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so ... poor ds says he is unpopular

(23 Posts)
unwiseowl Mon 14-Jul-08 20:11:16

ds is 11 but starting to get teenagery and do a lot more hanging out with mates etc. I always thought he had a big crowd of friends and was pleased that he seemed happy but several times recently he has come home from school devastated at being left out of a party or get together.

Today he has been 'dropped' from a list of mates invited to a camping sleepover due to a complicated story about X says he doesn't want me to come so y says I'm not invited any more. He is absolutely gutted. (X and y are both supposedly his good friends)

He said 'quite frankly it's because I'm not popular sadand x is'.

I'm gutted for him and am at a lost as to what to say to help. I don't think he's doing anything 'wrong'. He is kind, friendly, chatty and in to all the same music/ sport /websites etc that the 'popular' kids are. Just not 'it'.

How can I stop it hurting for him? How can I help him to be one of the ones who get the invitations or not to care if he doesn't?

dizzydixies Mon 14-Jul-08 20:13:04

feckers angry I hate it when kids are so cruel

am sorry mine are a lot younger and have no pearls of wisdom for you but how lucky he is that you care enough to try to make it better

hope it pishes down on their camping sleepover grin

unwiseowl Mon 14-Jul-08 20:15:47


ANTagony Mon 14-Jul-08 20:21:07

Could he have a party, camping sleepover of his own. Not at the same time that would be a bit pointed but its coming up to holidays and its good to have something to look forwards to.

heronsfly Mon 14-Jul-08 20:22:37

I presume he is in year 6,ours are just the same,best friends one day fighting the neaxt.
I think a lot of it is because they have nearly finished primary school,and although excited about leaving,also unsure of the unknown add hormones to that mixture and you have squabbles right left and center/grin

paperdoll Mon 14-Jul-08 20:24:43

Spend all your cash on buying him the latest everything, so that he can use his stuff to buy popularity?

No, kidding obviously. All I can think of is, just make sure you show that you love him (I know, I know, but ... you can do it in non-embarrassing teenage-approved ways), and subtly do whatever you can to make him know that you think he's fab and have every confidence in him. It probably won't seem as if it's doing much good, but it will. It will help, over the long term, with the "not caring" bit.

Even so, if he is being branded "uncool" it may be pretty horrible for him and there may not be much you can do apart from waiting it out. I dread this happening to my DS (like dizzy he's a lot younger).

I always found it helpful when adults said to me "you know some people will tell you these are the best years of your life ... well, that's bullsh*it. It'll get MUCH better".

namechangecosfeelingsad Mon 14-Jul-08 20:24:53

Bless him. If he, x & y hang around mainly in a three then their cliqueness is probably more a phase than a true reflection of his popularity - it will be him & y closer one month, then him & x the next etc - I remember it well!

Having you to talk to about it all will really help.

unwiseowl Mon 14-Jul-08 20:26:39

Yes and yes to Ant and heron. The year 6 leavers' hysteria is definitely a factor and yes I have also suggested an alternative sleepover which he has rejected as it would look like he was copying Y.

It's just that this seems to be getting to be a recurring problem that's worrying me as there have been several other incidents of 'Everybody went to town/ went to see a film/had a party but didn't invite me.'

unwiseowl Mon 14-Jul-08 20:37:49

paperdoll - I reckon ds would like your spending plan wink
namechanged - agree about the 3 thing - never a good number

we do talk and I do tell him how fantastic and wonderful he is - just as he gets older he gets harder to 'open' and less likely to be convinced

paperdoll Mon 14-Jul-08 20:43:00

Even if he is not convinced, he will remember it later. It works on some level.

I reckon he'll be fine.

mumonthenet Mon 14-Jul-08 20:58:22

it's a very difficult situation though it may just resolve itself in a month or two. Not sure how much you can do apart from being there for him. My suggestions would be

Aim here is to replace some of his lost confidence.

1) Try to find out what he would like to do. Take him and a couple of friends to the movies, where you can leave them on their own for a couple of hours and then collect them?

2) Find something really cool to do in the hols, what would really suit him? Theatre school, swimming or diving lessons, photography, archeology? there's usually summer schools for these kind of things. Maybe something that he could carry on with as a hobby when school starts and thereby make a new set of friends so he does'nt feel so reliant on the other bunch.

3) What about a day out doing Rappell (oh god what's it called know where they slide down ropes from one support to another) or paintball or something.. Snaffle one or two of the other kids, who will then doubtless report what a good day they had and ds's cool score will go up.

Not exactly cheap and maybe a bit contrived.

If the other kids want to leave him out (is X jealous of your DS?) there's not much you can do. But you can arrange confidence boosters which will help him to cope.

overthehill Mon 14-Jul-08 21:06:29

My dd has just finished Y.7 and, believe you me, everything changes then, with new school, new friendships etc. Maybe it's just that they've all known each other too long and are wanting a change. Another thought: are they all off to the same secondary school or not? What happened to my dd was that those who were going to be together in Y.7 tended to get a bit more intense towards the end of Y.6 as they felt they would need to stick together after the summer, and she consequently was in danger of being left out (as she went to a different school from her best friends - by pure bad luck, in some ways. But she's made lots of new friends and still has the old ones, who now tend to get sick of each other and see her as a bit of a novelty!).

lazymumofteenagesons Tue 15-Jul-08 15:59:24

He could try and instigate the arrangements himself. If he becomes the one to organise going swimming/trip to town/cinema etc with a few friends then this becomes 'his' group.

Tortington Tue 15-Jul-08 16:00:22

you can't

swings and roundabouts

AbbeyA Thu 31-Jul-08 08:01:07

I think that the good news is that he is having a new start after the holidays. Even if they are all going onto the same school frienship groups will change. At the end of year 6 they are rather large fish in a small pond. He sounds a lovely boy so should be OK. I would get him to see the new school as a new start and be the one to instigate activities.

AbbeyA Thu 31-Jul-08 08:04:24

It sounds as if he is only 'unpopular' because x has decided to exclude him and is exerting influence on y and the rest. Probably x is jealous of your DS. I think they are all ready to move-things can become a bit intense at the end of primary-especially if it is a small school or small circle of friends.

gagarin Thu 31-Jul-08 08:09:22

He is showing maturity in understanding what is going on.

It is perfectly acceptable for friendships to change and move on - but what's painful is that all his friends are 10 or 11 so have no social skills and don't know how to move on without hurting people (tbh neither do many adults!).

It is also a time when dcs this age practice their manipulation/domination skills and X is obviously flexing his "I'm top dog and therefore in charge" muscles.

Just try and make your you use your manipulation skills to get some great fun days/times like mumonthenet suggests! I love the paintballing idea - but it's v expensive

Mimsy2000 Thu 31-Jul-08 08:22:12

poor kid sad

i have no advice whatsoever but jwould feel gutted too. i'm sure as the other posters said this will be temporary as kids of this age are all over the place.

good luck and xo to your son.

ShrinkingViolet Thu 31-Jul-08 09:08:35

can he get together with y and not x (hope I have them the right way round) and just the two of them do stuff occasionally over the holidays?

chapstickchick Thu 31-Jul-08 09:17:59

year 7 will make the world of difference loads of new kids =potential new mates ,he will find people he gets on with and blossom.

my eldest ds always a bit shy and reserved didnt enjoy primary so much as he changed school several times with dh job changing, has really come out of himself and this will be his last year in secondary he has loads of friends.

cheer up it will get better grin

hughjarssss Thu 31-Jul-08 09:27:31

As he felt the sleepover thing looked too obvious I would ask hime what he wanted to do instead.
I agree with rapelling (sp.) or painballing. Something like this would make him look really cool.

slug Thu 31-Jul-08 15:14:25

Buy him a cheap guitar. He can spend the lonely hours learning how to play and by the time school comes around again he will be higher up the cool ladder by virtue of his ability to form a band.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 02-Aug-08 16:59:26

The thread title says that the OP's son is "unpopular" but the body of the post says he describes himself as "not popular". This may be a linguistic misunderstanding - the "in crowd" these days are described as "Popular" (rather than "in" or "cool" or whatever), so "not 'Popular'" doesn't mean "unpopular" iyswim.

We moved across the country when my DS1 went from primary to secondary, so he had no choice but to make new friends. What I did notice was that for the next couple of years, the friends changed quite regularly - I'd see a lot of A, B and C for a while, then just A&B, or A&C, or B&C, with an occasional D, E and F thrown in.

Poor DS2 spent four years at one primary, two years at another and one year at a third. By the time he got to secondary he knew two-school's worth of other children, so it was a bit of a re-union for him. Again, the friends changed a fair bit, though there was a sort of "core group".

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