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Social exclusion

(10 Posts)
bookeatingboy Wed 11-Jan-17 22:53:44

DS 9 has been part of a group of friends since pre-school. Two boys who were not part of this group (one of them is very possessive towards the other) have recently had a fall out and no longer talk to each other, DS was also friends with one of these two boys (the one who isn't possessive). DS and this boy have been playing together a lot since, they share similar interests so get along really well.

The possessive boy has joined the original group of ds's friends and all of a sudden this group are excluding ds and are being nasty to him.

My gut is telling me that the possessive boy is orchestrating this social exclusion of ds, to make him leave his original friend all alone... ds would never do this, it's not in his nature. DS tells me "they are trying to stop me being friends with * but I won't do that mum". He definitely now feels excluded from the original group but at the same time doesn't seem really unhappy about it.

Firstly are 8/9 year old boys even capable of this degree of manipulation of other children and secondly should I do anything or let things play out and see what happens.

TheMysteriousJackelope Wed 11-Jan-17 23:06:46

Yes, 9 year olds are capable of a surprising level of manipulation, exactly the same kind of behavior that you find from adults on many Mumsnet threads. It shouldn't be surprising as obviously those manipulative adults had to come from somewhere.

If your DS isn't bothered about the friend group can he join another group? One with a lot less drama? I would foster friendships in that new group, invite people over etc. while continuing the friendship with the boy with whom he shares common interests.

I think I would also mention it to the teacher to see if he/she has any advice. They may not be aware if it is very subtle. It can destroy the atmosphere in a classroom because it is liable to spread.

bookeatingboy Thu 12-Jan-17 11:55:36

I can't be sure that ds isn't bothered, this is just my belief, he says he is sad but at the same time he is clearly enjoying this new friendship. I have tried lots of playdates with other dc in his class but he has never really wanted to be lasting friends with any other dc other than his original group of friends.

I have always encourage my dc to have a variety of friends rather than to just focus on one friend for exactly the very reason we are in this situation. I'm shocked how quickly this possessive boy has turned everyone against ds TBH.

I guess you are right they can indeed be manipulative... ds's new friends mum told me this morning that possessive boy told her ds yesterday that he is "going to get him excluded from school"!

I'm actually concerned now that ds could find himself completely isolated, so I will have a chat with CT.

bojorojo Thu 12-Jan-17 12:28:39

Possessive boy is more than possessive. He sounds like a child that one would really like to avoid. Other boys may come to realise this. Friendships are fluid. They may come back together again. Do they do things like football together and outside school clubs or are they just at school together? If the new boy seems fine, then be happy that this child is pleasant and good company. I would chat to the teacher though. It sounds as if there are unpleasant rumblings in the class.

Cinthy Thu 12-Jan-17 12:52:09

It is hard already at this age. There are already "leaders" and "opinion leaders". It is hard for a young person not to get discouraged. Being excluded is tough not just at this age.
and I totally get and think that you should be concerned.
Try to talk to the teacher first but it is a delicate situation and you have to act real carefully not to make things worse!

TheMysteriousJackelope Thu 12-Jan-17 12:56:09

I would definitely tell the teacher about the getting excluded comment.

Possessive boy could easily engineer situations where it appears like your DS has shoved him to the ground or whisper nasty comments to your DS that lead him to shout insults back at the boy - making it appear like your DS is aggressive for no reason. The teacher needs to know this is in the wind so he/she can be within earshot of possessive boy. If he is like the typical manipulative 9 year old he'll be as sweet as pie any time an adult is close by.

If a group is ganging up on your DS and the other boy it is bullying, at the least it is nasty behavior that is going to make the class over dramatic and unpleasant for all the children, not a place conducive for learning. The teacher needs to know about this too.

Are there parallel classes in the year? If this isn't sorted soon it may be worth asking if your DS can move classes or at least be kept separate from possessive boy for the rest of his time at the school when it comes to class assignments.

bookeatingboy Thu 12-Jan-17 13:19:48

Possessive boy could easily engineer situations where it appears like your DS has shoved him to the ground or whisper nasty comments to your DS that lead him to shout insults back at the boy - making it appear like your DS is aggressive for no reason. The teacher needs to know this is in the wind so he/she can be within earshot of possessive boy. If he is like the typical manipulative 9 year old he'll be as sweet as pie any time an adult is close by.

You have it spot on The mysterious This is exactly what I believe this boy is doing, from what ds is saying. I've told him to stay away from the group but they are seeking ds and noce boy out to torment. Nice boy from the original twosome is getting this treatment too from what mum is saying. She is very apologetic and worrying that her ds's fall out with possessive boy is the cause of ds's exclusion from his original friendship group.

I am worried about making the situation worse, but it doesn't sit well with me to just let things run as they are.

TheMysteriousJackelope Thu 12-Jan-17 15:29:04

I would write an email to the teacher describing exactly what has been going on in as factual and unemotional a way as possible, including the threat to get your DS excluded and that your DS tries to avoid the children but they seek him out. Sending an email can provide you with proof that the school has been notified and that the teacher has read the letter.

I don't see how the situation can be made any worse apart from the boy escalating to get DS alienated by the whole class, which he probably will do anyway in time. Given he is manipulating in a sneaky fashion it is likely that being called on it by the teacher and is being watched will slow him down a bit.

bookeatingboy Thu 12-Jan-17 15:49:10

I think that's great advice TheMysteriousJackelope

I'll get an email drafted and forwarded to CT.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 21:30:08

you do see to be very deepy invested in your child's friendships. Personally I would just back off a bit, and let him find his own way, maybe encourage other activities and friends

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