Helping DS (Reception) deal with "scuffles"
Would like some advice please.
DS has had a few issues with "scuffles" (albeit one sided) with class mates.
Today we went to a school friend's "whole class" birthday party. It was lovely - lovely kids, fun party. DS was playing with one of the other boys and their was lots of chasing, pulling each other along on a sort of sled, and a bit of harmless wrestling (I was watching, both were smiling and happy). At lunch the two boys were sitting next to each other during lunch. The other boy was teasing DS a little and then pulled DS's hair. I saw it, it wasn't "malicious", but DS cried out and cried. I went over and comforted DS, the other boy immediately (and unprompted) apologised. I think that DS was overtired (and possibly a little over sensitive), but he seemed genuinely distressed. The party was ending the anyway.
Tonight, whilst snuggling up
At bed time, DS went over the whole thing a number of times and how he doesn't like the other boy and doesn't want to invite him to his birthday party (a good few months away). I acknowledged that pulling hair really isn't nice, but said that he had had fun playing with the other boy and that I felt that the other boy really liked him and was just trying to play with him (although obviously pulling hair isn't the way to do it). I feel this is true: I don't see any maliciousness, only a real desire from the other boy to play with DS. I reminded DS that the boy had said "sorry" and that I am sure that he can have fun playing with him again, at school, tomorrow.
DS then told me about another school friend hitting him on the head with a tennis racket. The school deal with scuffles "in house" (and DS described that the other boy was told off and apologised) and I trust them (and trust them to raise any serious problems).
DS is an only child and doesn't have the usual "sibling scuffles" to get him used to this sort of thing.
How do I help him deal with these situations (both physically and emotionally)? I am generally a "pick yourself up, dust yourself off, bury the hatchet and move on" person, BUT I want to ensure that DS feels supported, that he feels he is listened to and his concerns taken seriously. I want to get the right balance. How can I do this?
DS1 (now 20) really didn't like this sort of thing at all (DS2 didn't either but he'd give back as good as he got) This unprovoked violence seems to be a sort of male bonding thing that (lots of) boys do and it continues up to about 14 and progresses to punches and kicks .Sadly it is often dismissed as 'rough' play and 'boys being boys' which I think is grossly unfair on the boys that don't do that sort of thing
.This was at a naice rural primary and grammar school too.
On balance it is probably better than the bitchy head games that girls play though.But that's another thread!
I would speak to the teacher and explain that whilst yes you are happy for them to deal with it, he isn't happy as a result of it so what can they do.
One of my daughters has suffered A LOT with nastiness from other girls, comments about her looks, her hair, things she likes or doesn't like, her lunchbox etc etc etc. not major things so the school haven't done much or just speak to them and leave it and it continues of course as soon as staff are out of earshot but she is very unsettled by it. In the long run I suppose she really does just need to learn to ignore them but that is a lot easier said than done.
Would he feel confident to say to the other boy, I like playing with you but I don't like it when you pull my hair as it hurts. Then he has explained he doesn't like it but he does like the boy. It puts him in control of the situation rather than you or a teacher having to deal with it, it gives the other boy the information he needs in order to realise he is upsetting your son and it might help. It would take confidence to do it but if he can build his confidence then he will feel less bothered by their behaviour probably. This is what we are trying to do with my daughter at the moment.
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