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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Undecided - Rules and bad parenting (warning: swearing)

So at the risk of revealing some of my appalling parenting, I want to put this out to the ether, as I'm unsure what I think about this, and I need to hear all sides of the argument to make up my opinion.

New parents, this is not what to say to your kids.

The story begins: My son complained of this kid annoying him all lunch - poking him repeatedly, saying his name, and when my son answered, the kid would say "Nothing".
The kid is in the grade below, so he's not bullying him; it's just annoying (ie no menace). I said "Just walk away". My son said, 'He follows us, and keeps doing it'.
Again, my son is with some friends, and this kid just wants to join in, but in a highly irritating way (ie the kid is not waiting until my son is alone or anything nefarious).

So (you can all roll your eyes now at my parenting, my teen does all the time), I said 'Next time, just say Billy*, you're being a dick, and you can't play with us if you annoy us. So stop being a dick or go away'.

At which point, the sensible teen steps in (I thought to tisk me off at my language but NO!). 'Mum, he can't say that, he'll get in trouble. You aren't allowed to exclude people'.

I was a little stunned at this, and went on to clarify 'So your telling me, that even if he's not in his year, and he's being a jerk, you still have to play with him?' (Apparently yes.)

Now I don't like exclusion, and I don't like kids going out of their way to be mean to other kids. However, do you really have to be friends with everyone? All the time? Do you really have to play with people if you don't like them, and they could go and play with kids in their own year?

So, let me know where you stand on this. I really am undecided. This kid is not being mean, but he's not going to make friends if he keeps annoying people with stupid behaviour - and he probably doesn't know it's annoying (though he is old enough to know better, but maybe no one has ever told him, because it's not allowed).
Do you think it's fair that the school has a rule that you can't not play with someone?
Sort of seems a little over the top....

Linking up with some Grace for FYBF

*Billy not his name, obviously.


  1. Ummmmm. Tricky. Can they help him find friends of his own year level to play with? Because it sounds like his peers might have already done something along the lines of your advice! No idea what to say, sorry.

  2. Haha I love you litle clip,jsut to link up. Cute. There's always a few kids like that in classes. Hopefully by term two, everyone will find their groove and become more engaged in school. Engaged kids are usually less bothersome. Good luck and cheers for linking.

  3. Umm, umm, umm, I'm stumped ... It does seem like taking inclusion a step too far. Maybe have a quiet word with a teacher, pass the responsibility on?

    1. I reckon it is, it's like 'anti-bully' gone nuts...

  4. This sounds familiar! My son had a similar issue with a kid last year who was difficult to play with. So I just suggested to him that he pull the kid aside (not in front of the other kids) and just say "Billy*, we find it hard to play with you when you're like this. If you want to play with us you can, but you need to make it easier for us to want you there. How about you ...... or ..... instead". It fixed the problem for a few days, but then Billy* was finding it hard to "not be himself" so he naturally wandered off and started playing with kids who were more like him. It ended up being a win/win because there was no exclusion just a natural transition without anyone feeling excluded.
    Agree with Sarah too. Having your son have a quiet word with a teacher who may encourage the child to play with kids his own age.

  5. It's hard to know where to draw the line. Does the need to include one have to be at the detriment to an entire group? Tricky. I don't know.

  6. Hmmm this is a good question. You're obviously not going to want to include someone who is being annoying. Considering the rules, maybe your son can say, okay you can hang with us, but you have got to cut it out with poking and being annoying. Maybe it's this kids way of getting noticed and wanting to belong. I'm not sure. Not much help sorry.

  7. I agree with Renee. Maybe he could ask him to stop without being rude or excluding him - I know it's asking a lot of a kid to be so diplomatic! It's a very good question but I'm not sure what the right answer is, sorry.

  8. Hmm that's a tough one because human nature would say to just stay away from someone that's annoying. I think you have to look at it at how it would affect you. If someone is going to cause you pain or make you unhappy, then of course you should cut that person out. But in this case, if the person is likely doing it unknowingly, maybe your son can help to advice and see if the person changes for the better...

    Oh parenting is a toughie for sure!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  9. It happens and kids do get excluded when my sons are , one twin reports his brother excludes him sometimes. It is hard to know how to deal with it. I teach them to walk away.

  10. Totally tricky. I don't know what I would do in this case. Can your son just sggest he play with kids in his own class?

  11. Lydia, I hear this from Bell too, and it really baffles me! I agree, there's nothing nice about exclusion, but really do they have to be friends with everyone?? It just doesn't seem to portray a realistic view of the world, and is kind of like the "every kid wins a prize" school of thought.
    Maybe I'm being a bit harsh, but why should our kids have to be made to spend their free time with someone who is annoying? I wouldn't do it, and I don't think they should have to either.
    Having said this, I think maybe the little guy needs to have one of the teachers look into the fact that he doesn't have other friends in his own grade to play with.
    Have I explained myself OK, or just babbled? I'm tired!! xx

    1. I think the rule is stupid - it's totally PC gone mad.

  12. I just tell my girl to walk away, but then it's hard and not as clear cut as it sounds. And I've told my girl that we don't always have to be friends with everyone, well I had to really, after one of my supposed best friends ditched me, and she started asking questions. Good luck!

  13. I would have a word to the principal, can't hurt. It sounds like this kid is not sure where he fits in and is testing the waters for potential friends. Maybe he has social skill issues due to an autism spectrum thing. Lots of maybes, but not fair that you child is being harassed at school, doesn't make it comfortable for him at all. Why should he have a bad experience because of the non-exclusion thing? Good luck with it :)

  14. The non exclusion thing has the potential to cause more bullying in my opinion. I mean should a child have to play with another child who is bullying them? I tell my 4 year old that if he doesn't want to play with someone because they are being mean then he doesn't have to. I hate the bullshit stories that we are supposed to tell our kids about the other kid being jealous of them etc when sometimes it's just a case of them being little arseholes.

  15. yeah super tough one Lydia, I kinda like your approach because why should your son have to put up with someone who is annoying, especially when they are not even in his year level. But then what if we were the parents of the other child? What would we be saying then? I think you should certainly be bringing this up with the school staff and get their assistance.

  16. Absolutely not - that is political correctness gone wrong AGAIN !!!
    I thought he was going to get into trouble for calling the kid a dick not for saying he didn't want to play with him !!!!
    I hope he (aka Billy whoever !!) finds kids his own age to play with and leaves your boy alone.
    Have the best day !