Sunday, April 15, 2018

The social worker visit

All in all it went great. I wasn't in the Country actually but Mike gave me a very detailed report. We had talked together a lot about how to best explain how it all developed.

The SW was a young girl and Mike said she definitely didn't have any bias one way or another and that was great. First she spoke with Mike while the children were playing in the garden, he told her how Oliver never had a problem in Dublin, how his introduction in this school went, how the isolation was really affecting him etc. She was listening and taking notes, she asked about his access to the internet and television (virtually none, certainly never unsupervised) and she seemed very happy with that. She disclosed to Mike a few more phrases the school had flagged to her (apparently Oliver said to someone what he will do on the the first wedding night, with words worth of a sailor...) Mike was doubly shocked...first of all Oliver never would have had that type of conversation at home, and second, how did the School decided not to tell us!!! We are going to have a meeting set up asap.

Anyway, she then spoke with Oliver (alone, but then told mike) and asked him if he new the PANTS rule which he knew by heart, and also if he knew what words should not be used (he listed a few). She asked him also where did he hear those words and Oliver admitted for the first time we think that they came from a girl in school.

She also spoke with Martina (again alone and referred back), who is as happy as possible and the most upsetting things she could come up with about Oliver was if he pushes her. So all good there.

She said she will talk to the school and get back to us next week (school holidays are finished).

In relation to this we discovered that it is in fact a cultural thing here to constantly tell on people. Whether it's in school or in work, that's how people deal with even minor issues with friends or colleague. I assure you for us this is a major shock and we were raised with "do not tell tales" and "try and talk it through and solve the problem" approach. I see it here even on the playground, if we are out with friends with children...those children are back to the parents every 2 minutes with "Oliver said thiiiiiisss.." "Mark did thaaaaat" it's absolutely unbearable, the most ridiculous things are being reported and the parents have to intervene. So obviously our children and certainly Oliver don't have this approach. Martina is totally laid back and just at the end of the day doesn't give much of a crap about what people say or do if she can still have fun, but Oliver suffers and feels constantly under punishment and judgment. We just have to leave this Country, this is no way to grow up happy.


  1. Interesting about tattling being cultural. I’ve never thought of that. I feel like all kids around here do it, mine included, but they certainly didn’t learn it from me. Lol! I try to ignore it, just like my own parents did, and not intervene but it really is grating. I’m glad your SW visit went well. I hope she writes s favorable report and things start to improve at school.

    1. Hi my friend! Yes I certainly never intervene either unless it's bullying of some kind (of course now even our children are more complaining than before) and try to let them sort things out or just let go if it's not that big of a deal really (I think my most common answer to the silly complaints is "And so what? Would it not be better to use this energy to have fun rather than complaining?"). But the danger here is how this got escalated from a child who clearly selectively reported on Oliver, while neglecting to ever say anything about her dirty-mouth-friend. I want this to be very clear to the school and maybe get them to see how discriminatory their approach has been. I look forward to hearing from her next week, will report back!

  2. So good to read your blog but so sorry to hear what has been going on. It’s so odd. Sounds like your little boy is being a scapegoat! That’s so unfair! I hope you get some support from somewhere for him. That must be very stressful for him. Hugs, my friend!

  3. Thinking of you! Any updates?

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