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Is my teenager lonely?

(12 Posts)
VANE5SA Tue 31-May-11 08:54:01

My 16 year old son does not go out with friends. He seems to have friends at school, where he is doing well, but he is not involved with the party/going out scene at the weekends. Part of me (quite a big part actually) is relieved that I don't have to worry about what he is getting up to, but a small part of me is worried he is lonely. He has not complained, but he is 16, so he I would not expect him to confide in me anyway. He plays on his xbox and chats to school friends on that and very occasionally has a game of golf with 3 friends, which he enjoys, but that is always organised by the mums. Is this fairly normal for this age and will he get more social as he gets older? If so I can relax and enjoy the fact that he spends so much time at home.

gingeroots Tue 31-May-11 08:58:58

They're all different .
My 18 year old DS is like this - except for the having friends at school bit .
He has 3 friends who left his school at 16 who come to our house for a day every week or two .
They have other friends ,but DS hasn't .
I think he'd like to have a social life ,but he hasn't .

potoftea Tue 31-May-11 08:59:44

Oh I can so understand where you are coming from smile.

I spend ages trying to make ds2 more outgoing like ds1, who was always part of a social gang and always had something happening. But I really think ds2 just likes his own company more. And is happy to be home alone rather than hanging out with a gang of school friends.

If your ds has friends at school it probably means he is fine. As long as he has someone to eat lunch with or sit with on a school trip, things are probably fine. I've noticed that boys in particular seem to grow up at different stages, and some just don't bother going out at night etc until they are about 18, whereas others are off drinking at 16.

I mean some adults say they don't like socialising much and are happiest at home, yet we expect our young people to be outgoing all the time.

VANE5SA Tue 31-May-11 10:41:16

Thank you both so much, you have really put my mind at rest.

rayline Tue 31-May-11 11:46:54

my DD is the same and it took me a while to realise she is just different to me and is lucky enough to enjoy her own company....

adamschic Tue 31-May-11 16:05:06

Mines the same. Has to be coaxed to join in with the scene and will only go to the occasional party as a token gesture.

I do worry too but I think we should all just relax and be thankful they want to spend time at home.

Watertight Tue 31-May-11 16:30:22

I think that everything you have said sounds entirely normal and nothing to worry about VANESSA.

I've got two busy, sociable daughters so no personal experience to add but thought I would tell you about my friend's son who never ever had anything on and would never ever pick up the phone and organise anything, ever. My friend worried and worried about him.

Even when he was eighteen and in the Upper Sixth, my friend was tearing her hear out because he genuinely had nothing at all to do unless she organised it for him.

She occasionally organised for him to get together with another boy (of the same ilk!) via his Mum (also tearing her hair out). She pushed him to do Scouts and DofE to keep him busy and push him in with other people. She also organised for him to volunteer at our local wind-surfing club all summer one year as a helper with the little ones. But, otherwise, he was sat at home on his Playstation on his own.

Two and a half years ago, he went off to university and she worried herself sick that he would sit in his room on his own, make no friends and that at the end of the three years no-one would have even heard of him.

I'm happy to tell you that he joined a few societies in week one at university and that his life took off.

Now, when he comes home from uni he almost always brings a friend or two with him or has friends arriving to come and stay after a few days. Or he can't come home because he's off to some party or birthday bash or trip or whatever.

It's a huge, happy relief to my friend. Maybe he just needed a fresh start but I think people just mature and develop in different ways at different times.

To be fair though, I also think it's difficult at school because there are only so many people in your year to choose from - this is why outside and extra-curricular stuff can be so important, in my opinion

Hope this helps smile

adamschic Tue 31-May-11 17:19:42

Mines a DD so it's not just boys who struggle and/or don't want to follow the pack.

VANE5SA Tue 31-May-11 20:30:09

Thanks for all your comments, they really have helped. My ds does do a couple of things outside school which he enjoys, so I will encourage him to carry on with them and appreciate his company while he is at home.

Shamoo Tue 31-May-11 23:54:23

Hi Vanessa - I normally lurk but thought I would add something from the perspective of somebody who was probably a bit like your DS at school. When I was in yr 11 and 6th form, I had plenty of mates at school and enjoyed it, but I had no interest in getting involved in what they did at weekends/evening (going out and getting drunk and pulling). It just wasn't for me, I went a few times but never enjoyed it. My mum worried a bit for me, I think, but I was much happier at home. Then I went to Uni and found people who I actually had a lot in common with, and had an amazing time. So I wouldn't worry unless your DS seems upset.

BerniW Wed 01-Jun-11 10:26:55

My eldest ds who is now 18 was just the same until 2nd 6th form year. He is now out quite a lot, has a girlfriend and about to go to Uni.

I worried a lot that he was lonely (he never seemed it) and wondered why he wasn't out partying every night.

My younger ds is 16 and is out every night (well, he wishes). Has low-life mates who smoke and drink and "hang out" a lot and I constantly worry about him!

Don't worry about your boy. He'll find his way - if that what he wants (he may always he a bit quiet). Enjoy having him around for a bit longer!

IdontknowwhyIcare Wed 01-Jun-11 15:12:15

My DS (yr 10) is just the same. He seems to get on ok at school, doesnt complain about going to school or anything but he never goes out from school. Whilst part of me is exactly the same as the OP, ie no need to worry as he isnt drinking, partying, fornicating, taking drugs, all of which I hear about from DS. I personally find it quite sad, however I keep that very close to my chest and would never tell DS. He is happy to come out with us to dinners, brunch, bbq's etc and joins in as if he is an adult.
The only saving grace for me is he does do DoE although thats through school and he also attends Explorer scouts. He seems happy so maybe its just me? Although this week he was going snowboarding with a few freinds from school but suddenly now they all realised they have music course work to be in on Friday? We dont have music so I dont know if thats true or not.

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