DS started secondary school but it's not going well =((10 Posts)
Not strictly a "teenage" problem but I'm hoping as you've all had 11 year olds recently you might have some idea what to do.
Last week was DS2's first week of Year Seven. He was very nervous about going to begin with but I got DS1 to talk to him about how great it was at the school and how he would make new friends, get to try out new things etc. This calmed DS2 down and eased some of his worries, and he was quite looking forward to starting when he went off on Monday morning. Things went great for the first two days. However, since then everything has gone downhill.
He came home on Wednesday looking very upset because he had got lost on the way to a lesson and the teacher had shouted at him and his friend for being late. She then wouldn't allow DS to leave the class to go to the toilet, and allowed his classmates to make fun of the fact he was desperate for a wee. When the lesson finished, he locked himself in the toilet and stayed there crying for half of lunchtime . I know he should have used the loo during break if he needed to, and that they are not really supposed to let them out of class once they're at senior school, but surely she could have made allowances for a Year 7 who has only been in the school a few days? I am so about this and will definitely be talking to the school, but it seems to have knocked DS's confidence and given him a bit of a reputation as a cry-baby .
On Thursday he seemed a bit happier again but then yesterday he came home v upset because one of the boys he had been playing with at lunchtime had said that he acted like a six year old and that he wasn't allowed to join in their games any more. Both of DS's "best friends" went to different secondary schools so he didn't really have a close friend starting with him. I was so happy when he told me he'd made these new friends and now I'm just so cross that they have done this. He didn't have the hugest amount of self-confidence to start with but after this week he must be feeling so down that he won't even try to make friends with anyone else.
Sorry for the long post, I just feel so sorry for him and I don't know what to do.
What a shame- is his older bro at the same school, and so could he knock about with him at lunchtime/break for the next few days and give him a bit of street cred?
Is there a mentor programme at his school and is his mentor helping ease in? What about his form tutor? I would chat to them about helping get your son involved with some other groups/clubs that happen in break/Lunch times-that way he can meet new people.
It is still very early days and i am sure your son will bounce back. Boys have the brilliant ability not to hold a grudge/keep on at one thing, so I am pretty sure he will be back playing with them next week.
I think that its just early days settling in all these year 7s are new the teachers are being a bit stricter to show them the 'way' and the children are on a level footing again that makes them want to 'group' up and find their places as top dog best footballer etc etc.
I would talk to his year head about this,unfortunately with the toilet thing its a difficult thing to allow him out of class runs risks of all of them wanting to go and then you also have to factor in the new school getting lost thing and all in all I can see from a teachers point it is easier to say 'no'.
Mondays a whole new week and a lot can change in a week.
I'd just echo what Looby said. This sort of stuff is par for the course in Yr 7. It's so annoying that the teacher didn't give him a bit of slack in his first week, but they are much stricter in secondary ime.
So far as the friends thing goes, it would be great if you could get him to join a lunchtime club, even if just for the first term so he doesn't end up sat in the library alone which is what my ds did for the first term.
If he's not keen on putting himself forward for the clubs, try to find out yourself what's on, when, the name of the teacher running the club and maybe even email that teacher and ask if they can encourage your ds to join.
As looby says, it will get better, but I know the first few weeks can be really really hard.
Thanks for your reply Louby - his older bro is in Year 12 and left this year to go to college so no luck there . I had persuaded him to join the rugby club and something in the music department (he sings and plays guitar/drums) but I'm not sure after the week he has had he will still agree to do it.
He did mention (on Monday, before all this happened) that he had a nice chat with one boy in his form because they found out they were both into the same music, but he said that this boy already has lots of "cool" friends who he doesn't think would accept him . I may try to encourage him to talk to this boy more though because from what DS said he sounded like quite a nice, confident lad who might take my DS under his wing.
Nickschick - thanks, I know it is not easy as I have been through it before with the other DCs. I hope you are right and it will get easier next week as they settle down a bit more and start making new friends properly - DS says that so far, people have mostly stuck with their "old" friends, which obviously makes it a bit difficult for him as his have gone to other schools .
Smileydee - thank you, that is a v good idea re emailing the teacher who runs the club, as I'm not sure DS would have the confidence to just turn up "uninvited" iyswim.
My DD is now in Y9 but was very unhappy for the first half of Y7. Combination of factors - she'd left a school she loved (we couldn't afford private any more), the new school was huge in comparison, she didn't go there with any friends and was generally a lot less street wise than many of the kids.
Halfway through the year she suddenly announced she wouldn't leave if we paid her, and has never looked back. She comes home every night full of stories (some quite [schock]) and non-stop chatter.
I think all you can do is listen when he wants to talk. The school will probably do a few ice-breaking activities - DD did an outdoor activity week - loved it and made new friends.
Do you have access to his form tutor via email as I would tell them what you've said here. They are there to support, especially the children who struggle in the early days, I expect you will have a parents night in october, they usually do in case of any problems. I think joining the clubs is a good idea, unfortunately this is high school and children are expected to be independant. Perhaps he can go to other clubs not connected to school as well and make friends that go to school but are in a different tutor group.Good luck
Just remembered this thread again and thought I would just give you all an update on how DS is getting on now .
It appears that it was not all of those boys who he was playing with who objected to him, just two - the two loudest, mouthiest ones (so naturally DS was told that it was "everyone" who hated him). However, last week three of the other boys also had a falling out with the rest of the group and told DS that they didn't hate him, it was only these two other boys that did - so DS has been playing with them this last week.
He also joined guitar club and in doing so began chatting to this boy (I'll call him J) from his form about music again. They seem to have become very good friends very quickly and J came round yesterday so they could play their guitars and sing together. They are even talking about starting a band! Apparently J's friends like DS too - so from having no friends in school last week he has gone to having two different sets!
I'm just so relieved that this has all resolved itself so quickly and easily. Thank you all for your suggestions, luckily I never had to use them!
I didn't see the original but really pleased that things are looking up. It does take a time of adjustment.
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