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Is this bullying?

(24 Posts)
umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:00:07

My DS is in Yr2 in a very small school. There is a girl in his class who he has never found particularly easy to get along with. For example DS invited her to his 5th birthday and she tore up the invitation in his face and threw it at him. More recently she was kissing him and jumping on him when he'd asked her to stop. I raised this with school and it seemed to be dealt with.

However he's been quiet for a couple of weeks or so, and I discovered that he's been having a few more problems with the same girl. She's been grabbing him and as he said 'controlling' him, pulling him around and when he tries to protest or tell, she takes his own hand and puts it over his mouth. She 'makes him' be her partner in class and then pokes and prods him throughout the time on the carpet. He said that today she has been misbehaving and making it look like it is him and he's frightened that he is going to get into trouble. She uses his peg, goes in his tray and messes with his things. She said to him that she wants to make him leave and go to another school and she's told him that there is nothing that he can say to her that will make her stop.

He's not an assertive child. He's a quiet, sensitive boy, who does take things very much to heart. I'm trying to help him to be more resilient but I don't know if he has it in him to stand up to her. He was distraught after school screaming that he hates her, then at bedtime was so upset I thought he was going to be sick, and said he wanted us to pick him up and drop him to hurt him. It isn't the first time he has said something like that, and I'm so worried and upset.

Is this bullying? I feel like school (and other parents) think he's a bit pathetic, so I'm not sure people will see it as bullying, more that he is 'too soft.' I want to help him stand up to her, but in some ways I don't see why he should have to. He is kind, and gentle, and this is really hurting him. I know it certainly isn't serious bullying (at this stage), and doesn't come close to the awful experiences of many children. But it is serious enough that it seems to be having a real impact on my son.

hiddley Thu 23-Nov-17 23:02:30

Have a chat with teacher to have them separated. She sounds like a right madam.

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:05:58

I intend to ask the teacher to do that hiddley but there are only 10 in the class, so it isn't that easy.

IAmcuriousyellow Thu 23-Nov-17 23:14:07

Yes thats bullying. Him asking you to pick him up and drop him is very sad, poor boy. Tell the teacher and keep up pressure if they don't sort it out.

hiddley Thu 23-Nov-17 23:17:11

Well, she needs to have the power taken from her to force him to be her partner in whatever they are doing. Make the teacher aware of what has gone on, how it's affecting him and maybe ask to chat again in a week to see how things go?

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:19:05

Thanks yellow, I will. Putting it all down like this makes me think well, yes of course it is bullying. I just didn't want to go in and have it blamed on DS being too sensitive or needing to toughen up.

It was a heartbreaking thing to hear him say.

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:20:43

It does seem like a power/control thing hiddley. I have talked to him about not having to be her partner, and I'll make that clear to the teacher tomorrow.

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Nov-17 23:21:49

Please tell the teacher. She shouldn't be putting her hands on him or saying unkind things.
BTW "think him soft" would you say that if he was a girl? Of course it isn't "soft" to be bothered by being treated like this. And there's a big difference between being resilient if someone says "no I'm not playing with you today" and how this child is behaving towards him.
Poor kid. sad

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:25:18

I don't think he's 'soft' Wolfiefan, but others have said that to me before, hence the ''. And that's exactly why I don't think he should have to toughen up just because he's a boy. I don't believe there should be a difference, but sadly that isn't always the case with everyone.

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Nov-17 23:29:20

Ah the "boys will be boys and that's why they punch each other" brigade.
My son was rather similar to yours. He's now a mild mannered teen! Personable, funny doing well at school, with good social skills and a black belt too!
But boys shouldn't have to put up with bullying because they are boys. Resilience is great but it doesn't mean sucking it up when physically or verbally assaulted.
Good luck OP. He's lucky to have you in his corner!

hiddley Thu 23-Nov-17 23:35:02

Girls can be master manipulators when they see perceived vulnerability. Bossy little madams (I know because I was one myself - not a bully, but the boy who sat next to me used to do his own writing and then do mine for me - he's a lovely fella now, but I think he just idolised me at a very very young age, maybe 6 too and I exploited that! Also 6!). Presumably they're only 6 now, but it needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. It's horrible to see your child going through pain. Don't worry, it can all be sorted. Promise.

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:37:17

Thanks Wolfiefan ! Your DS does sound like a good 'un and very well rounded. Interestingly I have thought about some sort of martial art for confidence, but I'm clueless over that as never had any experience in that type of sport before. Plus we are rural so not that many opportunities around.

hiddley Thu 23-Nov-17 23:39:09

And just for the record, I don't think my little friend felt bullied at all. He was happy to please me, bless his heart. He's now a successful bookie owner, so I had no long-term damage on him haha! We are still friendly and would chat when I'm over at Christmas etc. I wonder whether he even remembers what a madam I was!

umptyflump Thu 23-Nov-17 23:41:50

Yes they are only 6 hiddley. I'll be going up to school in the morning to get the ball rolling and we'll hopefully get it stopped.

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Nov-17 23:42:03

He did a taster of a few different things at a sports event. Loved TKD and about 8 years later still loving it. Lots of patterns to learn. He wouldn't have coped with boxing type sport or being thrown on the floor!
I too am clueless about martial arts. Anything where they can experience success and mix in a positive way with other kids is good. And of course the sport has a huge fitness/stress relief component.
And thanks. We have had challenges but I am rather proud of him! I think he's going to grow up to be a man I will admire.

SuburbanRhonda Thu 23-Nov-17 23:42:21

Does it matter whether it’s bullying?

It’s making him unhappy and if he’s unhappy in school, he won’t learn. So it needs to stop.

hiddley Thu 23-Nov-17 23:53:35

Ah yeah, don't worry. I'm sure the teacher will make sure to keep a watchful eye and to pair madam diva with someone else in future. Do ask if you can briefly check in again in a week or so though to see how things are going and to update from your own side.

umptyflump Fri 24-Nov-17 08:24:23

So we've had another chat this morning for a bit more detail. There's some name calling, the dragging around is happening a lot and is hurting him, she has also been putting hoops around his neck in the playground. When they are partners she's stopping him from putting his hand up by getting hold of him by the shoulders and arms.

We'll explore the sport options as well Wolfiefan. Like you say the main thing is to boost his confidence and develop positive relationships with others.

Going to try to get to school a bit earlier to speak to deputy head (who is also class teacher).

umptyflump Fri 24-Nov-17 08:26:27

Yes suburban, I agree, and in a way it doesn't matter as long as we stop it. But I'm also thinking that any behaviour designed to make him feel so bad, must be bullying.

umptyflump Fri 24-Nov-17 10:51:29

I have seen head and deputy together and I'm happy that they have listened, and feel like they are going to deal with the behaviour. I will of course be keeping up the pressure.

Thanks to all for the support!

Ttbb Fri 24-Nov-17 11:01:25

I don't think it's really fair to call it bullying at this age. I think it's more a case of the other child having behavioural problems and your son, poor sensitive chap that he is, looks like an easy target. Definitely raise it with the school. In the short term is it possible to move your son into another class? In the long term the school needs to work with the girl to sort out her behaviour (but I suspect they would already be on it) and you could ask them to work with your son to make in a bit more assertive.

Wolfiefan Fri 24-Nov-17 11:57:13

I do think it's bullying. It is causing distress. If she was older it would actually be assault! Physical and verbal.

umptyflump Fri 24-Nov-17 20:54:08

School have spoken to the girl and she has apologised. They have also done a general talk on what to do if someone is doing something you don't like. DS seems a little happier today, so we'll keep on top of it.

GreenTulips Fri 24-Nov-17 23:08:26

Hi can I suggest you do swine role play at home - things like dad snatches his toy and you tell him to say 'give that back it's mean!'

It will become second nature when it happens in school

Also those saying 'he's sensitive etc' are victim blaming

Would that say that to a woman beaten by a boyfriend?

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