DS1 comes across as gormless

(57 Posts)
Collection Fri 28-Mar-14 13:12:42

He's not, he's a bright friendly boy but in new or uncomfortable situations he goes completely within himself and answers in grunts.

He's 13 and I can't see him ever walking into a room and someone thinking, I want to get to know you better or I want to employ you.

He's not short of friends and on holiday etc will soon be running around with new mates, but with adults he really comes across badly.

I had to take him to work yesterday (teacher's strike) where he was useful as a runner etc but he barely spoke to anyone, even when spoken to, to the point of rudeness.

What have I done wrong and what can I do to fix it? BTW I understand shyness, I am very much an introvert myself, but I hope not rude.

Collection Fri 28-Mar-14 13:14:43

Oh and he says he enjoyed himself yesterday, but he looked bored to tears all day

snowmummy Fri 28-Mar-14 13:27:19

Is this for real? Give the boy a chance, he's 13 and shy of adults. He makes friends with peers easily so, in time, he'll be fine I'm sure. Its quite a big ask to, ask a boy of that age to be confident around adults he doesn't know. And 'gormless' is harsh.

Innogen Fri 28-Mar-14 14:01:26

I don't think it's harsh at all. It's never okay to be rude down to shyness.

If I saw him grunt instead of answer, id pull him up and make sure he replies properly. Threat of embarrassment again works wonders sometimes.

Not sure what you can do for when you are not around though. Have you spoken to his teachers? Is he like that with them?

Collection Fri 28-Mar-14 17:07:29

Maybe gormless is a bit harsh, but that is how he comes across to people who don't know him. I worry about him!

When I say grunt/rude I mean monosyllabic answers. e.g if he was offered a cake he'd say thank you (or live to pay the price with me!!) but he wouldn't say thank you, they're my favourite, or thanks they look delicious iyswim. Anyone who tried to make conversation with him would get one word answers.

wishicouldstopworrying Fri 28-Mar-14 18:21:14

Haven't you just described a good percentage of teenagers?!

TheGreatHunt Fri 28-Mar-14 19:07:26

Maybe he doesn't know how to act. Maybe he feels self conscious. God to write him off at 13! I was lacking in confidence at that age but now, much better with a job and everything no thanks to my mum who put me down

figgieroll Fri 28-Mar-14 21:27:46

Can you ask him to add one sentence to a yes please or a no thank you

stleger Fri 28-Mar-14 21:44:03

We sometimes have work experience teenagers with us. Some of them have to be reminded to say please and thankyou. A sentence would be pushing it. They are 15/16. If I meet them at 18, they are much chattier.

ScarletStar Fri 28-Mar-14 21:48:36

He's 13. At that age I was so miserable with rampaging hormones I just wanted to hide. Don't be too hard on him, it's a shit age.

atthestrokeoftwelve Fri 28-Mar-14 21:56:16

Poor lad.

Catsmamma Fri 28-Mar-14 21:56:34

if he can be sociable with his peers he can do likewise with everyone imo

just tell him how the Kevin Act comes over and dare him to do it again!! I've three teens...and have had the "be sparkly and charming chat" if they are to be on display with all of them in turn

it stands them in good stead to be able to make simple conversations in the all circumstances., and to that end get him to embroider answers....like you said "thanks for the cake...did you make it?" <<and that is what I mean when i say sparkly and charming....i am not expecting erudite conversations on european politics and family dynamics in third world countries or anything.

mamalovesmojitos Fri 28-Mar-14 22:06:56

I think he sounds like a normal boy. Just model good social skills, insist on basic manners & beyond that just leave him off. He's still young.

RalphRecklessCardew Sat 29-Mar-14 04:22:30

He sounds pretty normal for 13.

Looks back to self at that age. Shudders.

JuniperHeartwand Sat 29-Mar-14 07:42:16

Did you have brothers growing up OP? I had one. Until around 16 my brother was like this. Then got a job after leaving school and got into the top uni he wanted and now as a young adult has a senior job and is respected in his field. Lots of friends too. It's a teenage boy phase, it'll pass, just make sure everything else runs smooth (hobbies, school etc)

Collection Sat 29-Mar-14 07:42:26

No-one's putting him down or writing him off, I haven't voiced my concerns to him beyond telling him that people would appreciate it if he made a bit more effort. I worry about his future but as it seems he's completely normal I shall try and stop for a while.

I agree I was probably very similar at his age but today's teenagers seem so much more confident and lively!

BalloonSlayer Sat 29-Mar-14 07:47:55

Don't worry - perfectly normal!

In fact I would go as far as to say that if he told you he enjoyed himself, he is far less surly and unfriendly than a lot of teenagers.

(Check out the episode of Outnumbered when they go to HMS Belfast and the teenager moans the whole day and then the Dad hears him on the phone telling his mate how cool the ship was.)

atthestrokeoftwelve Sat 29-Mar-14 07:48:48

I had a pushy mother when i was a very shy 13 year old. I hated it when she tried to push me forward in social situations- I really resented her lack of empathy.
Turning into an adult is a big process and not all the functions come easily. Be polite to him in social situations and show a little more empathy.

Brabra Sat 29-Mar-14 07:50:36

My son is just like this....and all his friends seem so sparkly and confident. Imagine my surprise when his friend's mum described him that way too! Yep, he is just a sullen bugger when with me... Sound familiar OP? grin

Collection Sat 29-Mar-14 07:57:25

No, Brabra, it doesn't, he's not sullen at home (yet, he's only just turned 13!)which is why it came as such a shock to me to seem him perform so badly at work.

UriGeller Sat 29-Mar-14 07:58:32

If I met a 13 yo who behaved how you seem to want your ds to behave I'd think he was precocious and smarmy.

TittyNotSusan Sat 29-Mar-14 08:00:33

Hi op. Your ds sounds lovely and you haven't done anything wrong.

I posted a similar thread about my dd at Christmas and got some good advice. You have to decide your line in the sand and stick to it. Mine is: eye contact, please and thank you and a clear voice. Also to answer direct questions.

I also felt that all other teens these days are chatty and confident. It's not true though, it's just that they're the ones we notice.

The best thing i did was to realise i was more worried about people judging me, not her. I have backed off and stopped telling her to be more outgoing and it has made her a bit more relaxed.

Good luck and enjoy your lovely boy!

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 29-Mar-14 08:01:24

Instead of saying he needs to make an effort, give him examples of the effort you want him to make. Get him to practice the phrases that you mentioned so that he can swing into one when it occurs.

Collection Sat 29-Mar-14 08:03:52

Yes, funky, I do tell him what that effort should be.

Delphiniumsblue Sat 29-Mar-14 08:05:52

I agree with atthestrokeoftwelve.
Just be a model yourself. Get him saying 'please' and 'thank you' and the rest will come in time. Don't push and don't get him practising, it will be counter productive.

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