Bullying can take place anywhere and comes in many different forms
So my son has recently gone back to in-person outdoor soccer practice.
For a while, I thought that he had decided not to play soccer anymore, so I was happy when he decided that he would.
Usually, my son comes home from practice in a happy mood and reports that he had a great time.
Recently He has been coming home sort of moping. He goes straight to his room and mumbles some slight resemblance when asked him how practice went on his way by.
At first, I thought that it was just my son being a teenager and that he must be tired, but after a few weeks, I noticed that this resembled his mood almost all of the time.
I mentioned something to my husband one night about the change I had noticed. He then told me that last week, when he picked his son up from practice, the coach said that Richard had difficulty with another player on the team. The coach shared that it started after Richard had missed a goal during training and that this peer had called him a bunch of names and told him to go back to playing science nerd.
I couldn’t believe that my husband had kept this from me. I asked my husband what he said to our son about it, and he told me he had not said anything. I was in disbelief that I was not told this was going on and that no one had talked to Richard about this. My husband said that it is just Boys being boys and that it would be fine. I was not so sure.
The following day I approached my son about the peer. He at first tried to blow it off like it was nothing. I explained to him that I had noticed his mood and attitude shift and that the coach had also said something. Eventually, Richard was able to tell me what had been going on. He explained that one kid is always calling him names and informing him he is a nerd. He shared that this person always gets super aggressive with him during practice.
We talked about things that he could try to stop this other kid. I suggested being firm with him and telling him to knock it off, especially since he had already been ignoring him. We agreed that he would try this during the next practice. I also suggested trying to stay away from the kid so that their interactions would be limited.
I spent some time talking to my son about how being smart is not bad and that it doesn’t make him any less of a soccer player.
I am grateful that I now know what had been causing Richard to be so unhappy. I wish there were something that I could do to fix it for him. I do know that if it continues, I will have to speak to the coach about it.
Great resource is:
The Bullying Workbook for Teens incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help ease anxiety, fear, stress, and other emotions associated with being bullied. The workbook is made up of 42 step-by-step self-help activities designed to help you learn anti-bullying tips and strategies, manage emotions such as anxiety, fear, anger, and depression, and learn constructive communication skills to help you express your feelings.