13 year old's inappropriate "friend".(9 Posts)
Just looking for some outside opinions on this. Please bear with me, it's going to be quite long.
My 13 year old son has a friend who has, for a while now, behaved somewhat sexually inappropriate. It just seems to be getting worse now but I'm unsure what to do about it!
This boy will often pull down his friends' trousers and underwear in public, exposing them fully in front of people. My son seems to be the one he does it to the most (my son is quite quiet and sensitive and a bit of an easy target). It has made my son thoroughly uncomfortable obviously. I wasn't sure whether to just brush this off as boys getting silly and playing around until more things started happening.
My son recently broke his phone. He was going to this boy's house and asked me to text the boy when it was time to come home. I did so and this boy replied "Wanna have sex?" I tried to just ignore/brush it off, but he persisted. He sent some very strange messages about how he was having orgies with my son. It all seemed quite odd :/ This boy also in the past rung my door buzzer and asked for "the prostitute service". I asked my son if this boy spoke to everyone's parents like that and my son said he didn't, but that because I am a fair bit younger than a lot of the other parents he knows, he probably doesn't see me as a "real adult". I just tried to forget about it for my son's sake. I did have a look online to see if I could see any of the ways he interacted with other parents...but he seemed sickly sweet and polite to another mum, so it doesn't seem he acts like this to everybody.
Last week my son seemed very troubled by something. It eventually came out that whenever he goes to this boy's house, even when there's a group of them, he wants to play wrestling...and he always grabs at my son's testicles. My son has asked him to stop doing this but he persists. He has therefore been reluctant to go round to his house (something I had noticed). It seems that because of this, this boy has tried to isolate my son from his own friend circle - gossiping about him and encouraging others to run away from him when they see him...but not giving the real reason why.
My son has found all this hard to cope with. He has been bullied a lot since starting secondary school, and obviously he doesn't want to be isolated from his own friends as well. This boy is far more confident and charismatic than my son and therefore seems to get a lot of people "on his side". Not necessarily all luckily, my son has at least one or two close friends that seem to understand the situation and stand by him...but are reluctant to stand up to this boy themselves.
Another boy in the group encouraged my son to talk about his problems with this boy...then screenshot the entire thing and sent it to him. The boy then made huge dramatics and made a fake picture of him cutting his wrists (ketchup) and saying it was all my son's fault for saying things about him eyeroll So my son obviously doesn't feel like he can trust many people atm.
Yesterday I could tell something was distressing my son. He eventually confessed that this boy had begun gently stroking his testicles (outside his clothing) under the table at lunch saying "tickle tickle". My son pushed the boy away and told him loud enough for others to hear "Stop touching my balls! I don't mind if you're gay, but I'm not so can you please stop touching me there!" (I feel this was the right thing to do). Some of the friends laughed at this (seemingly on my son's side though). The boy initially tried to claim it hadn't happened/was an accident, but my son was insistent. The boy then tried to claim that ANOTHER boy on the table had "pushed his hand there". Obviously this wasn't true and my son insisted it wasn't. The boy then got angry and said he isn't gay but my son is "The gayest person he knows" but my son argued it is not him touching people in the balls.
My son also mentioned that yesterday as he was returning home from school he saw this boy acting inappropriately to my younger son (9), who was returning home from an after school club. The boy stood behind my younger son, shouted "bend over". My younger son didn't react and the boy then twerked in his face :/ He also pulled my younger son to the ground and held him there. I am unsure if this is just playing around tbh. I wouldn't have given it much thought had I not known the other stuff. I told my son to please somehow intervene if he sees his younger brother being treated this way in future.
This has all clearly troubled my son a great deal. He has been upset and withdrawn. He has asked if I will do something to make him stop, but I am extremely conflicted! Whilst this boy's mother is absolutely lovely, I really cannot see that she would just take my word for it about all this. Even if she did, I don't think this boy is ever just going to hold his hands up, say sorry and everything goes back to normal. I have SEEN him make trouble between my son and other friends/children at school (online) when he's had a falling out or whatever. And due to his massive confidence and charisma compared to that of my son's, he seems to win most kids over. My son has already had a mountain of bullying to deal with - this could make it so much worse in all honesty, and I don't know if he's strong enough to deal with it if it also isolates him from the few friends he has (as they are also friends with this boy).
I don't know if it's serious enough to go to the police yet anyway but even if I did, I technically have no evidence unless some of the boys who were there speak up but I am doubtful if they will, as they were unwilling to be witnesses when my son was physically attacked at school in the past as they were afraid. Also the police/legal system is a tough thing to go through at any age (which I know myself from past experience) and I'm not sure if my son could cope with it in all honesty.
My son has been badly bullied since he started secondary school and the school haven't exactly been great at dealing with it. So I am reluctant to approach them even. I seemed to spend a lot of last year calling/going up the school and it just seems like they saw me as a nuisance to be honest. They told me my son was over sensitive and that I myself was "over emotional which was probably making him worse". Since then I am reluctant to approach them. I instead started encouraging my son to use his karate training to defend himself. This seemed to get a few to back off, but the school were quick to condemn this as "violence", despite them barely doing anything when it was my son being attacked.
Even when a boy grabbed my son's head and smacked it into the school gate, splitting his lip open and then punched him in the head and cheek "because he's just a loner with no friends" - which actually stemmed from an online hate campaign by a girl who seems to like to target the "weakest" members of the year - the school seemed reluctant to do a lot as my son had gotten up and hit this boy back which they "strongly discourage". The boy's parents were called and he was told to apologise (which he did...sarcastically) and he has left my son alone since, but the girl running these horrible campaigns about people (not just my son) wasn't dealt with, as apparently she has "issues" and their "hands are tied".
Once, to my absolute horror, I received a call from the deputy head of year who informed me she had sent my son home from school 15 minutes early as during lunch he had "gotten into a fight" with a group of older boys. Whilst she felt that one of these boys "came off worse" - and therefore it would be my son punished, but not them - she was concerned that my son would be attacked by this group on the way home, so she sent him home early. She told me my son would "not be allowed to behave this way on the street as an adult", so they had to punish him. I found out from my son that this was a group of several older boys who had been hassling him and his friends for a while (which I knew), but on this day it got physical. My son told me that 2 of these boys had restrained him whilst another hit him and that he had broken free and pushed this boy in a bush, causing him to have a scratched face (ie "coming off worse"). I ended up writing a letter to the school pointing out that my son surely has a right to defend himself even "on the street as an adult" when being attacked by 3 bigger/older boys and that it seemed highly unfair to punish just my son for this. I also pointed out that if they really thought my son was the problem then why on earth send HIM home early to avoid being attacked? I did not get a reply, but my son was not punished in the end...although neither were these boys.
These are just two examples, but this is why I have zero faith in the school to deal with this recent set of incidents appropriately, or look out for his best interests.
My personal feeling, and that of other family members at this time, is to see if this boy has now stopped, being that he was clearly embarrassed that my son called him out in front of others on his actions. IF the boy does touch him inappropriately again, my son has the right to become more aggressive and to push this boy off with more force and shout at him, to let him know he will not put up with it. If THEN it does not stop, then there will need to be another form of intervention (like the ones I mentioned previously), for both my son and this boys sake. This is what I feel is the best way to handle it...but I am so unsure if this is right.
I myself have been sexually abused, far more seriously in some incidents, but I do still completely understand how violated this particular behaviour must be making him feel. He is utterly miserable. He is upset at me for "not doing anything" - something I feel HORRIBLE about, but ultimately I am trying to protect him and look at the bigger picture and consequences. I just do not know if I am handling it right or not.
I understand this boy may (or may not) be gay and "experimenting" on my son. His sexuality is not an issue, it is the fact he is touching my son inappropriately despite knowing he does not wish for him to do this.
What do people think? What would you do in my situation?
Well if someone stroked me intimately it would be assault and I would speak to the police. Call them on the non-emergency number for advice. Also call NSPCC for advice it could be possible the boy is being abused himself and this is a sign of that. Inform the school also but don't ignore this any longer.
I work in a boys' secondary school and this is definitely not normal behaviour. It needs reporting to school immediately, no matter how badly you feel they've dealt with past issues. This very sexualised behaviour would be flagged up as a safeguarding issue (for the other boy) at my school and would be investigated very throughly, getting outside agencies in if necessary.
Your son has dealt with it very well so far, doing exactly the right thing ie not being intimidated by the touching under the desk and calling him out on his behaviour in front of others. The danger is that he now turns his attention to a younger, less assertive boy who would freeze if it happened to him, and be terrified to report it to anyone. In that situation things could easily escalate and you could get someone refusing to go to school and even becoming suicidal.
From your point of view you should praise your son on how he had handled it up to now, reassure him that it is a VERY serious issue and he has absolutely done the right thing letting you know, as you need to take it up with school and get the matter resolved. Tell your son that he absolutely must keep telling you about anything that happens to him, so that you can support him in his worries.
Re: how you approach it with school: call school and tell them that you want an urgent meeting with the year ahead ASAP about what is potentially a police matter. Be very firm at the meeting and be clear with them that it isn't "banter" or horseplay/teenage hijinx. state how upset it's making your son feel and that he is starting to feel reluctant to come to school and you will have no qualms in keeping him off till your son feels safe at school. The school SHOULD take it very seriously and investigate properly. Make sure they tell you clearly what procedures they are going to follow and how you will be kept informed of what is going on. Tell them you will be coming back to them if it isn't resolved. Ask if in the meantime your son could be given some sort of pass to somewhere (eg library) to get away from the other boy at breaktimes etc if he feels he needs to (ask if he can also take a friend so he doesn't feel isolated or punished)
Keep on until it IS resolved. Sometimes parents have to be persistent to demonstrate to a school how important the issue actually is.
Keep us updated.
Ps tell achool also that if they don't resolve the situation to your satisfaction then you will have no hesitation in taking it to the polices. They won't like that and will take you seriously.
By the way, I'm assuming a lot of this has happened on school premises which is why I'm advising you to contact school first. If you don't feel that school take you seriously enough when you meet with them then I think you absolutely have every right to contact police seeing as some incidents have occurred out of school. But personally I would see how school deals with it first and in the mean time advise your boy to try and never be around the other boy.
This boy has sexually assaulted your son several times, I'm not surprised your son is upset that you're not doing anything. You're the adult. Why aren't you doing anything? It's your job to protect him. Tell the school, talk to the NSPCC, and report it to the police, then let them all do their jobs. Regardless of how substandard you expect their responses will be, it's your job to at least tell them so they might be able to help.
Bloody hell. You need to step in here. You can't let your ds be in this situation.
Not that this is the same but I've had to sit my own dd down before when she was in a destructive friendship and talk,to her about how these relationships are supposed to be. I used my own friends as examples. Telling her that we don't exclude one person and say terrible things about them to the others and then in two weeks bring her back into the group and then do the same to another person.
You can't think it's better for your ds to have this boy as a friend rather than no friends at all of different friends.
You are letting your son down, u won't speak to boys mum cos she is lovely? She won't believe you? You shouldn't care what she thinks about you!!!! I would have the police involved I would also involve police in the school also and make sure I was heard!! Your poor son must feel so let down your doing more talking about it and writing letters than actually putting your thoughts into action! And why have you carried on letting your son around this boy knowing the advances this boy was making towards him?
I'm sorry I sound harsh but if this was my son I wouldn't care what anyone thought of me I'd be doing all I could to stop this bullying.
Join the discussion
Please login first.