Can anyone advise me re my very sad DS2?(13 Posts)
DS2 is 14. Although always very sociable and gregarious, he never had any particularly close friendships throughout primary school. At secondary school, however, he seemed to 'settle down' and made one particularly close friend. In the last couple of years there have been another couple of boys he has become friends with too, one of whom he was at primary school with.
But, recently DH and I have noticed that he isn't seeing these friends out of school any more - none of them is calling round asking him to play football and he's not been going into town with any of them.
I finally managed to prise out of him today that there has been a falling out. It turns out that his closest friend and he were always playing jokes on/with each other, but that his friend has now decided that this is silly and that DS2 is annoying. One of the other boys has also said this. I don't know if the third boy has, but it appears that he seems to be going along with the first two, namely that they are pretty much ignoring/excluding DS2 from whatever they are up to at playtime/lunchtime and certainly out of school.
According to DS2, he has said sorry to both of them and asked if they can be friends again/start again, and although they have both said yes, nothing seems to have happened/changed.
I cannot prise out of him what 'being annoying means'. But all I do know is that he has been in tears this evening and is obviously devastated by this.
I know two of the boys' mums well enough to phone, so I could ring them and ask if they have any idea what's been going on, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea - I'm worried that it might make things worse for DS2 at school.
DS2 has very few interests, beyond his computer/Wii - which is something we've been concerned about for a long time. Any efforts on my part to encourage him to do something extra curricular are always met with dismissal by DS2, but now I'm feeling this will be even more important, in order to help him meet/mix with other/new people.
Any suggestions/ideas? It's heartbreaking.
DS was pretty much the same at 14 (16)- no particular friend but plenty of buddies. I think boys are often like that. He also would not join any extra curricular activities until his head of year talked to him. Then he did, and has added every year since to the amount he does.
It is nearly the end of term- perhaps the tears are partly tiredness. By September I bet his fallings out are forgotten and he can make a fresh start.
It is hard to step back and watch them be sad. Often wish we were back in the days when a lolly in the park cured anything.
ds went through a hard time at that age, seemed to fall out with his good mates.
I wouldn't phone(I remember one mum ringing me and being very as imo it was all very petty and both boys were silly. It is so hard seing them upset,but hopefully it will pass.
FWIW I think, much though it is well-intentioned, involving the other boys' mums would be a Bad Move.
Can you have an impromptu "party" at your house for him so he can invite his mates round? Then maybe it could kickstart the friendship again, especially if he demonstrates that he no longer needs to play jokes/tricks on them to be mates. Maybe he could get a new game for his Wii that needs 4 players or something... (I know NOTHING about Wii games)
Thunbwitch's advice is good.
14 is a very difficult age, self confidence can be very low. Even a dvd plus pizza, or an impromtu barbecue (a pack of sausages on a disposable barbecue and a few cans of coke)can be a "bonding" activity, and worth suggesting. However, if these boys have decided to exclude your ds, you have to look for alternatives.
I think you have to keep on encouraging the idea of an out of school activity of some kind. It can be the one thing that boosts confidence and self esteem, and that really makes a difference to relationships IN school.
There is so much they can do these days. Also, computer/Wii is all very well, but it does nothing for social skills. Any kind of sporting activity is good.
Bribery can be a useful tool at this age - for example - sticking with a week's summer tennis course could be rewarded with a treat. It might cost a bit, but I always consider whether something is a waste of money, or a potential investment. And nothing is more important to invest in than your children.
If he is feeling a bit depressed, he will not be motivated to do anything, so you might just have to push a bit harder.
I hope this doesn't sound too 'new age' for you but this worked with my baby. I would whisper an affirmation to him in his sleep for about a week. Sounds far fetched but positive vibes must be powerful... He was a VERY sad baby and people always commented that it doesn't look like he wanted to be on the earth (not nice). In the past month since I did this people have actually commented about what a happy child he is etc.(No one had ever said this before). The lady who told me about it did it for her daughter who was school age and having problems with friends. She said you can't do it wrong if your intentions are good.
I had this with my 2 best friends at school- they fell out with me when i was around this age. It was one of the saddest, lonliest times in my life.
I really don't think you should get involved at all directly,as it could definatly make things worse, but just do some lovely things he likes at home and be there for him.
I really feel for him.
I suppose looking back I just wish I had known that it would only be a tiny blip in the whole course of my life.
Friendships are so much easier after school!
Does your school mix up the forms at the beginning of yr10? I'm assuming your son is coming to the end of yr9.
DS is similar to others on this thread in that he has a lot of buddies, and 4 in particular who he sees quite a lot of outside school, but isn't really really close to any of them.
Just yesterday he'd been with them in the afternoon and was supposed to be meeting up with a crowd & going to the cinema last night but cancelled in the end because he says he's just fed up of them. I don't think that will last & no doubt they'll all meet up again next week, but I think after 3 years together in the same form, friendships can get a bit stale and in Yr 10 at his school, they mix the forms up so the tutor group will only be 25% the same as it is now.
IMO this is a Good Thing, especially for boys, they can keep the really good friends by seeing them at lunch etc but there's the opportunity to make new friendships as well.
I agree with the others, DO NOT phone the other mums. Hard as it may be to accept, you just can't engineer their social lives at this age.
One thing you could do sneakily is get in touch with a coach for one of the sports your ds might like and ask if they can approach him to say they think he should join the team in September. Briefly explain why you'd like them to do this. Most sports coaches are keen to get as many boys involved in after school stuff as they can.
That way, he'll feel flattered at being approached rather than pressured by you into starting extra curricular coaching.
Personally, I'd be having a word with the coach (or of course it could be a teacher of art or whatever if you think he'd enjoy art club) now, so you're not fretting over the summer holidays.
Does he do any out of school activities? Found with my two DDs it has helped a lot that they have friends from outside school as it can be a bit intense when you're with the same people all the time.
Poor lad, being a teenager is tough.
I think you're right about not phoning the mums - and DH is strongly anti this anyway. It's just so hard seeing 'my baby' go through this.
He's not into sport at all, really, so I doubt any of the teams would want him!
But I think talking to his year tutor might be the way forward.
I went through a lonely phase when I was in Yr 9. My best friend fell out with me, calling me immature and annoying and turning many of my friends against me. I seem to remember bunking off school. Parents were embroiled in nasty divorce so didn't seem to notice.
Looking back thirty years, it was a transition phase. When I got to the upper school, and the change of pace in school work set in, I acquired new, more academic, less socially ambitious friends, who suited me much better.
I wish I'd had some support from my parents. Would getting a part time job help? It would create a realm of life separate and different to school, a chance for greater independence and possible new friends, separate from school. Does any one you know need a bit of help over the hols?
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