DS1 is 7. He keeps having teary times recently, especially when he's tired, that 'no one likes me' and 'I've got no friends' etc. It's breaking my heart. He has always been a sociable boy, confident about approaching children to play with him in parks etc. He had one particular friend the last couple of years, he seems to have got into a threesome and his former best friend has paired off with another boy. DS1 says they say mean things to him, hit him. From what I've seen in the playground, they all do a lot of hitting and punching and wrestling, DS as much as any.
Not to drip feed, we live in France. Neither of us are French, so we do things differently, and obv DS1 speaks English as well as French. Last term, he was bullied by this so-called friend 'we don't play with the English, we don't like the English', we told the teacher and he put a stop to it. But it seems to have really dented DSs confidence.
I am really struggling to help him with this. I don't know how to do it. Is it something he just has to work out for himself - that if a 'friend' is being consistently mean to him, he'd be better off looking for someone else to play with? I know I can't march into the playground and sort it out for him. And my French is not great, I would seriously struggle to discuss it with the parents, and we are not really on friendly terms with any of them, except general chat. I grew up in a tiny rural community, there were only 3 girls in my class including me. So we had to be friends (of a sort) and I never learned how to make new friends when you fell out with people: it never happened to me at that age. The whole busy city playground thing is alien to me. I speak to him about it. I make sure he has other, non-school, friends and activities to do. But he's unhappy, I can see it. Help!