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8 year old has no school friends

(18 Posts)
redtyke Sat 20-Nov-10 01:29:09

Hello DS is tall for his age certainly in his year( he went to a football academy this week and he was tallest u8).He is in 100 pupil school we think he has reputation with parents for being clumsy which may be so and he can be excitable but he is not vindictive. He does not get invites to parties from children at school.He regularly gets kicked, punched in the playground;when he reports these the lunch time supervisors tell him to buzz off. We have been to the school but situation doesn't improve. Today he said he has no friends and he creates one by drawing a face on his hand. This can't go on.
Advise please.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 20-Nov-10 07:40:40

What did the school say when you approached them? In my opinion, there is just as much need for a school, especially at primary level, to help a child socially as there is academically. Do they have a buddy system at all? I think if they aren't receptive to helping I would be lookng at some other schools where they do value social development . Sorry your son us gong through this.

EnnisDelMar Sat 20-Nov-10 07:57:13

Oh, how dreadfully sad.

Poor lad.

I don't know what you can do, but you're right - it cannot go on.

As a note of encouragement, there was a kid in our primary who got bullied mercilessly, avoided, laughed at etc. We were 10 sad

He has gone on to have a successful career, loads of friends, beautiful family.

all respect to him. Kids can survive these things with the right support. Come secondary he will probably find his niche - but you can't leave it till then if he is only 8.

I would be looking to change schools I think - they've got a dreadful attitude by the sound of it. Have a meeting with the HT, class teacher etc and see if they come up with some strategies - telling him to buzz off is not acceptable, but I know it happens.

If they aren't interested then move him without hesitation.

elmofan Sat 20-Nov-10 08:17:13

My ds [11] is going through the same thing sad he is starting secondary school next sept so no point in changing schools now but im sorry i didn't move him years ago. He was bullied by three kids in his class that have warned all the other kids off from playing with him. Also his two best friends from home have moved house so now now he has no friends at all.
I think you should find another school for your son A S A P.

HowsTheSerenity Sat 20-Nov-10 08:32:30

From someone who had no, and I mean no, friends at school until reaching year 9, moving schools is a good thing.

But you also need to find out what is causing the situation. I moved schools three times. But I was causing most of the problems. My Mum did not know it at the time. She assumed the problems were caused by everyone else. I was very mature for my age so I came across as bossy and a know it all. Not good for friend making.

Teach him coping skills, tell him not to try to be friends with the cool group, make friends with the other left out person. Better to have one good friend then 9 crap friends.

Lydwatt Sat 20-Nov-10 08:43:15

yes, and I would actively look for a school that will help with the problems he has with a buddy system already mentioned.
If a new school knows what problems he has had before, they can look out for him intergrating better.

If moving is not an option, does he go to clubs out of school (scouts, judo, football). These may help him learn new social skills and find friends he can form out of school....and build his confidence back.

Bucharest Sat 20-Nov-10 08:46:04

Your poor son. You need to make the school do something. Go back in and insist on having a proper talk with the head, the pastoral care person etc. Sounds as if your son is being bullied to me and the school must not be allowed to let that go.

Takver Sat 20-Nov-10 15:58:59

It definitely seems like you need to ask the school for support & help with this.

There's a book often recommended on here called 'The Unwritten Rules of Friendship' which you might find helpful to look through. Its not a cure-all, and it is written for adults, so not necessarily that easy to share with a child, but it does have some helpful advice in it I think.

stoatsrevenge Sat 20-Nov-10 16:59:36

A bigger school may be the answer, as there will be more choice of friends. I'd definitely consider moving him.

piscesmoon Sat 20-Nov-10 17:14:54

I would look into moving him. If this isn't possible I would go to school and ask to see the bullying policy-excluding is bullying -and someone should be working hard to include him.

ommmward Sat 20-Nov-10 17:57:04

move schools or home educate - build his confidence up again without being in the jungle of the school playground

moid Sat 20-Nov-10 18:04:53

My 9 year old DS1 had no friends through Years R to Y4 despite me doing all the socialising I could muster, clubs etc.. But now in Year 5 he has started to make a couple of friends. It is a big school with quite a turnaround of pupils which may help.

Like your son he was/is a bit of a misfit, gets into trouble, teachers find him hard work and therefore not very supportive. The more I stressed on it the more stressed he became, how much of your anxiety is he picking up on??

moid Sat 20-Nov-10 18:06:16

Also what is he good at ? Give him opportunities to thrive and build self esteeem.

MrsDinky Sat 20-Nov-10 23:04:05

I'm just starting to work on some of the things in that book with DS (yr 2) for similar reasons, he is generally liked but doesn't play too well with other children and is being picked on regularly by one boy, his school are supportive but not having much success with this boy, who pinches, kicks, pokes every time the teacher's back is turned.

I am trying to help DS cope by making himself less vulnerable, more assertive, surrounding himself with nicer children etc, however I am going to be going. back into school this week to ask what steps they are taking to help the other boy realise his behaviour is unnacceptwble., my DS is not the only one who has had problems with him.

The book is well worth a try I think.

Takver Sun 21-Nov-10 09:05:17

This sounds like a silly question, MrsDinky, but how do you work on it with him? Do you read out some of the examples/role play to him?

I found it a bit unnatural, IYKWIM, especially because of being a US book, so it didn't feel like it was that easy for dd to relate to.

MrsDinky Sun 21-Nov-10 10:35:44

It is a bit tricky, and I have only started with it this week, although I got the book about a year ago as I had a feeling DS was going to need help with social skills.

I've identified which type he is primarily (vulnerable/provocative) and have been reading through the examples and thinking of instances we can relate to in our own lives and explaining it this way, with a bit of role play, eg I pinch him he puts his hand out and says "Stop Pinching me, X" in a loud voice.

I think adapting it to your own examples is the best way, I am going to ask his teacher if there are things DS is doing that are provocative for example, I have seen it a bit for myself waiting in the playground in the morning, but obviously the teacher sees more.

RaisinBoys Sun 21-Nov-10 11:53:00

How horrible for him and you. Ask for the school's anti bullying policy - exclusion, kicking, punching is bullying; make an appointment with the head (or asst head with responsibility for his year group); make your points assertively (take someone with you if it helps). The school CAN do more. They have duty to do more. Primary education is about the social and emotional dvelopment of children as well as the academic. The school cannot magic up friends for your son but they can put strategies in place - buddy system, discussing bullying in circle time, structured games at playtime, etc - that help your son make friends. Incidentally, my 7 year old is not great at making friends - he has 2 lovely friends and they look out for each other. He enjoys school. Will he ever be the "cool kid" with loads of friends? Who knows? He's our cool kid! What we do know is that we give him opportunities to thrive and shine and make sure that school is as happy an experience as it can be. Children are at school for such a large part of their life that schools must act if a child is being treated in this way. Push hard, don't let them fob you off. If all else fails, then consider a move. There are other fab schools out there. GOOD LUCK!! Hope things are better for your son soon

wheelsonthebus Mon 22-Nov-10 16:34:51

I agree with wynkenblykenandnod. yr current school should help here. Moving schools won't necessarily help, but your child is clearly unhappy which is awful - and that isn't conducive to learning at all. In extremis, consider a move - but meanwhile, tell the teacher and if necessary the head, that much more pastoral care is needed in this case.

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