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Naive 13 year old boy with few friends

(10 Posts)
Peanutbutter1973 Thu 28-Jul-16 08:11:26

Hi,
I have a wonderful 13 year old son. He is a very naive, compliant and quiet teen, and still has not gone through puberty. He has always been a "safe" kid, gentle, nervous, a little chubby, non athletic, but very funny. We have put him in a variety of sports throughout the years however he throughly enjoys playing video games. My husband and I monitor his use and he is expected to participate in sports/other activities daily, which he does.
When he was younger he had a good group of friends. We often had play dates and he always kept busy. A few years ago, he started outgrowing those boys and now associates with some other boys at school that are "cooler", outgoing & popular. He was spending a lot of time with them at school and one of his teacher (about two years ago) told us he had a lot of friends, was talkative during class and he seemed to be happy all the time. We were happy about this!
Things changed this year (gr.7). We noticed our son was quieter, not getting invited to parties or other activities his friends were invited to. I knew this bothered him inside but he would brush it off and would justify their actions to make himself feel better. Most of his friends have gone through puberty, are taller, interested in girls and spending more time together, playing sports.
My son, still short, young looking, loving video games, just does not fit in....and he doesn't know it! He games with them sometimes but when he asks them to come over they often give him excuses. My husband attended a school outing in June and noticed the boys were not including him like they used to. He just sat there, naive, yet yearning for their attention. Anything he got from them, made him happy. When I talk to him about his friends, he makes excuses for them. He is often home alone, playing games or with his younger sister. We have him involved in other activities but he usually has his sister or another family friend (boy his age) around. I feel bad for him.
I worry about school in September, he will be in grade 8 and final year with the group until they go off to different high schools. He has already decided he will go yo the same school as these boys. I encouraged him to call some of his others friends he used to play with when he was younger but he is no longer in that clique either. Those boys are nice...my husband noticed they were the only ones talking to my son during the outing...but he does not want to hang out with them.
Should I tell my naive son the truth about his friends? I know they lie to him when he invites them over,..they make excuses they are sick, busy, (watching their dog smile) . The only other thing he wants to do with them is play video games and it seems they even stopped playing with him online.
I am just looking for some advice... He will be returning back to school with no friends..and he seems clueless about this (or not admitting it at least)
Thanks

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 28-Jul-16 08:23:50

He'll make new friends when he goes to high school probably. It's a difficultage and sometime takes a while for them to find their place.

MistyMeena Thu 28-Jul-16 08:55:13

Oh OP he sounds adorable. I'm sure when he goes to his new school he will find other children who are similar and they will band together. There are a lot of video -game playing kids out there. He'll find his tribe, I'm sure. smile

MrsJayy Thu 28-Jul-16 09:03:05

My youngest Dd found being 13 quite difficult she was already in High school but she wasnt really interested in boys or pop music she likes super heros and musicals i felt her pals were drifting away . She found new friends in 3rd yr of school and it turned it all around. Hopefully your son wll find his tribe soon

MrsJayy Thu 28-Jul-16 09:03:52

Oh xpost on finding his tribe☺

Peanutbutter1973 Thu 28-Jul-16 12:33:09

Thank your for the replies. I just worry about my dear son. He remind me of me when I was younger. Even though he says he is not bullied I do fear the situation will get worse this school year (final year before high school). Not being included or not fitting in with the peers you admire (and want to be like) is heartbreaking. I went through the same thing, & like you all said, I found my tribe in high school. I swore when I had kids they would be athletic, popular and never experience what I went through. Here we are 13 years later and I have a son going through a similar experience. I love him for who he is of course...sensitive, beautiful soul..the way he smiles when he talks about his friends makes me warm..he will take any ounce of attention from them and I think it secretly bothers him they don't contact him like they used tosmile. Puberty really changes these boys and he still looks and acts like he is 10 years old. I know I sheltered him and kept him innocent in this crazy world. Part of me wants him to grow up(go through puberty)so he can have friends, experience life as a teen but other parts of me loves his innoncence still.
I am going to have a talk with him to see where he is at...encourage him to be who he is and hopefully a tribe will come along at some point? Worry about this year....

Hufflepuffin Thu 28-Jul-16 12:44:15

There's a brilliant episode of This American Life about middle school that might help you feel less worried about him – it seems this age is rife with friendship drama but high school gets better (in some ways!)

Peanutbutter1973 Fri 29-Jul-16 01:49:16

I watched the episode! It gave me a perspective and a flashback of my middle school years. I know it might not be an easy year for him..I just have to keep supporting him. He was so lonely today...we did a lot of family stuff & then he went online and noticed his friends on there playing a game...they didn't invite him or tell him they were going online. He quickly shut off the game and said he hated that game anyways and likes games such as mine craft (his friends outgrew the game) Oh well, hate to see him like this sad

Northernparent68 Sun 31-Jul-16 07:26:08

In your position I would tell him that his original friends are nicer, he needs your help in judging characters.

Mummydummy Tue 23-Aug-16 16:14:20

My 14 yr old DS had a very hard time in year 8 and 9 - he was dropped by his friends (reason unknown) for nearly 2 school years and apart from family friends had no social life whatsoever having been out all the time with his mates before. He is naturally a bit quieter than others and he wasn't as full of himself or as hard as some of the other boys. A bit softer, the youngest in his crowd and maybe slower to go through puberty.

It clearly affected his confidence and self esteem which probably made him less good company. He also hadn't done what his so-called friends had done at the weekend so couldn't join in with the banter about it at school. I think maybe he also started to be more distant to protect himself. For a while there I think he wasn't on the same games as them - and this affected social life as they make alot of social arrangements whilst playing. PS4 is now his major comms channel and how he does get involved.

I tried really hard to talk about it with him, to get him involved in other sports/activities and to try to make new friendships (which he did try hard at - but some of the guys had closer friends who were defensive of their mates, groups had been formed and were less fluid than year 7 - when he was one of the major influences on making new friends and bringing his group together..). I even considered him moving school which he was prepared to consider at his lowest point (and he hates change!). It really was totally heart breaking and I kept promising him things would get better but it took a long time. And as the hormones kicked in he wouldn't talk about it anymore. I personally thought a few of the boys who had been friends were shits but he didn't want to hear it.. He still just wanted to be part of that crowd.

Recently we discovered he was being bullied for a couple of weeks by the same group of 'friends' - a concerted campaign to ignore him though it wasn't physical (though only through hearing him crying on return from school - he wouldn't talk about it). So I had to intervene with school (which he doesn't know about) - they were really great and found out alot more of what was going on and his sister who was incredibly protective of him was also trying to help and keep an eye on things at school. A few more things happened which made some of the parents aware and they were very supportive and saddened.

Its hard to know which of these interventions made a difference but suddenly all is well and he is now included in everything with the same bunch of boys, out a lot of the time - searching for Pokemons etc. I think his hormones helped in that he is now much harder and more boysy which helps him fit in, and I can see his confidence has returned a lot.

I'm sorry I dont have loads of advice but tons of sympathy. Generally my kids have both said that year 9 is pretty brutal - boys in particular can become pretty horrid.

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