'Why are the meanest kids the most popular?'
This is the question my 12 y.o. DS asked me the other day. He figures if he is nice to people, they should be nice to him, and he can't figure out why some kids think it is so funny when others are mean, even kids who are supposed to be friends of the victim. He's not just talking about himself, but other kids he sees getting picked on regularly who have never done anything to anyone. I told him I thought that things hadn't changed a whole lot since I was in middle school, and that the "mean" kids tend to peak in middle/high school and that their bullying skills are not generally appreciated or rewarded in the real, working world (with some notable exceptions). But I was unable to come up with any great advice for how to deal with this, other than to make sure he sticks up for his friends or anyone who is being treated unfairly.
Any concrete advice for kids this age? It would be much appreciated!