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Y3 Son always left out(29 Posts)
Hey, sorry probably just using this thread to offload...
My son goes to a 1 class per year group school. He's been there since reception and is now in year 3. He's a lovely, kind and creative kid, very polite, not sporty, he's very well behaved and studious. He enjoys playing with some children at school and their parents are incredibly cliquey and as a result my son is being excluded from so much socially, it's really effecting his confidence.
For context- it's a very small state school in the posh part of a very middle class area. The catchment area is 750m from the school and the majority of those houses are very large fancy houses. The other parents are at least 7-10 years older than me, nuclear family etc. I couldn't be more different- I was a very young mum, on benefits for a bit, not with my son's dad, was not living with my partner when he started the school so I suppose a single mum, living in a HA house just in the catchment area and I have a disability... (so outing!)
It feels like no matter how much effort we put in, my son is always the forgotten about child. He's friends with everyone, but they're always better friends with someone else if that makes sense? I was constantly having various children back to mine in an effort for him to develop better friendships with his class. One half term we had 12 different children over- he was invited back, just once in return. When we has birthday parties we were either having every single boy from his class invited or the whole class. As he has a large age gap with his younger siblings, when we would do occasional trips out he would invite a class mate so he would have someone to hang out with. There's never anything in return. It got to the point with play dates where I decided that unless it was reciprocated then the child wouldn't be invited back again. In most cases there's a SAHM and no very young siblings, such difficult circumstances making it difficult to return- they happily have other children over, just not mine.
We are constantly hearing about birthday parties that he isn't invited to, watching other children go off together after school, and it's never ever my boy that's included.
A few years ago he joined an after school activity and was doing amazingly, the 3 other boys from his class joined. I was pregnant and with a young toddler at the time so often struggled whilst we were there. The mums of the 3 other boys started taking it in turns to pick each others boys up from school, have them at theirs for a play date then take them all to the class. We would often have to walk down the road home with them all and head off alone with my son upset and not wanting to go to the activity, then he would see them there later and be upset so we eventually stopped. It just didn't seem to occur to them that this might be quite upsetting for him. Similar thing happened when we was at another activity- there was 6 children from his class in total in the group and one afternoon we saw one parent pick the 5 other children up for a play date at theirs before heading to the activity. I don't get how people can be so thoughtless?
Anyway, it's my son's birthday coming up and I told him that this year we are only doing something small- a cinema trip and take away at ours. It was 1 of the boys on his list's birthday the weekend just gone, apparently they are good friends at school, the parent is part of the clique... I saw photos online of him having a party at his house with the other clique children- all children my son says are his friends at school
He seems happy enough at school (not being outrightly bullied) but is now at an age where he seems to really notice when he's not invited to anything. I've spoken to the school as was concerned that maybe he was actually being left out at school as well but the feedback I received was that he's always playing with someone and seems popular. I know the school can't do anything about cliquy parents.
I feel like it's my fault he's being left out. I couldn't be any more different to the children's parents if I tried. I don't want to be part of the clique but I feel it's so unfair that my son is constantly excluded from everything because i'm not part of it.
I think the 1 class per year makes it so much more obvious as well. I've put his name down for a few different schools which are much bigger though i'm not sure if this is the right thing to do.
I actually find the school playground worse as an adult than I did as a child!
I have the same issues with my son. Currently in year 1 and about to start year 2.
Nothing to do with financial status in this case but again very cliquey sorts of parents who have known each other a lot longer and socialise out of school together a lot, even going abroad together and so on - you get the drift!
My son is constantly excluded and it drives me insane
I've spoken to school many many times and they can't see the issue apparently which I find impossible to believe to be honest and I am seriously considering moving him but would wait until year 3 as class sizes can be slightly bigger at this point so we would have more chance at getting in.
Would your son want to move?
Hi, I really felt for you reading this post and can imagine how upsetting this must be. I think in such a small cohort I would be inclined to say something to one of the mums you perceive as the most caring. It maybe that they are so wrapped up in their lives this has not registered. You can rely on her to spread the word. I would keep it very low key but be direct. I would simply tell her how your son feels and would it be possible for him to be included a little more. I can't imagine that once approached they would be so heartless as to continue in the same manner with a little boy's feelings in question. Hope it works out!
That is awful behaviour from parents hopefully thoughtless more than deliberate but unacceptable either way.
I am not sure how you can fix it. I would join a different club outside of school and hopefully he will get a social life there and he won't be as upset about being left out at school. I doubt these kids will be the kindest friends anyway with such thoughtless/mean parents.
(I think it's a good idea anyway to have friends away from school I had a good group of friends at a dance class and it made peer pressure easier to avoid later on as I had other friends so happy to get along with school friends but wasn't reliant on them)
Really hard, especially when adults are the problem!
I would find it quite difficult not to say anything to them...
Maybe you need to ask a mum along with the child? Share a drink. I think this is my idea of hell but I wonder if they very naturally invite children over when they enjoy nattering to the mum. The SAHM thing is key this is more about their social life than the children.
But beware is there any reason why the children might not like your son? Something silly ? To miss everything and not be invited surely the children aren't asking to see your son?
I hate all this I work so my son misses a lot as I can't return the play date favour and he doesn't like football so is not in the crowd... I guess we just have to let themrealise real life ain't all peaches!?
Other sneaky trick is to ask someone to do you a favour and pick up your son. Make up an excuse even or pre the activity. Just ask... most mums will say yes especially as a one off...
I doubt it's anything to do with you being 'different'.
My dc3 and I are in the same situation as you. I'm not that different to most of the parents, my dc1 and 2 had no problems with play dates, parties etc, and I made a few friends among the parents. None of us had as many invitations/play dates etc as most of the others, but we were OK. We didn't feel left out.
Dc3 went to a different primary. Same town, same demographic. Only difference is that most of dc3's classmates are 1stborns, so many of the parents are a bit younger than me. (But then so were some at the other school.) We have had exactly the same experience at this school as you have had: unreciprocated play dates, virtually no birthday invites, parents making pickup/drop off arrangements that exclude us - to the extent of refusing liftshare offers "we're sorted", or offering liftshares but rejecting or ignoring us. I haven't managed to make any friends, either.
Teachers haven't seen any problems. In their opinion dc3 is sociable and has many friends in class.
I don't know the solution.
Full sympathy here. I like the suggestion of pp Natalie. Changing schools is an option, but if it's a case that your DS is left out because he is shy and non-sporty, the same could happen in a new sch too. He sounds like a lovely boy btw.
I'd second the asking another mum if she could pick him up one night for you, it's quite a good way in. The problem is that the other mum's are cliquey with each other and where there's a clique there's competition. It won't be that they're purposely leaving you out, it's that you haven't entered into the competition. It's a big indicator of the insecurity of the parents, rather than a dig at you. Not that this makes it right of course!
Ask for a favour with pick up, then offer a pick up/play date in return. Ask if they'd like a coffee/tea whilst the children play. I wouldn't be too worried if he's being included whilst at school and soon he'll be old enough to choose his own friends for parties and socialising.
I agree with the playground though, I don't particularly like ours!
Thank you for all your relies
I'm terrible at confronting people. I really should talk to one of them about this- I don't want to seem like the emotional unstable dramatic young idiot causing drama but that's probably my anxiety making me think that's what they'll make of my pointing it out.
Really need to get my big girl pants on and just get it out there.
He's very very unsporty and Incredibly clumsy as well. I kind of think he may have slight dyspraxia. He has no confidence where most sports (particular football) are concerned. This is probably partly another reason why he struggles as he has such bad metal block that he won't even kick a football around at home so doesn't get involved with break time games
Have you taken him to the doctors regarding dyspraxia? As many things that can help if this is the case, GP will be able to open those doors for you.
Have you looked at art clubs rather than sports ones?
I am sorry to say that where I live, it is very much leaving out people who are different. Parents are in cliques and there is only room for a certain type of person to be admitted. They grouped together by perceived self-satisfied achievement. We think my DH was over-achieving and we were older. I still could not see why their jealousy had to be taken out on children though. So it is not just younger parents who are left out, or ones with less money. If you are "not like them" they are not interested.
My eldest was left out continually. When the children decide who they want to invite, things change. For us that was in Y6 but we had already decided the only way for her to be included was to go to boarding school in Y7. Rather extreme and obviously not a solution for everyone!
I am not sure parents like this care remotely about other children, but I think you have nothing to lose by approaching someone who appears friendly. My elder DD was left out all the time and it was heartbreaking. She even ended up being told by one girl that she could come to her party even though an invitation had not been issued. All her "friends" were going and DD knew she had been left out. I decided to check with the Mum if it was OK before I bought a present. I heard her say to her child: "Why on earth did you say X could come? You know I do not have enough party bags for any more children. How could you possibly think we could have another child come to the party?". I put the phone down and signed up for the boarding school. Best thing we ever did. She is now 24 and has the closest set of wonderful school friends. Not in touch with anyone from primary school at all. She has successfully moved on.
I had to accept that some people are not worth knowing. My DD was also dropped from car sharing arrangements. She thought she had friends. This is why it is so tough because they slowly get to realise that these children are not friends at all. The parents create this.
I am not really sure what the solution is, other than having a quiet chat. If it is no better, then move on to another school if you can. My DD had a place in grammar school which we gave up so she could start again elsewhere.
Could you get involved with your schools parent-teacher association and build relationships that way? I'm younger than most parents at our school and found that was my way 'in'. Another thing to consider is finding out what outside school activities the kids your son hangs out with do and join
Agree with the poster who said most people are wrapped up in their own lives and probably aren't being intentionally unkind.
Your post & BubblesBuddy's really resonates with me. I am different from the mums whose children attend the school. My son is a lovely sporty child but is always left out too. We get tears and heartbreak but I continually tell him that he's not the problem, that the problem is me! That they don't like me and I am not their friend. The mums are cliquey and the boys have little choice in who gets invited back to their house.
I can't really tell him that we aren't rich enough or white enough for them! Its really sad as he's in Year 6 now and has been at this school since Reception yet he doesn't have any close friends that we can just call and invite to the park or for a kickabout etc.
I guess what I'm trying to say, is that you aren't alone. I can't wait till he moves on to a new school and hopefully make friends without the influence of their parents.... or is this wishful thinking?
I understand that this is very upsetting but you need to change your attitude.
You see yourself as "different" (this shouldn't be an issue, we are all different right?) and the whole thing is clearly bothering you more than your son, as at schools he plays with other kids and is popular.
Do you feel inferior? Could this be the issue?
If you are getting upset because your son is not invited to a birthday party or a playdate, your son will pick it up.
You can't force other people to invite your son to birthday parties or to play with your son, so it's ridiculous to speak with the school or the parents themselves, to be honest you shouldn't want to be involved with this sort of people anyway.
You talk about "cliquey parents", are they all "cliquey"? Or do you only want to invite and being invited to parties etc by certain kids? Surely in a whole class there must be someone decent? If not perhaps there is a reason why your son is "left out", like you say.
He seems happy enough at school (not being outrightly bullied)
Being left out is not being bullied, you can't be friends with everyone...
Changing schools? It's an option, but what if nothing changes?
I would suggest for you to find something for your son to do outside school, make friends outside school and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, you need to ask yourself why your son is always left out, there must be a reason.
As for school, it doesn't seem like there is an issue as your son has friends and plays with them. Forget playdates, forget birthday parties, don't let it bother you and maybe it will change. Keep inviting kids over, suggest going to the park together etc...
Stop feeling different start getting more involved.
Being bullied absolutely can be being left out so this is a silly comment
Bullying is how it leads someone to feel.
If child A doesn't want to play with child B because he/she prefers to play with child C, that is not bullying!
This is similar to my situation accept swap younger mother for older mother - it is exactly that he is very sociable but whoever might be a potential bestie somehow is better mates with someone else already
Seems to be 2 large groupings in DS class one of friends where the mothers all work in the health sector and who have no interest whatsoever in including other children in playing with their kids regardless of whether the DC themselves like to play together and another yummy mummy group of mums / DS misses out because he and I are not really part of either group
I have just accepted it as it is I have tried to invite some kids around etc and gone to anything he and I are asked to and hope in time perhaps the cliques will all implode on each other lol
my son is not really bothered he is more of a butterfly socially and I think this is part of the issue in that he enjoys floating about rather than needing a bestie
I can identify with this - I think unfortunately if you are different people can ignore you without it even being conscious. Key point of difference for me is I work FT in a v demanding job, am now fairly senior and v v busy. Other mums mainly sahm's and when they and I do chat they seem to get v competitive with me which I find weird. Birds of a feather do like to flock together. I try and be thick skinned and just keep on inviting even if not reciprocated. It's annoying, but it helps the kids friendships so I suck it up
I also empathise regarding lifts
A classmate did same after school activity as DS I offered to take her DS by car then she said "oh we can do it ourselves thanks" then looked sheepish - no problem but I was merely offering the hand of friendship given I knew her husband was often away
Later found out same lady does pick ups and swoops with another child at another out of school activity as a regular on-going thing - so obviously picking and choosing her favoured car share people
Not bothered her son is rude and after this not keen on her either - a lot of this friendships in cliques is not real and is no loss
Personally I think cubs is good for our if school meeting others kids
Hi I feel for you and your son. I exactly know how you feel. You have done a lot to make things work from what I have gathered. Don't bother doing any more with kids at school. If people are not responding, don't make more effort as some people ( the lot you have described) are takers. The great thing is that he gets on with everyone at school.
Try joining clubs or activities outside school. Great way of making friends outside school. He is missing the interaction and this might be a way forward.
Also don't speak to these lot as they are cliquey and might not solve anything & affect his interactions at school.
I am in Wales, have a dc same age as yours. If I can be of any help, please feel free to PM me.
We had a car sharing arrangement to orchestra, 5 miles away, and the Mum actually told me she was taking another child instead of my DD. She took the chldren and I picked up in the original arrangement but my Dd was just discarded for a child of a parent she preferred. I felt let down and a total misfit: this type of behaviour leaves you at rock bottom.
My DD did get on with children in schoool but the social side was unbelievably hard work. She even joined the school netball club to make friends. Was never picked for the team of course, but the other girls saw her as someone who was dedicated to improving and was actually OK.
The best advice I can offer is that when chldren get to make their own friends and make their own decisions, things can change. Netball in Y6 changed everything but it was too late as we were going elsewhere for Y7. I had loads of invitations to coffee when parents discovered DD was not going to the grammar school for Y7 and would not longer be around their children. I was too polite to tell them the real reason! I have never needed to see them again but I suddenly became very popular! Actually I cannot think why I ever wanted to be friends with them, other than their children were similar in educational terms to mine. I thought that would create some sort of friendship. These parents would never have anyone from the social housing round to tea. One even said to me that she made the "wrong" friends when she first moved into the town and had to shift her strategy to make friends with people more like her whose husbands were on an upward trajectory at work! (Managing a car retailer in her case!).
Secondary school does release you from all of this tosh!
I can sympathise with this.Situation here has similarities: DS1 in single form entry school ,doesn't really fit the " norm " in the class for other reasons and throughout year 3 has been frequently unhappy .
For him it is just within the class though; he really enjoys school in general and takes part in every club going and has friends in other years. Outside of school he has many interests and has friends he sees there.
After a miserable start to year 3,and after discussing it with his teacher who was really helpful he is actually moving schools for year 4.
It is hard in single form schools and comes down to luck who ends up in your child's year group; then that's it until year 7. If there are problems,they won't go away.
The dynamics in my other childrens' classes are really quite different and they have had no such issues.I think DS1 would have been fine had he been in their classes.
Activities outside school have been really helpful in widening the social spectrum for DS1; would your DS go to something like Beavers or Scouts where you don't need special sporty skills? Drama?
Everyone fits in somewhere but you may need to look beyond the school to find his niche.
He's already been offered a place at another school! I'll start a new thread for ideas on how best to integrate him
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