worried my son is a bit of a loner...(5 Posts)
DS (11) in Y6, he's never had a "best friend", always seems to have rubbed along well enough with most boys in his year at school. This has always worked out well, and means that he has been to stay with several children a number of times, and we have had his friends here likewise, so I have not worried until recently about the lack of any one or two particularly strong bonds with friends.
Just this term though, he has stopped really talking about anyone at all at school. When I ask him who he played with at break etc, he just kind of avoids the answers. I asked him who he would like to see at half term and he said he isn't really bothered. I don't think he is being bullied, I would be very surprised at that, but his teacher did say that he moves himself in class to the desk in the corner to do his work. Which obviously is great for getting his work done (has 11+ in January, and he is knuckling down good and proper with his work), but I don't want him to withdraw into himself so much that he finds himself as a loner.
He has said to me once or twice this term that some of the boys are still being really silly in class, and I know he doesn't want to get drawn into that as school are quite tough on those who muck about and he does not want to be grouped in with the ones who get in trouble.
He is 11, I don't want to micro-manage his life as we are working hard to encourage independence before Senior School next year.
Just looking for some advice really to try and nip this in the bud. I know I can't force him to be mates with people, but if he genuinely doesn't really have any good friends any more then I would be a bit sad for him, and he is just so reluctant to talk about it.
Does he participate in any sports or other clubs? That's an easy way for kids to socialize without a lot of pressure. I'm a bit of a loner myself, and I didn't want to foist my life choice on my now 10 yo son, so I make sure to socialize (to an extent - as needed) with other parents, and put him in team sports. He may be more mentally mature than other kids his age - there is a lot of diversity in maturation at that grade level. I noticed the kids in my son's grade socialize within maturity and interest levels. I'd be concerned if he can't find anyone to connect with. Is there a way you can find a club he could join that is centered on something that interests him? Any strong interests?
He is big into sports both inside and outside school and plays a significant part in the team (school captain!!) and he does "get on" with the boys, but they leave the pitch and he's not the one joshing with his buddies as they walk to the changing room, he just peels off and is on his own again.
It is interesting what you say about being mentally mature, because since the summer there have been several things that he has done or said which have really surprised me as to their mature outlook on life in general. he is the oldest in the year, not that necessarily means anything of course, but I just do wonder if he has grown up more than I have realised especially in light of the teacher's comments about extracting himself from the chatty part of the room and so on. He is really focussed on his school work, and the need to be well prepared for his 11+ and maybe this is his way of dealing with all that as well.
Right now, he is also really tired so I suppose it's all the bit harder to drum up enthusiasm to make plans for trips/visits with friends for the holidays. I will try again over the weekend, when he is a bit fresher and more relaxed and see what response I get.
Yes, could be a maturity thing. My son is older in his class and socializes with the older kids exclusively. Your son would have to be showing a lot of maturity to be captain - so ... could also be a phase. My son has had his phases, that's for sure : )
There are so many phases to growing up and children questioning their own identity. Sometimes I think they experiment with different identities and depending on their underlying character, they have differing ways of protecting their own self esteem.
My son sounds v similar to yours.
Is there a 'top dog' whom he has had enough of? Who leads the others and your son is breaking away to find himself?
I'm sure if I were in your shoes, I would be questioning low level bullying. Whilst there may be nothing overt, maybe there he feels one of or the group at large is just cramping his style and he/they are too domineering. Conversely, going it alone for a bit can make a child feel like they don't belong and feel lonely... I wouldn't want to return to that age. There's SO much politics!
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