14 year old son never goes out with friends(55 Posts)
My 14 year old whilst being happy with lots of interests - (he plays in a football team, is in the scouts and loves school) but rarely if ever goes out with friends. He spends his time in his room with his hobbies - he builds models for his skalextric and spends time on his computer, not often on facebook and not on twitter at all. I feel he should be spending more time with friends and have tried to encourage this.
It's his birthday this weekend and I tried to get him to invite some friends to do something (cinema, go-karting?) but although he had 3 friends in mind whom he would've liked to ask he never got around to it, saying that he would rather wait until he was asked by them. I think it is a confidence thing and he is scared of being turned down. How can I help him to build up confidence and a healthy social life?
my 13 year old is the same...not interested in having friends over just wants to go in room on xbox, although atleast he is communicating with his friends online, they never stop shrieking and laughing! so i know he's ok, hopefully this phase will pass.
Slambang I suppose all generations are experimental in their own way - for instance I think mine was amongst the first to be able to natter for hours on the phone to each other, which in retrospect may have meant that we spent less time meeting up (though we did do lots of meeting/mooching as well, in fact). So I suppose observant parents might have said hmm, has the phone made them less inclined to go out?
Having said that, I think that electronic communications are definitely different from phoning/talking face to face - but I don't know what the differences really are, or mean! I suppose you can 'prepare' more what you say and how you reply - does that mean you are never quite as spontaneous with each other, and if so is that good or bad? Actually of course at school dteens still have a lot of face to face contact, so maybe it is for adults that the change to text/e-mail is more significant. I think I'm rambling off the subject here a bit - though it is relevant in a way, because it's all to do with the fact that current teens' ways of interacting socially are very different from even ten years ago.
It's normal. They are all going through the peak phase of puberty between starting at 13 and ending at 16 and these days boys prefer to sit that out in their bedrooms while chatting over their headsets on the xbox. Give it two years and you'll be complaining they are too sociable and you never see them!
I have experienced very similar with my boys. The older one finally started to hang out with a small group of boys from school when he was getting on for 15. These were friendships that had evolved (very) slowly at secondary. It was a relief! It's still not easy tho' as there's often hassles and let-downs when he tries to arrange things. Now my younger one, nearly 13, is just the same. He doesn't want to see friends outside school, saying 'I prefer to be with my family' when what he really means is in front of a screen! It's reassuring that there's lots of other boys like them out there, and I know from experience that they do get a life in the end.
This all sounds so familiar - my 14 year old is exactly the same - appears to have plenty of friends at school, is a happy, polite boy, spends a lot of time on the computer, chatting etc but just not interested in going out or having friends over! When he has tried to organise things in the past he has been knocked back - people saying they can't be bothered etc. which I think has inevitably had a negative effect.
This is in complete contrast to his younger sister who is constantly arranging social events - probably too much!
Carlota2's comment struck a chord with me - it is hard when other people are constantly going on about how active their children are socially. I have worried constantly about this over the last 3 years or so and sometimes it makes me feel quite depressed. Reading these posts really helps me to realise that there are plenty of other kids just the same. Let's hope they eventually find their feet and in the meantime we should continue to love and support them for who they are.
DS is 14 and going through a hermit phase. A lot of people say this is just a phase. Also, who's to say that everyone should be an extrovert anyway.
OP, do you live in a rural area? We do, and part of the problem is that friends can live so far apart. Families are busy with their routine, so it's difficult to meet up.
Of course, there are always parents who love to tell you about all of their DC's achievements, social lives and clubs etc. I'm sure it's insecurity, or they wouldn't feel the need to bang on to others about it.
Very relieved to come across this thread and realise my DS is the same as many others!! He is 14, loves his x box and the social side of it, but try to get him to organise something etc, it is all "too much effort"!!
I miss the days of us all going out for the day, but most of the time he obviously finds me and his DSis far too embarrassing to be seen with! .
Sorry to lower the tone, but I had a sudden epiphany the other day.
I think these 14 year old lads are 'discovering themselves'.
I don't think we should be too concerned, as once the novelty wears off they will start going out more.
Hi, my son is exactly the same. He is 15, has friends at school and never goes out at weekends. I know he would love to but I think he too lacks confidence, has low self esteem and just hasn't got the confidence to ask to join in. It's so awful as you just can't do it for them at this age. It's also my sons birthday soon and he says he doesn't want to anything! I know this isn't the case really, he would love to do something, but just hasn't the confidence to bring himself to ask. I am hoping with age, he will slowly get there, but it is hard to deal with. Hope it helps to
Know you are not on your own with this problem.
My 13 yo is just like this. He makes friends perfectly easily, and is pretty popular I think, but he just can't be bothered to make arrangements to fill his time outside of school. He loves school, and he will occasionally invite one friend over at a time for a sleepover, (if I nag him to) but he will go to anything he is invited to, and is quite excited at the prospect so I don't think it's that he genuinely doesn't like to be around people. I too think it's a confidence thing and a fear of rejection. And he will never have more than one friend over at a time - But I worry he doesn't get invited to enough, because he is so happy to lay low and be off most people's radars most weekends, that eventually they'll forget about him.
We moved recently to somewhere where there a lots of lads of a similar age in close proximity, and a couple of them knew him through mutual friends. All really nice kids - he doesn't dislike them at all but he's just completely passive about it. At first they would all come knocking for him after school but after a while they just gave up because he just doesn't reciprocate and he can't even be bothered to go out and hang out with them for more than 15 minutes before he's back! They'll all be kicking a football of riding their bikes around and he's just not interested.
Honestly, he can get up at the weekend, sit in his TV room with his laptop and his PS3 and literally NOT MOVE until it's time for bed. The same almost every night after school as well. It drives me nuts. He hates sport and refuses to join any clubs of any sort. I've forced him into a couple of things, which he enjoys, but left to his own devices he'd still rather stay on the sofa. He's a lovely boy and a good boy, and his personality is outgoing, so I just don't get it.
And he has a real thing about not wanting to socialise with more than one person at a time. We live somewhere hot and have our own pool. There are endless opportunities for pool parties but he won't entertain the idea at all.
I think with boys it's particularly hard if they don't like sport - especially football. My son has had several very good friends who are really into their football, and he really could not be less interested. It means that he's happy for them to come over to us for the evening for a chat and a movie, but he is reluctant to go anything where there will be a group of boys as it will inevitably turn into a footy kickabout, and he refuses to join in!
I started this thread during the last school holidays and here we are - February half term, in the same position. My 12 year old DD is organising activities, meetings with friends but DS again is up in his room, doing his own thing (being bored). He has admitted he would like to meet up with friends but will not get in touch with any of them. I've said they're probably the same and would love to hear from him but he answers with "why don't they phone me then?"
Oh for the days when I contacted mums and organised their days for them!
I am the same as you worriesRus. My son 16 this year and he's been same since 13, apart from the odd visit to pictures, he never sees any friends outside of school and I know they all meet up and go out, but he never seems to be invited. He wont talk about it and even when I suggest doing some organised activity, No he won't entertain it. I know what you mean, wish he was younger and I could organise something for him. I am hoping I can spur him on to do something, anything, so he won't be stuck in his room all summer long. GGrrrr indeed, I know exactly how you feel, and its a constant worry.
Can I just put a slightly different perspective on this. My DS was exactly the same, life and soul of the x-box party but could never be bothered to go out and hang with the friends from his old primary school who would knock and call for him. it used to worry me that he was being such a
lazy arse hermit. Then I started to do bit of voluntary work on the fringes of youth justice and mentoring. Now I firmly believe there is a lot to be said for knowing where my teenage DS is every minute of the day and night! I am so grateful he is my own little couch potato and not out mooching with mates of an evening - some of whom, I now realise, are caught up in things they shouldn't be, even though they are nice kids at heart. It's paranoid I know but believe me, even in the most middle class/rural/suburban enclave there are so many dodgy goings-on that teens can be seduced into joining in with when they are too immature to just walk away - especially boys who don't want to lose face in front of so-called mates.
Now I love the fact DS just wants to veg and let me wait on him hand and foot. I know the biggest risk to his health is bed sores from too long on the sofa and a deathly pallor from too little fresh air!! He's 15 and soon enough he'll be off I'm sure but until then I'm happy not to run the gauntlet of teenage parties, smuggled booze and druggy temptations any sooner than I have to.
Sometimes choosing the x-box is a sensible kid's self-preservation against what their peers are up to!!
LOL to 'discovering themselves'. My DS is 18 in a few weeks and we can add him to the list of those who don't go out. Don't drink, don't smoke, don't go out but loves his XBox. He does talk online to people and he has his own You Tube channel that he gets paid to host through advertising but meeting 'real' people only happens at school.
I have triplets who will be 14 in a few weeks. Two boys and one girl. The boys socialise via xbox and computer whilst DD would be out and about all the time if she could. DS1 was the same - spent pretty much 4 years in his bedroom, emerging as a rather lovely young man. They do socialise at school, so they are seeing people, they just prefer home to seeing them out of school as well. Take it as a compliment.
Thanks to Mumalot, SecondhandRose and Madlizzy, your posts have all made me feel much better and I need to bear in mind that DS is happy if a bit bored on occasion during the holidays.
Mumalot - you are right I would prefer to know he is safe and not out somewhere "up to no good".
hi i have a 14 yr old daughter she has no friends round here, as we recently moved her 2 months ago now. But even where we lived before she only saw friends at school not outside. once she arranged to meet them and they didnt show up, which broke my heart. I think modern life and gadgets are taking away socialising like we all used to when young. I am a older mum of 55, so i can see how lifes changed with kids today. It hurts me she has no one shame we dont all live nearby so we can get our kids together, then they wont be lonely.
So glad I have discovered this thread and all these other mums and teens in the same situation. I started this with tears in my eyes after another long convo with my 14 v nearly 15 yr old son, trying to find solutions and get him to agree to call on just one mate. He was soo sad it breaks my heart... Perhaps that is it though as pointed out, it's my problem he was fine before I butted in ... Again!
It's so hard to sit back and watch them let day after day pass with no social interaction other than the virtual kind however it seems that's just the way it is now.
My heart is a little lifted knowing all around the country we are all facing the same struggles. I don't think a rural area has helped in these later years but before I know it I guess he will be driving and I will be worried sick about where he is and home no being at home!
Thanks to all for the words of wisdom.
"And he has a real thing about not wanting to socialise with more than one person at a time. We live somewhere hot and have our own pool. There are endless opportunities for pool parties but he won't entertain the idea at all."
Is this not a personality thing? As a classic introvert my gut reaction to this is "pool party? Ugh! Who would have loads of people round all the time if they could spend the time doing what they liked with one or two close friends??" (Slightly joking - but not completely!)
I do think you need to distinguish between those DCs who are perfectly comtent seeing friends at school,but not much apart from that (and OP's son does football and scouts so from my point of view is getting plenty of social contact...) and those who aren't happy with their social life but don't have the confidence or know what to do about it.Not easy to tell always,though.
Another one here who's ds13 will never and has ever socialised with more than one at a time. I'd be grateful now for just the one! The Xbox is his friend. Do they really come out of this around 18?
Sorry should read never socialised
I would really like to advise people not to stress out about this. It's not that I know everything about teenagers, far from it. But I just don't think it's a huge issue. I've got a truly sociable one, a computer sociable one, and a term-time sociable one. The computer sociable one has grown to be mroe real life sociable as he's got older, but I don't think it's that terrible being computer sociable, I really don't. I feel like a different generation because I don't understand it but otherwise he seems like a normal nice kid (despite or because of the online gaming. ) Don't have the answers but I think it's all about accepting them as they are.
Whoops sorry to kill off the thread.
Just found this - my son is now 18 and he says that many of his friends at school don't socialise outside it. He feels he gets enough social interraction through orchestra, CCF and a music school he spends a week at once a year, he has at times wished he had a girlfriend but says he really can't be arsed to go round the shops with them every saturday and chat for hours in a coffee bar! I had to laugh. He is very good-looking and funny, but he says he knows he will have more social life than he can cope with at uni and really, I am delighted that he hasn't been out god knows where until god knows when, as I remember how dreadful I was at his age. So I have been torn two ways over the years, but really I am now thankful that he is so level-headed and happy with his own company. He skypes his schoolfriends quite a bit.
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