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Encouraging teens to socialise

(15 Posts)
JustDanceAddict Sat 14-Jan-17 16:26:57

How Do you encourage your teens to socialise more? Or don't you?
DD (14, year 10) never been great socially. She has a few friends (proper friends in school I would say 4 or 5, not all in same group), and a few more outliers - she occasionally sees friends from her old school (mainly boys) and some family friends' kids. Nothing wrong with her; she's quite reserved and not your typical girl - isn't overtly huggy or into fake tan, kardashians etc (likes a bit of mascara and can look very attractive when she's not in baggy crap!). After a crap year 8/beg of year 9 friends-wise things improved end of last year, but she hadn't been out as much lately and doesn't really get asked to the parties unless it's a proper friend doing Something for their bday (i.e. Is not on party scene). She started a youth club recently (after about 6 months of my nagging her to go) and enjoys going, amazingly she went on her own the first time & has now made a couple of friends, but hasn't seen them outside of it yet. She said they check if each other are going now, which is nice. So, on that level my persistence worked, but she hates being pressurised by me to make arrangements, but when she goes out she enjoys it. is this level of sociability 'normal' for a year 10? I hear about parties that others go to and in some ways I'm relieved she's not going yet, but a bit sad as she's not on the radar for being invited and making the choice whether or not to go. Even DS (year 8) has seen less of his friends lately, but He does talk to them through the PS4!!

Isadora2007 Sat 14-Jan-17 16:29:49

She's doing fine and she Is only 14. Enjoynher company a bit more. Dd(16) was also a little bit of a social late bloomer and has only recently been involved in the party/boy scene. Now with her waitressing work and parties and study support and socialising we barely see her!

Let her find her own way.

Bitofacow Sat 14-Jan-17 16:37:16

Is she happy?

Some people just are introverts, and that is fine. One of my DSs has friends at school but little social life. He is happy. I think me pointing out he is a loner will do more harm than good.

Violetcharlotte Sat 14-Jan-17 16:42:09

I wouldn't worry, she sounds like she's doing fine. DS1 was not v social at all and had v few friends until he got to about 16, but was perfectly happy and just enjoyed his own company. Now he's at college he's much more social, but I think that's because he's doing a course where he's with like minded people. At school it's difficult to find your place if you're not one of the 'popular' set, but seeing how some of the 'popular' set behave I'm glad mine aren't like that. At least she's not out drinking, smoking and god knows what else like a lot of them appear to be!

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 14-Jan-17 17:05:22

If she's not into typical teenage things, it can sometimes rule the majority of her school year out, even though that sounds far fetched, birds of a feather do flock together, but she will find her type of friends, it just takes some work to find like minded souls.The main route is activities, as they provide the opportunity to meet different kids and giving something a try before dismissing it and she sounds like she's willing to join things, which is fantastic. You'll probably find she is more sociable when she goes to college because she will be with similar minded kids.Try not to worry too much, she sounds like she's happy in herself, which is all that matters at this tender age.

JustDanceAddict Sat 14-Jan-17 17:56:54

You are all right & it's good to hear. She's been doing drama for years, but never sees her drama friends outside the club. It's the moving from socialising in school/clubs to meeting friends & being included outside that's the issue. She says she's happy and I've left her to it recently in terms of making arrangements, other than asking if she's doing anything (i.e. If she needs a lift as she sometimes forgets to tell me that she has plans til the last minute). She's quite introverted, v different from me, I'm the polar opposite of her, but my social life didn't really get going until I was 15/16 either (and I found it outside of school too). Def glad she's not smoking/shagging/drinking either - some of her peers are - there is plenty of time.
She has suffered with anxiety in the past & intrusive thoughts, which she kept a secret for quite a while so I do worry that she's not as happy inside if that makes sense?

JustDanceAddict Sat 14-Jan-17 17:58:24

Ps: she is great company and I make sure we do hang out either at home, or on a shopping trip, lunch out etcbut I don't want her getting reliant on me either.

Violetcharlotte Sat 14-Jan-17 18:08:10

I think half the issue is at 14 there's v little to do. Everything costs money (shopping, cinema,etc) and they stuff like swimming as for younger kids.

My DS loves drama too and his social life was the drama club when he was 14. He's now 17 and doing performing arts and as they're that bit older there is more to do and they have part time jobs so have a bit of money in their pockets.

I know it's easy to say don't worry, but honestly your DD sounds lovely smile

JustDanceAddict Sat 14-Jan-17 19:57:19

Don't think it's a money thing as a lot of socialising is going to others' houses. It's more whether you're popular/have that X factor that people are drawn to.
She is thinking of trying to join a different performing arts group once her current one has finished, but said she has to audition.
She is lovely, well as lovely as a teen can be(!). Hopefully she will find her 'tribe' at college/uni.

RubyWinterstorm Sat 14-Jan-17 20:34:48

Good God, she sounds normal!

Why the oressure from you to be "popular" and on the "party scene"

Count your blessings!

She sounds nice and normal.

Bensyster Sun 15-Jan-17 11:10:44

She sounds normal but if you keep going on at her she will get the message that you don't think she is normal. We all like different things, some of us are more sociable than others - allow her to find her own preferences, which may not be the centre of the party people and you'll need to accept that.

JustDanceAddict Sun 15-Jan-17 11:33:52

I don't 'go on' at her at all about it. I just want to know that she's happy with what she is doing as she has got upset before at not having many friends. Things have improved since then, but I don't like to see her struggle, she's also said it's 'not fair' that her brother/best friend makes friends easily, but I said it's just different personalities. People are drawn to more outgoing people, but it takes longer to get to know a quiet person.

outabout Sun 15-Jan-17 11:45:25

I would have suggested trying to get her interested in Scouts as a good group will have plenty of varied stuff for them to do and as Scouts have girls and boys it may help. The bad bit is they transition from Scouts to Explorers at 14 1/2 years and the explorer groups can be a bit more 'hit and miss' as they would usually have come up from Scouts knowing each other.
A good group can do all manner of exciting stuff and learn a lot about themselves.

VagueButExcitlng Sun 15-Jan-17 13:50:54

My DD is exactly the same and seems to be getting worse not better.

She has been to scouts and now explorers but hardly ever actually goes any more "because effort!"

She gets invited to places but doesn't go, and she has some lovely friends at school but can't be bothered to see them outside of school.

It does worry me because all she does is lay in bed watching YouTube. She doesn't do any of her hobbies any more.

I was exactly the same at that age though and still am to some extent, so I am confident she'll grow out of it. It took going to university (and alcohol!) for me to start enjoying socialising.

JustDanceAddict Sun 15-Jan-17 14:51:09

Some of it is def laziness as well as finding the social side tough, it's a bit of a vicious circle. She is out for lunch with her bestie now, which is good, but not much effort required as I dropped them off and she's with her bff.
Not sure about Scouts as she has never been interested in it, it took her 6 months to agree to start going to a youth club - mainly cos someone she knows messaged her that she should come!! It's on later, but she says she's got too much h/w, but she could've sorted her time if she was that keen!
The YouTube/Netflix thing is what I mean, Vague, you just want them to 'go out and do something less boring instead'. It also is a massive distraction from homework so then they've not got enough time to do h/w and can't go out!
I'm sure at uni things will change, my best friend was a bit like this as a teen but she completely went the other way at uni & became party-Central. We all did to some extent I suppose, but for some it's more of a dramatic change.

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