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Dumb Middle School Drama (1 Viewer)

Peak

Footballguy
I don't recall any of this happening when I was in Middle School...

My son is immature, naive, and dumb - as most 13 yr old boys are nowadays.  He cares about baseball, video games, and food.  That's about it.  For the last two years, kids in his class have been "dating".  Sure. Ok. Whatever.  New combinations of bf/gf appear every week -  so obviously nothing major.  The walk to class together, maybe eat lunch or hold hands.  Fine.  I guess this dating also entails a ton of texting and emojis.  I made a deal with my kids that they can have Instagram as long as I am able to check it when I want, and they know that once they are online their grandparents and family will also follow them.  So essentially, nothing is hidden from us, so behave.  We haven't had a problem with this rule, and my kids are good at following it.  This is the only social media app they have on their phone.

I see my son frantically texting last night before bed, so I offer to charge his phone overnight.  My kids have learned this is code for "I'm going to see who you've been talking to lately".  This one says "Thanks Dad" and goes to sleep.  As I'm flipping through his feed, I see a new message pop up from his latest "gf", then another from this girl's friend.  Scrolling through the messages, I see the gf's friend has been telling my son that his "gf" is scared and has a history of self-abuse.  She then tells my son that he needs to "cheer her up" and text her.  My son doesn't reply as he's been at baseball practice, but this girl is relentless and follows up multiple times with "plz" and "she just cut herself - you need to respond if you care about her" and "you really need to talk to her, I'm worried".  I'm smart enough to see through the crap, but my son isn't.  So he frantically texted this "gf" after he got home to make sure she's alright and that he'd never break up with her, and asked "why'd you cut yourself? is it bc of me?" She goes on that she's "been going through alot" and so on.  He has her promise to not do it again.

Question for the parents....Have any of you gone through this, and if so, how do you broach this subject with the son? These girls are messing with him and he's not too smart to realize it.  This is only one sample, but there are other conversations where they make him pick his favorite or see if he's serious about his "gf".  He is a sweet and caring kid, so he's trying to do the right thing by talking to her and worrying about her hurting herself.  I don't want him falling into these stupid games.  I do want him to start learning to identify these games and avoid them.  I see a father-son chat coming up soon. Usually I ignore the bf/gf stuff, but using self-abuse to get someone's attention or "affection" is not cool.

Secondly...say this girl really did cut herself, or does have a history of these issues.  Who do you inform? Do you call the school? I don't know this person at all, or the family - so I have no idea the validity of the topic.  But even a threat of self-abuse has me (as a parent) concerned.  If it were my kid threatening this, or even having done it, I would want to know.  What do you do?

I swear I saw a thread on this topic before, but my searching skills have failed me this morning.

 

Jaysus

Good times!
Call the school about the girl.

P.S. my daughter started middle school this year.  I am scared. 

 

AcerFC

Footballguy
yeah, I thought this was deja vu. Definitely had the exact same thing. Ill see if I can find it

Call your sons guidance counselor and explain the situation. They will take it from there

 

jomar

Footballguy
I have a thread on here somewhere about this exact thing.  we called the school and notified them that the girl was harming herself.  the cops went to her house to do a wellness check.  I talked to my kid about girls and he broke it off with her soon after.  

 

irish eyes

Footballguy
I'd be telling the school asap. That girl will stop that crazy nonsense real quick. That is beyond messed up. Then tell your son, by the way, she is no longer your "girlfriend". We dont do crazy in this house. Not to mention that girl should not have access to a cell phone until she is 21 pulling crap like that.

 
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GroveDiesel

Footballguy
So no one thinks he should talk to her parents first?
No. 

1) I doubt he even has a way of contacting the parents

2) There is no saying that they aren't part of the problem

3) If they downplay/ignore it, it could make things even more difficult for him to extract his son

I think contacting the school's counselor is the move. Pretty sure the counselor would also be a mandatory reporter and have to contact child services.

Just as important is a discussion with your son about how he is not responsible for someone else's happiness and that using threats and guilt to gain a desired response from him is unfair and unhealthy for both him and the girl. Let him know that she needs to receive some counseling and help to assist her with her emotional issues and that not only is he not equipped to do that, but that by continuing the relationship with her he is actively preventing her from becoming healthy. Stress that it's a difficult situation, but that he is not to blame and that he's actually doing the right thing by giving her the space she needs to get better and that she won't realize that now, but that he needs to be the strong emotionally healthy one and do that for both himself and for her.

 

Godsbrother

Footballguy
No. 

1) I doubt he even has a way of contacting the parents

2) There is no saying that they aren't part of the problem

3) If they downplay/ignore it, it could make things even more difficult for him to extract his son

I think contacting the school's counselor is the move. Pretty sure the counselor would also be a mandatory reporter and have to contact child services.

Just as important is a discussion with your son about how he is not responsible for someone else's happiness and that using threats and guilt to gain a desired response from him is unfair and unhealthy for both him and the girl. Let him know that she needs to receive some counseling and help to assist her with her emotional issues and that not only is he not equipped to do that, but that by continuing the relationship with her he is actively preventing her from becoming healthy. Stress that it's a difficult situation, but that he is not to blame and that he's actually doing the right thing by giving her the space she needs to get better and that she won't realize that now, but that he needs to be the strong emotionally healthy one and do that for both himself and for her.
The OP should certainly know the girl his son is "dating", it should be easy enough to contact the parents.

I understand the parents could be part of the problem but then again this just might be teenage girls playing games.  Getting the school & CYS involved without knowing more of what is really going on could be a huge overreaction.   Unless I knew this girl was really cutting herself or suicidal I would be more inclined to talk to her parents.   Of course my kids have been out of school for more than 10 years so I might be old fashioned.

 

[scooter]

Footballguy
Secondly...say this girl really did cut herself, or does have a history of these issues.  Who do you inform? Do you call the school? I don't know this person at all, or the family - so I have no idea the validity of the topic.  But even a threat of self-abuse has me (as a parent) concerned.  If it were my kid threatening this, or even having done it, I would want to know.  What do you do?
Cutting is serious business. Threatening to cut is also serious business. I would call the school immediately.

Also, your son should have no further contact with this girl. Sorry but she's not ready for male social interaction.

 

Peak

Footballguy
The OP should certainly know the girl his son is "dating", it should be easy enough to contact the parents.
I have no idea.  I haven't met this girl, nor do I know her full name.  His class has hundreds of kids in it, and these gf/bf combos change weekly from what my older child told me. I would need to have him tell me the girl's name.  Even after that, do I stalk them online to find their phone number and say "Hi...you don't know me, but my son know's your daughter and her best friend told my son that your daughter is "going through a lot of things" and cutting herself.  Just thought you should know.  k'Bye!" 

I see where you're coming from though, as a parent I would want to know if this was going on, truth or not.  But I'm not sure I'd believe a random stranger. A school guidance counselor, sure.  But a stranger who said he read this on daughter's Instagram private messages?  I think I'd call the police on that stranger first, then make my daughter delete her Instagram account and warn her about talking to strangers.

 

Kraft...

Footballguy
Ha, this is all to common these days. There was another thread here around this topic recently. My son(also 13) had a very similar experience, wasn't his girlfriend just a friend that was telling him he was the only one she could talk to yadda yadda and she was thinking of self harm. We had a long open talk with him about how people can try to manipulate you etc. Talked about how he's not equipped to help her and that a trained adult is who she needs to talk to not a 13yo boy. We had him block the girl from all social media and texting. We reached out to the guidance councilor at school, who told us that she recognized the name and was not surprised to hear this. No issues since :knockwood: Hopefully he learned something, there are some master manipulators out there and social media is the perfect tool for them. 

 

Psychopav

Help us, Joebi-Wan Brynobi, you're our only ho
I don't recall any of this happening when I was in Middle School...

My son is immature, naive, and dumb - as most 13 yr old boys are nowadays.  He cares about baseball, video games, and food.  That's about it.  For the last two years, kids in his class have been "dating".  Sure. Ok. Whatever.  New combinations of bf/gf appear every week -  so obviously nothing major.  The walk to class together, maybe eat lunch or hold hands.  Fine.  I guess this dating also entails a ton of texting and emojis.  I made a deal with my kids that they can have Instagram as long as I am able to check it when I want, and they know that once they are online their grandparents and family will also follow them.  So essentially, nothing is hidden from us, so behave.  We haven't had a problem with this rule, and my kids are good at following it.  This is the only social media app they have on their phone.

I see my son frantically texting last night before bed, so I offer to charge his phone overnight.  My kids have learned this is code for "I'm going to see who you've been talking to lately".  This one says "Thanks Dad" and goes to sleep.  As I'm flipping through his feed, I see a new message pop up from his latest "gf", then another from this girl's friend.  Scrolling through the messages, I see the gf's friend has been telling my son that his "gf" is scared and has a history of self-abuse.  She then tells my son that he needs to "cheer her up" and text her.  My son doesn't reply as he's been at baseball practice, but this girl is relentless and follows up multiple times with "plz" and "she just cut herself - you need to respond if you care about her" and "you really need to talk to her, I'm worried".  I'm smart enough to see through the crap, but my son isn't.  So he frantically texted this "gf" after he got home to make sure she's alright and that he'd never break up with her, and asked "why'd you cut yourself? is it bc of me?" She goes on that she's "been going through alot" and so on.  He has her promise to not do it again.

Question for the parents....Have any of you gone through this, and if so, how do you broach this subject with the son? These girls are messing with him and he's not too smart to realize it.  This is only one sample, but there are other conversations where they make him pick his favorite or see if he's serious about his "gf".  He is a sweet and caring kid, so he's trying to do the right thing by talking to her and worrying about her hurting herself.  I don't want him falling into these stupid games.  I do want him to start learning to identify these games and avoid them.  I see a father-son chat coming up soon. Usually I ignore the bf/gf stuff, but using self-abuse to get someone's attention or "affection" is not cool.

Secondly...say this girl really did cut herself, or does have a history of these issues.  Who do you inform? Do you call the school? I don't know this person at all, or the family - so I have no idea the validity of the topic.  But even a threat of self-abuse has me (as a parent) concerned.  If it were my kid threatening this, or even having done it, I would want to know.  What do you do?

I swear I saw a thread on this topic before, but my searching skills have failed me this morning.
I have a daughter who is the other side of this story - the girl who cuts herself.

A recent study showed that perhaps as much as 70% of girls who cut themselves end up attempting suicide, and 55% had multiple attempts (source).  I suggest you find a way to get in contact with the girl's parents asap and if possible send them screen shots of the texts.

Also have a talk with your son to explain that texting is for light messages, not for deep conversation.  Anytime he gets texts in this vein, it's a red flag and he should not respond in text.  It's unlikely that she's having these types of conversations with him at lunchtime.  Also let him know that it's ok for him to feel awkward.  She needs a professional to help her, and he's just a kid, like her.  Until she gets herself some help and shows that she can have healthy friendships, he should cut out the texting (and - up to you - maybe the contact altogether).

Just my 2 cents.

 
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culdeus

Have good
This cutting stuff is serious business.  Tell the school. Odds are the parents know and are incompetent at managing it.

 

Tom Servo

Nittany Beavers
The OP should certainly know the girl his son is "dating", it should be easy enough to contact the parents.

I understand the parents could be part of the problem but then again this just might be teenage girls playing games.  Getting the school & CYS involved without knowing more of what is really going on could be a huge overreaction.   Unless I knew this girl was really cutting herself or suicidal I would be more inclined to talk to her parents.   Of course my kids have been out of school for more than 10 years so I might be old fashioned.
I know what you're saying, but cutting is a huge deal these days. If she's manipulating him, this should stop it. If she needs the help, then the OP's phone call should work towards getting her help...hopefully.

 

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