my child is being left out

tiffmcmJune 20, 2008

My son is 11 years old. He has had many friends and a very active social life for the past year or so. A couple months ago he got in trouble with two of his friends. Ever since then things have not been the same. He has had some issues this year with his grades and not being able to stay out of trouble. He basically has no friends anymore. I feel terrible for him and there is nothing I can do it is killing me. This is the age when you are supposed to be having fun. He is driving his siblings crazy and lashing out at me. I can't even disipline him without him taking off or riding away on his bike. Yesterday was the last day of school and he was home by himself on the computer. You can see it in his eyes. He gets mad when I suggest calling someone. I read that their hormones are raging right now and that could have alot to do with it. Please if anyone has any advice I would appreciate it. I am trying to keep things in perspective but my husband doesn't seem to think its that big of adeal and it is really putting a strqain on our relationship. please help

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I have three sons and two are super active with lots of friends and one is more of a home body. In our area sports are the glue to friendships, 75% of boys are playing the seasonal sport so if he isn't involved in sports that might be a good thing to do to help him establish new friendships. If he isn't into sports maybe he can attend rec camp through the school that is usually affordable and a good way to meet kids.

I also find that our kids are closer to kids whose parents we are also friends with as well. Next weekend we are going camping with several families and we've had BBQs with other families and the son who is a homebody is great when everyone is here but he still doesn't independently invite friends over.

The other piece that you need to address is the behaviorial because I find more than ever kids who have behavior issues and/or get in trouble do get left out in our area even the ones that are good kids generally. I would talk to him about that- there is a guilt by association factor in middle school. It's a challenge to be sure and with two in middle school and one more starting in the fall, I'll be glad to put it behind us. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 9:48PM
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The fact that you're at loggerheads with your husband makes it that much more difficult - try to get him on board, but in the meantime, your son is the priority.
Try to get him involved in sports (baseball, swim team, horseback riding).
If your family's not a member, join the YMCA.
See if there are any summer camps or boy scout troops he could join.
Do you go to church? Find a large church - they usually have youth groups.
Talk to his teachers and others he comes in contact with regularly - they might have clues as to what is going on and what can help.
Let him know you love him, and that your door is open.
He needs something to take him out of himself - give him a cause, something to care about; in addition to joining sports/groups.

I hope he is okay.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 11:05PM
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He has had some issues this year with his grades and not being able to stay out of trouble. He basically has no friends anymore.

What kind of trouble? Could it be that the kids' parents don't want their kids hanging out with your son anymore because of the trouble he's been into? Or has your son gotten into trouble because is no longer has friends?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 9:37AM
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I definitely think it is from the parents. There were three of them they were going to egg a house. I t was my sons idea he got the idea from an older kid and the rest is history. That is when everyting changed. I have spoken to some parents about it that I am closer with. He has gone out with kids since that incident but it has not been the same. He has gotten in trouble in school for talking, disrupting the class. His grades have suffered alot this year as well. That was all due to his social life in the beginning which was very active. It has basically been a very difficult year. I have stressed the need for him to stay out of trouble. I feel that he is really learning a tough lesson right now and has yo deal with the consequences. He is great kid very involved in sports (this happened when there were no sports going on at the time) he is funny and social. Sometimes I think he is a bit impulsive and tends to annoy his other brothers and sister. I do have him signed up for several things this summer including a camping trip with my husbands family. I do have to say that the dynamic of the house changes drastically when he is out at a friends or at practice,everybody is a little more relaxed, he is truly a whirlwind. I love him to death and feel his pain and I am trying so hard to pick and choose my battles with him because he can be a nudge. I am worried that he has a label now and how do we deal going forward.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 10:26AM
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ADD just now rearing it's ugly head? Your son seems to have got along well enough until recently. Sometimes ADD does not reveal itself until the time comes when a child begins to have difficulty keeping up in school.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 6:06PM
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Have you considered going a little further afield? Maybe find an activity in a nearby town, that your town doesn't offer, something he'd be interested in, something where the kids would be new ones with whom he could have a fresh start. When dd was little, there weren't too many opportunities in our own town--other than the usual little league/etc stuff. So we went out of town for things like gymnastics, dance classes, acting classes. Her 4-H club was in the next county because ours didn't have a Seeing Eye puppy-raising club. Now, we did that because those were her interests, but a side benefit was that she got to meet a lot of new friends from towns all around us. We even found a hand-animation class in a professional animation studio-in another town. That was an incredible opportunity for her at the time. Not that you see any hand animation these days, but it was still a fun learning experience.

But my point is that maybe your son would respond positively to getting such an opportunity. Any chance you could find a class, or a volunteer activity for him where the other kids wouldn't have a preconceived opinion of him and he could get a fresh start.

If, however, you give that a try, and the troubles follow, might be a good idea to sit down with someone (your pediatrician, the school counselor or psychologist) and see if there isn't something more going on. If he gets too lost at this age, it's going to be very hard for him to find his way back.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 7:51PM
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Hi well I appreciate all your input. My son has been hanging with his cousin who is his age a few towns awya and some kids that he knows through him. He seems to be doing great fishing, going to the beach, having campfires at nite. Well he gets home last night and he has been in a really good mood getting away from all that has been wrong this year. He checks his voicemail on the cell phone and there is a message from one of the kids that has been giving him trouble (you have no friends, nobody likes you, go die) This is what tha message said. Nowe I know he did not initiate this he has been trying to stay away and hasn't talked to them for awhile. So I find his cell phone this morning and I see there are 65 text messages back and forth and of course my son retaliated and said some mean things because he has had enough. I know that he has not been aperfect angel but enough is enough. The incident a couple months ago happened and they will not let it go. They say he has gotten them in so much trouble and ruined their lives how can he be trusted. He has apologized on several occasions. They did not walk away the day they got in trouble. I feel like how is he going to move on from this. He did a really stupid thing and we constantly remind him of that but what else is he to do. I am just feeling so helpless watching all of this and there is nothing I can do but wait it out. He is a good kid and he made avery impulsive mistake and he is paying for it royally. I don't know it just feels good to vent.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:56PM
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What about having your son write a letter to the kids he got into trouble with, with a copy to their parents. In the letter, he could say he is very sorry, that he's learned his lesson, and that he hopes the other boys will stop being mean to him and that they can be friends again.

I'm suggesting he copy the parents in hopes that the other kids' parents will:
a) see that he is genuinely sorry
b) know that you are involved and concerned, and
c) become aware of how their kids have retaliated and hopefully, teach a lesson in cautious forgiveness.

Good luck --

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Please impress upon him that engaging in that kind of give and take is NOT acceptable. And make him promise that the next time he gets a threatening message, to come straight to you. You need to take that sort of thing to the police IMMEDIATELY a death threat is nothing to fool around with. Of course, it's a little difficult to make a complaint when your son's been answering the kid back. In your shoes, I'd seriously consider taking the phone away for a time. Not as punishment, but so you can monitor the incoming messages (maybe you could switch phones for a day or two, if he needs to have one on hand).

Honestly, I think you have a potentially very serious situation on your hands. And if you cannot get a handle on it in the next few weeks, you're going to need to consider alternatives for him for school next year. Putting him back into this situation, if nothing is changed, is going to be very damaging to his ability to learn and maintain a good attitude toward school. Hope you can get it worked out.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:00PM
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We are going to see how the summer goes it has only been one week. I was told to contact the school immediately when they go back to see how the summer went. He will be doing a junior lifeguard program starting Monday, so I can see how he does in that. Then he starts a basketball camp. I did tell him to save any threatning or nasty messages and I have told him he cannot go back at them over the phone. He really was trying to move on. It makes me wonder though if it is this bad still how will it be resolved. I just can't believe that this incident would have had such a reaction for so ling. Its not like these kids did not participate. They also have some of their own issues as well. I feel the parents are being very judgemental (I have no proof of that I am just speculating). Why are the other two kids that were involved allowed to hang out together and why have they turned on my son. It is so frustrating. My husband thinks I am taking it to far when I say I want to possibly send him to a new school if this is not resolved. That would cost us more money and my other kids are just fine in their classes. I don't know if this is the answer. Sometimes though kids need afresh start ,but there is that chance that it could be just as bad being the new kid. I know my son can be a little intimidating and he is strong, very athletic, competitive.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 12:38PM
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Is the conflict limited to dealings with these other two boys? Do you know their parents? Have you spoken with them?

It's hard to say what I would do, but I think I'd want to talk with the other kids' parents. If my kids received messages like that, I would definitely talk to the parents of the kid who sent it, with the proof in hand. Then the conflict has gotten out of hand, bigger than 11 y/o's will be able to settle themselves.

I'm not sure there isn't more to it than the egging. That seems like a small thing to be so upset about. (I'd also quit telling your DS how big of a mistake he made.. cuz it's really not so bad). My house was egged once by kids that age, one a neighbor and 2 of his friends, they were new and I didn't even know them well. They just got ornery. We caught them eggs-in-hand. We confronted the parents, who immediately handled it all very well. It just wasn't that big of a deal when it's resolved appropriately. No harm done, alls well that ends well, and if we hadn't moved I'm sure we'd all be laughing about it now. In fact, we had a pretty good laugh at it at the time, behind closed doors, the kids faces when they knew they were busted! LOL!

So I'd suspect there is more that needs to be brought out.

I hope he has a good summer. Then you can start the school year with a confident kid. I'd deal with his behavior one on one, a contract about keeping grades up and nose clean. If there is still conflict with these other kids, I'd want a meeting of all involved with an administrator or counselor mediating. I'd also be up front with his teacher if these boys are in his class, so she can be alert for potential issues.

But really, those boys parents need to know about the text messages that have sent. If my kids sent messages like that, I would want to know.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2008 at 1:16PM
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An egg adventure gone bad, seems way too trivial, for this to still be going on. In your shoes, I would thinking that I didn't have the whole story! Seriously, unless you live the worlds most boring town, if that was all there was to the story, it would have been a done deal by now. You need to find out what the whole story is, and you probably aren't going to get that from your son, if you haven't already. I would go to the other kids & their parents, and ask them what it is all about. Take your son's cell phone with you, so you have some of the messages he received. You also might consider taking his phone. There is no need for him to have constant reminders of the "fued" rining in to him, you can keep it, that way you can save any messages that come in! I also can't help but wonder if perhaps you may be "blinded" to some of your son's actions? Seems that if you can see that your own household calms when he leaves, you should certainly be able to understand how other parents, who don't have the benefit of seeing his good side perhaps, would react to him.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 12:56PM
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Thanks for all of your input. I must of painted my son as a crazy lunatic which is not the case. The egg incident is not the only thing and yes our town is a small shore town where everybody knows everything. I should of elaborated more. The incident involved the police apparently this had been happening other times at this same house. The kids do not like this person he is a teacher. He saw my son and his friends about to throw it and then they ran he then called the police. They were put in the back of the car and we were all called. The police asked questions and they wanted to know if they knew about the other times. MY son was with the other kid and another friend when this other child threw the egg and they ran off got away with it. I had no idea until the night that my son got caught. He got the idea and thought lets do this ugh! Anyway that night when they were caught the police told them if they knew of any other kids involved in the previous egg throwing if they didn't come forward they would be blamed for every act of vandalism that takes place from now on. So they were really scared and they had to tell on their other friends and being that my son was there both times and he was with the other kids makes me think they all don't like him because he told on them. He had no choice this is what he had to do. The other kisds were then called down to the station and questioned. So it turned this mole hill into a mountain. I am sorry to be babling but I am trying to get everything out. He has been doing better there have not been anymore texting from those kids and he hasn't texted either. HE has hung around with an old friend this past week. It still is not the same he does stay home alot and does not want to call anyone. For the most part he is OK except when I ask him questions he gets very upset with me. A friend that has not talked to him in a while sent him a text saying he got new phone this is his new number. He would not call him back and erased the message. It seems like things are settling down but I still feel like he tries to avoid alot of situations. He is afraid to run into anyone or something he has not said that to me I am just making assumptions. It definitely is not the way he has ever acted he has always been cofident and very social. Does anyone know what this means? I guess we are hoping and praying that this long summer break will mend some fedncess going forward. I have already addressed the school about kids I do not want him in class with so that is solved. I think kids look at a friend telling on another friend as something you don't do. At this age they aren't thinking rationally like we do so there is not alot of forgiveness and maybe they think my son will always get them in trouble.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 1:55PM
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Wow -- first I have to say that I am shocked that 11 year olds have their own cell phones.

When school starts again I bet much of this blows over. Make sure the principal and teachers are aware of the harassment that has going on between the boys.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:29PM
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