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Helping my lonely 12 year old DS make friends

(10 Posts)
keb47 Sat 16-Jul-11 11:23:10

Sounds like I am not the only Mum at a loss what to do with a lonely 12 year old who is so shy and lacking in confidence he seems unable to make friends. According to him everyone thinks he is stupid and ugly and suggestions about joining clubs or getting in touch with boys he gets on with and who live locally are met with resistance - "no one will want me around", "they'll be busy". Any advice gratefully received.

CeliaFate Sat 16-Jul-11 11:50:52

Your poor ds. You need to be his advocate here before the situation deteriorates. He's obviously got low self-esteem and poor self-image. You're going to have to be pro-active and stick at it. I would get him to join a drama club - my dd did when she was low in confidence and it's done wonders. I'd also invite his friends round to your house on a weekend; your ds may feel more confident on his own turf. If he's sporty/musical/artistic find out what clubs are available for him. It's very easy to retreat into your shell when you lack confidence which could cause a downward spiral.
Talk to your son's head of year too. There may be an issue at school which needs to be dealt with.
Also, I'd suggest spoiling him by spending time together - going to the cinema, bowling or for an ice-cream. Try and encourage him to take an interest in music, books and films. The more he does, the more he'll have to talk about to his friends.
HTH

keb47 Sat 16-Jul-11 11:59:28

Many thanks for that - I have felt very caught between the get in there and try and sort it approach or encouraging him to take steps himself and being there to support him, but as the latter isn't working it's probably time for Mum to be the interfering old bag!

snailoon Sat 16-Jul-11 12:07:05

Is this recent-- since starting secondary school?
Is it possible he's being bullied at school? My son wouldn't admit how mean people were being to him, as he thought it was his fault and was ashamed.

FrozenChocolate Sat 16-Jul-11 12:12:02

I would look around for a scout group or similar. They are all very dependent on the leaders being dedicated and offering lots of camps, activities etc so choose carefully, but a great group can be like an extended family.

FriskyMare Sat 16-Jul-11 12:16:24

Watching with interest. My ds 11, is just about to leave yr6 to go to grammar, he is generally liked but only has a couple of close friends, two of whom are going to another school. The third friend will be in DS's form but can, on occasion be a bit mean to ds. He's not into football etc and will term himself as a bit geeky. I definitely will be encouraging him to join as many clubs as possible to keep him busy at lunchtimes and meet boys from other forms.

keb47 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:58:51

To snailoon, yes we have had a bullying issue. It's not new. My DS has a history of accepting as OK behaviour that really isn't and that has been related to his low self esteem. Both primary and secondary schools have been great at trying to tackle it, it's getting my DS to be positive about/engage with something new where he might make new friends. I think I might have to make him get involved with a variety of things and hope that something/someone comes along that really grabs him. He is at that stage where he devalues everything that isn't what the cool kids like and that is such a shame. Thanks for all the advice

keb47 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:59:18

To snailoon, yes we have had a bullying issue. It's not new. My DS has a history of accepting as OK behaviour that really isn't and that has been related to his low self esteem. Both primary and secondary schools have been great at trying to tackle it, it's getting my DS to be positive about/engage with something new where he might make new friends. I think I might have to make him get involved with a variety of things and hope that something/someone comes along that really grabs him. He is at that stage where he devalues everything that isn't what the cool kids like and that is such a shame. Thanks for all the advice

keb47 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:59:48

To snailoon, yes we have had a bullying issue. It's not new. My DS has a history of accepting as OK behaviour that really isn't and that has been related to his low self esteem. Both primary and secondary schools have been great at tackling it, it's getting my DS to be positive about/engage with something new where he might make new friends. I think I might have to make him get involved with a variety of things and hope that something/someone comes along that really grabs him. He is at that stage where he devalues everything that isn't what the cool kids like and that is such a shame. Thanks for all the advice

3monkeys Wed 27-Jul-11 18:22:38

Friskymare, that sounds just like DS1, except he loves football which is his saving grace socially.
But he only has a few close friends who don't bother him that much in the holidays. I stress for a few weeks and then organise something with someone to try and improve his confidence

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