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4 year old being 'bullied' by friend in reception

(7 Posts)
Pinkponk1 Thu 23-Oct-14 22:37:34

Hi our gentle very confident friendly boy started school 6 weeks ago and has become friends with a really aggressive boy in his class. There has been at least one act of aggression each week that I've found out about enough to cause marks and bruises and way beyond normal rough and tumble.

We've logged, emailed the headand seen the teacher to discuss. They we're quite dismissive at first (most happens in playground) but have agreed to watch the situation. I've asked for them to be separated in class but keep being told they are good friends. As our son hasn't had experience with more violent kids I don't think he realises this isn't acceptable behaviour and almost seems magnetised to the kid

Has anyone got experience of this and any advice? I find the fact my son clearly still wants to be his friend a worry.

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Oct-14 22:46:13

Sometimes opposites attract and perhaps that's why your son is drawn to him.

4 years old is a little young to be written off as a bully (unless you can think of examples where bullying really took place), but you're quite right to be concerned if your child is being hurt.

At this age, a more 'robust' child often needs to learn that their behaviour is OTT and that they need to learn a more gentle form of play because they can and do actually hurt other children.

I can only advise that you closely monitor both the situation and the way the school actually monitors it.

If your gentle child doesn't realise this is unacceptable behaviour (just as my gentle DS2 didn't at that age), it's down to you to teach him this.

Once he's learnt that, he will know when to tell the teachers/playground supervisors and why.

Pinkponk1 Thu 23-Oct-14 22:52:21

Hi yes I agree we need to teach him more about what's acceptable and not and build his physical confidence

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Oct-14 22:57:06

It's difficult though, so I do feel for you.

I have 3 boys and my middle DS sounds just like yours.

He eventually learnt though and either drifted away from the rougher boys, or they learnt to tone their behaviour down and became good friends with him.

He's 15 now and far more particular about who he's friends with grin

Glittermud Thu 23-Oct-14 22:58:05

My DD2 has started reception this year (having only just turned 4) and had already been described as being a 'ringleader' by her friend's mum. I have sympathy for the friend because she's projecting a lot of her own anxiety about the bullying she experienced at school onto her child and their friendships, but it isn't a meaningful or helpful label to give to children of this age. Well, not for the majority at least.

I'd say ' stay watchful' but I'm sure that you will.

joozy Mon 27-Oct-14 21:28:42

If your child is coming home with bruises then you have every right to feel concerned. It's not acceptable really is it? I'm being quite blunt here but having been through a lengthy situation of my dd being bullied and the school treading on egg shells around the bullies until it became unbearable - I think you have to nip these things in the bud swiftly. We were told that there's always a "strong character" in each year... That's one way of putting it. Hopefully he will move away from the aggression soon but don't be of being firm about it with the school. x

alwayssleepy Wed 07-Jan-15 11:03:18

I have just posted about my sons problems which also started in this way at this age. My son was attacked by the kid with the 'strong character' in the class, but my son is kind and forgiving and insisted on still playing with the child, which meant he kept getting hurt. I think a bit of him thought he could make the kid be nice by being kind to him.

I had to explain to him that even if the boy said they were friends, this didn't make the punches forgivable. Every time he came home and told me of an incident I asked him how it made him feel, and explained that true friends dont hurt each other.

I also told the school they needed to do more to protect my kid from these bruises. They agreed to encourage the kid to play with other children, who then unfortunately got attacked too sad

Eventually he started to stay away from the kid, with the schools encouragement. They are now in different classes, but mix at lunchtime so the issues continue.

I has helped though to explain that hurting someone isn't how friends behave, but having the school back this up with my child really did encourage him to make new friends.

He is still getting picked on in the playground by other kids though, so I think I need to work on his assertiveness. Just avoiding the problem child doesn't work forever.

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