how to reassure DS?(4 Posts)
DS1 is transitioning to high school in September. He's likely to be the eldest in his class but also the smallest by quite a long way.
He's only 132cm and 27kg he has a medical condition that means he struggles not only to gain weight and height buy to keep weight on.
He's had a few tearful nights and has said he's scared that people are going to bully him for being so small when he gets to high school.
As far as I'm aware he hasn't experienced this at primary school. It's a fairly small school.
How do I deal with this?
I know he's going to be a lot smaller than he rest and I can't promise him it won't happen but I also don't want to confirm that it will!
He may not be the smallest. Lots of children are below average height for their age and, because some of them are nearly a year younger than him, they may also be of similar heights.
When my DS started secondary there was a huge variety of all shapes and sizes and it really wasn't an issue for any of them.
To give you an idea: we had an allocated uniform appointment to buy blazers and P.E kits etc. The uniform on sale for the boys routinely started at a 30" chest (so around age 9-10 size) and went all the way up to men's large size. And those were just standard sizes available on the day (so therefore deemed pretty usual and common sizes). It was also possible to order smaller and larger sizes if needed.
It can be tricky but the other common feature of secondary school is extreme height variations in every year group. It is normal and not really commended on. Even if he were above average at 11, it doesn't stay that way necessarily.
Some boys go through puberty and their growth spurt in Year 7 or 8. Some have to wait until nearer GCSE age. So in every class throughout a mixed school or a boys' school, some boys will be a whole head taller than the others and it is considered totally normal.
Maybe reassure him extreme height variation is so common at secondary school that it is noticed less and that he will also have a tutor who he will be able to go to if there are any issues. It might also be worth letting the school know in advance about his medical condition and how nervous he is about how it will affect him at school. It gives them the chance to look out for any worries and to make sure he settles O.K. - which I am sure he will.
I think it is likely he will be ones of the smallest, but not massively massively so. My y6 DD is 137cm and 3rd smallest in her class at the moment.
I would talk through strategies if he is teased. How should/could he react to various comments. (Mainly he has to appear unbothered and then people won't continue as it is no fun teasing someone who doesn't rise to it).
I would also talk through what to do if teasing steps over the line or if it just upsets him too much. Most schools are very hot on bullying and he needs to know who to report things to and that it won't be deemed acceptable.
Are friends also going up to the new school? They can also be drawn on to support him. Having friends around him will help.
The very tall children are just as self-conscious, don't forget. There are these massive variations, especially in boys I think, and they all have something to fret about - I think that holds them back from ever having a go at anyone else, IYSWIM.
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