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education.com asks:
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What to do about problems my son is having at school?

"I am a single mom & my child has a few problems at school. He is really shy to talk about what's really going on. He has had to change to 4 different schools and 2 out of 4 has reported no signs of learning problems or behavioral issues. The other 2 (including his current school) have just been a real bad experience for him. It always starts with him being the new student, & then he comes home & would cry because the other boys don't want to be his friend, tease him, call him names, & he simply would constantly tell me,"I hate this school. They are mean to me and they lie to the teachers and the principals about what they'd do to me." "But I didn't start it! They made me mad!" I would always follow up that day or next, & would constantly ask questions & try to suggest what they could do to help my child be free from these incidents with other children. I mentioned that this needs to stop & how my son would be upset almost everyday from these children. I would also tell them my worries about my son getting fed up with the treatment & it would start affecting his participation in school assignments or even start getting into trouble for hurting them. I am just fed up & want to know what to do? I have gotten furious at the school & yelled at everyone in the office because this year it began again with a student punching my son in the face sending him to the health room for tapping gently on the other boys forehead."

Asked by Gina via email.
Member Added on Nov 6, 2009
Continued: "Then he reported that two boys were teasing him during recess saying he was not eight years old and was too small, which resulted in him throwing one of the boys hats. Then by the time this major incident happened we started seeing it affecting his school work and homework. He no longer wants to do the right things! This last one I had reached the school a few minutes after 2pm which is when the bells rings, when he got in my car he looked upset so I asked him what happened and if everything was alright and he just broke down a cried frustrated and was furious. I got really angry and said which one of you boys did something to my son. I got out and had my son point out the children and there were three or four student all bigger than my son. One was teasing the other put my childs head in lock and the other punched his face! I was raging, I said what the hell is your problems you are not supposed to be hitting anyone. All of you are coming to the office NOW! While a few other students were telling me what happened on my way to the office. I walked in there and demanded for the principal! I cursed and said I want her outside right now. All of these kids are beating up on my son and I had it this is bull crap! This needs to stop! Ever since that incident though they have made reports for every little thing because I had reported to pressed charges on the school. My son has given up on doing what's right and now does things to get in trouble."
Member Added on Nov 6, 2009
"He knows it's wrong yet he just wants them to be his friend. Please advise on what to do! I know they are making record now because they want to make my son look like he has the problem because of the thing he has started to do at school. HELP ME! Gina, from Hawaii"
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school, Bullying and teasing, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Nov 11, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like you and a your son have been through a lot. Schedule a meeting with the principal and your son's teacher to discuss the bullying your son is experiencing. It's easier to talk about a situation when things are calm, not right after it happens when emotions are high. Every child deserves to go to school in a safe environment. If your son is being physically hurt at school, the administration needs to make changes to ensure that doesn't happen again. In addition, your child needs to agree that they will not touch another child with the intention to hurt them.

Changing schools can be very tough on a child. Was he forced to change schools because of behavioral issues, or for reasons out of his control? If your son is having the same negative experiences at every school he goes to, it may be time to look at whether your son needs to change his behavior. It's possible that he's simply having adjustment problems and it's coming out in the form of misbehavior. Ask the school counselor to work with your son on adjusting to his new school environment. Ask the school counselor to discuss what other students have done to successfully deescalate a bully. If he refuses to speak to the school counselor and you, you may want to consider taking him to an outside counselor that specializes in working with children. Give our hotline a call if you would like referrals to counseling agencies in your area. A counselor may be able to help your son improve his self-esteem and help him learn to be more assertive when he's in a bully situation.

Continue to give your son positive praise when he handles a situation appropriately. With help from the school, hopefully you will find that the bullying will cease and your son will being to have a positive learning environment.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (2)

laslo
laslo writes:
My sympathies for your frustration.It's hard for children at that age to make friends and when they do it seems to be so important.The first thing you need to tell your son is that he is not doing anything wrong and that he is not at fault.Bullying is a real problem in any school system and perhaps if you can't get any help from the school is there any other resource available?.A school psychologist is going to follow the party line but perhaps an outside counselling service?I know this sounds like a clichè but have you tried channeling your sons' frustration toward a sport? If your son could make friends outside of the school environment his dependence on his schoolmates might lessen.As well,a sport that he enjoys will build his confidence,self esteem,his interests, his social circle,etc. but don't push him! Make him think it's his idea that way he will want to take control.Don't give up on him and make sure he knows that whatever happens you love and support him. Persevere with the positives!Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
Gina, Have you considered another form of schooling? Your child seems to be distressed and it may be due to all the changes. He needs consistency in his life. I would try to find a private school or smaller setting for him and keep him in it.
> 60 days ago

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