March 18, 2012,
D.P. asks from Jacksonville, FL on April 15, 2008
Help with My 13 Year Old Son
It's funny, you know what to say and do when it's not your child.... My 13 year old son is very intellegent. He is in advanced classes, mature, ahead of most 13 year olds. He's 6" tall already etc. At the bus stop he is bullyed by "popular" 12 to 13 year olds that continue to get away with their actions. I've gone to the school about this,(they made up lies to get my son in trouble that wasn't even true, but 4-5 of them backed the lies), to their parents, to no avail. The parents either say: not my child or this is way too much drama for me and don't want to hear it. (That's why their children act this way) My son is a good boy, but it is really getting to him. He is depressed. Says things like: he hates life. He hates himself and much worse. I've discussed everything with him including suicide (just in case he was leaning in this direction) He says no way, but still hates his life. He writes poetry that is so deep and intense, I can hardly believe my son wrote these words. Do I seek counceling for him? I've discussed that idea with him and he of course does not think he needs it. He says, It's them, and if they would stop the laughing and teasing and acting immature it would make like so much better. HELP? What do you do with bratty, spoiled, bullys that parents think are angels? Someone suggested documenting everything, so I told my son to start writing things down on the bus. It's really bad and he does not want "mommy" at the bus stop either: it would make thinks worse. My other son sees it, but they dont bother him. My 13 year old talks back to them: shut up, grow up, etc but it hurts his feelings anyway. He really does have a kind heart.
B.H. answers from Los Angeles on April 16, 2008
This is more common than you can possibly imagine. I taught juior/senior high for 10 years and every year stuff like this got worse and worse. Bullies are always bullies and it is up to the parents to do something about it. Heavens know the schools won't step up and take a stand.
What is a parent to do? I will give you the same advice I have given many parents in the past.
Don't let your child be alone. Now that doesn't mean that you have to be with him every day, but what about another kid? Where is the bus stop, is is in front of houses? What about th people who live in that house, would they be willing to watch what goes on at the bus stop? There are many retired people in every neighbourhood who would gladly "hang around" to help you protect your child.
Have your child carry a recording device with him. There will no longer be a he said/she said situation once it is recorded.
Get your child into counselling. You are the parent, you must make the decision for him. Don't force him to go, ASK him to talk to you or a profesional. Talking may be all he needs. That is what the poetry is about. He needs to elt it out. He may very well just feel like "fighting back" but because of his upbringing chooses not to and is conflicted. Tell him it is okay.
Give him permission to stand up for himself. Take him to self defense classes. Show him the power of taking a stand.
If worse comes to worse, change schools. But please, this is a last resort. It is very hard on the student.
Most importantly, don't give up. There have been too many stories in the news about what happens to kids who are bullied. Let him know you love him, let him know that he is better than all of this.
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D.G. answers from Jacksonville on April 16, 2008
My heart breaks for you and your son! I am so sorry kids can be so mean and ugly. I have a friend who had similar trouble with her middle school son a year ago on the bus - which got better as soon as she did two things. First she started driving him to school, giving them more time to talk and less time for those kids to make him a target. Second, her husband started working out with him (he was overweight) but the exercise and one on one time helped him to feel better about himself. It worked wonders for my friend's son. He went back after summer ready to deal with the issues feeling better and the kids didn't bother him.
I do think you need to change something right away - the comment that he hates life is so sad. He deserves better. I'd change the environment and see if his attitude/outlook improves, if not I'd take him to talk to someone. Good luck!
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E.M. answers from Fort Walton Beach on April 16, 2008
I can totally relate with your son. I am 23 now but in school I was always getting picked on. I went through depression but I never really faught back. I learned from a young age to let it roll off my back and get on with the day. I don't think there is much the school can do unless they are also acting the same when once they get on school property.
If you remember not to long ago in the new there was this same thing a young man was getting bullied and the mom went to the school and nothing happened. Then the boy ended up getting JUMPED on the bus and the driver did nothing. I heared that the boy had an attitude, but it still should not have been allowed to happen.
Back to your son. I know he said that he would rather not go to counseling but That may be the best thing so he can mannage his emotions or just have someone that will not be as involved as you are to talk to. Another thing that helped me was I got involved playing Golf, or just a sport, I also kept a journal of my day, and I wrapped myself in my art. These are only suggestions from my personal expieriance and I really hope they can help. Kids these days are even more curel than I remember them.
I think as a mom you are doing all the right things by being involved. Your son is very lucky to have you and I will pray that his problem may be solved as he gets older.
In high school most of the teasing stopped for me and that is where I made some very good friends. They really helped me with my depression for the most part.
Good luck and God bless,
1 mom found this helpful
C.F. answers from Fort Walton Beach on April 16, 2008
Listen to your son and watch him closely. If you are thinking a professional is a good idea, the do it. Moms usually see what is best for their kids! Be there for him, as parents it is our job and responsiblity to support our kids and let them feel valued and loved! If dad is not in the picture find another male role model for him, often times churches or teen centers have a list of volunteers in your area.
I have worked in a middle school for the past 10 years. It is a hard age group. I have three children, girl 19, boy 16 and the yougest girl is just now 12. The first two kids did well with public school for the most part and seemed to adjust to the challenges and learned to stand up for themselves. The youngest, 12 year old has a hard time adjusting to changes. She does not like confrontation or dealing with the 'mean'kids. We have just recently re-evaluated our schooling ideas with her. She is now in a private Christian school and loves it! We will struggle financially to keep her here, but her attitude it worth it! She can be herself and the 'clicks' are not near as obvious or such a powerful influence at this school. This was a huge choice that thankfully has worked for her.
One of the other things to consider later on is to maybe look into advanced chapter, collegiate or prep schools in your area. The focus is for kids that are advanced. A collegiate HS usually offers placement from 9-10th grade onwards and the students graduate HS with an associates degree at the same time. This can be a rewarding environment for advanced students as most of them are focused and desire to learn.
In the mean time, maybe you could just drive them to school. If the problem is at the bus then eliminate it all together. I hope at school things are better for him. Unfortunately, middle school kids are often mean. He will probably blow up and fight back soon and just try and support and love him even when he has had enough. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers!
M.T. answers from Washington DC on October 27, 2010
I have a similar situation. All the bullying kids are spreading rumors on my son and now he is getting bullied everywhere. I am not sure how to handle this. I told my son to ignore but I do understand it is very hard for him to ignore everything. I do read a lot of people advising to stand up for himself. But what does this exactly mean? I hope your issue is resolved. Please let us know how it got resolved.
D.T. answers from Orlando on April 16, 2008
Actually, what is happening to your son is not unusual at all, I am very sorry to say. I hear it all the time and with rising voracity. That uncomfortable fact is that children, our sweet children, when all thrown together in the pie, don't accept thier differences, as they are being taught in the public school arena, supposedly.
My son, is also 13 and would probably be in the same place as your son, if he went to public school. I do homeschool him and he has enjoyed this for years. He has plenty of acquaintances and a few close friends, as it should be. He enjoys his life thoroughly. In fact, he just sat down and read this about your son and would like to meet him and tell him he's a great kid. His words. He shook his head and is sad about people who hurt others on purpose.
D., I get numerous calls from kids, from public and private schools, asking me what they have to do to homeschool themselves. When I inquire as to why they want to, it's usually a social issue. Parents would be shocked if they knew all the stuff that goes on in the bathrooms and other parts of the school their child attends. I don't know what the answer is for the public schools, they seems to be adding more police and gun control, so they know they have a problem. I do know that your son is special, as each child is, and yet instead of celebrating the difference, he is made to feel like there is something wrong with him. That is not your intention for his life, I can tell. He is really right, he IS fine. What he needs help with, is how to deal with ugly people, who are ignorant of the fact that we are ALL unique in God's eyes, ON PURPOSE!
I would love to talk with you, I get lots of calls about homeschooling because we have the Homeschool Corner and the kids find us in the phonebook. I give seminars to parents to educate them about their options, rights and the rules of the state. I am certainly not trying to sell homeschooling, it is not for every child or parent, but an option to be considered.
Be encouraged, you are not alone and that, unfortunately, this happens alot. You do have options and kids out there that would enjoy being a friend to your son.
J.T. answers from Gainesville on April 21, 2008
D. , maybe spend extra time with your son, maybe couenseling might help. teen years are always sort of tough. and can be scary too for them.i have raised 2 kids myself as well asbeing a step parent 2 different marriages, 2 of the step children are girls who are now grown and 1 has kids, i am age 50, i have a daughter whos 31 with 3 kids married, my son is single age 28 no kids, or relationship. the issue of hating life etc can be a sign oyu should keep and eye on him, maybe something has happened with him that he cannot talk about. or maybe even being teased at school, kids can be mean mouth wise at times, amke sure to let your son know you love him and always there for him, couenseling is not a bad idea too, i had a brother who died in 1993 he was like that all his life. i will not go into the whole story but he was a lot like your son sounds, my mom did not do much to help him . god bless you , sorry if this was not a lot of help as i have no small kids any more. but i have been a mom 2 times plus a step mom 2 times also to 2 different sets of kids. warmly ,joann4999
S.C. answers from Ocala on April 19, 2008
Only your son knows what it is like to go through what he is going through, but I have a two sons that went through the same thing your son is going through. Since every case is different I can only tell you. Take your son to counseling and re-assure him that it is not him the one with the problem it is the other children. The other children are not happy with who they are therefore they have to make fun of others, but their behavoir is a reflection of them not of your son. If he wants to talk to my son ask him to write to my son here. He will respond and sometimes it is better to talk to some one who is not directly involved with the problem, but that had experience the same harrasment. God Bless and my your heart become stronger so you can endure this with your child.