer them back he would have no worries, but he has a lovely personality and i dont want to force teh shouty bit out of him

marthamoo Wed 20-Apr-05 21:57:13

Oh lou This is horrible. Poor ds1. My ds1 has had difficulties at school with certain children - but nothing as bad as this. It makes you so upset and angry when your child is victimised. Sounds like you are doing all the right things - school sounds less than useful. These kids need to be shown that this is bullying and it's not acceptable - it sounds as if the school are not taking it as seriously as they would physical bullying. And it's irrelevent what they perceive "gay" to mean - they are using it in a derogatory way, calculated to hurt and upset ds1. I do also think there is an underlying culture of "boys will be boys" - and that the boisterous, bullying boys are somehow more normal than the sensitive, quiet ones. There's almost a feeling of - well the quiet ones will have to learn to live with it, that's how life is. It's wrong and I hate it. Ds1 is shy, quiet and sensitive too - he won't stand up for himself, and is reluctant to tell a teacher when things have happened. I don't know what the answer is there - I don't believe it's possible to radically overhaul a child's innate personality (even if you wanted to: my boy is perfect the way he is, I don't want him to have to "toughen up" but at the same time I suspect it is probably essential if he is to survive school ). The worst thing with ds1 is that he now seems to accept that life at school is like that - two girls made his life difficult from reception class onwards (not bullying exactly, but hassling him in the playground, refusing to leave him be, bossing him around). He didn't seem unhappy exactly, just resigned to it. And, tbh, when I mentioned that to his teachers I felt they didn't take it at all seriously because it was girls

I'm digressing, I know - but I think the vital thing as your ds1 is so unhappy is to keep kicking up a fuss. It is bullying, exactly the same as if he was being physically damaged. If the school don't raise their game then maybe talking to the other parents is the way to go. A boy in ds1's class was recently quite badly hurt by another, really disruptive child (poor kid was straddled and literally beaten about the face - he was a mess). The victim's mother spoke to the bully's Mum the next day - and I heard them the other day arranging for the bully to come to tea. I'm not sure I'd have it in me to do that but I admire her for doing it: I imagine it's harder to bully someone when overtures of friendship have been made, and definitely easier to speak to the other Mum in future should an incident happen again.

I don't know how you get ds1 to speak up - I can't get my ds1 to. You can tell me if you figure out how.

Another suggestion: the third boy, the one who was initially friendly? Could you have him over for a play date or something? If you encourage a friendship between ds1 and him maybe he will come back to being ds1's ally?

Hope some of that helped. It's just awful feeling so powerless - and really wanting to steam on in there and knock heads together.

Hang on in there - and if all else fails I'll come down and help you beat 'em all up: teachers, parents, kids...bring 'em on.

marthamoo Fri 22-Apr-05 10:03:47

Lou, any further developments?

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