You mentioned that your son has seen a psychologist but tends to tell them exactly what he believes they want to hear. I understand that would be very frustrating for you.
I also have a son that doesn't like talking to counsellors/psychlogists about things that are bothering him or when he does, I get feedback that he is doing ok. What I find frustrating is that that's the polar opposite of the behaviours that I am seeing at home. I have found that when my son is at a low point, although he may not be talking to the professionals, he seems to be letting me know where he is at and they professionals tell me this is good, because he is talking to someone.
From your post, it sounds like you and your son are talking about what is going on for him, even though you say at times it feels like he is pusing you away, having you there as his support I imagine would mean a lot to him.
Having your own support and access to resources, will also help you when talking/supporting your son.
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Thanks Sophie-RO, he is 12 years old - and if you had any resources that you think might assisted I'd be very grateful.
He is definately an online kid - loves everything gaming, technology etc.
Kids Help Line is a great suggestion, I have talked to him about calling them previously but I will suggest it again, because I didn't point out to him that he could also chat to someone online - maybe he will feel more comfortable with that.
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My son was bullied at school and it was such a hard thing to watch him experience and go through.
He did get through it though, and I see a strength in him now that wasn't there before.
As with some of the other suggestions posted, I approached the school, encouraged him to be assertive and to set boundaries with other students. I also encouraged him to tell the teachers what was happening.
To help him, I chose to focus on building his self-esteem. He was enrolled in Martial arts and taught how to defend himself against bullies. His instructor was fabulous - one of those really down to earth, no nonsense, practical guys that had a knack for making the kids feel good about themselves. He was always saying things like, 'let me see that superstar kick of your's, You're a legend, that's awesome'.
Interestingly, when the kids could improve on something, he also pointed that out to them, but again, it was done in a really positive way eg. if a kick was to low, he'd say something like, 'What was that, are you fighting a munchkin or something?' His tone would be exaggerated and funny and the kids would laugh and be like, 'Nooo' and then try harder with their next kick.
His confidence has come on in leaps and bounds and now, if someone is giving him grief, he speaks up for himself and doesn't let it impact him. He seems to understand that its issues the bullies have and that they are only trying to make themselves feel better by treating him poorly.
If I was to offer a suggestion to other parents who had children being bullied, I would definately encourage them to find something that your child can do that gives them a sense of pride and accompishment and makes them feel good about who they are, because that may help counteract the really negative words and actions of others.
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I'm really struggling with knowing how to help my son at the moment.....
I have a complex family circumstance - Mum and dad split 4 years ago, abusive relationship with a high conflict divorce. There was a unexpected death in the family, then my son started to exhibit signs that he wasn't coping with the divorce... and I started seeing increasingly concerning behavioural issues (largely aggression and defiance). My son went to live with Dad after he became aggressive towards his siblings. Dad didn't believe there was an issue and instead blamed Mum saying it was her parenting. Consequently my son has had no assistance from professionals and the issues have just progressively got worse. To add to the mix, Mum and Dad have been going through Family court to formalise care arrangements and Dad recently had supervision orders imposed then lifted due to Mental health and alcohol issues (there are still other orders in place to manage Dad's issues) My son is too familiar with court proceedings and dad's health concerns.
Court have ordered counselling, but my son doesn't want to speak with anyone. He has threatened self harm in the past and again, Dad blames mums parenting.
Over the years I have tried to help my son as best I can. I have engaged with health supports, I have attended courses and programs to educate myself around effects of seperation on children and to understand parenting strategies and child development, I am a strong believer in counselling and have attempted to engage my son with counselling supports in the past. Whilst I have a really strong connection with my son, it is heavily impacted by Dad and I often feel that Dad roadblocks any of the help or support that I try to offer my son. I was once told by a counsellor that my son saw, that if he didn't want to go to counselling, there was nothing that could be done, they could only support me and that I was probably the best person for my son to speak to. The catch is my son loves both his parents and I get a sense that he feels torn and caught in the middle of everything and understandably - he doesn't want to talk with me or Dad.
Last night my son had an episode. Refused to leave Grandpa's because he was playing on the computer and was told to get off so we could go home and let Grandpa go to bed. He refused to leave the house. Eventually I had to call Dad and he had to come over to Grandpa's. My son made it clear, there is nothing Mum or Dad could do, and he doesn't care what consequence we give (no computer, no ipad, no TV for 1 week). Eventually Dad had to escort us home, but my son still had the attitude.
We arrived home and my son was still giving attitude, when his Dad unexpectedly gave him a hug and told him he loved him. These words really affected my son and I watched his eyes well up with tears as he wriggled from his hug and walk into my house. I noticed this and pointed it out to Dad. I asked Dad to hang around while I went in to check on my son. I said to him that Dad and I were here and he could talk to us about what was going on for him. My son told me that he would never tell us.
When I went back outside to Dad, I suggested that he go inside and have a chat with our son. Dad went inside and after talking a little bit, he again told our son that he loved him. Again, I watched as my son's eyes filled with tears.
When we both went out the front, I suggested to Dad, that maybe there is something in our son's reaction to hearing his Dad say, 'I love you?'. He shrugged and said he wanted to see what happened at our son's counselling session.
I went back in to my son and as I was stroking his head/brow while saying goodnight, I asked him why he had such an emotional reaction to his Dad telling him that he loved him, he told me 'Dad always says that he loves me before bed, but it's just something that he says. This time when he said it, it was like he really meant it.'
My heart broke hearing those words.
I really want to help my son and I just don't know how to get him to open up and help us to understand what is going on for him??
I'm keen to hear what other peoples advice is based on their own personal experience and/or similar stories they may have.
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