10
   

Be my friend... or else.

 
 
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 11:36 am
Mo called my attention to a particular social problem that he's very confused by and I'm still trying to make sense of it too.

It's almost like this other kid is bullying him into being his friend.

Is that even possible?

Does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing?
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 04:15 pm
@boomerang,
IDK, sometimes kids will bully others into liking them or at least claiming that they do for popularity. Sometimes the "Bully" is actually not as tough as he seems so it's a power thing...

Has Mo rejected him yet? Or is just sitting on the fence...
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 04:34 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
It's just such a weird situation.

It's almost like an abused person who sticks with their spouse, but these are just kids.

I just found out how bad some of the abuse has been yesterday when Mo asked me to listen to and read some messages this kid had left on his XBox account over the last few days. It was really awful. Shockingly awful. And I'm pretty hard to shock.

I just get the feeling that Mo might be a bit afraid of this kid, despite this kid being his "friend".
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 04:37 pm
@boomerang,
I can only imagine....

You say Mo might be I'd say is. But, then is the "kid" pretending to be a friend, and is laughing at what he is doing..

I don't know what context or content the messages are, I recall two girls bullying me at school, not to be friends though where others "pretended" to be, but at least warned me of the "pending fight" fortunately, I won against both girls and it was layed to rest.

Hope this doesn't occur for you.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 04:53 pm
@boomerang,
Interesting social pathology. I'm glad I don't have to talk a boy through this. What did you tell him?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:14 pm
@FOUND SOUL,
Pretending to be his friend. Yep. I kind of get that feeling. But if that is the case he's very, very good at it.

Mo's a pretty popular guy. He has a lot of friends. Everybody hangs out at our house. N likes to be one of those guys but I've had the feeling before that it is really more about access to Mo's other friends than it is about Mo.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:17 pm
@boomerang,
Oooh, a manipulator at a young age.

Might be an interesting family.

Manipulators can be seen through, with a bit of tuning in.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:20 pm
@Thomas,
The first thing I did was just try to shut it down. I told Mo to leave the kid a message saying that I had been playing on his XBox (totally believable) and that I had stumbled across the text messages (they had titles like "faggot" and "retard") so I decided to listen to the voice messages associated with that gamer tag and heard who it was.

The voice messages were absolutely filthy. But it was really the tone, more than the words, that were alarming to me.

He hasn't sent any more messages so I guess my strategy worked.

I told Mr. B about it and they had a long "man to man" talk about such things last night. Mr. B gets the "boy stuff" better than I do and I think he was better able to help Mo figure out where to draw the line than I could have.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:26 pm
@boomerang,
Yes this happened to my daughter - although much younger. It was preschool or kindergarten. This daughter loved school and all of a sudden she was hesitate to go to school. Even one morning on dropping her off, whe grabbed me and held onto me not wanting to go to class.

Me along with the principal was able to calm her down enough to go - I finally get out of her - this girl in her class said she could only be friends with her and wouldn't let her play with other kids. We were able to work it out with the teacher.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:42 pm
@ossobuco,
Yeah. Eddie Haskel, psychopath.

I wish I could convey the tone of the messages. There was a coldness and fluency to them that you wouldn't expect from a 10 year old.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:45 pm
@Linkat,
If he had demanded some sort of loyalty from Mo I think I would have "got" it. ( Maybe that's more of a girl thing.) These were like the opposite of that.

I can say that Mo has been much more relaxed and happier today than I have seen him in a while.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 05:52 pm
@boomerang,
I don't know what first got me anti-manipulation, probably just recognizing it - not reading Machiavelli, a plum for another book in my future - but it is at the least annoying, and the people who do it over time are less and less cute.

We probably all work it under the scope of teaching. Interesting subject.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Jun, 2012 06:02 pm
@boomerang,
listening.
0 Replies
 
Aldistar
 
  4  
Reply Sat 2 Jun, 2012 11:24 pm
Do you know this kids parents? If the messages were really that creepy then you might want to consider playing them for his parents or even the school counselor.

I remember this behavior in kids and it usually backfired on the bully in a fairly short period of time, but this was when I was that age and we didn't have email, texting and the like. It was harder for the bully to achieve his goal and easier for the victim to escape.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 02:11 am
@boomerang,
Yes.....I've known a number of kids who did something like what you are describing or have been the target of it.

Sounds as though the ten year old may be repeating stuff he's heard, though who knows.

Also sounds as though it's not an association to be encouraged, to put it mildly.

Does Mo WANT to remain friends with this kid?
0 Replies
 
FOUND SOUL
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 02:33 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Mo's a pretty popular guy. He has a lot of friends. Everybody hangs out at our house.


Re-read that and then pose the question of this "kids" life at home, and at school... Anyone that tries to bully "alot" of people it wouldn't necessarily just be Mo, to be their friend I think has jealousy based on what you just wrote above Smile Who hangs at his house, how popular is he Smile There may under-line the problem, not Mo's but the problem.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 07:59 am
As Aldistar has said, I believe the boys parents need to be made aware of this.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 08:54 am
I've thought about talking to his parents but like dlowan points out, this kid is hearing this kind of talk somewhere and the good bet is that he's hearing it at home. There are problems in that family.

We have never encouraged or discouraged their friendship but N has always been welcome when Mo invites him around (until now). He apologized to Mo. Mo told him he couldn't come around until he had apologized to me and Mr. B (N. said some awful things about the two of us in the messages). That wasn't something that Mr. B and I demanded but a rule Mo imposed -- maybe as a way to keep N away from here.

I do think Mo wants to be N's friend. Mo wants to be everybody's friend. In fact, some parts of the messages related to the new kid at school whom Mo had befriended and invited to the house.

Over the weekend I've managed to ferret out a bit more information about what might have kicked off this latest (and worst) round of abuse....

N is super competitive (and is being groomed as a sports star). Mo hit a home run at his baseball game last week and was being hailed as a star the next day at school. Kids were making a big deal out of it and Mo was enjoying the limelight. It was right after school that the really creepy messages started.

So... yeah... jealously might have played a role.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 09:04 am
@boomerang,
This is also a developmental stage thing, that kids at this age revisit some of the issues of age six re: "if you're playing [hanging out] with someone else, you're not my friend."

Sozlet had major issues with that early this year with her BFF, Kay. Kay's default mode is sweet and laid-back but things got pretty bad. So I can imagine it getting REALLY bad if it got that bad with Kay.

Sounds like Mo is handling it well, especially the extra condition of making N apologize to you guys. I like that on two levels. (Thoughtful of Mo, and also a good way to keep N at arm's length -- I could see that N really wouldn't want to apologize to you guys.)

Hope that solves the problem....
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Jun, 2012 09:13 am
@sozobe,
...one other thing, the "new kid" phenomenon has been disruptive for us, too. Sozlet has a core group of good friends who get a bit annoyed when she adopts another new kid (and she's a major new-kid adopter). Two of them (one a former new kid herself) feel like sozlet isn't paying enough attention to them anyway, and the last thing she should be doing is spreading out her attention even more.
0 Replies
 
 

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