Thursday, February 21, 2008

What can I do?

I don't know how to say this or even begin to talk about it. It has to do with my son. I know that he has been having some problems in school. He is okay academically - he just did not quite have the social graces, or the knack of being around people.

I suppose I could identify with him. When I was in school as far as I can remember, I did not really have close friends. I talked and played with my classmates, but I didn't have any buddies. I tried to get myself into groups but that didn't work - I just wasn't included, I didn't feel I belonged. Thinking back, it didn't quite bother me. I did what I had to do in school and that was it. Life goes on. Things did became better when I grew up.

But now that I see it being played out with my son, I am heart broken. He was asked several days ago to write about "My Life in School". First things first, I seriously think the school should be coming up with better and more creative topics for kids to write by now. My son has been asked to write about his school at least once, if not twice a year. Come on, how much can one write about school if you have been writing about it for the past 3 to 5 years? It gets boring.

He playfully started his paper by saying, "My life in school is boring." I told him to get serious and he wrote, "My life in school is very boring."

Since he has to complete the assignment today, he asked for my help. I started to suggest stuff to include: the usual stuff he does in school, i.e. the classes, the homework, the activities.

I said, "Write about your friends."

"I don't have any friends."

"Why not?"

"How should I know? They keep calling me names."

What can I do as a mom?



  1. Oh, Pearlie, it is heartbreaking. My youngest is experiencing school like that. He's a bit bookish, full of dry wit that confuses kids his own age, and very direct.

    I don't have any advice - as I am behind you in this and eagerly await the advice you can give me! You were like that and it turned out okay - but it is much harder to face the suffering of your child. My husband tells me not to worry, because he was the same way when he was little. He said he had a great relationship with his mom, and she never let him believe he was not special. Eventually he blossomed. He still only has a few close friends, but is very content. I suspect you make sure Calvin always knows he is special. And let me tell you, that will go far. I married a momma's boy - I know. ;)

  2. Oh Pearlie I am so sorry to hear this. Our grandson, Aric, who just turned 9 is having the same problem. He actually has one boy, a bully, who has tormented him for 3 years now. His dad has been very good to point out to him that it is the other boys "problem" and his lack of self worth that causes him to act like that's still hard. Just recently a new boy started to school there. He and Aric are very much alike and have already developed a close friendship. He was at Aric recent birthday party and I posted a picture of the 2 of them.

    I truly believe it is the more intelligent children that get this sort of treatment. Our Aric is and I know your Calvin is. That speaks a lot doesn't it!!!!

    I pray for your Calvin A FRIEND!!!

  3. I feel for you and Calvin. Growing up, I too preferred the company of a small group of close friends.

    Perhaps if he could get involved in some sort of extracurricular/group activity revolving around something he's interested in: a musical instrument, or art, or chess?

  4. Calvin sounds like my son.
    I've spoken to teachers and they tell me how great he is. His ministry leader loves him and he is great at working with the homeless. Church is where most of his friends are.

    I’m praying for our guys. I need to have my son e Calvin they most likely will relate to each other.

  5. So sorry to hear this, Pearlie.

    I don't have any advice but I can feel for Calvin.

    I too had been 'bullied', not by friends, but by my school teacher, in particular my Chinese language teacher. I had been aksed to stand on the desk and outside the classroom countless times, and even once in the dustbin outside the class, simply because I was never good in my chinese language. I was called names by this teacher that humiliated me in front of everyone. He even publicly announced that I would fail my SPM Chinese paper (to cut the long story short, I still managed to score a credit for it!) All this happened because I preferred reading english novels to chinese literature in school, and many called me "banana" because I was one who constantly almost never made it in my chinese language examinations - this continued until I finished my Form 5 and left for my tertiary education!

    I too will pray for Calvin a good friend and buddy!

  6. Wow ... my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of you, my brothers and sisters. Thank you for your support and all the prayers. It means a lot, and how comforting it is to know that God hears our prayers and answers in good time.

  7. Missy,
    Yeah ... i know what you mean by the dry wit part - my son's friends don't get him either, and we find him witty and funny.

    I shall listen to your husband, and not worry on our side too. BTW, what is it like to have been married to a momma's boy? :) It is never too late to pray and get ready to be a mother-in-law! LOL

  8. Susan,
    Reading all the comments here I find that that men were bullied and the ladies have sons who are being bullied. What do you make out of that? :)

    Aric looks like you. I told Calvin the same things too but like you said it is still hard. At the very moment when it happens, it is hurting.

  9. BK,
    His school is small and so in activities that he takes part in, I think they are quite the same people. In Primary 4, it is compulsory that he takes co-curricular activities. He took part in music - except that he chose it because he dislike it the least! :/

    On top of that, he is taking Creative Art on Fridays - I had to pay for that one though but happy he is interested in it at least. I only hope through time, he will make some fast friends.

    I am just wondering, viewing the comments here and observing the kids in his school, girls may have less of that problem - any thoughts?

  10. Milly,
    Sorry, you were saying? have my son e Calvin?

    It is wonderful that your son is working with the homeless. My son still thinks the world evolves aroung him! I wonder when will reality dawn on him?!

  11. Kar Yong,
    Oh dear, so sorry to hear about your scary school days - to make you feel better, I have had my share too. I had this CAPITAL LETTERS TERROR THE MERROR English teacher! We actually to the full sense of the word feared her and would begin to panic when English lesson nears, and one more, my Law lecturer, the same kind - (brrrhhh shiver).

    I have stood on desks countless many times but not as bad as standing in the dustbin - that is a really terrible teacher! Goodness gracious! I also have this teacher who makes flying saucers out of our exercise books - she makes them fly out of the class, one by one, as she marks them.

    I still managed to score a credit for it
    Proof that you are of the high IQ group of human! haha ... I actually had my Accounts teacher coming to congratulate me because I scored a B. She was so surprised.

    Thanks for your prayers :) appreciate it. Anyway, he will be wailing when he finds out I posted this! haha ... and I must see how he will react knowing that now so many nice people are praying for him. On a different note, with all the people problem currently in my workplace, it is such an amazing thing to realise what a blessing that we are one body in Christ. And we have so much to thank God for. Praise His name!

  12. Pearlie, for me home was far worse than school. I think my experience, as a girl that is, was we were a bit more socially adept than the boys. The boys seemed to polarize, at least in the younger years, to brain vs. brawn. Just my thoughts.

    Personally, I think marrying a momma's boy was my deepest desire come true. It was tough at first because I felt as though I was competing with her. I guess there are extreme's, but they have a wonderful and healthy relationship. She taught him to be respectful and compassionate - and to iron and polish silver properly. It has taken time for my MIL and I to discover who we are to one another, but I admire her more and more as the years go by and can clearly see how it was she who raised such a fine husband for me.

  13. School can be so hard for kids.. both mine hated Christian school because of all of the legalism and lack of love. Public scholl presented other problems too. Back then I wasn't the type of dad who empathized with them.. mainly I sought to fix them.. they needed me to listen to (and not solve) their problems.

    You might want to share with Calvin about your school experiences Pearlie. It could help to hear that his mom had similar experiences. Mainly just be vulnerable and transparent about it. Don't try to coax him or get him to talk.. be there for him.. tell him about your struggles. I suspect that he can use the empathy and encouragement.

    I am sending my prayers to you and Calvin!

    Blessings, Bob

  14. Hello Pearlie,

    I marked this the day you wrote it, and only how have had the time to return. I'm sorry.

    I agree with everyone here. I feel for Calvin as well. I was an outcast and so was my son - only my son is no longer an outcast. He learned to find and keep friends.

    What was the difference? It was my problem, and I gave it to my son. I cured it in myself, and with my help he was able to cure it in himself. But it may not be the case for Calvin. This was my problem, and I'm not accusing anyone else of having it.

    I was a big-hearted, sensitive, self-righteous, self-absorbed person who thought he was more special than anyone else. My son ended up having the same problem.

    One day, when he was in 5th grade and attending public school for the first time, he talked to me about it. He told me how evilly the kids at schools treated him and in the same breath how wrong everything they did was, how they broke every rule. As I listened, I heard my mother's tapes playing in my head about how wonderful I was and how jealous everyone else must be, and how it had taken me years to undo the damage her speeches let me do to myself.

    I assured him that he was a great kid, but I told him all those other kids were great too, and that they could not all be bad. In fact, nothing he told me was really bad. That was just kids being kids. I even told him that thinking he was better than all the other kids made it impossible for them to like him.

    That was a tough talk.

    6 years later, he sat me down and chewed me out for that talk. He told me, "When I told you about how all those kids were mistreating me, you told me I was special and all the other kids were wrong. You should have told me that I was just being a jerk."


    In 6th grade we put him in a Christian school, and he found 2 kids there that he treated like equals. I'd like to think I helped a little in making that possible for him. His memories are to the contrary, but there's nothing to be done about that. Those boys are still all friends now that they're college age.

    It's not easy to be that parent, because when they begin fitting in with the other kids, they are fitting in with the other kids. That's tough to watch. It's easier on us to raise angels who are above the world, and maybe it's better. I don't know, but I don't think so. I think they need to connect with people, not try to stand above them.

    Neither of my children is Christian, but that has more to do with the circumstances of the church mistakes I made and the divorce we put them through than their connection with other kids.

    Only you know Calvin and Pearlie, and maybe this does not pertain to you at all, but if it helps you see things from a new angle then may the Lord use it.