This is not normal behavior for a 13yr old boy. I don't know anything about his mother, but I have to defend you calling her a horrible loser. I am the non-custodial mother of a soon to be 13yr old boy. I also have 2 younger, and am not a horrible mother. My ex was able to get custody from me by his parents paying for his overly-expensive lawyer and kidnapping my son. Because we were married, he was able to pick him up from daycare after I dropped him off one day, and hide him from me for 2 weeks until the first court hearing. Had we never been married, he couldn't have done that. That first 2 weeks was detrimental to where my son ended up. I'm not trying to reprimand or anything, but this history will make sense with what I am about to say. My son has started having some of these same issues this school year. His dad moved in with his girlfriend of 8 yrs, and he switched schools. My son had attended the same school district that his gr-grandparents and mine all the way down to us had attended. He then was moved to a small town, close knit school where he is an outsider. His grades have gone down. Dad doesn't do homework with him, but had the girlfriend helping. She has a son in the same grade that lives there as well. When she would help my son, who is not as academically advanced as hers, she would belittle him. Before my ex moved in with her, his mom was overly involved in my son's life and spoiled him trying to make up for our divorce. My son has not adjusted well to this. I live about 40 min away, but still drive to pick him up and do homework 3-5 days a week. His grades and happiness have improved. He still is considering staying with me now, because of the school. You, being the aunt, may not know everything that is going on because you only get what your brother and mom tell you. You may not get along with the ex of your brother, but she needs to be informed of what is going on. It is possible she doesn't even know. With how you seem to feel about her, I'm guessing that your mom and brother probably feel the same way. Alot of times, us adults talk about things that we think the kids can't hear, but they do. If the dad or grandma are saying ANYTHING about her lack of parenting skills, he has probably overheard. I have found the best approach with my son is being open and honest. No subject is off limits. He talks to me about everything, but is not like this with his dad. You have already opened up the door with the concert. See if you can reach out to him. A 13yr old boy at my son's school hung himself a couple of weeks ago, and it is beyond scary to me to think that kids so young have such depressing thoughts. He needs someone, and you may be his saving G.. Talk bluntly about some of your experiences, and if you can give him one on one time. Talk to your brother about it. My ex-inlaws and I have been working on this for months with my ex husband. (All has been forgiven and we have moved on!) It has taken him a while to get used to the idea that things have to change, but it is moving along slowly. Good luck, and I'm glad that you were able to pick these signs up. You may just be saving his life.