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10yr old prefers not to have friends what do I do?

(19 Posts)
Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:08:20

My 10yr old DS is sociable at school though has always been on the shy side. He was popular in first school but never really wanted to play out much or invite friends in to play and slowly friends have stopped calling. He says he doesn't want friends round he's happier doing his own thing or hanging out with us but I worry about his future and whether I should encourage him to socialise more now? His dad is really similar natured but he has ended up with depression and I worry that although DS seems happy now if I don't somehow equip him with some life skills he might also end up depressed. He won't join clubs I've really tried. I've tried inviting friends in that call but I get told not to do it again after they've left. Do I leave him to be who he wants to be or not?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Apr-17 17:53:38

Have you tried talking to his teacher? How are his relationships in school?

Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 18:06:52

Hi yes he's fine at school teacher has no concerns says he's sociable. DS tells me about his day and who he's played with etc. Just seems once he's home he's happy in his own company or with us. He told me he loves his life so he's obviously happy. My worry is in case I'm missing a window of opportunity to encourage him to be more sociable in case he ends up quite isolated and unhappy as he grows up? What works for him now might not be the best long term? Sometimes we need to be stretched out of our comfort zone??
Like I'm starting to wonder if I should have taken him to more groups as a toddler and kept things going?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Apr-17 18:31:40

Really not sure but have heard that it's good for them to see you socialising so you might need to get DH into social situations sometimes to model social behaviour for him. My DH sounds very much like yours but I do have to occasionally arrange the odd meal out with his sister or friends and we even through the odd small get together at home now.

Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 18:44:02

Thank you that's a really good idea. We did used to have small parties with friends round with children but for some reason we don't do that as often anymore and I guess I've become less sociable like my husband over time. I will make more effort and be a good role model!

BroomstickOfLove Thu 20-Apr-17 18:56:08

It sounds as though he's an introvert with good social skills, which is fine. He has good social relationships at school, and that seems to be enough for him. Home is his downtime where he can relax and spend enough time alone to recharge for a sociable day at school.

Extra socialising time he doesn't really want because it's good for him is a bit like making someone with a perfectly OK standard of fitness who just doesn't enjoy exercise go running every day after school. If he has an interest, he can join a club based around that interest. Or you could invite one of his friends out for a trip to the cinema, where they can have a bit of time chatting and playing in the foyer and before and afterwards, but it's not constant full-on having to be sociable.

Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 20:05:10

Thank you, that's really reassuring!! X

LtGreggs Thu 20-Apr-17 20:07:27

My 10yo is just the same - and I think 'introvert with good social skills' is a good description.

Stradbroke Thu 20-Apr-17 20:48:28

Yep. Mine is the same. Good social skills, does enjoy seeing people but once he's home and at the weekend just wants to stay with us.
I have tried clubs, cubs etc but he doesn't enjoy it and is so shy it's hard for him.

I wish for his sake he got more out of life but he is happy so I will leave him be.

Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:56:55

Honestly I'm welling up I'm so relieved to hear it's normal and there are other people like us! Thank you so much!! I sort of felt it was ok but really needed to hear it to give me the confidence. X

BroomstickOfLove Thu 20-Apr-17 22:10:41

I'm also a big introvert, so I only let the DC have friends over occasionally because I find having people round so stressful. I'm perfectly happy and have a small circle of very good friends and a large circle of more casual friends. Your son sounds perfectly normal to me.

Gem2006 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:29:11

You've just described me exactly!!! Lol.
I guess my only remaining question is - do you think they'll be ok as teenagers? Perhaps they won't want to go out clubbing all hours which is a good thing (for me anyway I won't be up all night worrying) but I wonder how they will socialise. I guess the best thing is to support them for who they are and not to force anything. The rest will follow. I'll definitely try and be a bit more sociable 'with him' to be a good role model though and encourage some less intense play dates.

BroomstickOfLove Thu 20-Apr-17 22:37:10

Being part of a big social group isn't compulsory. Lots of teenagers have a couple of good friends who they hang around with at school and occasionally meet up with for cinema/playing computer games/ revision/listening to music.

People socialise in different ways. It sounds as though you have either a picture of what a 'healthy' social life and that anything which doesn't fit that pattern is damaging, or that you have a real fear of him being lonely and depressed. But it really doesn't work like that. There are plenty of very happy people who have lovely relationships and plenty of friends but need to spend lots of time alone to be happy, and plenty of social butterflies who have drepression.

Gem2006 Fri 21-Apr-17 07:33:06

You're so right I do have a picture of a 'healthy social life' AND a fear of him being lonely and depressed. I felt it was my responsibility to help him develop the 'right skills' as I was thinking 'what if....' but my heart was saying leave him be he's happy. I'm completely reassured now. Thank you for taking the time to help me, you don't know how much this has meant to me X

befuddledgardener Fri 21-Apr-17 07:43:38

Mine is the same. Total home bird but happy and sociable at school. Doesn't bother with facebook or other social media either and is very level headed. I think his home life is very centring. I have good friends and a social life that centres around my interests but I like nothing better then being with my family or pottering in the garden.

Reow Fri 21-Apr-17 07:51:39

He sounds exactly like me and a child - and now. I was always much happier with my books and pets than with lots of other people, and I've turned out to be the same as an adult. I'm an INFJ. Lots of us are like this and very happy!

I'm sure when he fancies it he'll find a couple of good friends, but he doesn't need them.

Gem2006 Fri 21-Apr-17 08:13:33

Thank you!!

user1491572121 Fri 21-Apr-17 10:55:11

My 12 year old DD is like this...and it bothers me even though I was and am largely the same!

She is like your DS in that she has friends at school but she just likes to do her own thing at home a lot of the time...she gets invited to parties and things and will go to those but she says sleepovers annoy her...she likes her own bed.

I figure that she will either come out of this a bit as she gets older, or she;ll stay the long as she's happy though....that's all that matters!

Gem2006 Fri 21-Apr-17 18:08:33

So true, happiness is all that counts. My DS has never had a sleep over (without me)! I don't think he ever will and I honestly don't blame him. Your DD is right, nothing like your own bed lol

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