Son picking on another child. Yr 7.(22 Posts)
My ds1 seemed to be really enjoying school. He's seemingly made new friends, avoiding the people from his old school.
Yesterday was an Inset Day, and I bumped into an old acquaintance from his primary, also mooching around because of the Inset. He said, X says Ds1 is bullying B in the class, making fun of him and imitating him. B appears to be a bit of an oddball, clever but overweight and someone who says weird things and makes weird gestures.
Ds1 has mentioned him a bit, saying B was rude to me, or B behaved oddly today, or I tried to say something nice to B today and he said Leave Me Alone. He burst into tears when I mentioned that he might have been bullying B. He immediately said it was because he wanted the other boys to like him.
(Background he was "bullied"/shunned in primary by a very popular boy)
So, Ds has picked on the other boy, he has admitted it. Not necessarily full scale bullying, but teasing.
My second son has Asperger's, and Ds1 often teases him. I suspect the "bullied"/picked on child has something like Asperger's but of course I have no way of knowing.
I've told Ds1 in no uncertain terms he has to be nice to this child, never ever tease him, and toaccept a bit of bad feeling/aggression from him for now whilst making every effort not to wind him up.
Do I mention this to the teacher NOW or wait for further problems. I felt so happy that ds1 was enjoying school and was enthusiastic about his new friendship group, as he had a lot of difficulities socially in his last school. I feel so upset that he has felt to need to pick on someone else to make himself feel important, and sad for the other child too, knowing what I know about how ds2 is treated in playground at his school.
Can you not see the irony of calling this boy 'overweight' an 'oddball' and 'weird' (twice) in the first few sentences of your post?
I would speak to the teacher to let them know what has been happening. If poor B is being picked on by other children then they need to know this. It may be that B is unable or unwilling to tell the teacher himself that he is being picked on.
If your ds1 has been making fun of B and imitating him then I'm sorry but it is bullying. There's no point expecting your ds to realise the seriousness of his actions when you yourself are also softsoaping the issue.
Experienced similar and my DS was also mortified when I pointed out his behaviour was bullying. I took him to the Bullying UK website and we looked down a list of things which are considered to be bullying. DS had done three of them. He was shocked by his own behaviour.
He was copying what had happened to him - he was called names etc by the popular kid and DS translated the situation into "Be mean to the weak kid = popular".
My son is a bit of an oddball and does weird stuff - he has Aspergers. I think of him as being 'alternative' rather than weird! He's learning by making mistakes and having his mistakes pointed out to him and explained to him...that's how he has to learn the stuff that many other children just seem to 'know' by instinct!
My ds1 was also considered overweight and weird (constantly told he is fat by his classmates at primary), and my second son is considered oddball and weird/disgusting by his classmates. There is no denying that some of the behaviours that some children exhibit are considered ODD by others. My second son does all the licking stuff. His classmates tease him mercilessly over it.
I only mention these things because I am aware that a child with SN (such as my ds2 has) will be picked upon, without havign done anything wrong. So I leap to the conclusion that it is Ds's fault, not the other child's, from the information I am presented with.
I know it is bullying even if it just occurred on one occasion.
But the problem is that I don't know how biased the ex-classmates are against my son, when they report this information to me. My ds1 was "Bullied" (for want of a better word) by one of their friends, who is in a different class, at the new secondary. And they are all good friends still.
Ds1 is naive to the extent that if I say to him, you made fun of B didn't you, he will immediately say, yes, I was imitating him because he was rude to me. He was mean to me. Whereas I can interpret from his description of B that he perhaps had SN.
Yes, not particularly nice choice of language OP. 'Funnily' enough the mother of the nastiest boys in my DC's school uses horrible language to describe other children and I have not problem guessing where her children get their spiteful streak.
Not saying that your children or you are like this ... just saying that children pick up on this stuff and low level 'he's a bit odd' comments, will isolate the boy.
Well done on picking up on it though and I hope it is all resolved now.
Doodlez thank you, that is really helpful. I will go through the list with him, I think it will bring out a lot of bad feelings about the past too, it certainly did for me, as so many things on it, happened to him in years 3-6. In such a low key way.
I think the most obvious thing I can do to improve situation is to try and give Ds1 good feelings about himself. He's recently broken his arm, can't do sport, felt a bit friendless in last years of primary, worried about making new friends. He's such a lovely boy, and so enthusiastic about new school, but so bad at reading situations. Also tends to think everyone is against him quite quickly, rather than takign responsibility for his mistakes. Or just says things, like No-one Likes Me, I'm useless.
Thank you, everyone, I will see how today goes, and if he comes out with any other information which worries me I will speak to tutor.
I read it as though the op was just trying to state the situation as clearly as possible in order to set the scene (as it were), so that we'd understand what was what. I think it is admirable that she's trying to get advice to sort the problem and that it would be a real shame if the onus was twisted on to her description of 'Child B' as opposed to people giving help and advice in order to help her.
For what it's worth, I think that you should definitely involve the teacher, for the reasons that ColdToast gave.
Good luck with getting it all stopped/sorted.
Pink Yes, point taken. I think I tend to compensate for behaviour of both my sons by freely using words like odd sometimes, and I use it about myself too. I will think about that issue too. I don't mind being odd sometimes myself - I suppose I was just using words to express how my son described him.
I know what you mean though.
I sent ds1 in today wth instructions to apologise to "B". I asked him this afternoon about it, and he said he had said "I'm sorry B", privately in the lunch queue (he was at physio this morning) He said that "B" had replied "That's alright." And seemed happy enough. I just don't know what is happening.
I hope that's an end to it; I've told him what a serious offence bullying is and how school will punish him if he upsets others whatever his reasons. Should I now let sleeping dogs lie, and hope this is just a teething problem with classroom politics? Or go in and inform tutor and presumably give ds2 a "reputation" when all I know of the situation is what the other boy ex-primary classmate(not "B") told me secondhand?
I suppose I should tell tutor but explain that I don't know exactly what happened.
I'd leave it now. You've made your point. Now wait and see if he's 'learnt' from his mistake. If he does it again, see the tutor for back-up.
I think you have handled it very well so far and from what you say about your sons reaction and his apology to child B that is probably the end of the matter.
If I were you I would keep my ear to the ground and go straight to the teacher if I heard there was any more meanness to child B from anyone.
But for now you know your own son and from what you have said it sounds unlikely he would even try anything like that again.
Thank you everyone, will continue to keep a close eye on situation then.
just an update to say that I managed to have a word with ds1's teacher (she was phoning about something innocuous and unrelated) and forewarn her of ds1's behaviour/child B being picked upon. She said the child ds1 had been imitating, did have Asperger's and she would try her best to stop anything happening (given that she is only with her tutor group part of the day)
So at least she is keeping her ear out now.
I've spent the whole morning at an ASD support group for my second son, discussing school difficulties etc, so I keep thinking of how painful it must be for the parents and other child getting to grips with secondary.
Teacher said she had not experience of dealing with Asperger's
You are so thoughtful swan and it must be hard for you as you are dealing with this from both sides of the fence so to speak.
And how awful for child B as you say getting to grips with secondary and having a teacher who doesn't really understand Aspergers. I hope he is getting some help at school.
I don't remember anyone having Aspergers when I was at school but it seems almost common now you would think all teachers would be aware and have some training perhaps?
Apple dose not fall far from the tree
Mother calls bot wired, odd and over weight and her son bullies boys whom he thinks he is weird overweight and odd
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