Thursday, October 11, 2012

How Do I Help?

Middle school is hell. It's a huge transition. Dumping hundreds of emotionally fragile, hormonally charged eleven to fourteen year olds into a gigantic maze of a building with seven different classes and lockers is asking for trouble. They are trying to figure out who they are while fitting in with everyone else.

Moving is hell. It's heartbreaking to leave your friends, your house, your neighborhood. To leave the comfortably familiar for the great unknown. To start over again.

And yet that is what Einstein has had to endure these last few months. This, in addition to all the other chaos and getting sucker punched by life over the last few years. He is sad and angry and lost. He doesn't trust that we will stay here. He doesn't expect us to keep our jobs. He continually reminds us that he is a pessimist. That it's better to expect nothing,

He's ALWAYS been an excellent student. Since he was a preschooler he was a obsessed with numbers. He's been a math whiz  from the start. He works 2-3 levels above grade level. He participates in advanced math competitions. It's always been his favorite subject. And now he hates it. 

Ever since his great aunt gave him a trombone he's been hooked, teaching himself how to play and read music. He officially started band last year in fifth grade. For a week or so he struggled, fought me on practice and wanted to quit. It quickly changed and he had dreams of being in marching band. He memorizes music in a minute and teaches himself new songs constantly. Now he wants to quit band.

He has always been a friend to everyone. One of those kids who can move from group to group easily. And yet he says he has no friends here. And he doesn't want to make any. He doesn't see the point-if we're just going to move again. 

I don't know how to help him. And it breaks my momma heart to see him hurting like this and be powerless. 

Any ideas?


Aubrey Anne said...

I had the same experience in 5th grade. My parents moved me to a new town and I thought I was going to DIE there. I hated everything, things I used to love, and treated everyone in the new place badly because I was so angry about the move. It took me a long time to realize the other kids didn't just hate me for some unknown reason, they hated me because my attitude was terrible. Unfortunately I have no idea what you, as a parent, can do to help him :/ But I feel for the kid!

Robbie K said...

Thanks so much for your comment an perspective. I moved when I was in 7th grade and I was beyond shy. I literally followed the people in front of me in the lunch line like a lost puppy. I didn't even talk to them. I eventually made a few friends . Though I never felt totally connected with them but it was better than being a lone. It was 2 years before I feel like I met my people....who have been friends ever since!

Your Doctor's Wife said...

He sounds like he's entering his surly teen years a few years early. :(
I think it's a matter of finding a the right balance between giving him his space and letting him know you are there for him all the time. As a mom, it's an incredibly hard thing to do. Hugs!

Fritter said...

Be patient. Be his friend. Don't push but make yourself 'availible'. Maybe confide in him as to how hard it is for you to make friends? Even though that's not likely true.

Jennifer said...

Counseling. Sometimes the best way we can help is by finding someone that really knows what they are doing.

Robbie K said...

He definitely comes by his sarcasm naturally :)
We've had a rough few years and I totally understand why he thinks our jobs aren't secure (we've had 4 layoffs in 4 years) and that job loss has led to moves in the past.

I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make it better.

Robbie K said...

Thanks for the ideas :)

I did tell him how scared I was when I moved in 7th grade and that I spent time with some ppl b/c it was better than being alone. I also reminded him that I eventually met my BFF who is still very much a part of my life.

Robbie K said...

I've been thinking about that too. Waiting for my insurance to kick in since we lost insurance in August with Big Yankees job drama.

Stacie @ Snaps and Bits said...

Oh, I feel your pain. We moved from CA to NJ two years ago and it was so hard on our older son (then a HS freshman). Then he got in with a group of kids that were only nice to him when they wanted to come over to our house. Finally, he dumped them and now has a nice group of friends. It's so hard to watch but time will probably help!

Shell said...

Middle school is hell.

I'm so sorry he's feeling like this.