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DD doesn't speak and has no social life

(23 Posts)
tara49 Fri 14-Feb-14 00:21:20

DD is just 14 - she seems happy enough in her own company but she doesn't really speak. she answers briefly when spoken to but doesn't seem able to actually have a conversation. Its not just with us, she doesn't have any close friends, there are girls she travels to school with and has lunch with but never goes out in the evenings or weekends, never gets a call or text, never uses facebook except to play games. When I've been with her and other girls her age she never initiates conversation and hardly joins in, she doesn't seem to be able to think of anything to say, its very noticeable, even her grandmas are starting to worry.
Just wondering if anyone else has incredibly quiet child? shes definitely not depressed or anxious, she just doesn't do 'chat' but im worried she'll be lonely forever.
When do most girls start going out shopping with friend at weekends etc?

c4ss3y Fri 14-Feb-14 01:33:39

I was like that when was her age.

adeucalione Fri 14-Feb-14 08:41:51

I think that this is only a problem if it is upsetting her.

If she is naturally shy or introverted, enjoys her own company and is happier being a homebody, then I don't think you have anything to worry about, everyone is different.

But obviously if she is lonely or sad about the situation then you will want to help her - I'm just not sure how!

Maybe suggest she invites a friend after school, or to sleep over, so that people start reciprocating and seeing her as someone who wants to be sociable?

adeucalione Fri 14-Feb-14 08:46:10

Sorry I forgot to answer your specific question - all of mine started going out occasionally and using social media regularly from about 14, and by 15-16 had phones superglued to their hands and were never home. It depends on their peer group, access to transport, availability of funds for shopping/cinema etc I think.

MrsSquirrel Fri 14-Feb-14 09:48:14

I was also like that at her age. I am still a quiet person now. There is nothing wrong with me, it's just my nature.

As others have said, the question you need to ask is whether she is happy or not. If she is unhappy at all, then yes of course you should support her to try and change things.

OTOH if she is happy as she is, you (and grandma) need to accept that and love her as she is. If you don't accept her and behave like there is something wrong with her, she may come to believe that about herself and it would damage her self esteem.

3catsandcounting Fri 14-Feb-14 09:59:23

I have two very quiet children. DD16 and DS14; they can go for hours without speaking to anyone, family mealtimes can be agonising (for me!); I'd love a happily chatting family of children but they're just not! They like their own company, and are perfectly happy doing their own thing. They have friends (most of which they've known for years) but rarely actually see them outside school. I think a lot of it is laziness, and my DS14 is at that difficult teen grunting phase. I've had endless conversations with DH and friends and everyone says "it's how they are - its just not how YOU want them to be". Acceptance has been hard but I'm getting there. As long as they're happy that's all that counts. I do know exactly how you feel though.

MrsBobHale Fri 14-Feb-14 12:56:26

I was like this at school. I would go whole days not having spoken to anyone at all. I would speak to my parents, but not chat away, just answer questions. My DD (now 12) has similar traits although she will chat away when comfortable with her very close friends or with me. I do worry she will withdraw more as the hormones start though.

Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but I didn't grow out of it until I went to university and discovered alcohol!

iliketosing Sat 15-Feb-14 14:37:42

I was just about to post a thread about my DS saying the same thing! I may yet. He is 15, and has never been verbal. I do worry a LOT about how he will cope in life when he is so - silent. He says he wants to work in marketing and DH and I look at each other aghast - surely you have to have charisma, confidence, and above all, be prepared to say more than one mumbled incomprehensible sentence a day to do this?
It is really nice to hear this from someone else who has a similar child, and a girl to boot! I was only saying to my DH this am, that I reckon 25% of 15 year olds are like him, and that he is entirely normal. It's just at 7 in the morning sitting at the breakfast table with this silent teenage monolith (he's 6 foot 2) I often feel quite cross actually. I find myself thinking "I can't wait until you have gone, left, anywhere, just to stop us living in this opressive silence!" Ten I put the radio on. It has definitely got worse since older DS left for uni -he was the opposite, always chat chat chatting, loads of girlfriends since year dot, very sociable funny chatty. I wonder if he is depressed.
So we continue with our agreed plan, which is basically love-bombing, encouragement, frequent "are you ok?'s" and patience. He WILL emerge out of his shell one day, I just KNOW IT.
It would be nice to hear about this from parents of 25-45 year old's who did emerge.

Bunbaker Sat 15-Feb-14 14:40:38

"He says he wants to work in marketing and DH and I look at each other aghast - surely you have to have charisma, confidence, and above all, be prepared to say more than one mumbled incomprehensible sentence a day to do this?"

Not necessarily. A lot of marketing is done online, so if he turns out to be a computer geek who can write excellent marketing copy he will be fine. He would need to be a little more verbose to get through a job interview though.

CatAndFiddle Sat 15-Feb-14 14:55:11

I was exactly like this. It didn't bother me at the time, but it did as I got older. Particularly when it came to inviting people to my wedding as I had no friends to invite, just family. I have made a concerted effort in the past few years to maintain friendships, but I still find it difficult, particularly to meet people who share my interests (or will at least show a passing interest )Actually, I've only ever met one...and I married him, so he doesn't count now!

Perhaps encourage your daughter to join groups of like minded people? Book groups, political groups, activism etc. Does she have particular passions?

iliketosing Sat 15-Feb-14 14:56:51

He is not computer savvy at all! But thanks that is encouraging. I don't think career info is very good at all in any schools.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Mon 17-Feb-14 07:43:46

DD1 was like this at 14 by 16 she was a social butterfly! Now a junior doctor working hard and playing hard! Just over 2 years ago she developed Hodgkins Lymphoma and it was this ability to be self-sufficient that got her through this traumatic experience so well. Try and see the positive aspects, the fact she can enjoy life without being reliant on others for entertainment is a sign of inner strength.

TamerB Mon 17-Feb-14 08:01:42

As everyone says, it depends whether she is happy or not. There is nothing worse than trying to be forced into activities and friendships. I was very like it at that age, I am very sociable now,but it took until I was about 24 to be comfortable.

singaporeswing Mon 17-Feb-14 08:05:56

This was me 10 years ago. I'm just very comfortable in my own company, introverted and it really exhausted me being around other people!

I was also nervous about small talk, saying the wrong thing etc. I was just always better one on one, with someone that I didn't necessarily have to talk to but could sit in comfortable silence.

I moved to a different college at 16 and really came into my own, found a great group of friends. Even more sociable at uni etc.

I'm now living abroad in a very social, people-oriented job. It is probably a combination of age/stage of life and personality. Now I am aware that I need "downtime" to refresh, but that's part of the introversion.

TamerB Mon 17-Feb-14 08:09:27

I think it is far more common than imagined. We are always hearing about teens who are out at parties, having relationships, getting drunk, having hundreds of friends on FB that it hides the fact that many are just quietly at home doing nothing much.

wheneverIhear Mon 17-Feb-14 08:18:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VoyageDeVerity Mon 17-Feb-14 08:19:23

Oh she sounds so sweet. I have no advice other than I agree there is a stereotype about teens and it must be so hard when you don't conform. I am sure she will grow out of it, maybe at university when there is a more diverse crowd...

Oneglassandpuzzled Mon 17-Feb-14 08:25:46

My son is 17 and like this. Happy in his own company.

wheneverIhear Mon 17-Feb-14 08:36:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

17leftfeet Mon 17-Feb-14 08:50:38


My brother was pretty much monosyllabic all the way through his teenage years
Rarely went out, never had friends over -we went to the same school and I saw him with other people at lunch time etc but outside of school he liked to be at home and be in his own company

He has been working successfully in marketing for the last 15 years, does presentations, travels internationally etc

We have 2 theories because his personality hasn't really changed and he is still very quiet

1) he is perceived as an eccentric marketing genius and they think he's a quiet thinker but when he talks its worth listening to


2) he's not quiet in work situations and knows when to perform so to speak

TamerB Mon 17-Feb-14 09:03:17

My BIL was like it when I met him- he didn't say more than 'hello' and 'goodbye' to my DH! He is married with children now, a high powered job and lots of friends.

tara49 Sat 22-Feb-14 01:12:15

I have thought about that but I really don't want to suggest its a problem and make her anxious about it. She actually said over Christmas - "I hate it when people ask me how I am, or how school is, I say 'fine thanks' and then they stare at me as if they want me to say more, but ive got nothing else to say. I'd always rather be watching Sherlock than talking to people."

tara49 Sat 22-Feb-14 01:16:17

Thanks so much - all positive. She does seem very happy with Dr Who for company. Hopefully she'll grow out of it and learn how to make enough small talk to get by.
Her older brother is very extrovert, maybe that's influenced her 'role' in the family.
I'll probably be wanting to turn the clock back in a few years when she's drunk and argumentative!!!!

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