Childish nastiness

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, May 31, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    There is an 8 year old boy in the village who has taken against J - I really don't know why but it seemed to coincide with the time J started playing with a friend of this boy's who comes to visit his divorced dad here. Anyway, J has told me he asks to play with this kid and his friends sometimes at school (all the different ages play together as it is such a small school - about 38 kids in total) and they have started to say no, quite nastily apparently. Anyway, today at lunchtime, J came home all excited because he said this kid had asked him to come and play with them and he would show J a place he didn't know... ah, I thought, he's had a pang of conscience, or an adult has spoken to him about it.
    No. When he was talking about it again tonight, J said the kid had asked him to come "at midnight" - of course J doesn't understand that that means in the night, and that the kid was nastily making fun of him. Poor, sweet little J - he was so happy and excited about being included with the older boys...
    I actually feel quite furious with this child and want to tell him next time I see him to stop this spitefulness or I will talk to his parents... while being aware that that is not maybe the best way to handle it. I have told J to say to this boy that J doesn't want to play with him, and I explained that he was being nasty not friendly - it hurt to have to do it, but I think J needs to understand.
    What would you do?
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    After being in a very similar situation a few month back, I had to really explain to V what a friend is and does. AND what a friend does not. I made practice on how to reply when this other boy would insult him. It took quite a few night of practice but one day he stood up for himself "if you want to play with me, you can't call me names. Otherwise, leave me alone". We taught him to have the right tone also. And I wrote a social story that we read every day for a bout 1 month.
    I did not talk to the mother (who I know so talking with her would have been easy) but I did talk to the teacher about what was going on. I even had to have a tough talk with her at on point on she scolded V and told him "we are all friends". She had V so confused that he was crying. I was furious and made it really clear that she was not to say anything like that to V again. We don't live in an idealistic world and it was V's right to refuse to play and be friend with a boy who insulted him on a daily basis. The assistant was quite good though and kept an eye on them and made sure things were under control.
    It worked for us. I can e-mail you the social story if you want.
  3. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    That makes me sad, poor guy! It is hard for me now to have to re-deal with bullies or the mean-ness of childhood through my children. I was never good at it in the first place! I have no real suggestions for you, only well wishes.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Malika, I think you did exactly the right thing. As hard as it is, not all kids "get" the social stuff and need to be taught. I also feel for J. It's difficult being the "odd man out" AND the target of a bully.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is so hard. I was the one who got bullied and would have fallen for the need to meet at midnight and would have sneaked out of the house to do it. Cory also went through quite a bit of this when he was younger. Kids would tell him they would call him later to come play with them and he would wait and they never did. It is horrible.

    One thing you could do is tell him that 8 year olds are a bit too old for a 5 year old and most likely wouldnt want to play with him normally. His friends are going to be around his age. 4,5,6. And friends are nice to you and not mean. If this does continue, I would talk to the boys parents because you never know if this older boy would convince J to go somewhere you dont want him to go.
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I would be concerned that child would try to trick J and put him in some sort of danger. I would think about speaking to the boy and let him know you aware of the situation.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Tell the boy if he bugs J again I am flying big ol' q out to deal with him!

    Ok, seriously, that was really mean and I would have wanted to have a talk with him but I think you are smart to teach J about the reality. I like the idea of teaching him the exact words to say. Problem here was he didn't realize it was mean. High praises for his telling you about it. What a little turd that boy is being.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Only 39 kids in the ENTIRE school???


    That's a tiny little school.

    Is there anyone J's age for him to play with? Personally, I wouldn't want my five year old hanging around with a child that much older than him. At that age, three years is many.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yup, about 38 kids aged from 2 to 11. As I say, the different ages do play with each other, from necessity, and in some ways I think this is a good thing, personally. J went off to school saying he was going to say to this kid "You're not nice! I don't want to play with you." In some ways J is quite sophisticated for his age but in others he is just an innocent five year old... who doesn't understand that people have complicated intentions sometimes. He also didn't know the word "midnight" (in French). I don't know if his not understanding is due to an "issue" or just being due to being five years old. Heavens, I was naive like this well into my adult years... But, yes, I would be happy to read him the social story, Ktllc, if you wanted to send it. Thanks.
    This other kid IS being nasty. He is getting the others of his age group to be spiteful to J... bullying. And the school has no policy on it, of course. The teacher is herself a bully, so what can you do? At any rate, this is life, how it is, and I feel it's good that J learns how to handle himself if someone is being deliberately nasty like this. I WILL speak to the boy also, though, the next time I see him around.
    Little update: was out this lunchtime with J as he rode his bike (and played with a little girl from his school who lives where he rides) and the other kid's dad - who works for the village, doing various work and repairs - came by. J went up to him and declared "T lied to me!" The chap understandably looked puzzled so I went up to him and just explained a little of what was going on... He looked concerned and said he would talk to his son. Apparently he is forbidden from seeing the boy J sometimes plays with because, the man said, they get up to mischief in the village together and people phone him to complain... Which explains to me something of why this kid has started being nasty to J. And also underlines the whole difficulty of staying in this village with a child who is not satisfied staying at home playing quietly by himself and where I cannot invite other kids to come here because there is no enclosed garden or woodland. Trouble is I myself am now quite attached to this house with its spectacular views all around...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I went to a very small school in my early years. We had less than fifty in the whole school. I had an older sister there but that was no advantage - she did not know how to be a big sister (at the time) and we didn't get on. My sister's friends used to bully me. I had friends my own age, but I was glad when my sister graduated out of that school.

    You did well to bump into the other boy's dad. The problem with this other kid sounds a lot like what easy child went through at our village school - a girl who was very controlling, would "decide" who would be friends with whom and would direct activities. easy child often came home and said, "L said she could not play with me today because A said no." Or "L said she is not my friend any more, because A said if she was my friend, then she wouldn't be friends with L." By next day (or the following week) the friendships would have rearranged themselves, but there was always that uncertainty because A would want to control every relationship.

    It is interesting now they're all adults, to see how they turned out. easy child is very self-assured and capable. She's married, has a career and a baby. They own a house, a car, a dog. L is still making her way in the world, she's living in the city, renting, trying to find her feet professionally. A has just moved back home (again) with her parents having just changed career direction (again). L and A are both lonely, A especially so.

    It's interesting - overall, the ones who were most resistant to the control tactics and "if you talk to her you're not my friend" stuff are the ones whose lives are working out well. Married happily with kids and a job they love that they've been doing for some time. Meanwhile the ones who allowed themselves to be manipulated (or who in turn were manipulative) have never learned how to cope with the push-pull of human relationships, and as a result their lives are in a permanent holding pattern.

    If you move to escape social unpleasantness, you will find more where you move to. it is everywhere, you cannot escape it. Instead, you can use this as an opportunity to teach J how to cope. it happens to all kids, it's not just J being a bit different. The sooner he learns how to protect himself from this, the better. And the greater will be his chances of normal relationships later on. This stuff is nasty, it's hurtful, but it is something we all meet at some stage in our lives. How we learn to cope now, sets the pattern for how we deal with it later.

    You shouldn't have to move. Make your happiness and your space where you are.

  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Wise words, Marguerite. My brother, who visited us here recently, made a similar comment about how vital these early relationships and lessons were in later life, including professional life - what we learnt, or didn't learn, to handle would stay with us.
    I certainly wouldn't consider moving because of this boy and his antics and do agree about these dynamics existing everywhere. What does seriously make me consider moving is the school itself and my inner certainty that what would be best for J is an alternative school where he will be able to learn in a way more natural to him and also not continually subject to reprimand and punishment... That said, it may not even be possible and we may just end up staying at the village school where J is due to have a change in teacher in September. I contacted the Waldorf school and this is a no-go - might explain why in another post. I have a meeting with a teacher at an alternative school week after next and then J has to spend two trial days there... I really don't know how that will go or how he will behave in a new environment. So if that doesn't work out or is not the right place, I have run out of options this late in the day. And, I agree, staying on would have its own benefits.
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Just to play Devil's advocate, you mentioned that J did not know the French word for midnight. Is it possible that he misunderstood the time the boy said? Overall though, I don't know that a 5 year old and an 8 year playing together is a great idea and I say this as a mom of 5 who has had many years of observing kids of varying ages playing together. Siblings or cousins playing together is one thing but unrelated children is not my first choice. I would also be concerned if the boy told J he wanted to show him something he'd never seen. That could mean possible sexual play or taking him to a dangerous spot. If you felt the dad is trustworthy perhaps you can invite him and his wife over with the boy to see how they play together.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Svengandhi. Thanks for your comments. They don't play together - J wants to and this older boy refuses, nastily; I've seen him cycling away from J, laughing at J's distress, for example. The so-called "offer" for J to go and play with this boy and his little band of friends, at midnight and to show him a den that J didn't know, was just a cruel way of making fun of him.
    The heart of the problem is that we don't have an enclosed garden. If we did, I would invite other kids over, of J's age - despite all the hesitations about J being too over the top with other kids much of the time, etc - and he could play that way. As it is, he sees this kid and another of similar age out and about in the village on their bikes and of course he wants to go too, on his bike. I am beginning to feel I should think about putting this house on the market and trying to buy a house with land in the area - trouble is the latter, in my budget and in this region, are very thin on the ground! Which is why I bought in the village in the first place...