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only child (teen) no friends.

only child (teen) no friends.           reply
14/04/2015 17:44 - ask mother hen (Locality: Kildare)
hi I am a father of one(only) child. He is 14. He is outgoing. He is popular in school. He has no interest in sport. He has a horse. He mixes well with others at the horse yard. He is the only boy. He has no friends. I occasionally ask him would he like to invite a friend home , to have a game (he doesn´t bother with PlayStation etc but he has one) , (however he occasionally plays on it) , to play on the PlayStation he says he will - he never does. I love the child I don´t want to embarrass him. I don´t want to be continually annoying him about it.
I suffer from social anxiety and try my best to keep the bright side out. I was always "reserved" and quiet. I was an unhappy child at his age. Sent away to school etc .....I have no interests really , solitary eg walking /cycling/reading.
I don´t mix socially really only as required. (spent 1000s on counselling ! its a lost cause)
I married late 30s. My wife was very outgoing and its true opposites attract.
that´s why I took to her. However in more recent years , she kinda followed along my path.. lazy lifestyle , lot of soaps /wrong foods etc...all ended up overweight and just floated along from one week to the next. We all get along ok. Things have changed a bit in recent times as regards exercise /healthy eating which is positive . My wife is brilliant with son. They spend huge amount of time together. both very interested in equestrian world.
I think maybe its too much time together perhaps. each evening its PJs at 7 jump on to the sofa and TV all the way. I mostly go into another room and my son wanders from one room to the other. Myself and wife don´t socialise really.

If one was to make noise for example in the evening as the TV is on and my wife misheard some body speaking in say coronation street , there is an outcry.. immediate pause/rewind of tv until quietness returns. its stressful.
I have never seen anything like it before. perhaps its a regular thing in other families I don´t know.

we never have callers. we don´t call as a family to , relations etc...we as a family have no close friends. In fairness my wife would be chatting around the town with the usual townsfolk , passing the time of day , that´s about it.

I have spoken to my wife about our son. She is concerned , but we have come to the conclusion that we are unable to come up with a solution. There is no issue in school , mixing as I say...we don´t know what to do or should we do anything or is there any need to do anything.
All I know odd as I am , I was knocking around with other kids at his age and earlier, unfortunately I got into this horrible rut that I just cannot get out of , as I say I try to hide it from him, I am very worried that he will end up like me and being an only child , its worse. I have family although not close , they are available if I needed a dig out as I would for them. He has no one.
I am a lonely unhappy person , I had an unhappy start and never really got going as I would have liked.
I hate to think that this nice guy only 14 now will end up like me.
Even just today I was doing a few jobs around the place , he came into me after school , he is just so bored , with nothing to do, nowhere to go , no one to pal with , its so sad to see. its upsetting. I chatted to him , I casually again mentioned about if he ever wanted to bring anyone or go to anyones place its no bother , he just left , back to the sofa playing on phone.
Don´t get me wrong , he is gone all day summer /hols , he is popular with reasonably good self confidence , can stand on his own two feet , when at stables...that´s fab.
I am thinking exam stresses etc , any little issues that come along as they will & as they do with teenagers , he has no one to confide in , or talk to /his peers/ I am concerned that he will keep things to himself ( as he will have no choice) you hear of horrible things that kids to , when they see no light at the end of the tunnel....I cannot see things changing ...relations etc said to me when he ws in primary school , and this was a worry , "when he gets to secondary school you will never see him , he will always be off here there and everywhere - I had my doubts which I kept to myself , unfortunately , those doubts have turned to reality. Sorry for the long ramble ...if anyone has any advice it would be appreciated..

re : only child (teen) no friends.           reply
15/04/2015 15:07 - ask mother hen
I am struck by what you say. You sound like you are very concerned for your son, however I am concerned also for you. I am guessing when you look at your son, you are seeing your 14 year old self and that brings up a lot of feelings for you. Nonetheless, your son has an absorbing hobby, you say he is outgoing and he is popular. We tend to mix up the two stories, which is not helpful or may not even be accurate.
The degree to which the child socialises can be determined by the degree to which the family is open to meeting new people and engaging within the community. Instead of the Pj´s maybe use the brighter evenings to get out and do things, initially as a family and engage outside the home. My personal experience was getting a new puppy (we did Puppy Walking for the Irish Guide Dogs) was unbelievable in getting us out of the house, everyone talks to someone with a puppy, little chats build day in/day out and relationships within the community are formed.
Otherwise, join a club where you and your son can do something together, as your wife and he have their own interest. you mentioned cycling, otherwise swimming or a local running club? Otherwise, get involved in school, church and local activities even if its only supporting sporting events, fundraising,or voluntary work?
We eat when we need to comfort ourselves, would it be helpful for you to talk with someone, rekindle your relationship with your wife, get out on a date or a night away, but not to keep things to yourself, when we express how we feel, it changes it, we can see it differently, possibilities open up and suddenly we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Your teenager only needs you to trust and believe in him and his capacity to be just fine, chat through ´is there anything you´d like to you, a new hobby/interest-I´d love us to do something together´. He came to you, seeking relationship, so start there and build a stronger bond through shared activities.
The best of luck.

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