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My son is being excluded by others at school(12 Posts)
Advice/experiences/help needed please, my heart is just breaking.
My son, who is such a lovely, confident, friendly young man, seems to suffer constantly from exclusion at school. He had it from many of the boys in his year at his last school and, now that we have moved abroad, he is getting the same thing from boys at his new school. We just don't get it. He starts off well, makes new friends easily. Then a few months down the line, those friends have dropped off and he is actively being excluded now by several boys at his school. He has two boys he can call his friends. There have been so many parties he is not invited to and I just fear that he is going to become depressed and withdrawn and end up a loner with no-one.
How do we cope with this? What can we do? We know he is not a bully or unpleasant, so it is not because of that. The only thing we can think of is because of a possible lack of social skills that might make him maybe annoying.....
If so, how do we overcome that?
I feel terrible for him and so so sad. Aside from trying to get him involved in out of school clubs, I am at a loss for ideas in how to tackle this. Please help!
Have you spoken to the school? You may get some insight from his teachers.
It could be simple bullying but from what you describe it does seem as thout your son is able socially...making friends isn't the problem.
I have seen something similar at my DD"s school quite recently. She was complaining a lot (she's 12) about a girl in her friendship group who was in DD's words a "bit of a bully".
The girl in question is it seems a bit obnoxious...loud and controlling...she would physically push others about and then say it was just fun...she'd also constantly show off about what she had or her knowledge of certain subjects.
This all got much worse when they all moved into their new class this year ..it culminated in the girl's friends excluding her from their social plans generally.
The girl was obviously upset and her parents went to school about it.
But what can anyone actually do? The girl is difficult company and after putting up with it for some time, her friends don't want to any longer.
I'm not saying this is definitely what's going on for your son but I thought this persepective might help.
Speak to him...try to get it out of him...
If he's getting the same reaction in two completely different locations, there's something to his behaviour with his friends that you are not aware of, which is a pity as you could help him with it if you knew. Unfortunately, children can be very cruel and are quick to escalate a small issue into bullying. It's all about upbringing.
He's 10. I know 100% he is not a bully or mean - it is just not in his nature. That's why we think it may be that he's just annoying. And he does have a 'like me' complex now which I think may be compounding the issue - he is possibly trying too hard to be friends and is irritating. But how do you tell your child he is trying too hard?! How can a child who is desperate to be friends learn to back off without isolating themselves?
I always think there's not nearly enough support in schools for social skills. In my experience, the kids who find socialising easy are rare...many have trouble.
Have you ever observed him OP? At home for example when he has had friends over to play?
Would it be possible to have some of the parents of your son's former friends help you? Are you friendly with any of them? You could explain the situation to them, tell them you're at a loss, and was wondering if they could talk to their children about your son. Have them ask why they are no longer friends with him. It may seem awkward at first, but if the parents are nice people they would understand. You're just a concerned mom who doesn't understand why things are going wrong.
I have observed him during play dates and he seems entirely normal (from what I think is my own 'normal' perspective!) and able to interact positively and collaboratively. Feedback from other mums is that their children have really enjoyed themselves. Maybe he is better on a one-on-one situation....
That is a good idea to ask other mums to quiz their boys on how they perceive my son. Although awkward, I guess it could uncover something.
Have any of you ever referred your children to a child psychologist for help with social issues? We are thinking that may be something we should do.
I would speak to his current teacher OP...make an appointment and ask them to be very candid to help you to understand the issues more deeply.
You said you thought he might have a lack of social skills...such as what?
OP, you say that you are afraid this is going to get him down, that you are afraid he will become depressed etc, you've talked about how you feel about his apparent exclusion, but how does he feel about it?
The reality is that if he's experienced the same in two different schools then there is a reason for it which likely doesn't rest with the other children. And reality is that exclusion, unless it's done maliciously, is not bullying. All children should have the option to not be friends with someone if that's how they feel, as long as they're not nasty about it.
However, some children also don't necessarily have a problem with not being in big groups of others and are better one-one on a social level. There's nothing wrong with that either.
But your first port of call before you rush in to see the child psychologists, is to speak to your DS and see what his take is on it all, rather than trying to diagnose and decide that he's being bullied and wanting him to get psychological help which he may neither want or need.
Be careful not to project your own expectations on to what you think he should want.
WannaBe, I understand that, totally. And I have been very conscious not to project my neuroses onto him. My son is definitely down about it and his crying fit about it last night is what has prompted me coming on here. He is very upset that people don't seem to want to be friends with him and that he is not being invited to parties and he is also suffering from a boy in his class who has been emotionally bullying him (and who is a known bully). All that, we have been tackling with his teachers already and the school have been monitoring any bullying events. Aside from the fact that the bully has been caught trying to influence some of the boys to exclude my son, anyway, it seems to be happening amongst the wider group of boys in his year in general. It may or may not be connected, but it certainly is all having the effect of grinding my poor son down and making him very underconfident, paranoid about who likes him and who doesn't, and over-compensating for the situation by sometimes being awkward in social situations - noted by his teachers. A right big mess.
We just want to give him help in any way we can and possibly a child psychologist may be able to assist - I would welcome anyone's experiences of one.
Just as an added cherry on top, my husband does suffer with mild anxiety and depression - which can be hereditary - and we are acutely aware that it could present in our son if he is under all this emotional stress.
Now you've posted that OP I think your son is simply a victim of bullying and unfortunately, once a child has fallen victim to it once, they're more likely to again because their self esteem gets low.
I would demand school does more..what country are you in?
I would also begin to think of ways to build DS' confidence. Perhaps martial arts or drama club?
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