Q Dear Auntie Pearl,
I don’t know how to say this, but I don’t think my boy is fitting in at school. He doesn’t have any friends.
He’s in Grade 2 and it’s been like this from the start of school.
The other kids pick on him, I’ve even seen it. They bully him and it feels like there’s nothing I can do.
I spoke to the teacher last year, but nothing really happened.
What can I do?
A Shame darling, it’s never nice to see our children suffer.
Auntie’s heart really goes out to you as well as your laaitie.
You two sound like you share a special mother-son relationship, and you are suffering as much as him in this difficult time.
It is of course very upsetting when your child tells you they don’t have any maaitjies and you see them being bullied. How horrible.
Friendships are very important to children and he must feel terrible if no one wants to be his friend.
He’s probably thinking there is something wrong with him, so please assure him he is perfect the way he is.
That’s often a big thing – the kids start thinking there is something wrong with them. Please tell him it’s not his fault.
That being said, young children of your son’s age often have small fights and dinge which touch them deeply, and then they feel sad, alone and like no one wants to be their friend.
What’s worrying, though, is that you say you’ve seen the bullying and that it’s been like this for a year or more; that you’ve seen the kids pick on him, and you’ve spoken to the teacher about it, yet nothing has changed.
Auntie would suggest you speak to the teacher, and even the head of the school again.
If bullying is going to become a thing or already is a thing, in this specific school or class, they need to be aware of it.
And stop it before it spreads and becomes the culture and the norm.
If they’re still not taking your concerns seriously, go to the department.
Support your child and tell them the kids are being rude to him, and the fact that he doesn’t have friends is not his fault.
Auntie suggests you share more of your story, and get more specific advice from experts in the field.
The Children’s Resource Centre: https://childrensmovement.org.za/ in Mitchells Plain. Email [email protected] or phone 021 633 0230 or 083 373 1179.
GRIP Kidz and their GRIPKidz Anti-Bully Programme: Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/GRIPKidz/ or call 084 031 1892.
Childline: Their toll-free number is 08000 55 555.