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Posted by: Trudi | 2004/02/17

Son (12) terrified of school

My son aged 12 (in grade 7) are terrified to go to school. He now has asma attacks and bladder problems because of this. He is very moody, agressive and overall very 'cheeky'. I have talked to him and he has told me that: 1) The teacher picks on him. 2) Because he is built very slight, the children bullies him. I have talked to the principal, who had a talk with my son, but it is as though my son do not trust the principal to sort these matters out. We have been having severe financial troubles as well as me remarrying. I think all this has now escalated in so far that he is getting terribly stressed out and are showing signs of depression. He needs help URGENTLY and I do not know how and where! Please help!

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Our expert says:
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Dear Trudi,
"Helpful" makes some useful suggestions, if a change to a different school is practical. Also, check out, through the school where he is, the availability of counselling through psychologists asociated with the education dept, who ought to understand this sort of problem. Even if he doesn't knwo of the details, he may be feeling some stress through recognizing that you have been stressed about the financial problems and the remarriage,
You say that you have spoken to the school principal, and although your son doesn't trust him to sort things out ( it's not easy for a boy to trust even a very good Headmaster) I gather from that comment that the head has said he WILL sort it out, and perhaps it's worth seeing if he can achieve anything useful, and discussing with him what more can be done. If the head cannot sort this out ( and yes, some teachers can be needlessly unpleasant towards vulnerable students --- interesting how they never pick on the bullies, only the bullied -- ) ten he ought to help both as regards finding psychological counselling help for the boy and potentially a transfer to a friendlier school.
Make sure that your son understands that you recognize that his situation has been unpleasant and that steps are underway to remedy this, and that you don't think anything the less of him.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Trudi | 2004/02/17

Thanks for all the help.... I REALLY aprecciate it!

Reply to Trudi
Posted by: Helpful | 2004/02/17

Hi,

I had the same situation as your son when I was his age and in grade 6-7. My mother also went to the principle but this was just used against me by the teachers who picked on me and they in turn told the students how pathetic I am as my mother had to run the principle. It's shocking how childish these primary school teachers can be. My advice would be to send your son to another school, especially if its affecting his health. It may seem useless, seeing as he is going to high school next year, but that would help him make new friends with which he can enter highschool with. I went to a different primary school in grade 7 and loved every bit of it. Make sure though that the teachers in the new school understand his situation, they can help him adjust quickly. Be warned though that if he ends up in a different primary school that is prone to cliques sending him to that school at such a late stage would be even worse.

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