JJ has had a pretty hard time adjusting to being at school. He’s been there for just over half a year now and the adjustment’s still happening – the wheels grind slowly. I think he has a hard time making his own friends. He does have friends – they are kids of my friends that he has known all of his life so they’re used to his ways and he’s used to theirs.
Then along comes school, and JJ’s safety net of me has gone regarding the friends thing. He has to find his own way and he’s having a hard time of doing it. This is part of the reason why I’m seeing a psychologist about him because I want him to learn how to make friends as this will stand him in good stead for the rest of his life. It’s obviously not an innate thing that we know how to not scare potential friends away as JJ unfortunately seems to have a habit of doing to the kids at school.
His teacher thinks he’s insecure and this makes sense as insecurities make us overcompensate, and JJ’s way of overcompensating is putting himself right in people’s faces and scaring them away. He’s had issues with one particular kid in school. This kid is really quiet and doesn’t stand up for himself and JJ has tried to make friends with him.
At school swimming lessons a week or so ago, JJ was in the changeroom after the lesson and shook his head, shaking his hair like a dog does when they’re wet. He has lots of hair, like a shaggy dog, but only on his head of course, and as a result lots of water stays in it so when he shook his head, lots of water went over the quiet boy’s mum. She didn’t like it and asked him to stop. Well that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull – he kept going.
She didn’t like him shaking his wet hair all over her and consequently told JJ’s teacher. I’m not quite sure what purpose that was supposed to serve, especially as playground policy for the kids is that they try and deal with things like this themselves and then if they can’t and/or there’s danger involved, that’s when they tell the teacher. I don’t think this was justified in this case. The only reason I heard about it from the teacher was because she mentioned it to me when we were talking about other stuff.
I don’t know if she mentioned it to the teacher because of JJ’s reputation, or because that’s the sort of person she is. But this is the sort of thing I guess we’re going to come up against at school.
The mum did tell me about the shaggy dog incident the next day at swimming and I laughed because I thought it was a bit funny. If it had happened to me I wouldn’t have told the teacher, I just would have worked it out between the kid and me, but maybe that’s the difference between being the parent of a spirited boy and a quiet one.