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What do I do?


Heymanse
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I'm turning to the forum today for advice and guidance because I, as a mother, sit here today very emotional and drained. My son (in Year 8) has been struggeling to make friends at school. I've been told by my daughter (in Year 11) that the kids are being really mean to him, ignoring him when he sits down with them, throwing his schoolbag in the ground, pulling him around by the collar and so on. My son has proclaimed on many occasions that he doesn't want to go to school because he feels ill but I've always known that there is something more to the story. We've spoken to the principal (a woman) about a previous bullying incident that happened where my son's life was actually threatened by a boy at school. The matter was dealt with swiftly and the boy never troubled him again. This time, however, it's a different story. My son doesn't want us to speak to the principal and even worse, doesn't want to tell us what happened at school. I'm fearful of what my son might do (to himself) because as a mother, I can feel his pain and I also don't know what he'll do next. I've been thinking of taking him out of the school and placing him in another school but do not want him to go through this ordeal again in a place where his sister will not be there for back-up, because I won't be able to move her to another school due to the fact that I do not think its the best idea to disrupt her studies in her final year of school. I've had a look at the Christian schools in the Hills (there are 2) but because they are private schools they are EXTREMELY expensive, the cheaper one of them is over $7000 a year! Is there anyone on this forum that has their child in another school in the Hills area that might recommend it to me (if there is other South Africans in Year 8 they seem to stick together) but any other advice will be welcomed.

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I really feel for you!! Just reading your post makes me so angry that kids have to go through all this, poor guy! I have no suggestions or advice, but at least it is almost the end of the year, whatever you end up doing, and I pray that next year he will be settled and happy!

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I have a 13 yr old daughter in Year 7 and I know exactly how you are feeling. She recently had a fall out with her group of friends and they basically alienated her and started writing her nasty letters. She has since moved on to another group and seems happier now, but its terrible knowing that your children are sad at school. I also got her to go and speak to the year 7 counsellsor, shes a lovely lady and I think she gave her some good advice. I asked her if she wanted to move schools and she said No she is happy there, so I guess she has worked it out - which is good.

Have you considered the TAFE route at all? You should PM Mrs Maritz on the forum as I know she has her 15 yr old daughter in TAFE due to her not being happy in the school she was in - yet her brother is thriving in the same school. Anyway she may have some good advice for you on this subject. Shes back in SA at the moment, but she does jump onto the forum every now and then while shes away - so try get in touch with her.

Hope it all works out for you and your son.

My advice would be to just take him out if he is that unhappy. Its heartbreaking watching your kids go through that hurt.

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I am so sad to hear what your dear son has to go through...it makes me so angry that kids can be so mean. I agree with Coyote, if your son is very unhappy to the point where he's feeling ill and doesn't want to go to school, maybe it's best to take him out and go the TAFE route or try another school. I also think maybe he should try some activities that are not linked with the school to meet some more like minded guys.

I really hope you manage to find a solution, it breaks my heart to know what he must endure every day and in how much pain you must be seeing how unhappy he is. Hang in there!

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If you living in the hills are you possibly might consider sending your son to Fuel it is for years 7-9

The Friday nights are pretty popular, everything but dorky or boring, I def think the number of young people account for it.

http://hillsong.com/blogs/fuel/

Friday Nights

Convention Centre Basement

Address: Cnr. Norwest Blvd. & Solent Cct.

The Core: 5:30-6:15pm

Hangtime: 7:00pm

Doors Open: 7:30-9:00pm

You can call the Youth Pastors Josh & Leona Kimes Ph: +61 2 8853 5214 they extremely helpful mention to them the situation and they will encourage other young people to include him in the activities on the Friday night etc.

You don’t need to be a member of Hillsong to attend. You can also consider signing your son up for summer camp it one of the best place to hang out and make friends. When my parents arrive 18 years ago that was one camp my brother joined and he made marvelous friends.

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I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate all your advices and words of encouragement. It means a great deal to me.

I asked my son this afternoon if he would want me to move him to another school and without any hesitation said "yes". I guess that was the dealbreaker for me. Even knowing that his sister would not be there for him didn't make him change his mind in the slightest. I have never thought of the TAFE route. I didn't even know it existed for younger kids and would most definitely get into contact with Mrs Maritz and find out how it works exactly. We've been to Hillsong on a couple of occasions and my daughter sometimes gets invited by one of the youth leaders and they go out for a night of pizza or whatever. She is at the moment out again with them and they're playing games and enjoying a bite to eat. I mentioned to my son in the beginning of the year that he should think of attending this as well and get involved and maybe make a few mates. He didn't seem keen on doing it and I didn't want to force the issue - he seems frightened of being pushed out and feeling like an outsider which might be because that's what happened to him before. I think I should raise the issue again with him and maybe push a bit harder. We all have some sort of fear but isn't it better to face your fear than to shy away from it for the rest of your life. At some point of his life, he'll have to confront this fear and go out there and try something new and different. You never know, he might just like it, which I know he will - he just needs that little bit of a push.

Thanks again everyone!

Edited by Heymanse
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Am so glad that you're going to try and find an alternative option than his current school. I think a change of scenery will really help him. If he's interested in specific things, he should see if there aren't any groups that get together or clubs he could join.

I think he's just a bit wary of other kids at the moment, hopefully things will improve in the new year and he'll get some of his confidence back. You're a great mother for doing all you can to ensure your son's happiness.

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I suggest you call the pastors and ask them if they able to organise a buddy /mate that can shadow your son for the night and just introduce him to the rest of the group. This could help if your son is very shy. All the best with find a solution to the problem.

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hi .so sorry to hear the laaitie is going thru this.

i am merely suggesting something and you the parent decide.

if you get bullied in grade 1 and dont stand up,chances are you going to be a pummeling bag forever.obviously he is facing more than one bully/opponent.

i suggest you send him for martial arts than change schools.all schools have bullies and they just home in on weaklings(no offence intended).but if your child resists in a violent way even though he does not win the battlle ,the bullies will realise he is just not worth the effort.

these bullies are messing with his emotions and that is why he does not want you to report the matter because than he is 'a mommy's boy'.this will stiffle his personal growth as well as confidence.

second suggestion-teach him to "moer voorentoe" and to use anything as a weapon then when the matter is brought to your attention ,you be 'ag, shame.i will reprimand him' mommy.

second suggestion will not win him the personality contest but at least he will be able to keep the fleas away from him.

my point is that even though he will get hurt physicaly,he wil become stronger emotionally.

i dont advocate violence but strongly condone to defend yourself.you as a parent have a moral obligation to teach your child to protect himself.so do it .

p.s i too was bullied in school until i discovered what a beautiful weapon a toffee apple was,but more importantly i am ever grateful to my mother who taught me to improvise.

hope things will work out for the best.

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It saddens when children get bullied/allienated. I so so feel for your son, and as a mother your heart must be breaking!

My advise will not neccessarily make his life easiers in the short term but could have huge advantages in the long term.

I would suggest not to move him to another school unless it is totaly and absolutely neccessary. The lessons learnt at school will stand him in good stead when he grows older. If you put him in another school, whith out trying your utmost best to help him resolve the curent problem himself it might put the message across that we can run away from our problems in life. By tacking posititve action himself he will be empowering himself for now and in the future.

If he is not doing any sport or social activities as at school I urge you to coax him to get involved, that would help for the "other" children to get to know him. At home praise him just that little more than you would normally do, this will help his confidence which is obviously not on the up at school at the moment. He is also at a very difficult age which is not making things easier! Die arme kind! And in the same breath his peers are at the same point in their lives.

At this stage they start forming "tribes", we've all seen it, the hair the clothes the music the ..... you know what I'm getting at. It is my feeling that your son has just not found his "tribe" or for that matter they haven't noticed him, the reason, (for one) he has not 'conformed' to what is 'expected' because of a good healthy upbringing, another might be a strong personality, another could be he is an introvert/thinker. And so many more.

So in a nutshell: Help him WORK it OUT and "not run away"! This is not the easiest route but the most empowering one!!

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Send me a PM - my kids both go to public school in the Hills area at Cherrybrook Technology and it is a great school. My youger son is in Year 8 as well so he might be able to be a support initially for your child.

They also have a very active Youth Group, which gets together on friday evenings. My older son is a part time leader at that group too.

Ajay

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Private schools are expensive, especially the Christian ones. have you thought about a Catholic school though? Many are subsidised by the Catholic Church and are cheaper then private schools. You don't have to be Catholic to send your child there, and you can speak to the principle and ask them to give you a discount if the fees are still out of your budget. My son goes to a catholic school in the ACT, and we are very happy with him there. They have a strict no nonsence approach to bullying, and the younger kids have buddies in higher grades etc. Whatever you decide to do I hope that you find a solution where your son is much happier! Candice

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HI Heymanse,

Please also contact Gilroy College. My son will be going there next year (yr 7) - he has been in the catholic school system since we arrived earlier this year and we couldnt be happier. Their fees are also very reasonable, you dont have to be catholic, and you can make an arrangement to pay monthly.

Wish you all the best.

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Sorry - also wanted to mention that our sons do a Brazilian Jui Jitsu class at the Hills horticultural grounds during the week and it has done wonders for their confidence. Please feel free to contact me should you be interested. The coach is great!

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This is a mom's worst nightmare - you can't actually be there to help your son, and it's difficult to sometimes know exactly what the problem is. I really hope you find the solution and it all works out.

It is important to try and find out exactly what is bothering your son, because if you move him without knowing, the same problem might occur elsewhere. Really liked Ajay's suggestion in this regard. Is it one specific child? Is it even a teacher? Is there any abuse happening? Culture of a school is very important, and they must not tolerate bullying. Have you spoken to the teacher to see if he / she possibly knows the problem? Sometimes just knowing the parent is quite involved helps. I really hope it works out for your son.

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