I have a 14 year old ds exactly as described above - it's difficult for us as parents as we want to see our children happy and social, but sometimes we just have to accept they are not ready and give them space and time to grow. In my experience, any attempt to speak to my ds about this just seem to make things worse by making him feel bad about himself because he's not meeting my expectations. My view is that if they are generally happy and doing well at school, everything will fall into place. In complete contrast, my 12 year old dd is never in which as bakesacake said, brings it's own challenges!
I am a mother of three teenage boys: 18, 16 and 13. My 18 yr old was exactly like your 13 year old and the 16 year old wasn't much better. In my experience, although it really worried me at the time, I have found that gradually over the years they have found their own way to socialise and are starting to get out and mingle more and more (although with the 18 year old it really only has been in the last 18 months to 2 years). Count your blessings that they are not out and you're having to worry about what they are up to. Mine have been a complete anathema to me (I love to socialise!!) and it is only the youngest who is at all like me (and believe me that comes with lots of issues). I think that they just weren't very confident and only age and experience has given them what they need to put themselves out there. Nothing we can do can give them that. Try not to worry too much, show by your own actions that having friends round and going out is fun and important, but equally enjoy having them around in the family. They'll be gone before you know it!
Obviously books can't solve all the problems of being a parent to teens but they are very good at explaining why they behave as they do and how not to get into rows with them when you're trying to communicate!
Hi. Many thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it. I know you are right, that he has to sort it out himself and that's what he tells me, I don't know why I can't stop myself trying to give him advice, I think I'm just worried that if he doesn't make the effort they won't bother with him. I know that his confidence must have taken a knock so it's maybe that fear of rejection as well. I'm going to try really hard not to mention it again and wait to see if he wants to talk about it. He does play football so he is at training and matches which at least gives him some exercise. I have two younger sons, 4 and 6 so hopefully I will have this Sussex by the time they are teenagers!
Hi - didn't want to leave your post unanswered although i'm afraid I there's not going to be much you can do. My 13 year-old is going through a similar time, spending almost all his time at home on his laptop and there are a LOT of threads on here describing the same thing, in the 13 - 16 age group especially.
As you have already found out it doesn't help to try to talk to them or persuade them to do something. I felt terrible when I had a bit of a go at ds about not going out anywhere and then saw he had tried to organise something on facebook with his friends and they all turned him down.
I also hate to see him sitting indoors so much but at least I know he is fairly happy and secure at home rather than wandering around the streets bored and lonely and possibly getting into trouble.
Your ds probably does feel bad about it but it's part of the process of growing up for him to deal with it himself. Just be there for him, keep providing that same loving relationship you have done since he was a baby. If there's any organised activities he might be interested in you could find out the details - scouts, sports clubs, drama groups etc - and see if he's up for it.
I know that deep down my ds is the same sociable likeable boy he always was and I feel quite positive from reading other threads here that he will pass through this phase and come out the other side OK. I'm sure yours will be the same.
Hi. My 13 yr old had 2 best friend but recently they have been leaving him out of things. He has a few other friends at school but has not really socialised with them much out of school. We've been having lots of arguments recently as I keep suggesting that he ask friends round to the house but he doesn't do it. Today he was chatting to 2 of these friends on Xbox then they were talking about going to each others house but my son wasn't invited. I want to give him advice about making more effort with them etc but he just gets angry with me every time I try to talk about it. He's obviously feeling a bit vulnerable about it and I should probably say nothing but I can't help myself as I hate t o see him sitting in all the time. Any advice welcome