ivygreen · 28/07/2016 02:48
I could really do with some feedback from other mums who have 15 year old sons. He's a lovely, polite boy who is doing really well at school but he is really lacking confidence socially. His self esteem is so low I really don't know what to do. He was bullied at primary school (something we didn't learn about until after he'd left....he's a very private young man) and I think this has made him feel unsure about being in groups and meeting new people. He used to be a scout, used to do trampolining, did his DoE bronze award last year at secondary school. But I think he did all of these things only because either friends were doing them or to please his mum and dad. Little by little he's doing less and less outside of the home and he spends most of his time in his bedroom. Secondary school has seen him grow but still he's not wanting to do much outside of home. Just today he said that he doesn't want to do aikido which he's been doing for a few years. This was his last 'out of the house' activity. I understand that he's a teenager and going through angst but I just don't know how to help him. He has a few close friends but they never get together outside of school. They chat sometimes online (I think.....but not always sure he actually joins in the chat. He says he sometimes just listens in). I really feel pretty rubbish as a mum because I don't know how to help him feel good about himself. He says that other people think he's boring and he doesn't feel like he wants to spend any time with anyone. He has a select few friends but as said he doesn't see them outside of school. He's becoming more and more insular and I don't think he's particularly happy honestly. He has a little brother who is only 9 who he is brilliant with. Patient beyond patient, but he is also influencing him. He doesn't like sport which is his choice but our 9 year old is sporty but has decided he doesn't like football anymore because big brother doesn't. I'm worried for both of them. I don't want either to feel under any pressure to be something they don't want to be but I'm struggling to help both be who they want to be. Maybe I need to let things happen and chill more..I don't know
Peanutbutter1973 · 28/07/2016 08:28
Sounds like my son (I just wrote a post about it). It's hard to see our boys alone with little friends. I try to talk to him but he is naive or makes excuses for his friends lack of interest in him. Does your son play video games? I have my son in sports but he is usually around his younger sister (age 10) the is more outgoing and confident. My son, like yours, is not athletic, so difficult to keep friends I think.
At least your son talks to you about this. My son is quiet and won't admit that he is an outsider. It's difficult to watch young boys growing up without confidence and a good peer social circle.
I try every day to keep the lines of communication open and hope he will find other boys..just like him...that's my hope. Like you, I don't know what else to do but encourage him and build him up....
newshoes68 · 29/07/2016 01:18
Sounds like my 15yr old son 2 years ago.
I Pulled him from sch mid term last year due to being severely bullied , he had a break down, and was VERY concerned for him.
He never went back to that sch .
Now attends local boarding sch as day boarder and has had 6 sessions of hypnotherapy to rewind trauma and improve his confidence.
He now has a lovely GF from sch and found similar children as himself , he face times friends and occasionally goes to their house.
Life has improved .
Lorette · 30/07/2016 00:46
My son is lovely, self confident, also TOO private. I am concerned as to how should I be there for him. Seems like an alien at home. Don't know how to get in touch with him.
Fanjango · 30/07/2016 00:55
My son is exactly the same. He's a private soul with just a couple of friends. He seems content so I'm trying just to wait it out. He's 16 now and, if he passed some GCSEs, will be going to college in September. College is normally when the world opens up a bit more for them, new friends and new possibilities. Don't panic, seems to be a natural stage they go through. Don't be tempted to interfere, they won't appreciate it. It's that time of a teens life when they won't want your input...just be there if they need you, and wait for them to get through it
innocentinfamy · 30/07/2016 01:23
Following with interest.
Going through very similar with ds (16). Went from a happy, smiley, friendly child to an angst ridden, easily stressed teen.
Not sure how to help him, but do my damndest to keep the lines of communication open with him.
SalemsLott · 30/07/2016 01:28
My son was similar at this age, he is now 25, good career and living with his gf. Generally they come out the otherside ok
ivygreen · 30/07/2016 02:22
Thanks so much for all the feedback. It really is appreciated to know that you're not alone worrying about your kids. I agree, it is a time when we sort of need to take a step back as mums so they can sort out who they are but to let them know we are always there if they need us. Strange strange times I think (even though we've been through it ourselves!) I'm just wondering about how come Summer break there is nothing for teenagers to do if they don't like sport. Like kicking a football around? then you're sorted. I don't know if there is anything out there for unsporty kids.
Fanjango · 30/07/2016 23:44
My ds isn't sporty, he likes basketball but that's reliant on others going to sports centre at the same time. Other than that it seems Xbox live is a main form of communication. Hey ho. September will see mine off to college, wonder what changes that will bring
newshoes68 · 31/07/2016 11:37
How motivated are these boys when it comes to GCSE ??
Fanjango · 01/08/2016 18:57
My son was actually very good. Kept himself in his room as usual but when anyone entered there were books everywhere whilst he revised. He struggles at school so it remains to be seen if he did enough but he actually was more motivated to try than I thought
newshoes68 · 01/08/2016 19:11
Thx you for your comment - this is my concern for nxt Spring . Just hope it all comes together .
Northernparent68 · 01/08/2016 19:48
I do not really have any advice, other than to suggest could you encourage your eldest son to teach your youngest aikido or trampoline, as being a mentor to his oldest might improve his confidence.
I would also ask the oldest to encourage the youngest to play football.
ivygreen · 02/08/2016 19:19
My son will be in his final year next year too. He's doing really well at school thankfully but still needs encouraging / reminding that he needs to study for exams!
Thanks for the aikido etc suggestion. I'll give it a go.
Thanks for all the comments.
rubytunes · 08/08/2016 19:27
Reading these messages from parents of other teens is putting my mind at rest! Its not just my son who is isolated, hooked on gaming and does not seem to want to go out! It seems to be he norm! You worry that there is something really wrong because all you remember is playing out all day when you were that age. I think technology is the massive contributor! It makes me feel relieved to think this is another stage! a really boring and worrying one for a lone parent. But when i think back to the teething stage! oh my, we forget :)
ivygreen · 08/08/2016 22:56
Absolutely agree rubytunes. I'm not going to stop worrying because that's what parents do, but yes I think that knowing other teens are going through the same thing does sort of reassure that it's not uncommon and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I agree too that technology has a lot to do with the way teens are these days. They can communicate (and unfortunately bully each other) so easily via social media. Only today my husband was talking to a colleague who said that her teenage daughter was exactly the same, in her bedroom playing video games and not communicating (starts at 14 and ends at 18 ... supposedly... hopefully!).
Hey ho....just got to a keep and eye on things and hope it changes for the better as they get older.
Mummydummy · 22/08/2016 13:06
My 14 yr old DS has given up all external activities and is pretty uncommunicative or contemptuous alot of the time since the hormones kicked in. He was such a sunny child! He's had a hard time - he was dropped by his friends (reason unknown) for nearly 2 school years. It clearly affected his confidence and self esteem which probably made him less good company - so a spiral effect - he is quite quiet anyway. 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. I think maybe he also started to be more distant to protect himself. Recently we discovered he was being bullied for a couple of weeks by being deliberately ignored by everyone 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 directly when they came to our door to mock him. A few of the parents of the other boys got involved and were supportive. Its hard to know which of these interventions made a difference but suddenly all is well and he is included in everything, out a lot of the time - searching for Pokemons!
I do despair of the constant PS4 gaming which still dominates nearly all his time at home but it is sociable - playing with friends from school and outside school, lots of laughing, swearing and discussion, and actually it is how they make their social arrangements. So although it looks terribly solitary to us I know its more social than it appears.
I exchange notes with a friend of mine with a son of the same age and it seem pretty common that they are not very active and sociable, secretive or just plain rude. I don't think hers has seen anyone all holiday.
fairydustandpixies · 23/08/2016 14:39
My 16yr old DS2 was exactly the same - he was prescribed beta blockers because his social anxiety was off the scale, panic attacks, all sorts. No friends, just stayed in his room on his computer when he wasn't at school.
But fast forward to now - he took part in the NCS programme earlier in July (he really didn't want to go but knew it would be beneficial for his personal statement) and he's a changed boy! He's confident, he's met a group of new friends and he's now going out several times a week with them.
I'm sure it will change over the next 12 months or so, after he's done his exams and starts college. Try not to worry too much - but I know that's easier said than done!
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