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My 5 year old wears prescription glasses for astigmatism and they are helping him immensely and he keeps them on 90% of his waking hours. From time to time I appreciate he 'helping his eyes to see better' and that he is doing a good job by respecting his eyes. This morning he unintentionally forgot his specs (as there is always a spare in his bag for such times). When I asked him to put on his spare specs he said one of his mates called him ugly. It isn't clear to me if he was called ugly for wearing specs or generally.

I asked him "do you think you are ugly" and thankfully he said no. Wonder what I would have done if he said yes. I brushed the matter aside for the time being by saying what your friends say isn't very important or even true (this particular friend of his has often told him "I am the boss of you" "You will do what I tell you to" "You are my butler" etc - and I tell him if he says "I am your father, does it make him your father?" Friends are supposed to be nice to each other - if he isn't nice to you, may be find other friends). Unfortunately, his mate is one of the few guys who is in the "beyblade club" and my son invariably has to end up hanging out with him. Some part of me shudders to thinks that this behaviour from his mates is going to set him up to attract friendships which will contain some sort of unhealthy abuse and he might actually look forward to it.

This has brought up a lot of other situations in my own head - he is always going to wear specs, have speech problems and will be of a minority race in the class. He is bound to be called names - how do I enable him to deal with such situations for now and at least for the foreseeable future?

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There are two issues here.

First, you need to engage with the school. Keep a log of incidents, and take it to a meeting with the class teacher. Ask what they teacher is going to do about it. You don't say where you are, but in many countries the school should have an anti-bullying policy. Also if there is a racist edge to the bullying then that should also be ringing alarm bells with the school. They need to stamp down on this.

Second, you need to help your son reject the abusive "friends". I don't have any good answers here, but your concerns about this are absolutely valid. Can you find out-of-school activities where he might be able to find other friends?

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