Is your middle schooler one of the popular kids? Then he’s an asshole.
Oh, not YOUR kid. YOUR kid is popular because he/she is a genuinely nice person – supportive, generous, always has a kind word for other kids, particularly the socially inept. He/she never makes fun of anyone for how they look – they know it’s what’s inside that counts.
He’s a goddamn Unicorn Kid, and your child is the only one in middle school who is popular for the right reasons.
Because for the most part? Show me a girl who’s popular in middle school and I’ll show you a backstabbing bitch whore from hell.
Jocks have the best shot at popularity. This does not mean all middle school athletes are assholes. It merely provides the platform. From there, a child must use true dickish behavior to catapult themselves into preeminence.
Middle school has a social structure closely paralleled by that of wolves. Popular kids maintain social order by establishing pack dominance. In the wild, fighting to the death is the time-honored way to express dominance. However, it is frowned upon in today’s suburban world.
Instead, here’s how the popular kids get and stay popular in middle school:
- Ridicule less popular kids; zeroing in on undesirable physical traits like being overweight or short.
- Make fun of kids who aren’t as wealthy.
- Bully kids on social media; gather groups together to do this as shitty little collective.
- Jeer at smart kids because getting straight As is lame.
- Disrespect teachers.
- General dickish behavior towards everyone but those exalted members of their clique.
- Taunt kids who love Lord of the Rings so much they perform traditional Dwarven Mining Songs for their music class project (okay, I probably had that coming).
Here’s other obnoxious behavior that makes kids popular. These traits don’t necessarily make them assholes, but SERIOUSLY WHY ARE THEY GETTING AWAY WITH THIS? ARE YOU HIGH?
- Not giving a crap about school.
- Get into LOTS of drama with other kids constantly.
- Hidden Instagram accounts with sultry “come hither” pouts. (we’re talking about 13 year olds, remember?)
- Drinking; doing drugs.
- Sexy times.
Little Dude has always been firmly tucked into the “Nerd” category at school. He was popular among the nerds, if such a thing exists. I was comfortable with him there. I knew these were the kids whose parents would not be getting phone calls from the police station.
This year, in seventh grade, he somehow stumbled into a friendship with a popular boy.
This boy, let’s call him “Dylan” because that’s his name, engaged in behavior that I found anywhere from annoying to appalling. He watched YouTube videos in class because he found the curriculum boring. He was always in a confrontation with SOMEONE. His idea of being entertaining was to make fun of other kids.
Gradually, LD grew disenchanted with Dylan. He didn’t find it funny that he openly mocked their Spanish teacher’s attempts to teach them. He wasn’t thrilled that Dylan was constantly ribbing him for only having 4 pairs of sneakers when he had 40.
Things went downhill from there.
LD came home one day, upset because he and Dylan had gotten into a fight. Dylan had amassed a posse of kids to harass an unpopular kid on Snapchat – for no reason at all.
OH HELL NO. Not on MY watch.
Their friendship ended that day. Kids KILL THEMSELVES over being tormented on social media. I didn’t bother calling this kid’s parents. I knew from prior experience that they had – let’s call it – a different world view than I did.
I went scorched earth on this little penis wrinkle. I notified the school, the school board, and the superintendent. He was suspended, which of course makes him even more popular among the
losers popular kids.
Things are a bit tough for LD socially right now. He finds himself stuck “in between” – not cool enough to hang with the popular kids (thank GOD) but not quite content with the (lack of) social life of his nerdy friends.
I do what any responsible mom would do – I lie to him, and tell him it will get better in high school. I don’t want to scare him and tell him he might be like his mama, and have to wait until he’s middle-aged to hit his stride.
I wasn’t the least bit unhappy to find out that the “cool” kids in middle school are more likely to turn into adult losers. Being cool requires edgy, unpleasant behavior that doesn’t bode well into adulthood
If your kid is one of the popular middle school kids – observe their behavior in a pack when they don’t think you’re watching. You will be VERY surprised, and not in a good way. I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.
In the meantime, you may want to dismantle the pedestal they have themselves on. Once they enter the real world, it’s a long, long way down – and the splat at the bottom is a bitch.
How bad was middle school for you?
Are your kids in middle school now? Can I offer you a Xanax?