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@theatlantic.com.

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

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min read
The Books Briefing: Reassessing the Back-to-School Reading List
Whether you’re a parent or a child, a student or a teacher (and even if you don’t currently identify with any of those categories), the dog days of summer can often bring to mind that back-to-school feeling—including the urgency of trying to cram in
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Italy’s Leaders Are Divided on Policy, United in Fear of One Man
The far-right politician Matteo Salvini has triggered a government crisis, forcing parties that despise one another to contemplate alliances, if only to block his rise.
The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Tariffraff
China said it plans to slap more retaliatory tariffs on American products, and Trump said the U.S. would slap black. Plus: the American hostages America forgot.