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DS being bullied - do I go in all guns blazing or leave it?

(8 Posts)
birdsnotbees Tue 02-Dec-14 16:47:19

I really need some advice. DS (7) is a quiet, shy but popular boy. He has been friends since nursery with 3 other boys. One of them - boy X - has always been difficult but the other 2 boys are very similar to my DS - quiet, shy but really good fun and quite "steady", hence all of them being well liked in their class.

Boy X's behaviour has been getting steadily worse. I stopped having him round for tea because he would spend the whole time sniping: taking the piss out of my DS, his toys, our house, and being really mean to my young DD. Nothing awful but also not nice to watch.

He then turned to bullying one of the three friends - physical kicking and shoving in the playground, and then also trying to get the other kids to turn against him. I know this as DS has told me, as has his mum (who has reported it to the class teacher as her DS was getting so upset).

Last week, Boy X then turned on my son. Making all the other kids make him be "it" for "six weeks". Childish stuff but very upsetting for my DS who, when he complained, was told it was now "12 weeks" - the other kids agreed with Boy X. This week it has calmed down but I know it's only a matter of time before it starts up again - boy X historically blows very hot and cold, one minute you're his best mate, the next he's taking the piss in front of everyone and laughing at you. (I know this as I have seen him do it at my house and in class.)

Thing is, I know Boy X has had a hard time of it. His mum and dad split recently and it wasn't pretty. I get that. I do think my DS needs to learn to deal with people - he is incredibly sensitive - but equally he is getting really upse.

I had a chat to the class teacher but her view was "boys will be boys". Except my DS isn't a typical boy (whatever that means) and neither are my DS's two good friends. She also said she would have to split all 4 of them up if I wanted to take it any further, which would break my DS's heart and also punish him - when he has done nothing wrong. So what do I do? Raise it again at school? Do I talk to Boy X's mum? Do I tell DS to in effect man up and deal with it?

I was bullied at primary school and it never left me, so I am reluctant to brush it under the carpet and I want to validate how DS feels. He is the sort to internalise, and feel it is his fault. Any advice really really welcome.

lemisscared Tue 02-Dec-14 16:53:59

I would raise this with the head teacher, boys will be boys my arse! There needs to be a talk to the whole class about excluding people being bullying and unkind. The teachers reaction is unprofessional.

It doesn't have to be about punishing the other boy, or indeed, separating him. He may well be reacting to the situation at home and is in need of extra support.

Chottie Tue 02-Dec-14 18:52:21

I would follow this through too. Although the boy in question is going through a difficult time, why should your son suffer?

I was bullied at school, please don't believe this is 'boys being boys'.

Please do follow this up with the school. 'Boys will be boys' is bollocks when used as an excuse for bullying (and may well be dubious at the best if times).

I too was bullied at school, and got an equally useless response from my mum - 'sticks and stones may break your bones, but calling names can't hurt you. If you just ignore them, they will stop' - and I felt I couldn't go back to her when it didn't stop, because I thought she'd just tell me to try harder - and I couldn't tell a teacher, because I thought it would result in a worse backlash, and I'd have to deal with that alone as I was clearly getting no support from mum.

The upshot was that I put up with the bullying for the five years of senior school, and when it stopped, when we all went to Sixth Form College, it was too late - I was having suicidal thoughts when I was 14, and it caused life-long depression.

If your son knows he has you in his corner, that is going to be so important to him, whatever happens.

birdsnotbees Tue 02-Dec-14 20:48:09

Thanks everyone. I was bullied too and it has blighted my life, and so I was worried that I was overreacting - projecting my feelings on to him. It's hard as it is not clear-cut bullying: one minute this boy is lovely (and they get on like a house on fire), the next he is really nasty - it's insidious and damaging. And very hard to pin point: the teacher said she had looked out of the window at playtime and "couldn't see anything wrong" - but if she can't hear anything then it's hardly surprising!!

DS also doesn't really want me to do anything, although when I got it out of him I asked him if he wanted me to speak to his teacher and he said yes. So I did.... and got a pathetic reaction. I feel bad as he has told me, asked for help and it appears that I have done nothing.

We keep talking about it but he doesn't like talking about it. I don't want to push it or push him... but this isn't right, is it?

Muskey Tue 02-Dec-14 20:58:30

I really hate it when teachers use the boys will be boys excuse instead of getting off their arses and do something about it. I appreciate your reluctance to cause more issues for a boy who quite probably has enough of his own but letting the situation continue isn't being fair to your dc. Having been in a similar situation I do relate to it but as I said to dds head teacher they have a duty of care to all children not just the ones who are going through difficult times. My belief is that if you don't stand up for your child no one else will

birdsnotbees Tue 02-Dec-14 22:30:12

Thanks Muskey. I will have a word with the teacher on Friday morning again and if she's still reluctant will escalate it to the head. I'm also going to chat to the mums of the other 2 boys as I think if we as parents present a united front to the school then they will see that the problem is not them but this little boy. I don't want to do that particularly as that feels like me/us ganging up on this little lad, which it's not.... argh, it's so hard.

I just want my boy to feel loved, secure and that I have got his back. Rather than having this little boy gradually erode his confidence as sure as water running over limestone.

steppemum Tue 02-Dec-14 22:59:04

there is a difference between a nasty incident /event and bullying. The way of dealing with it is different too.
The definition of bullying is that is it repeated. This is clearly bullying and the teacher isn't taking it on board.

You need to go back to the teacher, ask to speak to her properly not just catch her as she is taking kids in etc.
Repeat that this is on-going and repeated and upsetting your ds and it is bullying and you would like her to treat it as such. Ask if the school has an anti-bullying policy. It should, and it should be available if you ask, on the website or from the office.
Be very aware of victim being punished, so you child shouldn't be moved, the bully should, your child shouldn't have to stay in at play time, the bully should and so on.

When ds was in year 5 (age 10) there was a nasty culture amongst the boys where one got picked on for a while, and then they decided to switch and pick on another child. They were very careful not to let staff know about it. Ds told me, (he was not the victim, and he was going along with it quite forcefully so that it would not be his turn) I went in and quietly told the teacher, as I knew the boys deliberately hid this from her. Once she was aware of it, she was able to take steps to break it up and challenge the boys on their behaviour.
Your bully sounds as if he has a similar idea, I wonder where he has got it from?

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