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Ds (7yo) not coping that well well with teasing(7 Posts)
DS has just started y3, he's one of the youngest in his year, and also small for his age (growth delay). Which means he's not great at sports, and lacks confidence a little. Feedback from school on friendships has always been positive, though he's not really settled into a defined friendship group - there are another four or so boys he regards as his closest friends - they all live very close to each other and see each other out of school a fair bit, but not that near to us. They are also all quite into sports. I've always seen them as nice boys.
Since being back at school, there have been four instances where he's come home a bit upset at teasing - varying degrees of meanness - e.g. "you're too small to be in year 3, you should be in year 1". The teasing is coming from this group of boys. I've talked about the difference between friendly teasing (where both sides think it's funny), mean teasing (where the other person wants to make you sad) and silly teasing (where they think they're just being funny but ends up hurting feelings). He thinks it's silly teasing. He's sensitive to comments about his size (as am I!), and he struggles to brush them off.
Not sure what to do to help - how to boost his confidence to deal with this, whether to speak to the teacher, whether to speak to the mums (I know that's normally not recommended, but I think at least a couple of them wouldn't be happy that they've been saying what they have).
Speak to his teacher and ask her to have a word? And, whilst aknowledging his upset, keep telling him that they're being completely daft. And that sometimes it takes a while to find a sport you enjoy and are good at but there is one out there.
Thank you. His teacher seems pretty approachable, so I could just mention it so it can be kept an eye on.
could you enroll him in karate? it's a sport that you can excel at regardless of size. just thinking if there was something he felt good about he might be better able to take the teasing until he grows.
how delayed is his growth (normal based on family history or on a path to medical treatment which may include some counselling).
FGS I wish people would stop describing this sort of thing as 'teasing'. That's a very nasty thing to say. I'm another shortie and the constant comments from other kids, not to mention well-meaning adults assuming you are younger and treating you as such, can really wear down self-esteem. This matters. Please keep an eye on his emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Could you maybe role play with him telling them they're upsetting him, if he thinks they're genuinely just being thoughtless, not deliberately mean? Boys do 'banter' and not realise they've overstepped the mark...as do girls. I had these 'friends' as well as the outright bullies, and some assertiveness skills would have helped as lot. If they react badly, they're not his friends - and I would then talk to their mums.
Having a word with the teacher is a good idea, they could do some diversity, valuing everyone, we're all different etc work.
Keep praising him. Especially emphasise instances of mature behaviour. There are good books available for kids to raise their self-esteem, and for parents - sounds like he may be highly sensitive, maybe Google highly sensitive child etc.
out2pasture, funnily enough he's just started karate, first time today! so I'm hoping he will enjoy it. His growth delay was likely due to feeding problems as a baby, he's probably about 18 months behind actual age (not had a bone age x ray yet) - though we're a tall family so less drastic than it might have been. He should catch up by adulthood, he's still tracked by a paed, but hormones all fine. Puberty time may be tricky, but we'll deal with that when we get there!
Broken11Girl, I know what you mean by the word teasing. I think he's not sure even about friendly banter though, which is why I'm keen that he can see the difference. I am a bit worried about the impact on his self esteem. He's ahead of the game academically, which helps a bit, though it doesn't have the same kudos! I will do a bit of reading, thank you.
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