On the phone this afternoon to a friend and mentioned that 11 year old is copping some flack at his new school. All boys school, 75 kids in the year level, everyone is new as the schol starts in Year 5.
He's being teased basically - from what he says, I think the teasing is stemming from being confident and smart and putting his hand up all the time, for knowing (seemingly) everything about everything, for being a bookworm, for his surname. Doesn't help that in the NAPLAN tests when other kids asked him how they thought he went, he said he had checked through and "knew" he got 48 out of 50. He has also told people (at the old school predominantly) how many As he got in his report.
He dropped his fruit yesterday (berries) and kids stomped on them. He spilled his drink today and kids laughed. At the aths carnival he was one of only a few kids that were laughed at for not getting over the high jump bar (only about 10 didn't smack into the bar altogether).
It appears to have been going on for most of the year, but only recently noticed by us. He's super resilient and robust so hasn't really affected him massively, although he now says he's getting more and more annoyed and "may" do something to them.
Friend says it is "socialisation by peer group" rather than bullying. That yes, it can stem from jealousy (perhaps) and wanting to take him down a peg or two. And that in effect that the peer group is (subconsciously) trying to tone down the more "irritatingly showing off" aspects of his personality when in a group.
Thoughts? Is there such a thing? Is it valid?
I remember similar things from my time at school (long, long time ago) where parents didn't jump to get involved and it was more about behaviour modification by your peers. If you had bad breath (bad example maybe) then kids would "tease" you till maybe you started brushing more.
Is it bullying? Or is it something that the teacher(s) should be made aware of to watch for escalation, but he is just going to have to learn that being a tall poppy has positive and negative aspects to it? Or to stop being such a smart alec. Can you have friends and still answer all the questions?
Really hard to know what to do - in terms of the school and advice for him.