would you say something?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-1999
would you say something?
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 9:44am

My 12 yr old ds has this friend, and I use the term loosely, because he isn't always so nice to my ds. For months now ds and this friend along with some other kids have been playing this online video game together. In order to all link up, the player that starts it has to "invite" the others in. It seems lately this friend does not let me ds play because he won't "invite" him. So now ds can see the others all playing together but can't get into the game. Ds says he really has no idea why the boy is doing this to him. They do have a history of being on and off friends, mostly because the other boy can be very nasty at times and dh and I have witnessed this.

  Ds says he has tried to talk to this friend about why he won't let him play but the boy ignores him or hangs up the phone on him. Yet, when they see each other in school or during after school sports, it is fine. Ds is very hurt, angry and frustrated by this. He is the sort of kid who has lots of aquaintances but not too many friends. He is a homebody so this online game stuff is really his social out and now he is being kept out of joining with the kids he's been playing with for months now. We have often told ds to move on from this friend but ds finds in a matter of convenience I think since he lives 2 houses away.

  Dh and I feel awful watching ds be so hurt and I think I'd like to speak to this boys parents who we are fairly friendly with and I know at times get annoyed at their sons behavior. This kid is frequently punished for various things. What's your opinion on this?  I almost see it as a form of bullying, being intentionally left out of something you've been apart of! Thanks for your input.


Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 10:52am

My kid plays this sort of game too. I think they only need to be invited the first time, but the boy who owns the server has to tell the small little group that uses it that it's on. They like the boy in person (I do too,) but sometimes, his online behavior is really annoying (like destroying things they've spent hours building, getting mad at them for choosing to build something he doesn't like and so holding the server hostage, killing their character as a joke, blocking members for days because they questioned some choice, ect.) They tried to talk to him but the boy thinks it's earnestly funny and I don't think he realizes how frustrating it is to the others. It's caused the other boys to break off and create a "secret server" for which he's not invited. They still play on the boy's server but they have their refuge from him as well. Now, these boys don't have a history of being nasty to eachother in person but I suspect the other parents would be upset if they discovered the secret server. However, in this case, I understand their actions. 

I'd do a little more research. Have you talked to your son about his online behavior? Are their any things that have happened recently that could justify their not wanting him in the game? Make him dig deep. I'm not saying it's for sure his fault but it's important to ask and discuss appropriate online behavior in these situations... just in case.

Personally, I'd have him start his own game and invite others. If that friend is just "that sort of kid", it's not a connection he needs. Kids often have to get PUSHED to move on though. I'd not approach the mom though. She could force her child to invite yours but it will likely mess up their in-person relationship. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 12-01-2012 - 10:08am
I would definitely not talk to the kids' parents. It will make things worse. How will your son feel if he feels that the boy doesn't like him, but is being "forced" to invite him to play the game? Or it might backfire by making this boy act worse to him in school, etc. No one likes a tattletale. Unfortunately part of growing up is learning how to negotiate friendships and learning that not everyone is going to be nice or like you. I wonder if your son could initiate the game sometimes so he could control who is playing the game with him. And why won't any of the other boys speak up and ask your son to play? I also hate to say this but is he a bad player & could that be why the other boys don't want to play with him? Would it somehow slow down their enjoyment of the game? I only say this because you said the ringleader boy is nice to him in school & sports so maybe somehow he just doesn't enjoy playing this game with him. I'd say to your son to either start the game himself and find some kids to play with him or find something else to do.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 10:32am

My DSS plays this type of game, but he's not with us enough so I don't know much about it.  Can only the person who set up the game invite people in, or can anyone participating?  Can one of the other boys invite him in, are they oblivious to this or are they partially to blame also?

I agree with Mahopac, if there is a possibility of getting him involved in anything else, or even doing things with him around the house, board games, etc. that may help.  Yes, middle school is such an awkward time for kids.  I wish I had more suggestions.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 10:16am

I think this sort of behavior is pretty common among this age group.  I really wouldn't call it bullying - it isn't being very nice, but "bullying" is a word being used too loosely these days. 

Middle school is an awful time for relationships no matter how sociable or introverted you are.  Last year in 6th grade, DS had a horrible time with his Boy Scout troop - the kid who was supposed to be his best friend started getting really arrogant and got some of the other boys to gang up on DS.  It really broke my heart - and this was as recently as June.  In July he went off to Scout camp with the troop and came back best friends with one of the boys who'd been such a jerk to him.  I noticed at our last Scout meeting that the kid who'd gotten so arrogant didn't seem to be looked at as a leader by the others, and the rest of the group that was treating DS so badly had mellowed a lot. 

I have two thoughts for you:  one, can your son initiate the game sometimes so that he can do the inviting? 

Two, can you get him involved with other activities so this doesn't blow out of proportion?  In addition to Scouts, my son plays cello in two orchestras, is on the school newspaper staff, does karate 2-3 times a week, and takes tennis lessons.  When the Scouts were making him miserable, he had other things to look forward to where he got positive feedback and had different groups to socialize with.