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12 yr old Son is Socially not accepted by peers in school

Posted by on May. 31, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • 20 Replies

My son is a very bright but somewhat awkward among his school mates. He just ended his 1st year in Middle School and did extremely well academically but socially it was a mess!  He was very excited when he started this year and as the month's progressed, I found that he was not being "accepted" by new friends from his comments and it went down from there. He has been verbally teased which was addressed with the Admin and they stepped in immediately but he cries and says that no one wants him around or they find him weird and walk away from him.  He finds himself sitting alone alot. I have placed him in sports since he was little, he's not interested in that anymore, and I am constantly trying to place him in extra curricular things so he has better self esteem. but it not easy. He does have old friends that he contacts but its hard for them to get together sometimes because they go to different schools.

I just need to know if anyone has/is experiencing this and what you have done in this situation? I do not want him to go into depression and it saddens me to see that he feels this way. I know he getting into his teen years and wants to be accepted.

by on May. 31, 2014 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on May. 31, 2014 at 9:15 AM
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Teasing is wrong but no one can make anyone be friends with anyone.  Sadly, smart kids are usually odd.  Sorry, I am married to one of them who didn't have that many friends but he delt with it fine and was teased some as many were back in the day.  He just dealt with it and moved on.  Now he is popular at reunions, ROFL.  Go figure.  Probably because of how successful he is. 

teensrmyworld
by Member on May. 31, 2014 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this

Bright kids tend to struggle with socializing.  I went through this with my now 18 year old.  My son and I are very  very close because I am someone that "gets' him and he has said many times that this was a saving grace.  Fast forward to 18 and my son has lots of friends, is very social but is also still "different" than his peers who at 18 accept him as he is and it is no longer a problem.  I read that you are enrolling your son in activities.  Bright kids need their own stuff to do so ask your son what he really wants to do.  My son wanted to play the Celtic harp and learn how to race sailboats, he did both and it put him into a world filled with the sort of challenges that he needed, not what I needed for him.  He is now a very competitive yacht racer and an excellent musician, although it is with the guitar now.  I shared my story with you because your little guy sounds a lot like my son and with lots of listening and surrounding your kids with the unusual, they turn out to be just fine and well adjusted.

gdiamante
by Bronze Member on May. 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Different schools can have a different social "vibe." Some tend more academic, many tend more athletic, and if your kid is no longer interested in sports an athletically minded school won't be a great fit.

Look for the things he wants to do, and do whatever you can to make them happen.

My son's best friend in middle school was his science teacher! He had a few friends his own age but overall little patience for them. In high school, he does have a pretty good circle of friends his own age, sharing his interests. It gets much easier n high school.

mayscavu
by New Member on May. 31, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Thank you for real sound advice. It really gives me hope for the coming years. I often tell him this time will pass and you just need one friend not many to get by.  But he just doesn't see that right now. But I will definitely keep encouraging extra curricular activities that he is interested in, and I even chose his middle school carefully and yet still have run into these issues.

jhelmke
by Member on May. 31, 2014 at 7:46 PM

I would find things he interested in. There allot different things to meet other kid

jhelmke
by Member on May. 31, 2014 at 7:56 PM

I know my son met kids through gymnastics, soccer, art class, camps, and 4H. He went to science camp last year and had great time.

Momofmenagerie
by Member on Jun. 1, 2014 at 2:39 AM
1 mom liked this
Mmm , this is the age group where they are looking to find their place in their " little " societies . My son cried for two weeks the first two yrs if middle due to no one from elentary being in his " pod" and more new people the second year. Here they divide up the middle schoolers into smaller groups and they may or may not see ANYONE they know from one year to the next.

I n the beginning of 8th, since he takes his lunch, I suggested he bring one if his Lego creations in his bag and simply display it at lunch. He had a crowd sitting with him within minutes who were either blown away or were still heavily into Legos themselves. It helped a lot... Drawing like minded to him .

He lives in his head a lot . Many intelligent and creative people do... An outward sign draws them in. We are also a big fan of sarcasm in the home . It helped him at school . Such as a statement " God! You are so. ( insert derogatory word ) was met by. " Oh! Thanks! I was hoping you would notice!"

It stopped the teasing ( like Calvin and Hobbes vs " bully Moe")

Intellectual quips make friends and repel bullies because they realize it's a waste of time.

Even when he was called " homo " , he answered with. " what kind! Saipan or sexual ? Because everyone should aspire to be a homosapian and a homosexual is a homosapian , first," they stopped... Too confusing.

It's what worked for him and even though I kept telling him HS would be totally different and freeing of the " jars" if kids, it was a long way off in sixth grade.

Just keep an eye out and if he wants to take a break from an activity, I would let him ...as long as he stayed in ONE .

That was our experience , maybe something can be learned by it.

Good luck ! No one I've even known enjoyed the social interactions of middle school .
Serendipitous1
by Member on Jun. 1, 2014 at 9:21 AM
Middle school can be difficult in the most perfect of school environments. My kids have been through similar experiences. Since it is summer, perhaps you can plan some one-on-one get togethers with school kids to help him build on relationships with certain classmates. Also, maintain those friendships that are outside of school. I did this with my DS successfully. To this day, he has his close circle of friends from preschool and his circle from the school he graduated from. I also placed my son in sports (he is not the team sport type, so he began tennis) He still plays today at 22. From the approach I took (with outside counseling guidance) He viewed school as the place to learn and to be the best he could be academically and he had his tennis and his close circle of friends outside of school. Hope my story helps you. Best wishes.
nana776
by Member on Jun. 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM
1 mom liked this

Middle School is awful. Kids are horribly mean to each other. And it comes at a time when we are most socially awkward. Maybe the best thing we can do for our kids during this time is to teach them the coping skills needed to deal with these situations. We can teach them that it's OK to be different, not to worry about everyone liking them because in reality, we all only have a few really close friends. Teach them how to go up to a stranger and introduce themselves. 

Sometimes we parents get so caught up in trying to fix everything for our kids that we miss a lot of opportunities to teach them to fix it themselves. 

atlmom2
by Susie on Jun. 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

It is a known fact that nowdays kids do not have half the coping skills parents had 30 to 50 years ago. 

Quoting nana776:

Middle School is awful. Kids are horribly mean to each other. And it comes at a time when we are most socially awkward. Maybe the best thing we can do for our kids during this time is to teach them the coping skills needed to deal with these situations. We can teach them that it's OK to be different, not to worry about everyone liking them because in reality, we all only have a few really close friends. Teach them how to go up to a stranger and introduce themselves. 

Sometimes we parents get so caught up in trying to fix everything for our kids that we miss a lot of opportunities to teach them to fix it themselves. 


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