I think Homeschooling is causing socialization problems for my son.

April - posted on 03/01/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son is 9 years old and my husband is worried because he lets kids be mean to him and he doesn't know how to stand up for himself, he just lets them be mean to him. For example at basket ball practice tonight a boy pushed Skylar and told hm that he is just standing there doing nothing and another night the same boy was throwing basketballs at Skylar's face really hard and Skylar was laghing and dodging them but Skylar thought the boy was just playing but I knew better, the boy was trying to hit him in the face! My child would never act like that to another child but I don't expect my child to stand there and say "Please Stop" either. I think my descision to homeschool is effecting how my son handles certain situations because being at home he doesn't run into problems that childen going to pulic school would and my husband thinks it's important for him to know how to stand up for himself. I have always taught my child that you should never hurt someone but what do I tell him to do when someone hurts him...I can't tell him to turn the other cheek even though that's the RIGHT thing to do in the minds of some..Any advice?

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Tammy - posted on 01/02/2011

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One of the other moms was correct is stating that the problem is NOT with your son. It is with the other boy. I would ask your husband if given a choice, would he prefer your son to be the bully? Our society has brainwashed parents into thinking that other kids should be teaching our children how to behave in polite society. Take a look around and tell me how you think that's working so far. Polite society is no longer polite. Instead, we need to take our children back and that includes teaching them how to react to bully's. Teaching your son to be a man is actually your husbands job and he shouldn't be delegating it to someone else's child. Maybe if you gently put it to him that way, or in anyway that he might understand, he'l realize that as his father it is up to him to teach him what a real man is. A real man is in control of his anger, doesn't let his anger control him. It is about confidence, respect for oneself and others, as well as compassion. The biggest thing that can help your son is to grow his confidence. It will start with knowing that both his mom and his dad are in his corner and that "they believe" he can overcome.

Sometimes a bully can be tamed with a few simple words. By all means it should not be allowed to continue. But you could try to think of it from your sons perspective. He isn't going to want to intensify the situation but in this day and age you may have to step in and "calmly" talk with the boy and/or his parents. Sometimes a simple calm question from your son can make the kid think. Make sure you ask the kid questions and not give a lecture. Questions make kids think and in order to do that they may have to stop what they are doing. Don't expect an instant turn around on the bully's part but your son has the ability to change the bully.

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I put all three of my youngest in tae kwon do and it has done them a world of good. They no longer have that problem. I do have to tell my girls to stand up for themselves occasionally but once they get started or they have to protect someone they have NO problems.

I say good luck and look into some self defense classes for him.

good luck and god bless

Catherine - posted on 04/12/2010

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It isn't the homeschooling that's to blame. You need to teach him that he has rights and people can't treat him like crap! If someone is hurting him you should tell him it's okay to do whatever he needs to do to make the other person stop. It may be a punch, but what would be worse, a kid getting punch by your kid or your kid ending up in the hospital because he didn't know it was okay to stop someone from hurting him? I'm not saying let him think he can go around punching people who look at him weird or anything. But it's important to let him know he is a person. You should be proud of yourself for homeschooling him because he will grow up to be a good person!

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Janean - posted on 05/18/2013

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This has nothing to do with homeschooling. Even kids that go to school get bullied, and that is what your child is experiencing. Bullies always bully the weak ones(Nice ones). Its up to you if you want to teach your child to fight back. I remember growing up, my mom used to always say "If somebody hit you, you better hit them back" and my grandpa used to say "if you do not win the fight , you are going to fight that person again" . We grew up in a bad neighborhood , so we had to protect ourselves.

Lisa - posted on 06/27/2012

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I've heard this from well meaning observers too many times. Why, exactly, will being bullied help my son learn how to handle bullies?

Do you suppose that if you were robbed at a convenience store, people would tell you it was a good idea to go where you would likely be robbed again so you would learn how to "handle it" better? Would you advise your husband to "learn to handle it" and keep a job with an abusive boss or would you help him start mailing out his resumes so he could get something better as soon as possible?

Ridiculous.

Keep your children away from bullies. Teach them to leave the situation if a bully is there. Your child will grow up ready to function properly in the adult world. The bully, if he doesn't learn how to behave properly, will be imaired by his bad behavior for the rest of his life.

Our parents were taught that bullying behavior was just a rite of passage we had to go through. But now, the culture is changing. It's not uncommon to find anti-bullying policies at public school. People are learning that it isn't the good kids who have to deal with it, but the bad kids who need to be corrected and better "socialized."

Tracey - posted on 11/29/2011

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This isn't necessarily the fault of homeschooling. You need to *decide* how you want him to react, and then teach him to do it.

My son is 15 now, and he's always been short for his age (Delayed Growth Syndrome diagnosis, which means eventually he'll be average or even tall, but the growth comes late). Because of it, he's been a target sometimes.

I was a target growing up, partly for the same reason. I didn't want him to be. My husband also was for the same reason (and he's tall now). He was constantly having to deal with bullies. This is just one of the reasons we chose to homeschool.

Anyhow, we taught him to fight back. He did have TaeKwanDo lessons briefly, but the main thing was he learned to recognize jerks, and he has the attitude he doesn't have to take it.

Case one: Playground: two kids keep knocking him down (he was 5). He knocked one down, and the mom came over to me. I pointed out that it was two taller, older kids on one, and that I had just been about to approach her to ask her kids to lay off him. They left. He stayed to play with other kids.

Case two: age 10, baseball team, the coach's son and the son's friend decided to bully him. He didn't tell us until halfway through the season. The next time one of them stomped on his hat, he decked him. The coach started to throw him out of the game, but the assistant came forward and said he'd seen the whole thing and it wasn't the first time. Assistant coach also told league board, who threw the son off the team and removed the coach from his position.

Case 3: Tackle football, age 14. Kid bullies son and texts lewd messages to 12-year-old little sister/cheerleader. Son repeatedly pancakes him in drills. When coaches ask why, he tells them. A month later and the kid is no longer on the team (but we don't know who all else the kid s8xted so it might not be because my son said something).

Ongoing: neighborhood bullies. Somehow my son negotiates his way through them. He's never been hurt but other kids have.

Kimberly - posted on 11/26/2011

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April, I was interested in seeing what you and your husband decided to do with your son? Did you send him to public school, or keep homeschooling him? Just curious, cause there were so many people with good advice about your situation.

Samantha - posted on 11/18/2011

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Public Schooled or Homeschooled- either one has the same situation as you- there were plenty of kids in my school that acted just like your describing your son and they were in a social environment all their life. It doesn't have anything to do with whether they are homeschooled or not- its how you taught them-" to not hit" which is correct I had something similar happen like this with my son the other day- he was complaining that anoher boy at church is always pushing him down, and my husband told him next time to push him back, and it was like a blow in the face because thats telling my child to do exactly what we have always taught him not to, and I didn't want to talk over my husband and correct him, but I did tell my son that next time to just tell an adult, he is only 4 and the kid was 5, but it can get to a confusing place - All Im saying is that its not from homeschooling 9 time out of 10 the kids that have social problems are because they are "the only child" which can cause problems with these situations, Im just going to have to find a balance in when its wrong to hit and when its understandable good luck to you

Jacquie - posted on 09/07/2010

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Do you have a homeschooling co-op in your area? Sign up for their activities and classes for your child- also Deanna has the right idea! We also have Abby signed up for Taekwondo- just in case!! We were worried about socialization as well as she has bi-polar and is on the autism spectrum, but she has done fine homeschooling thus far using these techniques.

Bri - posted on 09/01/2010

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Haven't had much experience with that yet as DD is only just turning 4. So far we've been lucky to have some playmates/playdates where the kids are learning their own boundaries without the parents stepping in.

There is value to considering a martial arts type class- as a not quite black belt in multiple arts, please understand that tae kwon do, karate or any other style is not just about "being aggressive". If the program is a quality program there is much more to the learning including discipline, learning when it's appropriate to be defensive vs. offensive and even the simple skills of developing self confidence, etc. which leads to the confidence to stand up for oneself when necessary.

Teresa - posted on 05/05/2010

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The definition of socialization is this: "The process whereby a child learns to get along with and to behave similarly to other people in the group, largely through imitation as well as group pressure." I don't think you WANT your son behaving similarly to the boy in that group. I have two boys, so I understand your dilemma, but putting him in public school isn't the answer. In fact, those types of problems would only be amplified and your child would have no safe place to escape them. Or he might even imitate them. I think the problem here is the other boy. He needs proper socialization -- not your son. I would never encourage violence as a way to solve a problem, especially if your son is by nature a non-aggressive person. That could cause all kinds of psychological and self-esteem issues with him. Walking away is the best policy. Who cares if the other kid taunts him and calls him a sissy for walking away? Christ calls us to meekness, which by definition is this: "strength under control." It takes more self-control to walk away than to throw a punch. That is the type of character I'm sure you want your son to have. And I'll be frank --sometimes dads push their sons to be "tough" because they are afraid that timidity is a bad reflection on them (although I'm not saying that YOUR husband is doing this.) The one other thought that I have on this involves the coach. Where IS he while this is going on? In an organized sport like basketball, it's HIS responsibility to make sure his players are under control. I'd be benching that kid if he behaved like that on my court.

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Homeschooling children handle situations differently than regular school kids. Why? because they learn behavior from us, the parents. They learn how to communicate their problems, conflict resolution (sometimes I feel like the referee!). Regular school kids learn from other kids how to behave and deal with situations, which usually involves lots of fighting, anger. This so-called socialization of the homeschooling child is such crap! My 9 yold has had other kids call him a loser. He just walked away, but sadly wondered, those kids don't even know me and they call me names. There are just bully kids. I know, I used to be the schoolyard bully, beating up kids. Why? I was a very angry little girl, come from a broken home and the anger was a way to release the pressure at home.



So are these conflicts about YOUR child? not necessarily, it could be the kid picking the fight, and all his issues at home. April, your child is thoughtful and intelligent. Just tell him to walk away from that kid. He doesn't have to stand there, but he doesn't have to engage in a fight either.

Rosa - posted on 03/02/2010

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I understand your predicament. I was home-schooled all the way, K-12. I learned to stand up for myself at a big church. We went on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and stayed for hours. Later, my mom ended up having 6 kids all together. Both of these contributed to my growth in dealing with people. There are plenty of kids who are not home-schooled that don't know how to relate to people. You are giving your son a better chance at learning to deal with people by being with him in example and explanation. You get to see what is going on and talk to him about it.

Is it possible that the 9-year old boys were just playing rough? If so, turning the other cheek wouldn't apply, so you wouldn't need to worry about it. If he senses that he is being harassed however, you have an opportunity to teach him how you would respond. That opportunity is a treasure!

My favorite book on understanding boys is Wild at Heart. Totally revamped my relational worldview. Its easy to read. Hope that helps! :)

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