This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Is this normal teenage boy behaviour(13 Posts)
DS is nearly 16. For complicated (and uninteresting) reasons he's been at an internet school for the last year whilst we were living abroad. We are back home now but he's had to continue there as he's in the middle of his GCSEs. So, he has no social contact during school day. He's got one old friend here that he sees occasionally in the holidays. He does a sport and goes to a club twice a week but doesn't talk to anyone there socially. One of the coaches has arranged a christmas meal for them next week and DS refuses to go. At home, we try and eat together as much as possible and he not only hardly engages with us (including 2 siblings), he doesn't seem to be listening.
Is this normal?! He's otherwise nice to have around. Always in a good mood. He's pretty bright but lazy. Seems to know a lot about the world but can be remarkably ignorant too. Reasonably helpful around the house, sometimes without prompting. Just hoping this is normal because I am worrying a lot about his social development.
I don't think it's normal no. Most boys of this age are somewhat awkward but not engaging socially at his club is a bit unusual.
How was he when younger? DId he have playdates and friends then? At school I mean.
I don’t know if not wanting to go to the social event is normal but his lack of social interaction is not normal or good for him. Can take up another social hobby? Or maybe you can contact local Home educators.
Thanks for the replies. Yes he always had lots of friends and playdates until he was about 13 when he moved school (abroad) and became socially isolated/excluded. I'm wondering if he needs to see someone as I feel like a relentless old nag!
It seems odd that he's willing to attend the club but not socialise. I would see about an appointment with the GP incase he's depressed OP;.
Also...will he be attending school for A Levels? I would prioritise getting him back OP.
I don’t think it’s particularly unusual but then I was like that at the same age, I just preferred my own company and own space, spent a lot of time alone. I wasn’t depressed, I just needed it. I still do to some extent but I manage to work in a job which requires me to be sociable and I have lots of friends.
FWIW, I work with teenagers daily and lots of them just like to be at home.
He will be going to a 6th form for A levels. He does want friends but I think he's had a big confidence knock after a rough couple of years and has lost the knack. Thanks for the advice. I'll think about taking him to our GP.
It doesn’t sound especially worrying - I think a lot of teenagers are less sociable than we think they “should” be. Is it possible that moving abroad and not attending school has disrupted some of his friendships, and possibly knocked some of his confidence about socialising? I know talking to teenage boys about feelings/difficulties can be like getting blood out of a stone (was with mine, anyway!) but might be worth trying to chat about whether he feels a bit anxious about socialising, and about gently trying to challenge that and begin to get out/get together with people more so he doesn’t get stuck. He may just not be wildly sociable, but it sounds as though it might be worth exploring with him whether that’s ok, or if he feels a bit stuck/excluded/worried about socialising.
Given his circumstances (not attending school outside home), pretty normal, yes, very hard for them to make friends outside the right kinds of environments.
My DS is nearly 17 and likes being on his own. He has lots of friends and a girlfriend but if he didn't have to go to college I could see him spending a lot of time alone in his bedroom. He plays sport and is friendly with his team mates but doesn't go out of his way to chat with them. He definitely does not interact much with us, occasionally he will chat but not that often.
It's difficult being a teenager and I think for some of them its easier to be in their own space. At least he does go out and socialise, I would be far more concerned if he didn't.
Personally I wouldn't be too worried. I would keep an eye on him and make sure he knows he can talk to you if he needs to.
My dd has a friend that moved from school to distance learning as a teenager (disability related reasons) and has as a result become very socially isolated. School provides opportunities for social interaction with little investment. Away from school and you have to put in a lot of effort. I think it's pretty easy to shut down and just opt out of socializing completely.
I'm not sure that visiting the GP will be particularly helpful. The OP's son doesn't seem to be unhappy, or ill he is just socially withdrawn because of his current circumstances. I assume that he hasn't found much in common with the children at his club and so thinks socialising with them will be hard work. I'd look to find other opportunities for him, perhaps connect with any local home schooling networks so he can find other teens to talk to who may have similar experiences to him.
Thanks for the replies and it's good to hear that some don't think it's too worrying. He told me yesterday after his sport practice that the coach asked who was coming to the night out and every single boy (mumbled) no and only a handful of girls said yes. He then told me he does chat to one boy there but never mentioned him to me as said boy only turns up at the weekends He's also got in touch with another old pal and is going to see him tomorrow. I'm hoping my "little chat" about how he's doing has given him a boost.
Am very much looking forward to him starting A levels at an actual school for so many reasons!!