The lovely Sabina at DeepInMummyMatters contacted me to ask if I would like to host a post for her. Not only was I incredibly honoured, but the content is quite relevant for me as a teacher. I hope that you'll be able to come up with some suggestions to help her.
Where are we going wrong?
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re failing as a parent? On the whole I’ve always thought that me and Hubby make pretty good parents, we give our children lots of love and attention, we play with them, we make sure that at weekends we always do something which is specifically for the children (e.g. swimming, play centre or a walk in the park). We try to always be there to listen if they need to talk and we try our hardest to spread our time fairly amongst the children but over recent months/years with Curly and weeks with Little Bean I’m starting to question whether we really are doing a good job or not. This post is in relation to Curly . . .
Curly is 9 years old and my husband’s son from his first marriage. Hubby and Curly’s Mum split up shortly before Curly’s 2nd birthday. When Curly was about 30 months I began a relationship with his dad and his mum began a relationship with her now husband. Initially we all thought that Curly had coped very well with the breakup, in each of the relationships his mum and dad introduced their respective partner’s to him gradually over time and he has always been very accepting of both of us. Everything seemed to be progressing with Curly nicely until his second year at primary school and since then it has got progressively worse.
I know every parent likes to think that their child is bright, but seriously Curly is a very bright little boy, he always comes out top of his class with results and has been moved into the higher capabilities group for maths but every year we get the same response from his teachers; he’s disruptive in class and hard to motivate. Oh we know that well enough ourselves. Trying to get him to do something for you is like trying to get blood out of a stone. We have tried all manner of reward charts, naughty steps etc but nothing works with him.
Last year at School, Hubby and Curly’s mum were asked to go into school to see the Headmaster because his teacher was saying that she could no longer cope with having him in her class, he was too disruptive. At the same time we were constantly being told by Curly that he was being bullied at school by a group of boys. This is where it gets difficult: when we spoke to the school about the bullying they said that it was just good old horseplay and Curly was being oversensitive, basically he needed to ‘man up’ a bit. We started taking him to kick-boxing classes to try to give him confidence and discipline but soon the teacher there was also saying that he was ‘away with the fairies’ and too disruptive in class, he was also starting to get very lippy. Then Curly decided he didn’t want to do kick-boxing anymore.
Yesterday, we had a new issue with him. When my MiL picked him up from school, he was stopped by his form teacher to say that he needed to have a meeting with Curly’s mum and dad because he wasn’t prepared to have him in his class anymore. He simply couldn’t handle his behaviour anymore and basically wasn’t prepared to either. After a little coaxing, Curly opened up to his nan and said that he wasn’t happy at school. He then proceeded to roll up his shirt sleeve and show his nan a bruise on his arm and said that was where his teacher had grabbed his arm in class and reprimanded him in front of his class mates!!! Now, he has been known to tell fibs before so it was drummed into him what a serious accusation this was to make and that he could ruin his teacher’s life if he was telling fibs again. He swore that we could ask his classmates as they all saw it happen.
This morning my husband and Curly’s mum attended the school for a meeting and it has been agreed that Curly should see an Educational Psychologist for assessment. They will also speak with Curly’s form teacher to ascertain his side of the story on what happened yesterday.
We were also told by his mum that she has been having an horrendous time with him over the last few weeks and his behaviour has been unmanageable, yet we have had no problems at all? His mum unfortunately has to work long hours and so he spends a lot of time at his nan and grandad’s house or upstairs in his bedroom whilst his stepdad cooks tea.
His maths teacher said that he has worked closely with Curly for the last few years and describes him as an ‘over-sensitive, very sad and lonely individual . . .’ which as a parent is heartbreaking to hear.
Hubby and I sat down with him last night and tried talking with him, within seconds he broke down into sobs and hid his face in his hands. He said that he didn’t want to talk but after a little bit of TLC he opened up and said that it was all school. He was fed up of being picked on and hated it in his class. Sadly for Curly he has suffered with warts on his hand for years and we have tried many treatments but to no avail. He said that the other children call him “Germy” and touch him then wipe their hands on others saying they have got his germs now. Other than that they shorten his surname into a nickname (which isn’t bad at all – for example, if he was Curly Brown they would call him Brownie) but he gets upset by this. We’ve explained that this is nothing to worry about but he doesn’t like it. If we go to a park and other children are playing he will get very upset if the other children don’t include him in their games and say that no-one likes him.
How do we help him with his self-esteem issues and can anyone recommend a good cure for warts????