My 12 years old is very active and happy child but sometimes worries a lot. Recently the boy who he use to get along with for some reason started to bad mouthing him to other kids from school saying that my son is spoiled. Now he worries that somehow this kid is going to corrupt other kids and he will end up not being able to play with anyone. This is also happening when they play their games in online world. I wanted to go talk to parents of that child but that might create another problem. The kid will know I talked to his parents and then make things even more difficult for my son because my son had to have parent (me) intervene and therefore making him even "more spoiled".

I just wonder what other parents approach would be in this or similar scenario.

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    Hi and welcome to Parenting.SE! Do you want to know what you can do or how to help your son deal with it? Jan 3, 2019 at 18:04
  • Yes i am trying to figure out best approach.
    – Stribor
    Jan 3, 2019 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


Capitalize on this opportunity
I believe that one of the best approaches you as the parent can have is to use this situation to strengthen your son's character. As parents our first instinct is to protect our children or make the immediate situation more tolerable or pleasant for them. This 'reaction' is similar to wanting to eat desert at every meal. It seems better at first, but in the long term it is not as good.

With no threats of violence or harm being involved so far, I think this is a grand chance to grow moral character. The situation is emotional and inescapable since they go to school together. Capitalize on this and make your son stronger for adulthood.

Teachable topics

You can't and shouldn't try to control others
Let this other boy do his thing. While it is true that there is some initial pain from other people accepting the lies being told, it is inevitable that situations will occur where other students get first hand experience of your sons personality and character. These experiences will overcome any slander.

Key point - let the other boy do his thing, you focus on yourself

You have choices to do good or bad things
Everyone has the ability and opportunity to hurt other people. We all live at the mercy of those around us. If your son desires to grow into a true man he will take the road of caring for others, even those who hurt him.

Key point - don't waste your time and emotional energy trying to get back and hurt others, focus on the friends you have.

Life goes on, so do you, keep growing
It is easy for me and most of us to think that some situation is life shattering. Except for death this is not true. In basically every situation some practical advice is always best, focus on yourself. Focus on any tiny or big thing that you can do better in this situation.

Key point - use this trial to better yourself. Be a stand up guy and own up to anything you did wrong, even if it is 1% to his 99%.

Final Advice

  1. You don't do anything with the other kid or his parents.
  2. Guide your son through understanding that his best interests are served by building his character.
  3. Be patient and realize this is not earth shattering and it is not the last time someone will slander him.
  4. Watch a video and then decide if you think you should watch it with your son.

Suffering, Responsibility and Meaning

Fault and Responsibility


At this point, I'd tell him to find new friends.

If the other kids asks your why, he should tell him "It's because you're gossiping and badmouthing me to other kids, and I don't need to put up with that." If he doesn't ask why, then the friendship was already over in all but name, and is better abandoned than agonized over.

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    In the real world this doesn't work. Partly because making new friends in a school environment, especially if classes are small, is impossible - the class is the entire pool of possible friends; and partly because especially through puberty, any/all classmates may act nastily/irrationally etc as hormones mess with them.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 4, 2019 at 8:53
  • What does not work in real world?
    – Stribor
    Jan 4, 2019 at 12:55
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    @RoryAlsop After 7th grade I never drew my pool of friends from school (although that may be the autism). I'll have to take your word for that. Puberty accommodates aggressiveness and general wierdness, but not deliberate behind the back nastiness like this. In spite of their reputation to the contrary, I have found kids to be generally increasing in social awareness and grace through the teen years.
    – pojo-guy
    Jan 4, 2019 at 14:22

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