What is this parent doing and why

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  • #12330 Report


    I have a four year old son and three older teens/almost adults so I’ve seen a lot of strange playground stuff but…

    Having been through playground politics for many miserable years and not wanting to see anyone else go through it, when I saw a mother (from another country who can hardly speak English) and her scared looking son on their own at the back of the playground every day I did my best to befriend her and encouraged my son to play with and involve hers. I was happy to see that very quickly they came out of their shells, made more friends and gained confidence.

    About three months ago I noticed that another parent (a father, which made a change as in my experience it’s usually women) was trying to isolate my son from his friends and was actually being horrible to him. I have no idea why but if he saw my son talking to anyone he would distract the other child/ren and get them involved in a game or something and leave my son stranded. It was always the aforementioned child and occasionally others. This parent had a party for his son’s Birthday and invited everyone in the class but my son and started arranging trips and activities for the particular child outside of school. He often ignores his own child in the playground to put all his attention on this boy. There’s a load of other things but you get the picture.

    Much of that is none of my business but how it’s affected my son is and it ended with me realizing that my talking to the boy’s mother was one of the aggravating factors that was triggering this man and making things worse so I suddenly quit talking to her. No doubt she’s totally confused why but I can’t change the man’s behaviour and have to protect my son. It’s made the atmosphere at school on the playground really horrible and awkward but I dunno what else I could have done.

    I don’t think I can tell the school because how could you explain something like this with out sounding paranoid or irrational. I even asked my daughter to come and see for herself one day so that I know I haven’t imagined it. If anyone has had any similar experience or can even just offer advice that would be great

    #12331 Report


    And what did your daughter say?

    I would speak to the school in confidence – they are used to handling things like this. As long as you’re not a persistent nag, they’ll listen. You may be surprised what teachers have already noticed. This may be a corroboration they are waiting for.

    #12353 Report


    My daughter described an incident she saw where the man intervened to distract the boy from another friend (not my son) and it left the friend looking bereft and confused as one minute they were standing in the line playing around and the next minute the boy had suddenly been whisked away.

    At the time I thought this might suggest the man was only interested in the one boy and it wasn’t about my son after all but then that wouldn’t explain all the other things like why he’s worse when he sees me talking to the mother or why he’s left my son out but not others.

    You’re right I should speak to the school, I’ve not raised concerns before so am not a nag and it did cross my mind that they might already know something but the staff are never on the playground in the mornings so I dunno what.

    Two teachers asked me today why I won’t let my son go on the school trip (it’s because the man is going as a helper) and kept trying to convince me to change my mind because he’d be well looked after but I didn’t want to tell them anything in front of other parents.

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