I should not be writing on this blog. I should be working. I have so much work to do I could keel over and die quietly in a corner, but I have a pressing issue I need to get off my mind, which hopefully will leave more room for me to concentrate on work stuff.
So I've posted previously about son 1 and his issues with friends and school and life in general. It's getting worse. He goes to a teeny tiny school and has only 7 children in his class. Two of whom are girls and therefore in the eyes of a five year old boy, don't qualify as human beings much less playmates. This leaves 4 potential people for him to play with. Of these 4, he seems to only want to be friends with one. He plays with the others but they're not his 'friends'. The challenge is that his 'friend' wants to be friends with someone in year 1 more than he wants to be friends with my son.
This is causing my son unhappiness in the extreme. You can't force children to be friends. You can encourage them to play nicely and treat people well but more than that, there's not much you can do. I've tried encouraging him to be friends with the others in his class but there just doesn't seem to be the same chemistry for him.
What's more, he is a nightmare going into school in the mornings, frequently running out of the building, clawing and scratching at me. Once in school, he is fine. He reserves this behaviour for me. But I also know that he cries almost every night because he doesn't want to go to school because of the friends issue.
He's recently started asking to go to a different school. I am now trying to make playdates with old friends who now go to different schools in a bid to make him happy. But it's not solving the day to day issue.
The straw that broke the camel's back happened this weekend, when his 'friend' was invited to the coolest boy in the school's birthday party (he's in year 6) and my son wasn't. He was devastated to say the least. How do you explain to a child why he wasn't invited? It would have been fine if I could say: Well he only invited kids in his year group. But he obviously hadn't. He'd invited my son's best friend and not him. I'm not surprised. Despite the year 6 boy being very friendly to my son, he probably sees him screaming and wailing in the playground every morning and thinks he's probably a bit too babyish to manage a big boys party.
Sigh. It was heartbreaking. I've been close to tears all weekend as a result. All parents want their child to be liked. To be popular. To have friends. But what do you do when it doesn't work out that way?
I have considered moving him to another school, but the next closest is so full (30 kids in reception class already with no limit on the numbers) and the others are oversubscribed and a fairly long drive away. I like him going to the local school we can walk to, but if it means another 6 odd years of this, I might lose my mind. And my poor child will certainly lose his.
Tomorrow I'm going to do something that I'm dreading but that I'm doing (officially) to give my son some moral support. (Unofficially, I am trying to buy him street cred by showing the other kids in his school that he's got a 'cool mum' - at least I'm really hoping that's what they'll think - ergo, he too is cool and worthy of being friends with).
The theme of the week is Around the World, so I've agreed to go and give a presentation to the school on my Around the World sailing adventure. This is going to tax my geography skills somewhat, but I've shown my little presentation to my son and he thinks the kids will love it and he seems to be bursting with pride and excitement. I'll take my sailing gear too so they can try it on and there's a short motivational video for them to watch which should have them all nagging for sailing lessons.
It's a pathetic attempt on my part to try to help him win friends and influence people, but I don't know what else to do. I'm going to attempt to speak to his teacher, but I've already had to speak to her sooooo many times about his not going into school issue that I fear she might just silently roll her eyes and curse whoever has landed her with this problem child.
Wish me luck. And feel free to share your ideas on how to tackle this issue.