The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: I’m So Upset by My Kids’ Middle-School Drama

I’m not sure why I’m reacting so strongly to hearing about conflicts at school.
Source: Bianca Bagnarelli

Editor’s Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at

Dear Therapist,

We have two sons, fraternal twins, who are in middle school. They both play sports, participate in other activities, and have some mutual friends.

This past school year, I’ve become more emotionally involved in their social interactions. For example, there is one boy, “Matthew,” who bullied one of my twins last year, and now seems to be getting into trouble this year with my other twin. I don’t like how Matthew is acting. I’ve talked endlessly to both of my boys about him, tried to give them advice and let them work it out, but now

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