14 year old son never goes out with friends

(55 Posts)
WorriesRus Thu 03-Jan-13 12:21:51

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?

Janet37 Sun 25-Aug-13 07:31:14

Wow, this is so good to read. My 14 year old son is nice, doesn't drink/smoke or take illegal substances but won't go out. It has concerned me for a while now and I have nagged him to socialise more, but after reading all of this I will leave him be! I suppose I've thought he was different to his friends but realise that his maturity and ability not to follow the crowd shows me what a strong character he really is. He like many others spends a lot of time in his room on computer, online gaming...but he's safe and I should be happy! Thankyou everyone x

bigTillyMint Wed 21-Aug-13 12:38:20

I would leave him to his own devices and just occasionally encourage him. Is he on FB/BBM? That seems to be the only main way my DC communicate with friends. But even then, the boys seem much less able to organise stuff than the girls!

If he is in the footy team and scouts and has school friends, he sounds like he is completely normal - maybe recharging his batteries for the social onslaught in September!
And at least you know he is safe at home, not out drinking/smoking/whatever smile

WorriesRus Wed 21-Aug-13 12:25:21

Since beginning this thread in January, DS still doesn't make plans to see friends other than the occasional kick about on the field near us. Just had another talk with him (it has become a bit of a joke that I'm always saying he should "make some plans") and he became a bit tearful and angry with me. I am not sure whether I should just drop it because although he acknowledges that he would like to socialise a bit more he's not willing to do anything about it and I think I just draw attention to it and make him feel worse. He is very happy doing his own thing and is still in the football team and Scouts and has friends at school.

thornrose Wed 14-Aug-13 14:06:45

I think the crux of the matter is whether they are happy. My dd is quite lonely, some teens mentioned on is thread seem quite happy in their room!

My sis has to remind me how shy and introverted she was as a teen. She is now in her 40's and she has so many friends and leads such a full life.

Nellatje Wed 14-Aug-13 13:55:48

I became a member of MumsNet today because my 14 yr old DS is doing the same thing. Mooching about, happy to slob all day, not making any effort (apart from online) to socialise with his friends. His older brother (17) is out and about a lot but I seem to remember he was similar at this age. It's comforting to hear other people are experiencing something similar with their younger teens. I do wonder if it is more my problem than his. He certainly seems happy enough!

madeofkent Sun 11-Aug-13 12:53:36

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.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 08-Aug-13 19:41:25

Whoops sorry to kill off the thread.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 08-Aug-13 17:42:57

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.

witchofmiddx Thu 08-Aug-13 17:38:15

Sorry should read never socialised

witchofmiddx Thu 08-Aug-13 17:35:45

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?

LifeHuh Wed 07-Aug-13 17:37:48

"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.

Heidijane72 Tue 06-Aug-13 19:57:54

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.

coocachoo Fri 02-Aug-13 15:25:09

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.

WorriesRus Sun 03-Mar-13 12:55:24

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". smile

Madlizzy Wed 27-Feb-13 14:09:34

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. grin

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.

mumalot Tue 26-Feb-13 00:59:06

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!!

Chrissy60 Thu 21-Feb-13 12:50:43

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.

WorriesRus Wed 20-Feb-13 11:43:37

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!

Grrrrrr! angry

FellatioNels0n Sat 02-Feb-13 05:44:06

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!

FellatioNels0n Sat 02-Feb-13 05:37:59

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. confused

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. confused

Chrissy60 Fri 01-Feb-13 21:51:25

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.

BunFagFreddie Sat 19-Jan-13 01:14:51

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.

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! grin.

BunFagFreddie Mon 14-Jan-13 23:49:41

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. hmm

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.

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