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Teen boy emotions :( Help!


SquirrellyMama
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Help me please! My ds is 13, and has been dual enrolled for art and choir at the ps for the last two years.  He's really had a lot of problems fitting in with the kids at school. He has friends, but not many. He's like I was as a kid. I had friends, but I had only one or two really close friends that I wanted to hang out with all of the time. 

 

It seems like at least 3 times a week he comes home either near tears or in tears because he says people think he's gay. Today I asked him what would happen if people thought he was gay, and why it bothered him if they thought he was gay. He said they'll make fun of him.

 

I guess the attitude I'd love for him to have is "it isn't any of your business". And, your opinion of me doesn't affect my opinion of myself.

 

I'm frustrated! He does not listen when we have this conversation. I feel like he uses it as a way to tell me how strict I am and how much I don't understand. He has an older sister who lives with the same rules, and she gives me more credit for understanding teens.).

 

My dh is no help in this because he's never been an emotional roller coaster, and he didn't date until college.

 

I cut the conversation short when it ended up being my fault because I won't let him go to the Valentine's Day dance. He's sure they won't think he's gay if he takes a girl to the dance.

 

:banghead:

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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If art and choir really worth this level of drama?  I'd pull him unless he were begging to stay.  I'd look for other music and art opportunities, even if I had to pay for them.  Middle school age is the worst!  Nice kids with great parents can be horrible in this age range. 

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What does it mean that he uses this as a way to tell you how strict you are? You mean just with not letting him go to the dance or are there other times where he thought you were strict? I'm just curious how not being strict would somehow prove to the kids he's not gay. Seems a bit convoluted.

 

When he says "you don't understand" is that always linked to a rule you have in place? Or does he say that even when there's no rule that you're enforcing? If he keeps saying, "You don't understand" is it because you are giving him answers to his problem, "Just tell them it's not their business!" instead of just listening? He may just need for you to listen and commiserate a bit or say (after he's done talking), "What do you want to do about this?" Maybe don't even ask that for a day or two.

 

Sorry if I'm way off. It just reminds me of some conversations I've had lately where one person wanted to be heard and wasn't ready to receive advice until they felt completely heard.

 

ETA: I re-read the OP and it sounds like you're doing a good job of listening. I think if this were me, I'd take him out of the class. I think. He might not realize how bad the situation is and think he has to stay. Is there any other option out there? Any other group? Are these classes just something nice that he likes or is there a great passion for them?

 

Three times a week in tears is too much. He might not understand how toxic the situation is and not know how to protect himself from a toxic situation. As adults we know to extract ourselves from a place like that.

Edited by Garga
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I did ask him tonight what he wanted me to do. His answer was to let him go to the dance. This is the first time he talked about me being too strict.

 

Usually, when he tells me I don't understand it isn't in relation to a rule. It's usually meant that I don't understand what it's like to be in 7th grade. I'll admit, I've never been a 13 year old boy. I'll give him that.

 

Maybe I'll wait a couple days and talk to him when he's calm. We have to come up with a solution.

 

I agree that the dance argument is convoluted, but I think he's frustrated and not being logical. He's trying to find an answer.

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I talked to him a bit more tonight. He said he wanted to be able to vent to me, without me preaching. We talked about some teachers he could talk to at the school. He took art last year, and really liked the teacher.

 

I told him again that I can go to the school for him, and if I feel it is too much we will pull him. He wants to stay.

 

Sometimes I think he reacts emotionally, and after a cooling off period he rethinks the situation and his reaction.

 

Thanks for listening.

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I think...you should listen to him and commiserate with his pain. Ask him if he wants you to do anything. Then, don't because he doesn't want you to. The hardest thing to do as a parent is not solve their problems (or attempt to). Being the sounding board is the most difficult job ever. That sounds like what he wants from you. And, it sounds like this is what you are doing. So, try less preaching. It sounds to me like he is doing an excellent job of communicating with you; that is quite impressive!

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My ds 13 went to b & m school last year because he really wanted to experience the public school setting and all that encompasses. He enjoyed the teachers and assignements/projects, but getting used to the maturity (immaturity) level and battering of the other 13 year olds was really tough. It really seemed like the typical pre-teen potty talk for easy laughs was replaced with gay references for easy laughs. It was completely brainless, not-thought-out stuff spewed from their mouths. My ds would try to ask whether they really knew what they were talking about, they'd look completely blank. Their lips were moving, but their brains weren't. There was no real accusation, just silly talk.  It sounds like your ds may be taking the talk too seriously for what the speakers were probably meaning (if they even remember what they actually said). 

 

My ds eventually returned with great pleasure to homeschooling after sticking it out for 7 months at public school.  It was a great learning experience, in the sense of what stuff he didn't mind "missing out on." 

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Expecting him to not care is not reasonable. A kid in dd's sophomore class got DEATH THREATS last week for being gay and admitting it. This is his second school because he got beat up for being gay at his last school. Another gay kid in her class suffered a lot this year. This is not a small thing.

 

My dd was supposed to write a story about a man named Paco in the future tense for Spanish 2. In her story Paco met a man who was the love of his life and got married to him. Her Spanish teacher was quite upset and other people (teachers) had to intervene for her to get the A she deserved. BTW her story was AWESOME it deserved an A no matter what, no just because it was a controversial subject, lol.

 

I don't think that this can just be dismissed.

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I don't understand why you won't let him go to the dance.

Our house rule is no middle school dances. It is the same for all 3 kids. I remember school dances, and I have seen how high school dances have changed for the worse. I imagine middle school dances have also. I have had both kids come and tell me what middle school kids are talking about these days. I want them to gain more maturity before they enter that world.

 

His idea that taking a girl to the dance will convince them that he isn't gay shows me he doesn't need to go to that dance.

 

Kelly

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Expecting him to not care is not reasonable. A kid in dd's sophomore class got DEATH THREATS last week for being gay and admitting it. This is his second school because he got beat up for being gay at his last school. Another gay kid in her class suffered a lot this year. This is not a small thing.

 

My dd was supposed to write a story about a man named Paco in the future tense for Spanish 2. In her story Paco met a man who was the love of his life and got married to him. Her Spanish teacher was quite upset and other people (teachers) had to intervene for her to get the A she deserved. BTW her story was AWESOME it deserved an A no matter what, no just because it was a controversial subject, lol.

 

I don't think that this can just be dismissed.

I understand what you are saying about not wanting him to care is unreasonable. I guess what I really want is for him to have more confidence in himself. I do know kids who just wouldn't care. My oldest dd is one of them. It isn't his personality. It isn't my personality. As his mom it hurts to see him going through it. That's my excuse.

 

I'm glad your daughter was able to get her A, and I hurt for those kids at her school.

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I think...you should listen to him and commiserate with his pain. Ask him if he wants you to do anything. Then, don't because he doesn't want you to. The hardest thing to do as a parent is not solve their problems (or attempt to). Being the sounding board is the most difficult job ever. That sounds like what he wants from you. And, it sounds like this is what you are doing. So, try less preaching. It sounds to me like he is doing an excellent job of communicating with you; that is quite impressive!

I told him I would listen to him without suggesting solutions, but he had to understand that as his mom it did hurt to see him hurting. I think we both learned a lot last night.

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His idea that taking a girl to the dance will convince them that he isn't gay shows me he doesn't need to go to that dance.

 

I agree, though it's obvious that he's confused and feeling anxious and upset. In our house, this would be the time for dad to step in to chat, as a dad understands like no mom can. If dad's not around, perhaps an uncle or grandfather or trusted adult friend would offer a different perspective. 

 

All the best. This is not an easy age and grade at school to navigate at all. 

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Personally, I would let him go to the dance, and if I were very concerned about how dances are managed, I would volunteer to chaperone, or else have a mom-friend "spy" in place. (But FTR, dances were actually an important factor in why I sent my kids to private school, not public, and only permitted dances before that if they were homeschool dances, where the parents are equally no-nonsense as me.)

 

I do sympathize, though, to where you can't convince a kid that age that other people's opinions don't matter if they feel the rejection. My mother never gave me a sincere listening ear when I tried to tell her how mean the other kids were to me in middle school. She gave me pat answers about how they were "just jealous" and that "real feiends don't care where you get your hair cut." Yes, this is true, but it was info that did not help when I was 12.

 

However, I do think it was good of you to respond by asking what would be bad about being gay or believed to be gay. If my child actually were gay, I would want him/her to know that I would not reject them.

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I guess what I really want is for him to have more confidence in himself. I do know kids who just wouldn't care. My oldest dd is one of them. It isn't his personality. It isn't my personality. As his mom it hurts to see him going through it. That's my excuse.

 

 

Well for some reason the other kids' comments have hit a nerve in him. It doesn't mean his personality can't brush off hurtful comments, rather these particular comments are piercing and meaningful for a reason. A talk with dad could help him explore his male identity and other male physical and emotional things. 

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I guess if I were willing to let him be part of that school "world", I'd also allow him to do the social events like the dance.  I'd volunteer to chaperone if I were uncomfortable.  If being the kid that can't do that stuff is too hard and you are really unwilling to bend on that, it might be time to pull out.  It seems kind of like taking a child to an amusement park and telling him he can't do certain rides, but his friends will do them and talk about them.  Some kids might roll with that just fine at this age.  It might be too much for some other kids. 

 

I also would be curious if he were questioning his own sexuality and I would be trying to keep lines of communication wide open and reassuring. 

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I agree, though it's obvious that he's confused and feeling anxious and upset. In our house, this would be the time for dad to step in to chat, as a dad understands like no mom can. If dad's not around, perhaps an uncle or grandfather or trusted adult friend would offer a different perspective. 

 

All the best. This is not an easy age and grade at school to navigate at all. 

I would love for my dh to step in and chat about these things, but he's not going to do it. He is a very reserved guy that finds these talks uncomfortable. I'm guessing he never had any talks with his own dad, and feels that his kid can deal with it. My son knows he can come to me, and prefers to come to me anyway. I think I might be more reassuring than his dad is. I will go to my husband if i can't answer a question, and then get back to my son. I'm trying to deal with it in the best way I can.

 

Personally, I would let him go to the dance, and if I were very concerned about how dances are managed, I would volunteer to chaperone, or else have a mom-friend "spy" in place. (But FTR, dances were actually an important factor in why I sent my kids to private school, not public, and only permitted dances before that if they were homeschool dances, where the parents are equally no-nonsense as me.)

 

I do sympathize, though, to where you can't convince a kid that age that other people's opinions don't matter if they feel the rejection. My mother never gave me a sincere listening ear when I tried to tell her how mean the other kids were to me in middle school. She gave me pat answers about how they were "just jealous" and that "real feiends don't care where you get your hair cut." Yes, this is true, but it was info that did not help when I was 12.

 

However, I do think it was good of you to respond by asking what would be bad about being gay or believed to be gay. If my child actually were gay, I would want him/her to know that I would not reject them.

 

He 's not going to the dance. My oldest lived through no middles school dances as did many of her friends. The first dance they are allowed to go to is one their freshman year that is part of our town's festival. I happen to plan and chaperone that dance. After that they can go to high school dances with groups of friends.

 

I probably go between your mom's answers, and trying to sympathize and help them navigate. I know that those cliche answers don't work, but sometimes they are out of my mouth before I know what happened.

Gently...    Are you certain he's not stating things this way because he figured out he is gay and he's trying to find out if you'll still love him, or if you'd be the type of parents to throw him out of the house or send him to some sort of conversion therapy?

 

He's not wanting to leave the program, he's trying to make you be less strict and to spend more time there.

 

It's a difficult time for boys, figuring out how to be masculine and what it means to be a man. Not just the age, but the era. If he is straight (genuinely, and not just because he's afraid of you or your the religious implications), then it's not going to hurt to be quite frank about the social implications of his class choices are.  Meaning, if a boy is more interested in art and choir rather than shop class and football, and if he seems at all effeminate, people will wonder. It's just the way the world is, fair or not.  If he's not secure enough with his choices, he should feel free to make different ones.  If he'd like some sort of other lessons in a subject that is considered more masculine and your time and budget allows for that, go for those too.

 

Also, let him go to the dance.  He's at the age where your job is to prepare him to be in the world, not to shield him from it.

 

Also, let him know that you love him unconditionally, no matter what he chooses to do in life or who he is.  Because you do.  No matter your religion or beliefs on the subject.

I'm about as certain as I can be that he isn't gay. He likes girls, and definitely acts like a young teen with an interest in girls. He's never been good at lying or hiding his feelings.

 

I think we do try to find a balance of preparing them and shielding them at this age. He's not going to middle school dances, and I have no remorse over this fact.

 

I do let all the kids know that I love them unconditionally. I've had talks with him and his sister about different future possibilities that I would love them no matter what. I always say that at first I might be shocked, scared, upset, or any number of normal reactions, but that I would love them for sure.

 

I guess if I were willing to let him be part of that school "world", I'd also allow him to do the social events like the dance.  I'd volunteer to chaperone if I were uncomfortable.  If being the kid that can't do that stuff is too hard and you are really unwilling to bend on that, it might be time to pull out.  It seems kind of like taking a child to an amusement park and telling him he can't do certain rides, but his friends will do them and talk about them.  Some kids might roll with that just fine at this age.  It might be too much for some other kids. 

 

I also would be curious if he were questioning his own sexuality and I would be trying to keep lines of communication wide open and reassuring. 

I don't think a school dance is worth pulling out of other classes. It just isn't. He knows when he gets to go to dances. He'll get there just like his sister did. I'm shocked that school dances are this important to people.

 

Have you asked whether the other boys in art & choir are treated the same way?  Is your DS friends with those other boys?

I have asked this before. One thing about these kids that he is so sure about is that no one else is ever treated this way. I think he definitely sees this as only him. I've noticed lately that he keeps asking if we're poor because we don't have this or that like these other kids. He seems to be having the attitude that everyone else has it better than him.

 

One thing he did tell me today, one of the kids who used to be mean to him isn't anymore. My son said he is treating this other kid like a human (I would probably use the word respect), because none of the other kids do. I really think some of these kids who are so mean to others are hurting in their own ways. Then again, there are some who are just jerks with jerky parents.

 

We'll get through it. I've told him I'm here to vent to. His older sister is there for him to. She talked to him today, and I think it helped. Sometimes I just need to be talked down ;)

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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I have asked this before. One thing about these kids that he is so sure about is that no one else is ever treated this way. I think he definitely sees this as only him. I've noticed lately that he keeps asking if we're poor because we don't have this or that like these other kids. He seems to be having the attitude that everyone else has it better than him.

 

I saw this percepetion a LOT in my son when he was in PS.  I suspect it's just part of the tween "it's all about me" attitude.  I don't know that there's any way to "fix" it, but I would usually point out all the stuff/opportunities/whatever that DS had that other kids didn't.  If it didn't change the attitude, it at least shut him up, LOL.

 

One thought I had about your son's request for the dance that I hadn't mentioned yet is to tell him that if he invites a girl to the dance just to "prove" he isn't gay then he is using that girl, and that isn't cool.  It would be an awful thing to do to her (no matter who it is) and, frankly, would mean your son is behaving just as badly the jerks he's complaining about.

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I saw this percepetion a LOT in my son when he was in PS.  I suspect it's just part of the tween "it's all about me" attitude.  I don't know that there's any way to "fix" it, but I would usually point out all the stuff/opportunities/whatever that DS had that other kids didn't.  If it didn't change the attitude, it at least shut him up, LOL.

 

One thought I had about your son's request for the dance that I hadn't mentioned yet is to tell him that if he invites a girl to the dance just to "prove" he isn't gay then he is using that girl, and that isn't cool.  It would be an awful thing to do to her (no matter who it is) and, frankly, would mean your son is behaving just as badly the jerks he's complaining about.

 

I thought about that. I told him that many kids his age that are gay often date the opposite sex, mainly because they are still figuring out who they are. I said that really wasn't going to change anything. I was thinking if he was still called gay after taking the girl to a dance what would he think he had to do next?

 

It definitely made me think about what we need to do to make sure he is respecting girls. He's usually a good kid about it, but I'm afraid he's going to just be thinking about himself.

 

Good point, definitely something I need to keep in mind.

 

Kelly

 

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I don't think a school dance is worth pulling out of other classes. It just isn't. He knows when he gets to go to dances. He'll get there just like his sister did. I'm shocked that school dances are this important to people.

 

 

Oh - they're not that important to me at all.  I think they're rather silly. But the middle school mind set is generally not known for stoically looking at the big picture.  Some kids just don't have the ability to deal with it rationally while in the throes of puberty.  If this whole environment was causing tears multiple times a week, I would seriously be rethinking the whole thing and looking hard for more positive peer interactions.  Regardless how he felt about it. 

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He 's not going to the dance. My oldest lived through no middles school dances as did many of her friends. The first dance they are allowed to go to is one their freshman year that is part of our town's festival. I happen to plan and chaperone that dance. After that they can go to high school dances with groups of friends.

 

 

 

Gently - each child's needs should be met from where they are. Treating children the same isn't treating them fairly. I'm not one to encourage middle school dances, myself, but it might be time for you to reevaluate a blanket policy that worked for your daughter, but may not work for your son. 

 

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Gently - each child's needs should be met from where they are. Treating children the same isn't treating them fairly. I'm not one to encourage middle school dances, myself, but it might be time for you to reevaluate a blanket policy that worked for your daughter, but may not work for your son.

 

I'm absolutely aware that kids can't always be treated the same, but the no middle school dances policy will stand. Even if I wanted to change it my dh never will. I've had to be the parent that fights for their right to high school dances.

 

Kelly

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I would love for my dh to step in and chat about these things, but he's not going to do it. He is a very reserved guy that finds these talks uncomfortable. I'm guessing he never had any talks with his own dad, and feels that his kid can deal with it. My son knows he can come to me, and prefers to come to me anyway. I think I might be more reassuring than his dad is. I will go to my husband if i can't answer a question, and then get back to my son. I'm trying to deal with it in the best way I can.

 

 

Have you talked with your dh about this? I find your answer very sad. He missed out on a relationship with his dad, and now he's missing out on a chance to be a dad in his relationship with your son. If dh just can't step in, I'd really search for another trusted male to step in. A mom is not a man, and sometimes a boy really needs a man. How is this boy ever going to learn how to talk to his own son one day. Is this going to be a generational issue that never ends?

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Help me please! My ds is 13, and has been dual enrolled for art and choir at the ps for the last two years.  He's really had a lot of problems fitting in with the kids at school. He has friends, but not many. He's like I was as a kid. I had friends, but I had only one or two really close friends that I wanted to hang out with all of the time. 

 

It seems like at least 3 times a week he comes home either near tears or in tears because he says people think he's gay. ...

 

My son, recently minted 14 yo, asked, given that you are adamant that your ds will not go to the dance, what do you want help with? Why are you asking for help when it seems your mind is totally made up already?

 

 

Our house rule is no middle school dances. It is the same for all 3 kids. I remember school dances, and I have seen how high school dances have changed for the worse. I imagine middle school dances have also. I have had both kids come and tell me what middle school kids are talking about these days. I want them to gain more maturity before they enter that world.

 

His idea that taking a girl to the dance will convince them that he isn't gay shows me he doesn't need to go to that dance.

 

Kelly

 

 

I can understand having some absolute rules, like, say, no drugs. I guess absent being of a religion that is opposed to dancing at all and considers it a sin, this rule seems extremely strict and authoritarian to me, with no particular grounds to it other than that you can impose your will because you are the parent.

 

He already seems to be in "that world" is so far as he is taking classes at the school.

 

I agree that taking a girl may well not convince the others that he is not gay, but it might help him to have a chance to try out asking a girl (if he has one to ask) when it is not as big a deal as in high school or college, and it might help him to fit in socially a bit more in general. Perhaps. 

 

It might help him to develop real confidence to deal with a situation like a dance.  Are you concerned about sex, drugs, alcohol?  As far as talk goes he obviously is already exposed to that.

 

...

He knows when he gets to go to dances. He'll get there just like his sister did. I'm shocked that school dances are this important to people.

 

 

 

Maybe they weren't important to you when you were that age, but it seems that it is very important to your son. 

 

 

 

I have asked this before. One thing about these kids that he is so sure about is that no one else is ever treated this way. I think he definitely sees this as only him. I've noticed lately that he keeps asking if we're poor because we don't have this or that like these other kids. He seems to be having the attitude that everyone else has it better than him.

 

One thing he did tell me today, one of the kids who used to be mean to him isn't anymore. My son said he is treating this other kid like a human (I would probably use the word respect), because none of the other kids do. I really think some of these kids who are so mean to others are hurting in their own ways. Then again, there are some who are just jerks with jerky parents.

 

We'll get through it. I've told him I'm here to vent to. His older sister is there for him to. She talked to him today, and I think it helped. Sometimes I just need to be talked down  ;)

 

Kelly

 

 

The emotional atmosphere sounds pretty bad there at the school or in the group of kids he has gotten to know. I'm sorry he and you have to deal with that. Might there be a school counselor to talk with?

 

What do you want to be talked down about? Your views against the dance?  

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Have you talked with your dh about this? I find your answer very sad. He missed out on a relationship with his dad, and now he's missing out on a chance to be a dad in his relationship with your son. If dh just can't step in, I'd really search for another trusted male to step in. A mom is not a man, and sometimes a boy really needs a man. How is this boy ever going to learn how to talk to his own son one day. Is this going to be a generational issue that never ends?

 

I agree with this.  

 

I also find it sad. That itself could also be part of the sadness that the op's son is feeling, behind the ragging/bullying from the kids at school.

 

It sounds like in an emotional and talking sense, your ds has no more father than a ds of a single mom would have. Maybe less since many of us single moms go out of our way to find men for our sons to be able to talk with.

 

Also if it is dh who is actually the one with the unbendable no dance rule, he, IMO, should be the one to be discussing why he feels that is important directly with ds.

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Gently - each child's needs should be met from where they are. Treating children the same isn't treating them fairly. I'm not one to encourage middle school dances, myself, but it might be time for you to reevaluate a blanket policy that worked for your daughter, but may not work for your son. 

 

This.

 

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My son, recently minted 14 yo, asked, given that you are adamant that your ds will not go to the dance, what do you want help with? Why are you asking for help when it seems your mind is totally made up already?

 

 

 

 

I can understand having some absolute rules, like, say, no drugs. I guess absent being of a religion that is opposed to dancing at all and considers it a sin, this rule seems extremely strict and authoritarian to me, with no particular grounds to it other than that you can impose your will because you are the parent.

 

He already seems to be in "that world" is so far as he is taking classes at the school.

 

I agree that taking a girl may well not convince the others that he is not gay, but it might help him to have a chance to try out asking a girl (if he has one to ask) when it is not as big a deal as in high school or college, and it might help him to fit in socially a bit more in general. Perhaps. 

 

It might help him to develop real confidence to deal with a situation like a dance.  Are you concerned about sex, drugs, alcohol?  As far as talk goes he obviously is already exposed to that.

 

 

Maybe they weren't important to you when you were that age, but it seems that it is very important to your son. 

 

 

 

 

The emotional atmosphere sounds pretty bad there at the school or in the group of kids he has gotten to know. I'm sorry he and you have to deal with that. Might there be a school counselor to talk with?

 

What do you want to be talked down about? Your views against the dance?  

 

No, it was never about my views about the dance. It was more about not knowing what else to say or not say. I did get some good advice about just listening, and possibly pulling if it doesn't stop. It's never been about going to the dance. I was looking at his attitude about the dance and wanting advice on how to tell him his thought process was mixed up. A PP gave me a good idea about that.

 

 

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Have you talked with your dh about this? I find your answer very sad. He missed out on a relationship with his dad, and now he's missing out on a chance to be a dad in his relationship with your son. If dh just can't step in, I'd really search for another trusted male to step in. A mom is not a man, and sometimes a boy really needs a man. How is this boy ever going to learn how to talk to his own son one day. Is this going to be a generational issue that never ends?

 

My dh didn't miss out on a relationship with his dad, neither is my son. They go fishing, they go to basketball games, they play Magic together, they watch movies, etc... Is he missing an emotional relationship with his dad, yes. Does my dh feel like he missed an emotional relationship with his dad, no. My dh and his dad are not emotional beings.

 

So, is there something missing, yes, is the entire relationship missing, no.

 

Kelly

 

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This.

 

 

I agree that kids should be treated differently, and in many instances we have. In the case of the dance we treat them the same. He has never cared to go to any dance until this one. It had nothing to do with him wanting to go to the dance. NOTHING! It had everything to do with thinking this would stop kids from thinking he is gay. His thinking is not clear on this one.

 

My parent's tell me I parent them too differently, and I should treat them the same. I can't win. I have people that tell me I'm too strict, and those that tell me I'm not strict enough.

 

Kelly

Edited by SquirrellyMama
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My dh didn't miss out on a relationship with his dad, neither is my son. They go fishing, they go to basketball games, they play Magic together, they watch movies, etc... Is he missing an emotional relationship with his dad, yes. Does my dh feel like he missed an emotional relationship with his dad, no. My dh and his dad are not emotional beings.

 

So, is there something missing, yes, is the entire relationship missing, no.

 

Kelly

 

 

They're vulcans?  Doesn't that in itself cause some issues?  So, you're going to continue to be the go-between, to make things comfortable for your dh. 

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So, is the bigger issue that kids think your ds is gay?

 

Or is it that he wants to go to the dance?

 

I suppose they are tied together.  Do you think there is something else going on?  Maybe he has awkward social skills and it comes off strangely, or maybe he comes off as judgmental, or something.  (I'm not implying that it is either of those, I'm just using examples.)  In our local PS, homeschool kids were allowed to take a class or two, and they often took band and choir and acted in the school's plays and musicals.  Some homeschoolers were considered a little strange and others weren't.  It didn't really depend on the classes they took (such as art and choir), it depended on their attitude and how they acted around other kids.  

 

I wonder if you could observe your son a bit around other kids and get a better idea of what's going on or how you can help him.  Sometimes just a little help with social skills can make a difference.

 

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They're vulcans?  Doesn't that in itself cause some issues?  So, you're going to continue to be the go-between, to make things comfortable for your dh. 

 

They might be vulcans :laugh: Does it cause problems? Yes, it does, but after 18 years I'm not changing anything. Will I continue to be the go between to make my dh feel comfortable? Good question. I never thought of it as making him feel comfortable, but to have him involved emotionally in some way. He probably feels emotionally stretched as it is. When asked to have a talk with ds about things he wouldn't do it. When I tried explaining what would happen in the future if he didn't get more emotionally involved now, he didn't listen.

 

I do want people to know that I am listening, just not about the dance. I was able to get my dh into a conversation this morning with my ds. It wasn't perfect, but maybe it will be a start.

 

Mostly, his comment was when he was teased he ignored them and didn't care. Gotta say that isn't who his son is, nor is it who I was as a kid. I'm not sure what to have him say. I've always been the one in on these conversations because he's more like I was emotionally as a kid, but I've never been a 13 year old boy.

 

Kelly

 

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So, is the bigger issue that kids think your ds is gay?

 

Or is it that he wants to go to the dance?

 

I suppose they are tied together.  Do you think there is something else going on?  Maybe he has awkward social skills and it comes off strangely, or maybe he comes off as judgmental, or something.  (I'm not implying that it is either of those, I'm just using examples.)  In our local PS, homeschool kids were allowed to take a class or two, and they often took band and choir and acted in the school's plays and musicals.  Some homeschoolers were considered a little strange and others weren't.  It didn't really depend on the classes they took (such as art and choir), it depended on their attitude and how they acted around other kids.  

 

I wonder if you could observe your son a bit around other kids and get a better idea of what's going on or how you can help him.  Sometimes just a little help with social skills can make a difference.

 

Don't worry about implying anything. You are on target with these two comments. I've been trying to work on both of these things with him. He's very black and white in his thinking. This is really not about the dance. He thought it would stop them from thinking things about him, which they probably don't even really think about him. They might say it, but do they ever really believe the insults they hurl?

 

I think what I'm really asking is how do I help him stand strong. Or is it even possible?

 

Kelly

 

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They might be vulcans :laugh: Does it cause problems? Yes, it does, but after 18 years I'm not changing anything. Will I continue to be the go between to make my dh feel comfortable? Good question. I never thought of it as making him feel comfortable, but to have him involved emotionally in some way. He probably feels emotionally stretched as it is. When asked to have a talk with ds about things he wouldn't do it. When I tried explaining what would happen in the future if he didn't get more emotionally involved now, he didn't listen.

 

I do want people to know that I am listening, just not about the dance. I was able to get my dh into a conversation this morning with my ds. It wasn't perfect, but maybe it will be a start.

 

Mostly, his comment was when he was teased he ignored them and didn't care. Gotta say that isn't who his son is, nor is it who I was as a kid. I'm not sure what to have him say. I've always been the one in on these conversations because he's more like I was emotionally as a kid, but I've never been a 13 year old boy.

 

Kelly

 

 

 

WTheck with the vulcan crack? (Not at you.) Some folks are emotional.  Some aren't.  Why is it okay to be an emotional trainwreck because it's just "how you feel" and it's not okay to keep it in?  Catharsis has been debunked.  Letting it out?  Not actually that useful. :p :D

 

Okay, that's an aside.  I think it *is* good he talked to you about it, but I think at some point that we say, "Okay, so this is what is going on.  Can you stop it by  yourself?  No.  Can I stop it?  Probably to some degree.  Do you want me to? No.  Okay, then I'll listen to you, but here's what you need to know.  Middle school kids and high school kids can truly be idiots. Never again, in your adult life, will adults in your professional workplace wonder aloud your sexuality and openly mock  you.  Because it is NOT what professional, functional adults do."  I don't honestly know what to tell you, because they are like chickens.  They peck at one another until the bottom one is horrible abused and then they choose another.  You've been chosen.  They will peck and peck and peck.  If not this, then something else."

 

I have to say, I would personally not have an emotional kid subjected to this because it's so fruitless.  Private art lessons would teach him more.  There is SO much good about this age and I think most social stuff in the middle school years is utterly pointless and has so much potential negativity.  And, yes, we really DO keep our middle school kids out of most social stuff until they are in high school and even then the "social" stuff has intention - like meeting at a coffee shop for mock trial practice.  

 

The biggest problem you have here is the class is too big or the teacher is useless.  I'm not sure which.  Two of my daughters take an art class once a week on a rotating basis. (There are five six week courses offered and you can choose whichever interest you.)  The age range is 6th-12th grade.  I would be flabbergasted if this kind of ridiculous talk is  taking place when they should be doing art.  I'd tell them to sit closer to the teacher and if it continues, yes, I'd want a meeting with the teacher, not just to protect *my* child, but because this creates a hostile atmosphere and that's unacceptable at any professional level.

 

I assume these are homeschool classes?  Because if it's public school then all bets are off... Those teachers/kids are just exposed to so much crap they've accepted situations as "normal" and "what kids do." And they are numb, for the most part, that they don't believe it can be changed.  That's a poor situation all around.

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I just have to speak up in defense of Vulcans! In our family, we have some members who lean strongly towards feelings and others who lean strongly towards reason. I feel like we are a stronger unit when each of us is given the space and the respect to do what we personally do well. I think of it like different organs in one body. One is not better than the other.

 

Last night I told my son that the Pope had asked us to give up indifference to others for lent. He said,"Indifference is a good thing." All I could do is laugh.

 

I also disagree that the OP's husband needs to talk to their son about emotions just because he is the dad. I think it is great that they have figured out that she is similar to their son emotionally and able to talk him through his feelings.

 

I sometimes tell my very feelings oriented daughter to call a friend or my sister to talk through her emotions about an issue because I'm not in a place to be helpful right then. I don't think that means we have no relationship. We are just very different but neither of us are wrong.

 

My son has gone into the same industry that my husband has been in for the last 30 years. I was thinking at dinner that it is so nice for them to have this whole new area in common to talk about and share. Relationships don't always have to be based on sharing feelings.

 

My advice to OP is to keep listening, keep problem solving and try to come up with individual solutions for different kids.

 

Best of luck!

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WTheck with the vulcan crack? (Not at you.) Some folks are emotional.  Some aren't.  Why is it okay to be an emotional trainwreck because it's just "how you feel" and it's not okay to keep it in?  Catharsis has been debunked.  Letting it out?  Not actually that useful. :p :D

 

Okay, that's an aside.  I think it *is* good he talked to you about it, but I think at some point that we say, "Okay, so this is what is going on.  Can you stop it by  yourself?  No.  Can I stop it?  Probably to some degree.  Do you want me to? No.  Okay, then I'll listen to you, but here's what you need to know.  Middle school kids and high school kids can truly be idiots. Never again, in your adult life, will adults in your professional workplace wonder aloud your sexuality and openly mock  you.  Because it is NOT what professional, functional adults do."  I don't honestly know what to tell you, because they are like chickens.  They peck at one another until the bottom one is horrible abused and then they choose another.  You've been chosen.  They will peck and peck and peck.  If not this, then something else."

 

I have to say, I would personally not have an emotional kid subjected to this because it's so fruitless.  Private art lessons would teach him more.  There is SO much good about this age and I think most social stuff in the middle school years is utterly pointless and has so much potential negativity.  And, yes, we really DO keep our middle school kids out of most social stuff until they are in high school and even then the "social" stuff has intention - like meeting at a coffee shop for mock trial practice.  

 

The biggest problem you have here is the class is too big or the teacher is useless.  I'm not sure which.  Two of my daughters take an art class once a week on a rotating basis. (There are five six week courses offered and you can choose whichever interest you.)  The age range is 6th-12th grade.  I would be flabbergasted if this kind of ridiculous talk is  taking place when they should be doing art.  I'd tell them to sit closer to the teacher and if it continues, yes, I'd want a meeting with the teacher, not just to protect *my* child, but because this creates a hostile atmosphere and that's unacceptable at any professional level.

 

I assume these are homeschool classes?  Because if it's public school then all bets are off... Those teachers/kids are just exposed to so much crap they've accepted situations as "normal" and "what kids do." And they are numb, for the most part, that they don't believe it can be changed.  That's a poor situation all around.

 

I love the bolded. True words there. Kids can be so mean for no reason, but to hurt.

 

This is at the public school. It isn't the art class that is the big problem, it's choir. I really loved the teacher until this year. She reminds me of a teacher I had in high school. I feel like she's trying to be popular with the popular kids. She's had a rough start at the school for the last 3 years. I think she's trying a new tactic in fitting in with the students.

 

Maybe next year he can take art and another class, but no more choir at the middle school.

 

Kelly

 

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I just have to speak up in defense of Vulcans! In our family, we have some members who lean strongly towards feelings and others who lean strongly towards reason. I feel like we are a stronger unit when each of us is given the space and the respect to do what we personally do well. I think of it like different organs in one body. One is not better than the other.

 

Last night I told my son that the Pope had asked us to give up indifference to others for lent. He said,"Indifference is a good thing." All I could do is laugh.

 

I also disagree that the OP's husband needs to talk to their son about emotions just because he is the dad. I think it is great that they have figured out that she is similar to their son emotionally and able to talk him through his feelings.

 

I sometimes tell my very feelings oriented daughter to call a friend or my sister to talk through her emotions about an issue because I'm not in a place to be helpful right then. I don't think that means we have no relationship. We are just very different but neither of us are wrong.

 

My son has gone into the same industry that my husband has been in for the last 30 years. I was thinking at dinner that it is so nice for them to have this whole new area in common to talk about and share. Relationships don't always have to be based on sharing feelings.

 

My advice to OP is to keep listening, keep problem solving and try to come up with individual solutions for different kids.

 

Best of luck!

But we must, we must discuss our feeling for hours everyday! JK, you're are right. I think I am being too hard on my dh sometimes, although there are times when a feelings fest would be great. I've learned a lot from everyone, even if it isn't what they wanted me to take away from their suggestions.

 

I'll keep being his sounding board, but let him know that sometimes I'll just have to speak up.

 

Kelly

 

 

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I also disagree that the OP's husband needs to talk to their son about emotions just because he is the dad. I think it is great that they have figured out that she is similar to their son emotionally and able to talk him through his feelings.

 

 

I don't this it's a case of just emotions, but male stuff, like puberty and and self-image and the male self-concept. My ds gets somewhat embarrassed talking about the changes he's going through, and some of the issues around gay issues and sexuality in general may naturally come during a conversation. For the boy's sake, chatting with dad makes more sense, at least is does for my ds (I just talked with him about this very thing). 

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I hear what you are saying, and that is great if in your family, with your son, dad is the best person to handle those discussions. I disagree that it needs to be dad in ALL families. I am the one who talked to my son about all of those topics. We understand each other and I was able to address the aspects that are most important to his particular personality in ways that Dh would not have had a clue about.

 

I'm so glad that we didn't buy into some strange notion that gender is the deciding factor of who is the best parent for that particular job.

 

By the way, when I talked to my Vulcan son about sex, I introduced him to the concept of child support. He was completely appalled at the idea that someone might have rights to his money for 18 years.

 

All I'm trying to say is that I speak his language. In our family, a discussion with dad about bodily changes and relationships would have been much more uncomfortable for everyone involved.

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I hear what you are saying, and that is great if in your family, with your son, dad is the best person to handle those discussions. I disagree that it needs to be dad in ALL families. I am the one who talked to my son about all of those topics. We understand each other and I was able to address the aspects that are most important to his particular personality in ways that Dh would not have had a clue about.

 

I'm so glad that we didn't buy into some strange notion that gender is the deciding factor of who is the best parent for that particular job.

 

By the way, when I talked to my Vulcan son about sex, I introduced him to the concept of child support. He was completely appalled at the idea that someone might have rights to his money for 18 years.

 

All I'm trying to say is that I speak his language. In our family, a discussion with dad about bodily changes and relationships would have been much more uncomfortable for everyone involved.

:)

 

I was the one to talk to DSS about all of this. Had to laugh about the child support conversation above. DSS and I had the same conversation. It's funny how for some kids, that is the take-away, the real deterrent. Hey, whatever works.

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I love the bolded. True words there. Kids can be so mean for no reason, but to hurt.

 

This is at the public school. It isn't the art class that is the big problem, it's choir. I really loved the teacher until this year. She reminds me of a teacher I had in high school. I feel like she's trying to be popular with the popular kids. She's had a rough start at the school for the last 3 years. I think she's trying a new tactic in fitting in with the students.

 

Maybe next year he can take art and another class, but no more choir at the middle school.

 

Kelly

 

 

 

Doesn't the school have anti-bullying rules in place?

 

This sounds bad.

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It really seems like, in the OP family's case, the mother is having trouble and hence the started thread. She called out for help. I suggested that the father step in, and he's refusing. This is not the same as a mom and son mutually agreeing that she talk with him. If everything was going great, this thread wouldn't have been started.

 

Just to get a couple male perspectives, I asked my ds 13 who he feels comfortable talking with, and I asked my dh his thoughts. Dh suggested that if the adult father is in the house, he should "man up" and talk to his son. He doesn't have to be "correct" and dh recognizes that it's not necessarily easy to do, but for the sake of the son, it's the right thing to do.  My ds agrees that there are definitely topics he'd rather talk with dad about, and one is definitely how to deal with name-calling in school, and puberty topics.

 

 

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If your son feels comfortable talking to your husband about those topics, that is really great. I'd go so far as to say that they are probably in the majority of Americans.

 

The difference is that I'm saying that dad might be the best person for the job, or maybe, due to personality and family dynamics, mom is.

 

You are saying that since dad is best suited for these discussions at your house, OP's husband needs to "man up"

 

I'm open to the idea that different options might be best for different families.

 

I'm certain that the OP knows I want only the best for her and that is why I brought up a perspective that might never occur to either your husband or your son.

 

No hard feelings. I will agree to disagree.

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It really seems like, in the OP family's case, the mother is having trouble and hence the started thread. She called out for help. I suggested that the father step in, and he's refusing. This is not the same as a mom and son mutually agreeing that she talk with him. If everything was going great, this thread wouldn't have been started.

 

Just to get a couple male perspectives, I asked my ds 13 who he feels comfortable talking with, and I asked my dh his thoughts. Dh suggested that if the adult father is in the house, he should "man up" and talk to his son. He doesn't have to be "correct" and dh recognizes that it's not necessarily easy to do, but for the sake of the son, it's the right thing to do.  My ds agrees that there are definitely topics he'd rather talk with dad about, and one is definitely how to deal with name-calling in school, and puberty topics.

 

 

Different families and people have different dynamics.

 

I don't really know what is going on. 

 

What seems clear to me is that there is a huge red flag of a 13YO boy in tears 3 times per week. To me that is way beyond typical "teen boy emotions." 

 

Again, I don't know what is going on, but it sounds like significant bullying, probably significant depression.  Being removed from the situation will not necessarily solve it....  or at least it might stop the bullying, but not necessarily the depression. If that is relevant to what is actually going on.

 

It could be that a therapist is needed more than the dad to help with the emotions and family and school dynamics.

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