DS friendships - I'm really not helping am I(10 Posts)
I'm posting here but I think it's as much about my relationship problems as my DS's I think, if not more so. He is a warm positive optimistic child (12) hasn't yet made good/best friend at secondary but is apparently generally liked and doesn't seem too worried about it, and although he had some issues with one boy (who turned on him and was quite nasty after being friendly) he dealt with it brilliantly and moved on.
I on the other hand am feeling so anxious for him and I can get paranoid - so when eg he's texting people and not getting replies or not getting invites, or repeatedly calling someone who's not responding - he might just think 'oh they're busy' but I think they don't want to know, that he's going to get hurt again, that I want to protect him and stop him calling them etc etc. I've said some things I'm not proud of (along those lines) and I really need people to tell me to stop it - I'm going to give him my insecurities aren't I - I know I need to butt out but he does talk to me (hence I know all this) and I just worry for him as I know he would just like a good friend (he still has good primary school friends but none went to his new school)
Any advice welcome please
I have teens.
Cool kids don't have a best friends- they have a group that they hang out with. This is better than one best friend as one-on-one can go wrong and if one moves away or is ill for the day then the other is screwed. My dd's school is 6 form entry and I know that the girl that she walks to school with is different to the girls that she sits with in classes and the ones that she sits with at break/lunch. Warm, positive and optimistic sound like great traits to have.
My kids sometimes rant about others not replying but there are often legitimate reasons. You are projecting by being paranoid- don't! I don't know your son's friends but they could be doing a million other things that means no reply for a while. eg. seeing extended family, eating, sleeping, hobbies, gaming, watching a movie...
Hi Perry, I have a similar situation -- DS just finished first year secondary, also only boy from his primary to go there, but thankfully no issues such as your DS has had. However I have worried a lot about friendships, he appears to have made some but very few play dates etc. I think though it is just the transition to secondary where relationships are managed differently anyway; I have older DCs and did see this with them too so am trying to stay back and not be too much "pushy mum" checking that he's happy, has friends etc.
I don't have anything constructive to add other than I think your instincts to hold back are correct so you maybe just need to continue giving yourself a stern talking to . If your DS seems happy, then he probably is; and if you come across as anxious, he may start wondering if there's something to be anxious about.
Not sure if that helps but know you're not the only one with similar thoughts!
Thank you both, I'm really grateful for your responses and will take on board what you've said (and UK it does help to know I'm not alone thank you - I don't want to talk about it in RL too much as I feel it's not fair to him)
I'm actually finding this growing up bit so much harder to deal with than the younger years because I feel ill equipped (having anxiety and self esteem stuff going on myself) but as you say he is a lovely boy so I don't seem to have done too much damage yet!
Yes definitely far better having a wide variety of friends than a best friend. Best friends seem to be rare among lads. My ds 21 has a lot of friends, good friends but l couldn't say who he looks to most. I think he has his sporty friends, joking hanging out friends and then his seriously talking to friends. It seems to work really well. Since he went to college and his friends went to all different places they are widening their circles by introducing all the new friends to each other. They seem to have no issues with caring about who does what with whom. They may be a bit different to some girls in that way but not all girls.
What lm trying to say is don't worry he sounds fine. The fact he talks to you is good but remember they can have a big drama one minute, they land it on you and then head off to have fun and you're left reeling. That's a very regular teenage thing.Try to let that kind of thing go immediately. Never let him think that you feel there is something wrong with him or you don't trust him to cope.
Thanks June that's really good advice too re letting it go straight away - I am very bad at that and really need to work on it so as not to pass on my anxieties as you say.
And it's a long time since I was a teenager so it's helpful to be reminded!
Hi my son has just turned 13 this weekend and I'm struggling with how to help him have more 'friend' time instead of shutting himself away all the time playing on iPad/X-box etc.... He doesn't have many friends and we live in a small village (I'm also a lone parent) and he doesn't seem to spend much time with the ones he does have close by. I'm worried about his social skills and him becoming depressed if he shuts himself away all the time and it's making me anxious. How can I help him be confident enough to approach the friends he does have without feeling rejected if they can't hang out and also make new friends... Am I being paranoid about this? It feels like I don't have any control over this and obviously the older my son gets the less I can persuade him on things or get him to take my advice.... I've suggested he joins a couple of sports clubs to meet kids his own age and to see if there are any shared interests.....or is just that he's now at the age where things like friendships are a little tricky?
beckyboo I think the best thing to do is to step back and let your son figure things out for himself. In time he'll make friends. From experience I think when parents pressurise their kids to make friends it can damage their independence/ confidence.
beckybooi know it's easier said than done though
Just checking in again - DS started back last week and seems v happy in a new class with a couple of boys he made friends with towards the end of last term. He's been playing online with them and talking about them a lot, asking if he could have them for a sleepover etc which was all good, until I heard yesterday one of them is having a (biggish) birthday party at the weekend and he hasn't been invited. Made my heart sink - and took me right back to nursery when he thought he had made a friend who he talked about and looked forward to seeing every day and then the boys mum put up a list of 20 invitees to his party on nursery room door and he wasn't on it! That day I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. At least 12 years later I only have a sinking feeling.
I'm now worrying again that maybe this friendship is a one way thing (it's same boys that led to my first post) that he's crowding them and actually they don't really like him. I really want to tell him to back off, hang out with other people sometimes BUT I have listened to the advice on here, I did not say anything at all to him last night in relation to party, am trying v hard to step back and move on and let him work this out himself, and I will be there to pick up the pieces if necessary (hopefully not)
Beckyboo slightly different scenario but I do relate to your concerns, and I do think it's a really tricky age. Hence my posting on here and now trying to follow the advice! Btw we have agreed limitations on Xbox as I feel my DS would be happy doing nothing else too sometimes so he has to do something else (eg park football) to 'earn' the Xbox time, but sure you're probably doing that. But the playing with friends online has helped. Hope your DS is happy back at school
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