Worried about 15 year DS - doesn't socialise outside of school with friends(20 Posts)
My DS1 does not really have a social life outside of school . Is this normal...? He does go on social media and speaks with friends ... but doesn't really go and meet his mates after school etc... And I do think that he'd like to have a busier social life and that he would really like a girlfriend..... .
Not sure what I can do (if anything) to help ?
Yes it is totally normal OP!! I was exactly like this and only appreciated good friends later! From experience I think the best way to help him would be to take your focus away from the immediate 'friends' issue and build his self esteem/self confidence by providing as positive an atmosphere as you can in the house and being supportive towards him.
In my opinion, in the first instance confidence is more important than 'friends' as confidence is the foundation on which all good relationships are built. Also, you can't ALWAYS guarantee your friends, no matter how popular etc you are - but you'll always have yourself, so to speak, so investing in self confidence/self respect is definitely worthwhile!!
Ah, thanks for your email, that really makes sense and is reassuring ...
2 of my 3 are like that. Sociable at school but not outside. A lot of my friends dc are like that too.
It doesn't worry me or them, but if it isn't what your DS wants I think that's a bit different.
You're welcome OP - also speaking from direct experience - I wouldn't at all put pressure on him to go out and meet friends - this ends up backfiring. In my experience it led to damaged confidence and overcompensating in all the wrong ways! For me it also caused resentment towards my parents.
My youngest DS is similar, he'll be 17 next month. He'll only go out if there's a reason. For example the cinema, a party or going for food. He will not go & hang round the park/streets.
I thought he was odd for a while as older DS was always out. But, I just leave him to it. I've come to the conclusion he's happy enough.
My DS is still like this and he's 19 now. He spends half his life an Facebook Chat but he has never brought a friend home from school nor did he arrange to go out with them after school or at weekends/holidays. He's been away at Uni for the last year and although he seems to have made friends (FB backs this up) he hasn't arranged to visit anyone or invite anyone here over the 3 months he's been home. Neither has he met up with any of his old school friends whom he claims to chat daily with on FB. And we really aren't that embarrasing, honestly .
I think when we grew up we had far more actual contact with friends as there was no social media or mobile phones. Some people just aren't that sociable and don't need to actually meet up and do stuff - although I do think DS is like a lost soul sometimes and is happy to go out with us just for a change of scenery.
My ds was the same
He is currently in Spain catching Pokemon with lot of friends.
My two both socialised out of school less than I did, they will go off with friends when they bump into them when we are out but they tend to arrange less. My eldest only started to arrange things at 16/17. I think they have much more pressure of work compared to when I was at school and so do socialise less.
My ds is like this too, 15 and never goes out.I hear him talking and playing with school friends on the x box but they never meet up irl. I feel guilty that it's unhealthy for him to spend hours in his room but he doesn't want to come out with us at his age either. I did get fed up one day in the holidays and said I would kick him out if he didn't arrange to see someone, he then went to play basketball for an hour with a friend then went back to normal. And when we went camping he lay on his bed all the time. I don't feel like I know how to parent teenagers. His brother is 14 but does meet up with his circle of friends more often.
I think it's normal too and am glad of it as my son has autism so is more vulnerable than his peers. I think it's adults that have this perception that teenagers should always be out and about and I actually always was myself, but there was no social media then and being at home usually meant being harangued by my mum about something. I glad DS is content to be at home - must be doing something right
DD is the same. She is an only child, and while she likes seeing friends on the odd occasion, she doesn't like to see them too often. In the summer holidays she mentioned she was bored a couple of times, and I would suggest she gets in touch with a particular fiend or other. Her reply was "but I saw him/her yesterday". I think she finds socialising too often a little mentally tiring.
I am glad that he's not out late doing risky stuff, and I spent hours in my room as a teenager, although I did socialise as well. I do remember not wanting my parents to interfere in my life so try and respect this.
All I'm saying is that on holiday once I was minding my own business reading a book and my mum suddenly said - "Me and your father want to you make friends - you're being totally selfish" - and manipulated me into a friendship with this girl who was younger than me and not really that suitable as a friend. I went from being happy and content in myself to feeling like sh*t. My mum's bitter tone of voice did not make me want to socialise.
I'm sure in a few years time your son's social patterns will be completely different.
My worst nightmare, both as a teenager and an adult.
Agree with everyone else - it's a phase.
At 15, my ds (nor any of his mates) were capable of organising anything. They saw their mates at school, and can speak to them 24/7 through any number of social media outlets, they see no reason to arrange to see them in the evening / weekend too.
Now (they are 20) they arrange stuff all the time - sometimes it's playing football in the park, might be going for a drink for a curry, for a Pokemon walk, to each others houses for FIFA evenings, or going to watch a match somewhere.
I think there's much more for them to 'do' at home these days - remember sunday afternoons in our day?! - with computer games, youtube, social media, so they don't have the same incentive to get out and about as we perhaps did. Mn previous threads have suggested it's not that unusual these days for dteens not to go out much.
But it sounds as though your ds would like to do a bit more. Could you suggest he join a sports group, cycling club, maybe a martial art? to give him somewhere to go at the weekend? You don't have to be hugely sporty to do things - martial arts in particular may have teen and adult beginners. Or even something more organised like scouts, air cadets, which provide a bit of a social life as well. On the girlfriend thing i don't think dparents can help! - unless others have suggestions? I think that's more a question of being friendly with girls and seeing where it goes!
My ds 16 was exactly the same last year. In fact worse as he was addicted to his PlayStation. i sent him on holiday (tour) with his year group this summer and he came back with a girlfriend. If it could happen to him it could happen to anyone.
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