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Will I be THAT parent if I email / see the teacher again?? Is this bullying?

(32 Posts)
RoyTucker Wed 02-Dec-15 16:08:45

DS is 8 and moved to a new school for Yr 4. He is not settling well sad.

I had a meeting with his teacher before half term, there are efforts by the school to help him but it seems to be slow going. I emailed the teacher once to follow up two weeks after half term and got a short reply. We spoke about the issue at Parents' Evening last week and she was at pains to tell me to stop being anxious and leave them to it reassure me that they are monitoring things and doing everything they can.

However, not a day goes by when DS does not tell me about one boy, X, and how he treats DS. X has so far made DS cry, done the thing of "if you don't do as I say you can't be my friend" multiple times, then when DS refuses to play with X, X gets tearful and accuses DS of being mean, X makes snarky comments when DS does well at anything (ie "you always want to win don't you" or "you want to do everything don't you"), shouted at DS to run in cricket seemingly to get DS out even though they were both batting (probably not that deliberately scheming, but that's how it felt to DS), pushed a fair few times in front of DS in the lunch queue, assembly queue etc and told DS that he will get angry if DS objects.

Is this bullying? It feels low level and I may be getting het up as I know I am worried about DS settling in. The latest is that child Y has got involved, accusing DS of lying about something that X did the day before (the making DS cry incident). Child Y also spread a rumour about DS being mean in his first week at the school, saying DS had done something deliberate when it was accidental.

It makes me feel so sad, the school in general is excellent, has great teaching, facilities, ethos (seemingly) but the other kids just don't seem to like DS. If I ask to meet the teacher again will I be seen as that precious overinvolved parent? I will wait until next week anyway as I know they are up to their eyes in concerts etc this week.

irvine101 Wed 02-Dec-15 16:28:51

If the school says, "stop being anxious and leave them to it", can you just do that? And see how it goes since it's not too long from holiday?

I understand you are worried, but the school is aware of what's going on, and sometimes it may take some time to sort problems out.

If it was me, I would leave it, and see how it goes, but if it's still going on after new year, I would speak to teacher.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 02-Dec-15 16:50:45

I agree, unfortunately, he's still the new boy. There are only a couple of weeks of term left and if the teacher says they're on it, then they will be (ime). They know who the troublemakers are in the class and will be watching them.

In answer to your question, no I don't think its bullying. I would question the reliability of an 8 year old's account before I started accusing other boys of bullying. Can your DS get involved in out of school acitivities (football, cricket, rugby etc) as I think sport has a way of breaking down barriers and integrating children more quickly.

I agree that if you feel its still an issue into January then I'd raise it again.

BarbarianMum Wed 02-Dec-15 18:35:54

It could be low level bullying, it could be a personality clash with both boys feeling victimised by the other. It is quite common for both children to see only their point of view in a given situation, or to think something is deliberate and targeted at them when it isn't (eg pushing in the corridor).

In your situation I would leave it and concentrate on encouraging friendships with other children. But if things started up after Christmas again then yes I'd go in and ask for more intervention (but with an open mind as to whether it was bullying or not).

AprilParadox Wed 02-Dec-15 18:43:57

This seems like low level bullying to me and I would definitely talk to the teacher again. It may only seem a few weeks to the holidays for adults but that's a long time for a kid. Who cares if you seem like "THAT" parent. I would want to know exactly what they are doing about it. As long as the parent is polite and nice then its entirely your right to try and make things better for your child.

SunnySomer Wed 02-Dec-15 18:49:29

My DS is also in Y4 and changed school this summer.
It has been a really difficult transition, especially working out where he "fits" in the class - it's quite possible that X's nose is out of joint for some reason (eg was he previously the most alpha male in the class and perceives your DS as competition?). As PP have suggested, I would give it till after Christmas to start to settle - the teacher will be keeping an eye on it, may even rejig tables etc after the holiday. But I do understand how you're feeling - it is torture waiting for your child to regain their mojo.
We've been putting effort into developing friends outside school - theatre group, sports, music etc to stop school relationships feeling like the be-all and end-all.

knickernicker Wed 02-Dec-15 18:53:45

Ive been into school about exactly the same. I might not use the word bullying in the meeting but I'd definitely describe the behaviour and explain how the drip drip of the comments is distressing my child.
I'd be shocked if school said kids should sort this out between themselves.

strawberryandaflake Wed 02-Dec-15 18:55:36

He is the new kid. Boys like to have a pecking order (we're mammals) and it's just normal behaviour for little ones.

It's not bullying, it's just kids. Leave them to it and they'll soon sort themselves out.

babybarrister Wed 02-Dec-15 18:58:50

sorry but I disagree - the children are going to have to sort this out themselves - X and Y may not like your DS - this is sad but is not necessarily bullying.

I would take the steps suggested above - play dates and outside activities with kids your DS does not have a problem with [whether he particularly likes them or not at this juncture]

children aged 8 rightly or wrongly have likes and dislikes about other children - unlike most adults, they do express their opinions. they are also less "portable" and seem to take longer to fit in to new situations as they get older

good luck!

catkind Wed 02-Dec-15 20:36:24

Gosh really people? Sounds very much like bullying to me, in effect if not in intention. Kids sometimes need help with friendship stuff. Particularly joining a new school. It sounds like these ones do, or maybe your DS needs separating from X. They've had most of the term to sort themselves out. I'd want to know what school are doing to help.
What does your DS think about it all? Does he have other friends apart from the dubious X? Have you tried suggesting he ignore X and play with other people?

RoyTucker Thu 03-Dec-15 07:04:36

Thanks all for the thoughts. DS hasn't made any real friends yet. If he ignores X, X gets angry or upset and accuses DS of being mean. DS is getting quite anxious about school in general and is now finding trying new things out of school difficult too. I think I will leave it for this term unless things escalate and go back in Jan if no improvement.

We3KingyOfOblomovAre Thu 03-Dec-15 07:09:57

Very tricky. There is a split as to whether you will be 'that ' parent. Guess you just have to go with your gut instinct.

mummytime Thu 03-Dec-15 07:15:53

Imho - I wouldn't care about being "that" parent, I would talk to the teacher again. In fact Ivwould request a meeting and would be looking for some SMART targets by the end, with ideas of who is going to help him and when achievement against the targets is going to be measured.

The biggest "that parent" I know ensured her children were treated well and helped at school.

It sounds just like bullying to me.
Have you changed country? Or area massively? Is it a tight knit community?

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 03-Dec-15 07:21:11

It doesn't sound to me like the school is doing its best to help your son settle in. X's behaviour is at best, unkind. I would be in, talking to the teacher before the end of term. It is not just going to go away. Your son needs strategies to deal with this, it is the least the school can do, is there a pastoral care coordinator?

Everytimeref Thu 03-Dec-15 07:28:10

Why has your child moved schools?
Have you moved so your child is dealing with that upheaval at the same time as making friends which is making him more sensitive?

RoyTucker Thu 03-Dec-15 09:04:26

Thank you for the support! Much food for thought. Yes we have moved house, area etc so lots of change.

irvine101 Thu 03-Dec-15 09:18:54

I commented I would wait until after Christmas earlier, but if he hasn't found any good friend yet, and pestered by X everyday, I assume situation can be unbearable for 8 year old.

If the school says leave it to them, what are they actually doing, I wonder? Sound like it's going on forever.

Trust your instinct. We don't know whole situation, if you think you should, send email/talk to teacher.

ruthsmaoui77 Thu 03-Dec-15 09:51:34

I think you speak to the teacher again tbh. The longer that this goes on, the harder it will be to fix, it could even escalate with more boys joining X an Y. The school could create a "circle of friends" group for your DS to help him settle. He is new and almost a whole term has gone past without him making any friends so I would argue that it is needed. Having no friends is miserable enough for an 8 year old boy, and I agree that X is being unkind (which would make your DS feel much worse). You are not being reasonable to ask the school to help your son settle. Good Luck xx

catkind Thu 03-Dec-15 11:42:21

Is the school saying leave it to the school? It sounded to me like they were saying leave it to the kids. I don't think that's enough.

Snowglobe18 Thu 03-Dec-15 12:02:01

I would speak to the teacher again. A few weeks feels like forever when you're 8.

DeirdreDoo Thu 03-Dec-15 12:07:38

You're me last term.

What I did was send a long, detailed email about it and then I was phoned and asked to come in to meet with the senco. She had various strategies in place and the class teacher also got right onto it with the child in question.

I think a very important part of it was that my own child was afraid to tell tales, and needed a huge amount of encouragement to get the hang of this, and then she could deal with it as issues arose.

You need to go in and have another meeting. This is bullying and the minute the intervene properly, it will begin to stop.

My son is the same age and had the same problem and within a week of my demanding action, it had ceased and he is transformed and very happy now. Give your son back the power to be alright - but it may be that you need to work together with the school to make sure he tells them whenever an incident occurs.

Halfling Thu 03-Dec-15 12:24:19

Marking place as my DS (7y) seems to be having the same problem. He is being targeted by one of the popular boys in his class who is teasing him incessantly and is encouraging other children to not play with my son. It seems petty to complain to the teacher about the other child but it is breaking my heart to see my DS struggling like this. He even had a poo accident at school, when he has been reliably toilet trained since the age of two. I am afraid of long term psychological effects that this low level teasing and exclusion is causing him.

amarmai Thu 03-Dec-15 15:13:09

why are any mners telling this parent that she shd not beleive her son? OP what matters is what your son thinks of you -NOT what the teacher thinks. Keep a log and when it's enuf to ask for a meeting , ask for the ht to be present also. Take a person in with you so you do not feel outnumbered and you have a witness.

WoodHeaven Thu 03-Dec-15 15:33:13

i would go to the school and ask that your ds and X are separated as much as possible. I would also ask if they can help him making friends (NOT with X!) and encourage other children to play with him/same table to work etc...

I wouldn't talk about bullying as such. It sounds more like a clash of personalities BUT your ds us anxious and you want some help with that side of things wink

What I would do is to look did ways to boost his self confidence. He should be able to face another child who says 'if you don't do xx, I'm not your friend anymore/I'm not inviting you to my b'day party' with a 'And ???'

WoodHeaven Thu 03-Dec-15 15:33:55

How was your ds at his previous school? Any issues with friendship, anxiety etc?

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