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Shy year 8 ds pfb!!-sorry. Bit long and whiney...

(8 Posts)
preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 12:11:55

Can anyone help?

My ds (just 12- August birthday) has just gone back to his (massive, good) inner London comp to start year 8.

He's academically able, has a sports scholarship (which basically provides lots of extra sport activities in and out of school time, and is for the specially capable kids- I think 15 in the year group), he was very popular in his primary school, he's funny, etc etc-

BUT

He's very, very shy. He has friends- most of them are kids who came from his primary school, but he has made a couple of new ones- but he told me yesterday that, although some of these boys go to the park to mess about after school, he won't go, because he 'doesn't know' some of them. He'd started off telling me what they get up to , and how fantastic it sounded, but then the conversation soon got really downbeat. In the end (I wsn't pressing him, trying to keep it light, etc) he just said "I just bottle it. I bottle everything"

This is quite a major admission from him. He doesn't really give much away (though I'd say at home we have a good relationship). It's true, though. While we were on school holidays, he didn't get in touch with any of his friends- altho he has all their mobile nos, has his own phone, msn etc. He told me he "bottles" getting in touch with people. They do seem to hang around in a big, fluid group, but he's very reluctant to join in. He ends up coming home on his own (long journey so not much fun- specially when your mates are all out playing together.)

He doesn't do anything extra at school- even though there are loads of sports clubs that I'm sure he'd love. He skived off most of his Sports Scholarship classes last year, then it was much harder to get back into, because the other kids were quite a tight unit by then. The teachers were very helpful in trying to encourage him back, and I thought things might be different now he's in Year 8, but it's not looking like it at the moment sad

I know I'm probably being an over-anxious mother with her pfb- but does anyone have any tips on how to build up confidence in boys? I just want him to get the most out of his brilliant school and have fun with his friends. It's probably worth mentioning that he's small as well, which doesn't help- he's usually the youngest and smallest in any class or group.

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 13:13:09

-forgot to add- he does get asked to things by his friends, so he isn't wildly unpopular- but I'm just concerned that if he keeps saying no to social things, he'll eventually just slip off the radar

<shameless stealth bump>

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 15:01:00

bump

Mumwhensdinneready Fri 18-Sep-09 15:01:07

He could have been my DS1 at just 12. I used to joke that he was so shy he daren't tell the teacher if he broke his leg. He had a couple of friends from primary but they lived in the next village. We live in a small village and so he can't spontaneously go and call on friends.

He started to blame where we live for his social isolation but I made the point quite firmly that I was prepared to taxi him or his friends around and all he needed to do was make contact with them.

However he's now nearly 14 and in the last year has found confidance I never thought he would have. He'll never be an extrovert but he has found a good group of friends, boys and girls and they meet up sometimes for cinema, skating etc.
I think some of his new found self esteem has come from success in sport. He has always been very good academically but alas that doesn't count for much among teenage boys.

Once they reach 10 or 11 we tend to stop making arrangements for children on the basis that they are old enough to make their own.I don't know whether it would help with your boy but maybe you could organise him a little bit?
Tell him you will take him and a couple of friends skating/swimming/whatever he likes and twist his arm to phone them?

Mumwhensdinneready Fri 18-Sep-09 15:02:36

Precious.. you might try the teenagers thread worth a look.

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 15:06:51

thanks MWDR- am just rushing off to my dds' school but that's helpful-is also nice to know you can come through the other side!

...is a bit tricky to arrange activities as we're in London, so it's now sort of understood that kids arrange stuff themselves -mostly I think because it's easy for them to travel independently- will rack my brains to see if I can think of anything that won't make him look desperately uncool wink

echofalls Fri 18-Sep-09 15:11:18

Both my sons are shy, although my now 16 year old son really started to come out of his shell about a year ago. Puberty is a crap time, lots to deal with and I think it takes some boys time to digest. My 13 year old is still not doing much with his friends but I think it will happen eventually. He has made some new friends this year as his classes have changed so that makes me feel reassured that he can make relationships work.

I think the worrying parents do gets worse the older they become smile

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 16:30:22

thanks echo

...I thought once I'd bundled him off to secondary school after his SATs all my problems were over grin

..and MWDR- I'll have a look on the teenagers thread- good idea

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