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Our 11 yr old is in a classroom full of boys that get in trouble on a daily basis. He's not been in trouble, but he comes home telling me about what some of them are doing, etc.

I told him, he should hang around the kids that aren't getting in trouble, and he said "if I did that Mom, I wouldn't have any friends". I've noticed lately that his attitude is getting worse, and he's been acting out more at home. When he gets in trouble for it, he says his friends talk like that to their Teacher all the time. I'm guessing he's picking part of his attitude stuff up from the kids he's hanging around with at school.
I haven't told him that his bad attitude is from his friends, I've told him he can make the conscience choice to either have a bad attitude, or a good one, and he just looked at me, like something clicked in his head. I also told him he can't blame any of it on his friends.
I just think the friends have added to the problem.
I'm looking for help on how to approach this. I realize school isn't just academic, it's also teaching him social skills, and how to deal with different situations etc.
I'm thinking maybe speaking to his Teacher, and the principal will help. I'm just not sure where to start. Thanks


Asked by Anonymous at 10:50 AM on Sep. 26, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I'm not sure I'd intervene with the teacher and principal unless you have a very clear idea of what action you want taken. An outside activity that your son would be interested in sounds like a great idea; he'll meet friends who have something in common with him and something better to work toward than a smart mouth.

    I think you handled the acting out at home and what you told your son beautifully, by the way. So many parents would come on here blaming everything on the friends and whining about how the bad crowd was corrupting their sweet angel.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:08 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Time for an extracurricular activity!!! Like a sport or Science group, Computer team etc. . What do they have available for him in his school to join? Even the Library is a good ides. Ours has "Book Buddy's". It's older kids that read stories after school to little children one on one. As soon as my Son (7) can read better I will enroll him to be a book buddy. He gets read to by older kids now & LOVES it! He'll meet kids who are more respectful & make new friends too. It's a learning experience in a good way. he'll see what teamwork means.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:00 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • I agree with Paulie. Maybe a team sport in the winter? New set of boys possibly and team is always a good thing. I think you can lightly ask the teacher about this. The attitude stuff IS a problem at this age and likely in the future. My son is the same age and we see it too. The teacher can control the disrespect in her class to a point but on the playground and at lunch, PE, etc, they are on their own. You can blame parents for this. They choose to ignore or allow their children to be rude and disrespectful. That'll work out well for them when the kids grow up! Keep on your kid as it will serve him well in the future.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 12:13 PM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Paulie is right on, this is when extra curriculars can really help you refocus him and put him in a more positive social group. The tip off: " If I did that mom, I wouldn't have any friends." He needs a bigger pool to chose from.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 11:17 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • What would you be hoping to accomplish when speaking to his teacher or principal? What would you be talking about with them?
    It's true that in school, as well as in sports & organized activities, kids are exposed to other children & their behaviors, values & opinions.

    One thing to keep in mind is that what kids are exposed to, in terms of attitudes, behaviors & habits, has an effect on them. The natural & healthy thing for a child to do when something confuses or bothers him/her is to work out the problem in play or in a trusted relationship. Kids "act out" what feels unsettling or hurtful, inside. So it makes sense that you'd hear from your son about what hurts, via him "trying out" behaviors, phrases or tones that he's witnessed.
    It's an opportunity to work with him, and (by your response) to help him find resolution for his feelings. A constructive response is completely sufficient; insulation isn't necessary (thankfully!)

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:04 PM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • That sounds like a GREAT idea! I will ask his Teacher about that. I know they do have Kindergarten buddies, so maybe they could do something like that.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:05 AM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • What exactly does he mean that if he's not friends with these boys, he won't have any friends? Is he exaggerating to make a point, or is this really how all the boys in his school/grade/class act? If he's not exaggerating, I'd look into getting him put in another class, and if it's a schoolwide thing, then I'd consider finding a way to change schools.

    But if he's just being overly dramatic, then I'd follow the suggestions of these other ladies and get him involved in some other activities where he can make a better quality of friends. And then he'll clearly see these kids for what they are and (hopefully) avoid them as much as he can.

    Oh - and definitely discipline the attitude at home.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:38 PM on Sep. 26, 2013

  • Well unfortunately I got a call from the Principal today.... He and 3 other boys were using crude language, and hand gestures around a girl in class today... It had something to do in reference to something sexual. He had to serve a detention after school, and then when I picked him up I told him he will remain grounded from riding his dirtbike, or anything else fun he likes to do.
    I also told him I will be sitting in his class if it happens one more time. (When his older brother was acting up in school I sat in his class for a day, and he never acted out again).
    I'm not for talking things out, I'm more of a take quick action kind of Mom. I come down hard, and fast, so that he takes me serious.
    I didn't really discuss anything with the Principal, she said she knew we would take care of this, and she can trust that we will.

    Thanks for all the advice, and kind words.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:18 PM on Sep. 26, 2013