My 12 year old DS has no friends?(17 Posts)
I haven't been on this site for a very long time but I suspect this is a common theme...or at least I hope it is.
MY DS is about to turn 13 and, although he has 3 good friends at home, he is struggling with friendships at school. It has always been this way really...he is dyslexic, shy and just not one of the 'cool' kids. He's very sensitive and wants to be liked by everyone and I wonder if he's trying too hard?
He says no one is nasty to him but they just don't seem to know he's there, he has no one to go to lunch with and when he tries to interact with a group, they just move away. Further, two boys have had recently had parties and he is the only one in the class that wasn't invited...he only found out about them via social media. When I asked him if it bothered him, he just said 'Not really, but I thought we were friends and I was obviously wrong' - it breaks my heart as he's so unhappy.
Obviously you can't make people like you but I really don't know how to handle it anymore. He is an only child, which I don't think helps and he says everyone just thinks he's weird.
Should I contact school...I have no idea what to do. My DH says don't worry, it will sort itself out but he's in Year 8 now...how much longer do I leave it?
Any advice from experienced parents is greatly appreciated.
He is an avid sport fanatic...this is the positive he clings to but, even though he's in all the sports teams and quite successful, he finds it hard to break through the 'cliqueyness (sorry, spelling!) and this is something we've seen for ourselves from the sidelines. He tries really hard to be 'one of the gang' but they don't seem to want to know?
The party thing sounds horrid, particularly if he was the only one not invited, but from what I have seen so far, the boys tend to hang around at to some extent at lunchtime, but they don't seem to meet up much at other times. I don't think the boys' friendship groups are as fixed as the girls.
Are there clubs he could join at lunchtime? The boys in ds's year who seem to find it harder to join the main group of friends, often do a lot more structured stuff and find their friends that way.
Also, listening to them, they seem to talk an awful lot of nonsense. I think, if you are a child who doesn't find it easy to join in the banter, you could be overlooked.
And, yes, in your position I would talk to the school.
Is he on the social media groups they all use?
Thank you for your response sunnydayinmay. He uses sport to try and break into the groups and that's OK when they're doing it...it's afterwards that seems to be the problem. He tries to interact with the same boys but they don't seem to want to know. I would just love to be a fly on the wall, just to see what actually happens, as I know things can get magnified in their heads. Lunchtime clubs that aren't based around sport might be an idea but I'm not sure he'd be interested enough to go - I will investigate.
He is on all the social media groups and seems to contribute to those and I don't think there's any actual bullying going on...they just don't seem to want him in their gangs! He just needs one 'proper' friend at school...that would help him so much but it's not easy.
One more day and then it's half term...I think we'll all take the time to regroup and address the situation with the pastoral support people when he goes back. Meanwhile, I'll have another glass of wine!
it sounds like he hasn't found the right friends.
why does he want to be one of the cool kids? sounds like that's what he needs to change, no point trying to be in with a group if they don't want you / you're not "one of them".
do you really think he wasn't the ONLY one not invited to a party? Did they really invite the whole class. If yes i wouldn't be happy (and would be talking to the school about it/any other issues), but i doubt it is the case.
get him to broaden his interests - it is great he is good at sport as he'll never be standing around with nothing to do/no one to talk to but he might find more kindred spirits away from it.
I agree Teddtess...he definitely hasn't found the right friends! As adults we know there's no point in trying to fit in where you're not wanted but it's hard to get through to a 12 year old who just wants to feel accepted.
I'm trying to convince him to get involved with drama but he's not having any of it. One thing that someone said to me today is that he's a very striking, good looking lad (I haven't told him that!) and he always says the boys tell him he looks weird...that probably doesn't help!
Wine time again, comes round quickly! ...
tedtess you can't go into a high school to complain that your child didn't get invited to a party
Does he have other interests other than sports. If he isn't fitting in with the sports crowd I'd be looking for alternatives
Not that this is much help to you, but I went through a similar phase when I was about that age (for different reasons). I spent a lot of year 7 & 8 friendless and miserable (lunchtimes on my own in the library etc.), then in year 9 we were put into sets for more subjects and I met people not in my own class and made some really good friends. As long as he's not actually being bullied, I would just let it sort itself out at school and make sure he gets lots of love and support at home.
My son wants to be friends With the cool kids, I have tried to encourage him to accept others not 'quite so cool' kids as well.
It's a minefield. I'm still waiting for DD (year 9) to find her 'tribe'. She has a couple of good friends at school, but that's it really. She says she has other friends in a group setting, but she wouldn't see them on their own in the holidays iyswim. That's how I judge a friendship really. Not much you can do re school, unless they have nurture groups for friend-making - although I think my two would rather die than go to something like that!
It's not going into school and saying 'my son wasn't invited to X's party', but saying 'he's struggling to make friends in year 8 still and is there someone/a group/a club you can suggest for him to meet likeminded people?' Good luck! Hopefully all our children will find good friends at some point in their lives (my school was rubbish for it, so I looked outside school and found them in a youth club - they are still my best friends nearly 30 years later!).
Hi there I have the same problem with my 12 year old son. He just doesn't have any friend. He is also being pick on at secondary school. I'm in cooksbridge near lewes eas sussex. Wonder if anyone else with the same problem would be interested in organising outing in the hope the kinds got on. If anyone is interested my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Fink thank you for that, it's very reassuring. My son is coming to the end of year 7 & hasn't made any friends & often texts me at lunchtime because he's no one to talk to :-( He's just been on a residential trip with school which I hoped might help but it doesn't seem to have done. He says he's not bothered - he does have a very good friend at another school - so I'm trying not to worry and am just concentrating on making home and family as happy and safe places as possible for him.
I was one of those girls at school. I was always left out, not invited to parties etc and it did have a big knock on effect, I lost a lot of confidence, as I convinced myself there must be something wrong with me. Lunch times I used to end up in the computer room, to do my homework, or I used to go for a walk to the local shop by myself, I was pretty much a loner. As the years went by I found a friend I really clicked with and we became best friends. I never had many friends in secondary school, but I think that's how it is sometimes with some children, I was shy and sensitive too, which is probably what didn't help. I've never had many friends throughout life, but i don't think that matters, I have always been a person who is happy with my own company and I think that's the way some people are. I think your son still has plenty of time to makes friends and form friendships, so try not to worry, I know it's hard, but he will end up finding a friend one day, who he really clicks with, like I did. Hope that helps a little
At least he had friends at home. That's a positive. I'd definitely talk to school about trying to get him involved in different activities.
Join the discussion
Please login first.