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Sierra900
Sierra900, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1043
Experience:  Licensed to practice law in California
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My son is six, in first grade, and an only child. In

Customer Question

My son is six, in first grade, and an only child.In kindergarten we received reports that he was performing academically and socially at an age appropriate level. We were told that he tried his best to be a good 'bucket filler', although during the 4th quarter there were a few occasions where he was a bit too chatty. He didn't have any really close friends, but he got along well with others.At the beginning of summer break, he met 3 other kids in the neighborhood -- a second grade boy, a first grade girl, and her 4 year old brother. The 4 of them were inseparable and were frequently at our home playing. My son was also enrolled in a day camp all summer and had a core group of friends there. He just seemed to blossom over the summer.After about a month, I started noticing some behavior in the group that bothered me. The second grade boy (Michael) started picking on the other two kids. If the 4 of them were playing, Michael would sometimes stop and tell the other two that he didn't want to play with them, leaving them in tears at times. I told Michael that treating people like that was unacceptable in our home, but he couldn't understand why. A few weeks later I noticed my son starting to do the same thing to them, and we made it very clear to him that it was mean and needed to stop.When he started first grade, my son was placed in a class that didn't include any of his friends. The first day of school he came home and started playing with the other two kids, and they were playing together peacefully. Michael came over to our house and asked my son if he had played with the girl (Lizzy) at recess. He then told Lizzy and her brother that they needed to leave because he was going to play with my son the rest of the night. I told Michael that he doesn't get to decide who my son plays with, because that's my son's decision. My son then chose to play exclusively with Michael for the rest of the evening.A few days later my son and Michael met some other kids in the neighborhood. At first all of the kids played well together and my son played with one of the first grade kids at recess. But then the same pattern started emerging. Only this time, Michael started excluding my son. My son would see the kids playing, go join them, and then come home a while later saying that Michael wanted to play alone with them. (I did tell my son that the way that Michael was treating him was exactly what he and Michael had done to Lizzy earlier.)Things became progressively worse last week and came to a head last weekend when, according to my son, Michael pushed him off a trampoline and tried to trip him while he was riding his scooter.. Michael told his parents that my son was crying because he fell.His classroom has a behavior chart. During the first few weeks of school my son was consistently on green (meets expectations). But during the last few weeks he moved down to yellow several times. His teacher made a point of telling me during morning drop-off that he's having trouble with self-control-- talking out of turn, not keeping his hands to himself, etc. I mentioned to her that I thought that his behavior was driven in part by the fact that he's trying to connect with other students at get attention. (His kindergarten teacher had mentioned the same thing to me.) She more or less dismissed my concerns and focused on his need to change his behavior.When I talked to him about school yesterday he was visibly upset. He told me that he doesn't have anybody to play with at recess because the neighborhood kids just tell him they want to play with Michael. He looked out the window at Michael's house, saw all of the kids over there playing, and started sobbing. He also thinks that his teacher doesn't like him because he keeps making bad choices and moving to yellow.
Fortunately he goes to an off-site before and after school program with kids from other schools, so he has some social interaction. But he's still left feeling completely alone during the 7 hour school day and for hours every evening. I've enrolled him in a few extra-curricular activities to help him cast a bigger net, but he hasn't yet made a connection to any of those boys.I'm stumped about how to best help him.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Sierra900 replied 1 month ago.

Hello,

I will try and help. Do you have a legal question? Otherwise, I suggest doing nothing. I was your son once. I assure you it will work itself out.

Please let me know how I can help.

DCG

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No.. it's not a legal question. However, I didn't ask the question under the legal section,Thank you
Expert:  Sierra900 replied 1 month ago.

Hello,

I would do nothing. This was me. He will learn to find new friends, how to deal with rejection, how to amuse himself and, if he was like me, not be a slave to peer pressure or popularity. For me those lessons made all the difference. There is nothing wrong here. Your son is learning about life.

I hope this helps.

DCG