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Water_lily

My son is bullied and alone. Help

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Water_lily

Hi everyone. My son is in grade 2. He has been bullied in school since grade 1 by some kids. He is not popular. He told me that no one wants to play with him or be his partner. My heart is broken. He used to have a best friend but now they have grown apart due to different interests. He is so sad as he has lost his only friend. He said he is my best friend but the friendship is broken.

I have spoken to the teacher about bullying but of cause teachers can’t force them to choose my son.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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CallMeFeral

How devastating for both of you :(

 

Can you also talk to the teachers about the friendship issue? They can do things like find kids they may get along with and pair them up during activities and things, I'm sure they are interested in his whole welfare not just avoiding bullying.

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DM. 2012

How sad for a little kid to go through this. As CallMeFeral said, the teacher could do something like find a new friend/groups of friends for him. He is still young so it would be fairly acceptable by him and the new friends.

 

Are there any lunchtime groups he can go to? At my son’s school they have a lunchtime activity with the school Chaplin once a week, it could be a craft, games etc.

 

Your son could join a sport group, there a lots aimed at young kids, this could help with his confidence and finding kids with common interests.

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luke's mummu

Does your school have a counsellor/ chaplain that you can talk to about pairing him up with other kids in his class? Maybe arrange a few after-school play dates with a few kids. I find it’s best to encourage a few close friendships incase kids move house, change groups etc

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Silver Girl

That is sad for him and you. I’d definitely talk to the teachers again.

 

One thing I’ve found that helps is finding out what the other kids are in to and tapping into that.

 

For example, DS mentioned that a couple of boys in his class were trading/playing with Pokémon cards at lunchtime but he couldn’t join in because he didn’t have any. So I went straight to Target and bought him a set, and now he spends lunchtimes with those boys.

 

The Coles Stikeez were another example.

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Silver Girl

Another thought is social skills groups - run by speech pathologists/psychologists. They teach kids how to play and interact with others, how to read cues that someone isn’t interested in what they’re saying, etc.

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schwatzen

Another thought is social skills groups - run by speech pathologists/psychologists. They teach kids how to play and interact with others, how to read cues that someone isn’t interested in what they’re saying, etc.

 

This is a much better idea!

 

Was going to suggest the same.

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Threelittleducks

I would also encourage making lots of different friends, so that he isn't just reliant on the one best friend. Also making friends outside of school. Some things we have done for DS:

 

Hip Hop Class

A team sport, he will start AusKick this winter - helps to make friends outside of school + a skill to join in and play in the playground at lunchtime

Playdates at home with a couple of boys to encourage friendships. I just approach a few parents directly, this has worked well for us

We've also invited a half dozen parents to meet for pizza after school and a play at the local playground, great for breaking the ice and very casual. I was up front by saying we want to get to know a few families better as we have started a new school year. It's become a once a month activity.

 

Good Luck

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born.a.girl

Another thought is social skills groups - run by speech pathologists/psychologists. They teach kids how to play and interact with others, how to read cues that someone isn’t interested in what they’re saying, etc.

This is a much better idea!

 

Was going to suggest the same.

 

 

Same here, too.

 

OP I could have written your post. It's heartbreaking. The number of times my daughter's prep teacher called her 'quirky' and said that other kids her age were quickly finding out how to fit the mould and what friends are looking for.

 

She would come home from school busting for the loo because if she went during lunchtime her 'friends' would be gone when she got out. ie She was never doing more than being the unwelcome tag-along to a group.

 

I deliberately signed on for classroom help straight after lunch so I could checkout if what she was saying was true. Yep, every single time, I found her on her own.

 

New school (deliberately left previous one end of year three) was much smaller and they worked hard in the playground to mix kids up, and help her find ways to read the cues etc.

 

One of the suggestions was to read a book at lunchtime (fortunately she'd just discovered Harry Potter). After she started that, sometimes other kids would come along and ask her to join. She was clueless about how to do that herself. She discovered that it wasn't that they didn't want to play with her, but her style of joining groups and understanding the dynamics were not theirs. She also had severe auditory processing delays, by year nine assessed as three years behind her age group, so that didn't help.

 

Is your child 'unusual' at all - interested in things that don't fit the mould?

 

For the ones like my daughter, it does actually turn around once kids reach later years and are looking for different things from friends.

 

Now, at 27, I can't keep up. There's a constant trail of friends through the house, staying over, coming to hang out.

 

 

The teacher should be able to give you some pointers about WHY the other kids are not choosing to play with him.

 

We did all the things people suggested to no avail. Even the kids happy to come for a play date always had other friends they preferred at school.

 

I hope things improve for you.

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Water_lily

Thank you everyone. He is doing few lunch time activities. Interested in one spot. There used to be three in the group of his friends but now two have become s best friends. So much son is left behind. I will ask for s play dates at park with other kids during the holiday period. No one sits next to him in the group table. So I will ask the teacher if that can be changed next term.

 

 

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PhillipaCrawford

Story of my son's life during upper primary.

 

He was quirky enough - Lots of ASD traits, grommets and hearing issues, gifted and uninterested in sport that he didn't fit the mould. A teacher insisted we get him assessed and all that resulted in was a gifted diagnosis her response "I know he's bright. I want to know what's wrong with him"

 

I was connected to a few parents from his FYOS and tried to get their sons interested but they refused to participate - wouldn't come to our house for playdates. Came reluctantly to an indoor rock climbing birthday party and one told him "Don't you ever invite me again because I won't come"

He was friendlish with a couple of boys a year younger and we used to have cooking days at my place every couple of weeks- at least someone came over and he was invited to their place.

 

TBH if I had my time again I would move schools and give him a new start. He had become the weird kid no one wanted and we were never able to change that. Social skills group didn't exist then but that was also something that would have helped immensely.

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Sancti-claws

I would also look at his connections and building his confidence outside of school so he can "practice" away from others?

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jessiesgirl

Thank you everyone. He is doing few lunch time activities. Interested in one spot. There used to be three in the group of his friends but now two have become s best friends. So much son is left behind. I will ask for s play dates at park with other kids during the holiday period. No one sits next to him in the group table. So I will ask the teacher if that can be changed next term.

 

About the group table, that doesn’t sound right to me, the teacher assigns who sits at what table, there shouldn’t be an element of choice involved. They should also move them around regularly, so definitely ask about that. My DD has done social skills for 8 years now I highly recommend it but you need to find the right group for your child.

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Sincerely

Usually, kids can just join groups playing handball or soccer without necessarily being 'friends' with anyone playing. It might help to own a handball because sometimes an owner might try to be bossy about who can play.

 

Otherwise, agree with PPs who have suggested buying him trading cards (he might have an idea about what his peers are into).

 

My DS was also the 'quirky' gifted kid, but he didn't care who was his friend or not, and as his younger sister commented, somehow with a nonchalant attitude, he became extremely popular and a major trendsetter, so whatever he was/is into - origami, Rubik's cube, chess, music, everyone else flocks. We do furnish him with a lot of materials though, including plenty of origami paper, the latest speed cube models used to break world records, as well as the wide and interesting range of other Rubik's type puzzles that have evolved from the original 3x3 cube, a dozen chess sets to the primary & secondary school libraries, but I remember what it was like to be a 'quirky' lonely kid and I correctly guessed that supporting his interests would also provide activities for other lonely dispossessed kids.

 

(Edited typo)

Edited by Sincerely
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Water_lily

He is bit immature, sensitive and soft. Therefore becomes a target. I suspect this is the reason the other children stays away from him.

He does not invited to many parties, play dates etc. However everyone is happy to come to his.!!

I am looking at doing some activities such as martial arts so he can build his resilience.

I could not take think clearly the whole day.

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schwatzen

Do you think it might also be that some kids at that age don't really know how to engage with him? Friendship really requires effort. So if he doesn't have the skills to put in the effort and they don't feel inclined to put in the effort then friendship probably won't materialise. Organic friendships are pretty rare, IMO. They usually are based on a same interest. I know my DD is only interested in playing with kids who play tiggy or can talk about video games. I will definitely evolve as they get older. But i do think if you can get the social skills worked out early it could be extremely beneficial.

 

What are his interests? Could he benefit from joining Scouts maybe?

My DD just joined and it means she gets to be friends with kids she probably wouldn't otherwise be friends with.

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