San Francisco, CA
Number of kids: 3
Ages of kids: 11, 9 & 6
Problem: My 11 year old son's teacher requested a meeting with me. I knew there was something wrong. He seemed to be having a problem and was unhappy. He said kids picked on him and he had no friends. I met with his teacher and she said that he had been making sad negative comments about himself since early in the school year! I had no clue! When I pick him up at school, I always ask him about his day and his answer varies from ok, good or great. The teacher quoted a speech he had made while supposedly was running for class representative. "I'm running for rep because everyone here thinks I'm stupid and lazy. I want to prove to them that I'm not." He sat down then almost in tears. I am floored.
Some background: He has always been a very sensitive and dramatic child. When things didn't go his way when playing outside, he used to sigh loudly and sit on the curb with the most dejected pose. He hoped that someone would coax him back into the game. They didn't usually. Sometimes they would ignore him and most times they get angry at him. We would tell him to get up and just play if that's what he wanted to do.
Lately, at school, he has been playing up any injury. This causes the other 11 and 12 year boys to label him a wimp and they tease him. He generally has an easy time making new friends but has a hard time keeping them. His teacher talked about short term sand therapy. What is this? My husband feels this is normal growing pains and that adolescence will be real hard on him. We have always felt this. He tested gifted and is in the gifted program. His teacher feels he has the emotional make up of a 4th grader and the intellectual make up of an adult. I am so worried I am writing this at 3:3o am and not sleeping at all! Please Help!
Solution submitted by "Kaci" from Lomboc, CA: I work at a Middle School with children your son's age. By 10 the pecking order is usually set for kids. I would encourage some counseling and an Insight class for your son. If you can get a book called Transactional Analysis for Kids, or Teens, or even see if anyone at your son's school is using this approach. I have seen it work. It is a program that teaches kids see where they are coming from. How they interact with other people, or children. It teaches us the games we play, i.e., your son playing up his injuries for attention. It is a really good program. Also you may want to help your child's self esteem by finding something he is good at and getting him involved in that activity. Gymnastics, Band or Orchestra, Sports, Drama, Choir. Anything!
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