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Bullying by friends at school

(13 Posts)
jjanes Thu 27-Dec-12 11:25:34

First time I have ever done this but I need help.
On Christmas day my grandson aged 9 and I were in his bedroom. He said 'I would be ok if I had a brain,' I laughed and asked 'what have you done with it?' He answered by saying his friends tell him he talks dross and say he is stupid.
He is an intelligent, friendly, likeable, sporty boy. He has always been interested in how things work, engines, mill wheels etc.
When he and I have gone away for a few days he is funny, enthusiastic and extremely good company.
I have written a story for him every week since he was 5 and he has an extensive vocabulary. He reads well and is very expressive.
The most worrying thing about it was he ran into another room then dashed back to say ‘don’t tell anyone that’s our secret.’
In a few weeks I will write a story involving this sort of situation but at present am at a loss as to how to end it and offer him a solution.
I didn’t feel it was just an off the cuff comment, he was upset. I don’t want my lovely confident grandson to be bullied or excluded by his friends.
What can I do?

Bags Thu 27-Dec-12 11:40:54

I would speak to his headteacher in confidence and ask that observations be carefully made, and I would ask for feedback after a given time.

soop Thu 27-Dec-12 11:42:38

I agree with Bags. sad

jjanes Thu 27-Dec-12 11:44:48

But I'm his grandma I should surely tell his mum if I was to tell anyone shouldn't I? Obviously I don't want to betray his confidence and next time we are on our own I will try and get more out of him about what is happening.

Anne58 Thu 27-Dec-12 11:48:28

Yes, you do need to speak to his parents, but I agree about not breaking the secret if he has asked you not to tell.

Further discussion btween you and him first, and hopefully get him to understand that he really should speak to his parents about it. I think this is going to need careful handling, it's great that he feels he can talk to you, and it would be a real pity if that trust was damaged in any way.

One step at a time seems to be the only answer.

whenim64 Thu 27-Dec-12 11:55:52

I've noticed that primary school children make similar comments in the presence of my twin grandsons, who are in reception class. It happens during playtime and after-school play, when the dinner-time assistants are supervising the children. They repeat what has been said, not understanding that it's an insult. My daughter and I have been picking this issue up since they started school in September. My daughter and other mums have spoken to the reception class teacher and the head, who are addressing it with the children. My grandsons don't really get why we are concerned, as they are only 4, but it will sink in eventually.

The other day, one of them yelled 'watch, nana' and started dancing like the 'Gangnam Style' video, which is fun, but quite disconcerting to see a 4 year-old parroting 'Hey, sexy ladeee...ooh, ah ah ah!' My daughter substitutes other words for him to sing, and we know the fad will pass. It's such a challenge to balance the benefits of mixing with children of all ages, with the influences that we don't want them to be exposed to,

Bags Thu 27-Dec-12 12:02:07

Schools should be (and most are) telling kids that the first thing they must do if they feel bullied is TELL SOMEONE: parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. I don't think you have to keep this 'secret', jjanes, and I think you need to explain to your GS why you can't. Good luck.

Bags Thu 27-Dec-12 12:02:59

He may be afraid of repercussions, but the school should be onto this and dealing with it.

whenim64 Thu 27-Dec-12 12:03:35

We have a ground rule about secrets in our family - we don't keep them. We can keep quiet about nice surprises that will unfold in the next day or so, but agreeing to keep secrets is a no-no. If a child asks me to keep a secret, I explain that I most likely won't be able to, but they can safely disclose what they want to and I will do my best to ensure they aren't blamed or harmed for sharing it with me. Adults take the responsibility for dealing with bullying, and children should be protected from retaliation.

Ella46 Thu 27-Dec-12 12:08:52

I agree totally with when. Some secrets cannot be kept.

Barrow Thu 27-Dec-12 16:31:02

Not having grandchildren I can't offer any advice but it does sound as if his "friends" may be jealous of him.

JessM Thu 27-Dec-12 17:09:34

Wise words from when , as usual. Schools should be actively tackling all forms of bullying these days. Encouraging the reporting of it, discussing it with children and dealing with specific issues that arise.
I agree, You should talk to him and say that sometimes children tell secrets to grown ups that are too serious to keep.
I think it can help children if they understand that most people go through the experience of someone being mean to them, and learn that keeping it a secret is never the right thing to do.
The other thing which he is old enough to understand is that when someone is mean to someone else it is really because they are feeling bad inside and think that by making someone else feel bad, their own bad feelings will go away. But that it never works for more than a minute or two, and then they go back to feeling bad.

crimson Thu 27-Dec-12 18:00:31

You tend to think that the sort of people that are bullied are tall/short/bespectacled etc etc but, in my excperience it's the intelligent,attractive, hard working ones that are the victims these days.