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Can you do anything if your DS is just very unpopular and considered wierd and boring by his peers?

(32 Posts)
helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:00:42

<Sigh> Please come and cheer me up. I'm a regular but have changed my name for this because I once shared something similar to this on a thread and a week later someone used it to attack me on another totally unrelated thread which unaccountably depressed me. I am so sad about this that I just don't want to have to deal with that sort of behaviour hence the probably unnecessary namechange, but there you go.

This is what he said, which gives the lie of the land: "When J tells a joke, everyone laughs and says how funny but if I told the same joke, they'd say gaylord or wierdo or something - even it's the same joke!"

The fact is, they just don't like him. sad

Reasons he states: "because I've got ginger hair and a lisp". But I don't think children are actively disliked for those reasons, it's things to pick on if you already dislike someone. He's 10 btw. Any advice?

QOD Wed 09-Sep-09 22:04:58

sad isnt it
I bet he is a bit like my dd, an easy target because they have deeper feelings, she has no siblings, does he? I find that those with siblings are much much tougher & harder to pick on than singletons

helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:11:04

He has a little sister, 2 years younger, but she's much tougher than him - v. pretty, charming, popular and sometimes steals his thunder.

Bumblingbovine Wed 09-Sep-09 22:12:21


I'm not sure I can help much but I didn't want to let this go unanswered. It is heartbreaking when our children go through this sort of thing. Often the least 'popular' children grow up to be the most interesting and successful adults, though that isn't much consolation now I know.

Perhaps he just needs a bit of help in friend making skills. Have you read this book? The unwritten rules of friendship It gives all sorts of exercises you can do with him to help him learn the 'rules of friendship'.

squilly Wed 09-Sep-09 22:16:18

~I have no wisdom on this, but I just wanted to say how sad it made me.

As a kid I was horribly unpopular. I was called plague by the kids in my secondary school and was bullied quite relentlessly. I left school with few social skills and no friends. I couldn't face work, so went to full time business college instead.

I loved it there. Made new friends, quiet ones at first, but livelier in the later years. I somehow managed to sort out some confidence and self belief and that turned things around.

I look back at my life and I figure that being bullied made me tougher, though God knows I'd cross mountains to stop my dd having to go through anything like this, so don't think I'm saying this is a good thing. It's not.

BUT...he sounds like his mum is offering him love and support and hopefully, he'll realise that the superficial stuff doesn't really make a lot of difference in this life. He's worth a lot because of who he is, not how he looks or sounds. I wish I'd had a mum who cared about things as much as you do as I'm sure that would have made me feel less alone.

I hope things work out well for you...

helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:25:16

oh thank you Squilly you've nearly made me cry... I just feel so helpless, it's something he has to sort out for himself and find a way of functioning in the world as part of a peer group and I don't know how I can help him do it.

Thanks for the book recommendations Bumbling, I had to restrain myself from immediately putting about 5 of those titles in the basket grin. Will check if the library have any of them before I start investing massively.

stealthsquiggle Wed 09-Sep-09 22:26:18

I was going to recommend the same book as bumblingbovine. We assume that everyone knows how to make friends, but DC can need help in this just like in anything else.

gomez Wed 09-Sep-09 22:30:09

Why do you think they don't like him? Or I suppose more bluntly can you understand why they don't - is he boring and weird to your average 10 year old do you think? You may be able to help him develop techniques and behaviours which will help him to interact with his peers.

noideawhereIamgoing Wed 09-Sep-09 22:31:09

Helplessmummy this was just the thread I needed tonight - having similar probs. I know it doesn't help you though.

Have ordered the book suggested by BumblingB.
I just feel so helpless and all my strategies so far have been fruitless.

wonderingwondering Wed 09-Sep-09 22:31:26

Does he go to any out of school clubs or sport? It might give him a new start and new group of friends, to build his confidence before he moves to secondary school when he'll be mixing with a larger group, and he might more easily find people like him.

danthe4th Wed 09-Sep-09 22:32:47

Concentrate on life outside school, develop some new interests, find some clubs that he can enjoy its a good way of making friends outside of school but the children will be going to the same high school as him so hopefully he can start high school fresh. Try scouts or a martial art.

wonderingwondering Wed 09-Sep-09 22:32:50

People like him meaning people he can identify with better, more on his wavelength.

helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:44:10

gomez, he's quite intense, very imaginative, gets into games and loses himself in them, very talkative and doesn't notice if he's not being listened to... yes I can see why an average 10 year old might not immediately warm to him. I think a lot of kids might not particularly dislike him, though, but if an opinion-leader singles him out as being undesirable, then others follow suit.

Have tried out of school clubs, he does football, swimming and has done judo but gave up because he got fed up of being hurt all the time (he was the smallest one in his age group and it's not supposed to matter in judo, but it does).

He's just not aggressive - will give up if something is very hard and will not stand his ground. So I think they also see that he's a bit of a soft touch. I try at home to ensure that his sister doesn't get away with dominating him (even though he's older than her) but that doesn't seem to be helping much.

helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 22:45:07

he also plays the guitar and piano - I thought outside interests would help build up his self-esteem and self- confidence etc.

mmrsceptic Wed 09-Sep-09 22:46:12

Hi, I can't help much except to say that exclusion in this way CAN definitely push you forward in a good way. It happened to me. Much harder to "move out" of a discomfort zone rather than a comfort zone. Also, I can remember being like this at school and two things that helped were:

My mum not pretending. She would say "You are just as good as they are. Repeat after me" and I would say "I am just as good as they are etc" and it would make me feel better. Sounds ridiculous or simplistic but your family thinking you are great and enjoying your company means a lot.

Humour at home. Laughing, knowing you CAN have good fun and don't need to crave approval at school so much. Don't mope around him and be sort of drippy about it.

Just to boost his confidence a little, temporarily, and longer term that book people have recommended sounds great.

bloss Wed 09-Sep-09 22:58:05

Message withdrawn

TheFallenMadonna Wed 09-Sep-09 23:03:50

Have you spoken to his teacher about things? Ds was miserably unhappy for a while, and when I went ot see the teacher she explained the problems he had playing with other children. We had to teach him some strategies to deal with it, and although he still doesn't really 'get' why doing things in a particular way gets him more social interaction, he knows that it works. And then it's up to him to choose whether he does it or not. DS is slightly odd really. But he has strategies for being less odd. Not saying your DS is odd, but a similar strategic approach might work with him too perhaps?

TheFallenMadonna Wed 09-Sep-09 23:05:43

Ah now you see bloss put it much better. And didn't use the word 'odd'. Sorry blush

helplessmummy Wed 09-Sep-09 23:14:18

LOL, don't worry FallenMadonna, I'm not sensitive about him being called odd, that's the least of my worries with him!

I just wish he had better social skills. It's funny, with younger children he is brilliant - very kind, considerate, helpful, looks after them, makes sure they're properly included in the games - they all love him. If only he was as adept with his own age group.

Thanks for all this advice, it is really helpful and making me feel far less despairing. Am going to bed now but will come back on tomorrow to see if anyone has added anything. BTW for anyone who is also experiencing this, I found this bit of kidscape v. helpful

mimsum Wed 09-Sep-09 23:46:54

I have two 'odd' boys and a very socially adept younger dd so I understand your worries

funnily enough, although bloss' description fits ds1 to a 't', he doesn't get isolated at school - on the contrary he's very popular, which I have to say I find quite surprising. He's physically very attractive, which shouldn't make a difference, but obviously does, and he's also got this fizzing, slightly manic Pied Piper-like quality which other children find fascinating - he says and does the things that they'd love to but wouldn't dare

ds2 is much gentler, much less OTT but much more prone to being bullied - he does much better when he feels completely comfortable in a situation, so at school, where he's surrounded by kids he's known since nursery, he's mostly fine, although some of the older kids bully him. He's gravitated towards one of the children in the year below who's very similar. However in clubs and situations outside school, his anxiety levels are that bit higher and he can be really very 'odd'. When things go wrong, as they frequently do, I try to get him to look back at what happened and see if he could have reacted in a better way, but it's a long slow process.

I think there are lots of children - like ds2 and maybe your son, who find school a bit of a trial and I suspect ds2 will come into his own once he gets to university (I'm planning ahead, as he's only 9 grin)

helplessmummy Thu 10-Sep-09 10:39:20

God mimismum, that's basically what I think - if I had the money, I owuld just home ed DS because I think he is one of those kids who don't suit school, but it's how to get him through the next 8 years as painlessly as possible!

claricebeansmum Thu 10-Sep-09 10:55:33

Amm off to buy book NOW for DS. He is really really struggling with friendships at the moment - we does not have any. The kidscape pages will be a start whilst we wait for the book...

neversaydie Thu 10-Sep-09 11:08:38

DS has had a lot of similar problems - a bright little eccentric (odd) who found our huge catchment primary school very very hard. He was badly bullied by one little so-and-so, and because the perpetrator came from a very difficult home background I eventually had to threaten sanctions to make the school take any action at all.

Last year, we found a cub pack that was not in the same catchment as the school and well run by a chap who kept them busy and stopped any nonsense sharpish. It gave DS a safe place to practice his social skills and he loved it.

This year we have, after much agonising, moved him to another school for his p6 year (to an all-through school so intend this to be the final move). He is coming home full of what he has done each day, and is already making friends of both sexes. Sometimes, a fresh start can make a huge difference!

Niecie Thu 10-Sep-09 12:09:38

I have a gorgeous DS (9 yrs) who also struggles in this way. He has a dx of AS although the psych who saw him said that he wasn't really bad enough to be called that (long story).

He doesn't know how to relate to other children. He doesn't know when to stop talking and how to join in with conversations without interupting. He sounds like your DS OP. Heartbreaking isn't it?

I would agree about talking to the teacher. She can't protect him unless she knows he is having problems and, if it is like DS's school they might try and do some exercises with him. DS has been working with another similar boy on things like turn taking and listening to others.

Just as a matter of interest, all the TAs and teachers think DS is lovely (although they could just be humouring me) but does your DS relate to adults better than children like mine? I suspect it is because they make allowances for him but I am just wondering.

Niecie Thu 10-Sep-09 12:11:04

Sorry, my final point wasn't finished there. What I meant was, that if he relates to adults then hopefully the problems he is having will ease as he gets older. I know that doesn't help with his sadness now though, does it? Just saying there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

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