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Teen Shuts Down After Parent Tells Him To ‘Stop Acting Weird’ To Avoid Getting Bullied In School

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Being a parent and figuring out everything your child needs is near impossible.

We’re human and we’re going to screw up a lot.

But parents have to listen closer.

It’s just part of the job.

Case in point…

Redditor BigDaddy7245 wanted to discuss their story for some feedback. So naturally they came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my son that he needs to stop acting weird to not get bullied in school?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My son is 14 and is a textbook example of Edgelord. He’s into wolves.”

“He talks about wolves and werewolves nonstop at the dinner table and most of us are sick of it.”

“I lost count of the weird stuff he says and does in public like jump up and down and clap at Walmart.”

“Which freaked my wife (his mom) and his two sisters because there were people recording us.”

“And recording his sudden mental breakdown at a game that we paid for and had to leave because he made a scene.”

“He is extremely loud in conversations and I have to tell him to tone it down.”

“He gets bullied at school. A lot.”

“We can only fight with the school to stay on top of this for so long.”

“They are not doing anything about it and my wife gave up.”

“We get calls from his teachers very frequently about other odd behaviors including whispering to himself.”

“Which he does a lot at home.”

“Howling and using his mom’s fur scarf and wrapped it around his waist so it looks like a tail.”

“We are in the process of trying to get him evaluated at the advice of his teachers.”

“I don’t know of any mental health conditions that make him act like this.”

“He’s about to enter high school and for the past couple of years, he has switched schools at least twice.”

“We had to break the lease a couple of times and move somewhere else when the bullying got really bad.”

“He is going to start school in an expensive private school.”

“We are paying out of pocket upwards for 2k a year for him so he gets into a safe environment in hopes he won’t get bullied.”

“My wife thinks that children in private schools are better behaved but I’m not convinced.”

“My son throws a fit every time we have to switch schools.”

“I told him that we have to change schools so many times due to his bullying.”

“And if he gets bullied in every school he goes to, then he needs to look at himself and stop doing whatever it is that’s making him a target.”

“I told him no more of that clapping and jumping up and down at Walmart.”

“No more of that talking about wolves, or muttering to himself, or dressing up like a furry.”

“And no more of that nonsense of him not showering and smelling like a landfill in public.”

“Watch what the other kids are doing at school and learn how they act and maybe he will get friends in school.”

“I told him all of that and everything he did wrong and he shut down.”

“We’ve been trying to help him and protect him and get him away from all the bullying.”

“But it has happened so much and at some point we have to hold him accountable.”

“And I told him that I will hold him accountable because we are paying for his school and we are not going to have these issues again.”

“My son shut down and locked himself in his room and never spoke to us since the conversation.”

“And my wife thinks I was being a prick to him.”

“When I told him it’s past time we tell him to get his act together so he doesn’t become a target for bullying.”

“Especially when he is entering high school next year and we are paying a lot of money for that school.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP WAS the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“Autism is my guess. Wolves are his special interest.”

“Whatever neurodivergence your son has, it’s not going to go away through lectures.”

“The bullies won’t stop just because he stops talking about wolves.”

“In fact, something like 70% of neurodivergent kids are completely socially isolated by the time they’re in high school.”

“If it is autism, connect with Autistic Self Advocacy Network and other organizations made by autistics, for autistics.”

“They’ll help your son reach functional, rather than a ‘normal’ that he probably can’t achieve.” ~ Impossible-Pause3788

“I took an online autism/Asperger’s assessment (well a few of them actually) and every single one says that I potentially could have autism/and or Asperger’s.”

“I talk to myself very often.”

“I have little things, actions and mannerisms and phrases I always say/always quoting a movie line that I feel best ‘suits’ the particular situation.”

“Which I have always been doing since I was a little kid and still do- I’m about to be 42.”

“I have tried to stop/slow them down but it never works.”

“I am weirdly into deadly fires/large number catastrophic events.”

“And will talk to all of my family/very few friends about them.”

“Kind of glad I did because now they are all very cautious in people, places or venues.”

“But I am weirdly obsessed with them and research them all to no end.”

“I don’t and can’t relate to other people that are my age.”

“I tend to relate and feel more comfortable with people around my adult kids ages (early to mid 20s) or people older than me (late 50s and beyond).”

“No one ever told me to stop doing them, they realized it was just a part of who I am.”

“OP needs to really find out what’s going on with his son and be nurturing him.”

“Maybe show a little more kindness to his son.”

“Perhaps take a select time each day to talk with his son and let his son talk about his interests or something like that.”

“Show his son he cares.”

“Talk TO his son, not DOWN TO his son about some of the bullying.”

“Bullying doesn’t happen just because someone is different.”

“Bullying happens because people are jerks and finding anyone to pick on that they think won’t retaliate back.”

“ETA a few words to fully explain my thoughts.” ~ bustakita

“I agree with everything you said…”

“I think what stuck out to me the most is that even despite the kiddo being bullied, he doesn’t appear to want to switch schools.”

“OP seems to be forcing him to switch schools in an effort to ‘protect’ him.”

“But at some point they need to stop and listen to what HE wants.”

“It doesn’t sound like he wants his parents to make him switch schools and pay a bunch of money, just to hold it over his head when he ends up bullied again.”

“OP is setting himself up for failure here.”

“And the more OP views his child as a failure the harder it will be for his child to listen to OP and accept help from him.”

“If OP wants to have any relationship with his child in the future he needs to be a source of support, not a source of judgement.”  ~ OrindaSarnia

“I learned to do what OP suggested to his son but I had to figure it out myself.”

“I found if I watched the other kids and emulated what they did I made friends and got bullied less.”

“I’m not saying OP’s kid should have to do this and he may not be able to.”

“But it made school bearable for me and taught me some good skills to get along in the workplace.”  ~ SorbetNo7877

“YTA. You’ve just described HYPER FOCUS, STIMMING and MELTDOWNS.”

“Get him assessed for autism.”

“And be a little more bloody understanding.”

“Bullying is a stupid word.”

“Emotional abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, then touching him in any unwelcome way is assault.”

“Use the correct words and stop excusing bad behavior of other kids.”  ~ Morrighu87

“I’m thinking they were told by a pediatrician and ignored it because ‘Those types of things aren’t real.'”

“‘Kids just need to do as they’re told.'”

“He should have been tested a long time ago.”

“At least he’s a boy and would be diagnosed correctly.”

“Unfortunately, we see a lot of girls misdiagnosed or just not diagnosed at all because ‘well, girls?'”

“This kid is SCREAMING FROM THE MOUNTAINTOPS that he is neuro-divergent and you aren’t listening.”

“Or just flat out refusing to listen. Shame on you. YTA.”  ~ Annagene

OP, Reddit is really needing you to look further into this situation.

It sounds like it’s time for you and the wife to consult some serious professionals for your son.

It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be an easy road, but a better course of action maybe necessary.

Good luck.