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DS bullied because he doesn't like football

(16 Posts)
nilpoints Fri 11-Sep-15 23:03:24

DS started Year 3 at new prep school this week and has been bullied for not liking or being good at football. DS is sporty but likes tennis, swimming and cycling i.e. sports that don't feature on the Games curriculum three times a week. DH and I hate watching football but encouraged DS to play at Little Kickers etc without any success. Any advice from parents with DS who don't enjoy football?

BarbarianMum Sat 12-Sep-15 08:45:24

Neither of my two have any interest in football. Do you mean he's left out at break time? If so, he needs to find out the other boys who don't like it either - there are bound to be some, unless there are very few boys in the school. Does he like Minecraft or anything like that? It can also be useful to say you support a mainstream team even if you are not really that bothered although this will require you to feign a bit of interest. Mine have never bothered though.

nagynolonger Sat 12-Sep-15 08:58:40

Only one of my five boys ever enjoyed playing football. Looking back the others did probably 'fake' an interest in it. They knew football facts and joined in a kick around in the playground.

My sons always swam and enjoyed cross country running. They also played tennis and cricket outside of school.

I can't believe there are no other boys who don't like football. Is he in a very small school/school year?

nilpoints Sat 12-Sep-15 09:31:04

DS has football at games several times a week at a London prep. Unbeknown to me this prep is a massive football school. The other boys were aggressive and did something quite nasty to DS because they thought it was his fault they lost their match last week. DS has wide ranging interests. To avoid him becoming a social parish, I think we will need to do a crash course on football, find a mainstream team for him to support and help him to feign interest and be comfortable joining a kick along and keep up with the conversation.

NotCitrus Sat 12-Sep-15 09:43:56

If he's being bullied, then have a word with the teacher - though if it's a prep it may be a small one-form entry and a posse of football-obsessed boys in his class, which would make it harder to find other friends. Ds hates football (though it's been made clear that walking out of PE class isn't an option!), and across 3 forms in his year there's about half a dozen boys happy to do other things like imaginative games at playtime. The vast majority seem incapable of seeing that play doesn't have to mean football, though in older years some play basketball and other games.

icandoaforwardroll Sat 12-Sep-15 11:41:41

No, the aggressive children need a boot up the backside. Do NOT blame your DS for this.

I'm not saying that doing a little bit of research isn't a good idea, but at the end of the day aggressive behaviour is bullying and should not be tolerated.

RachelZoe Sat 12-Sep-15 13:06:31

We had the opposite problem with one of my kids schools, also private, he loves football (plays for an academy now) and they all picked on him because he didn't like Rugby and Cricket hmm/didn't know how to play etc. Got called a "chav" and all of that (his fake diamond studs and reeboks did not help that situation grin)

He moved eventually as the school finished at 13 but we dealt with it at the time by getting the school to address the kids, your son shouldn't have to change because of them. Mine didn't, he carried on with his football while they did their thing, got into his other interests etc. I would encourage that instead, build up his confidence etc. Concentrate on the sports he does love, get him extra lessons outside of school etc, then come summer time when it's time for tennis he will be in his element. Maybe see if you can have him compete in tennis/swimming outside of school too.

I'm sorry you're going through this, it's horrible to watch I know flowers
definitely speak to the school and have them address this, it's bang out of line.

roguedad Sat 12-Sep-15 16:18:59

I'd suggest talking to the school about both the bullying and the Games curriculum. On the latter point: The job of a school sports dept is to assess your kid for what they might be good at and offer some options they might enjoy - NOT to browbeat him into playing some herd game in which he has no interest. I eventually moved my son to get away from that kind of crap - take none of it. My son enjoys swimming, karate and cycling, and is now at a school with a good pool. He could do now karate in school but has stayed in his club outside. He does not play rugby or football, along with a large fraction of the boys. When it comes to Senior School choose carefully!!

OsmiumPhazer Sat 12-Sep-15 16:59:23

I'm old enough and often arrogant enough to be at an age when I don't have to pretend I enjoy football. A cleaner at work recently tried to engage me in a conversation about a game, and I cut her off. Although I regretted cutting her off like that, her assumption that I would enjoy watching football was my reasoning. There were plenty of occasions in the past when I could just about 'fake it' as I have attended a few live games and would listen to the results. However especially for a boy in the UK, the peer pressure is more pronounced, something I experienced myself. My DS has a passing interest in football, he belongs to a Little Kickers club and we have a kick about now and again. I suppose I may have encouraged in interest for my DS as I want him to 'fit in' I suppose. I know what it was like to feel left out, but the upside for me as that I do not follow the herd and consider myself a maverick.

Seryph Sat 12-Sep-15 19:42:16

Maybe he could make friends with some of the non-football-playing kids, even if they are girls!
I wouldn't pretend to like football just to make some ignorant children in his class happy. Talk to the teacher and get the bullying issue sorted, it's totally unacceptable.
I hated football as a kid, as did my best friend. So during the summer months when the boys played football he spent some time playing with me, and some days he would "be ref" for the boys. All that entailed was keeping score and shouting the odd football sounding phrase! I spent those days seeing how far I could get with the football when I stole it and ran off!

Minicaters Sat 12-Sep-15 20:07:51

Yes follow up on the behaviour at school.

My DS (Y2) plays with girls a fair bit. This year we will be encouraging an interest in match attax cards. He loves numbers, a lot of his friends love football, match attax seems a good meeting point.

Geraniumred Sat 12-Sep-15 21:01:59

It isn't unusual for boys to have to pretend to like football, just so they have someone to play with. This seems to me to be terribly wrong, but I know it happens and it usually starts at year 3.

nilpoints Sat 12-Sep-15 21:06:19

Thank you for all your responses especially the perspective of the dads. DS' school is all boys so sadly he doesn't have the option of playing with girls. It's tough being a male who is not interested in the national obsession that is football. Roguedad this experience has certainly made me reconsider our choice of senior school.

Geraniumred Sat 12-Sep-15 21:09:27

I should. It is hard enough going through life with your own unique interests and personality, without having to try to fake any of it.

Lovewearingjeans Sun 13-Sep-15 21:23:31

My ds is nine and doesn't hold back on how much he hates football, though he is lucky that he has a group of friends who feel the same, although they are obsessed with Minecraft and Pokemon. Football takes over our school field at lunch times, so even if other children wanted to play other group games, it is difficult.

Molliepolly Sun 13-Sep-15 21:48:07

My son yr3 in a prep hates football - am watching with interest

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