Q I had a bad upbringing and horrible school years, and I never made any good friends at school. And now my 6 year old son is also being excluded from his school social groups and get-togethers. I hear the other mums talking about what they’re all arranging but they never invite me or my son. It’s as if we’re not good enough for them and don’t belong in their posh little club. I imagine them laughing about me and my son and that makes my blood boil. I’d hate him to feel as isolated and lonely as I felt as a child.
My husband has built up a good business and we can now afford to send our boy to a good private school since we moved into a much bigger house in a nicer area. I never expected the snobbery though. I feel so angry towards these stuck-up mums. Is it just me, or them?
A Either they are snobs (and behaving like egotistical children), or you are projecting your own dislike of yourself (and what you experienced in school) onto them and believing it’s them who dislike and reject you now.
Or perhaps your childhood conditioning means that you behave in ways they find uncomfortable or even strange. Not to say that you are strange… maybe just a bit different to them. It might be that your body language is giving out a message that you’re not aware of.
Is there at least one mum who you can become friendlier with? Maybe someone you feel that you’ve got more in common with. Someone who doesn’t trigger your old stuff about not feeling good enough (and with this the feelings of not belonging, being rejected and ridiculed).
If there was at least one such mum this would dispel the belief that they’re all alike and all against you. You might then be able to arrange for your son to have another child around to play and build a stronger friendship with.
Imagine you were meeting you for the first time. What impression would you have of you?
Maybe you could relax and smile more when at the school gate with other mums – so that you appear more welcoming and approachable. You might be able to get into general conversations about the weather or what’s happening at the school (events etc.).
Your son will become more aware of this troubling situation if it continues; so you need to remedy it as soon as possible. Speak with him (and get him to draw and talk about) his class mates and what they do together each day.
Ask your child’s teacher about their peer relationships and how your son interacts. Is he popular and included in the other children’s games? If not, the school – with your input – must remedy this – urgently!
If the teacher says that things are fine for your son, then all this may just be about your relationship with the other mum’s.
This is also about your relationship with yourself and how much of your own past is seeping into the present day. Maybe your own ‘inner child’ doesn’t feel and believe that she belongs in the life you now have – with money, a big house, a nice neighbourhood and a private school.
Please also have a look at the free e-books ‘OPTI-MUM parenting’ and ‘How To Overcome A Troubled Childhood’ which you can find on my website www.maxineharley.com/free-resources/
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)
www.maxineharley.com – where you’ll find a page of FREE RESOURCES which may be of interest to you to understand and escape from your core childhood feelings which still have a hold over you.