General Question

angie's avatar

My son is 12 years old, but it seems that he has a hard time adjusting with other kids, at school he seems to stay away from his friends I asked him everytime did you go out to lunch and he responds no I stay in class. when his sister bring friends he stays around them but without saying a word. Is it the age?

Asked by angie (1points) July 2nd, 2008

I am worry

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17 Answers

Hollister0221's avatar

have you tried sports or any extra curricular activity? Im sure it us tough as a kid to feel part of a group. For me it was sports. It made me feel like I was part of something, and I was, so in return I made alot if friends

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Hollister0221's avatar

does he have any classmates that live close to the house? Again most of my friends that I went to school with also lived close by, so we hung out at school, at home and at the park

flameboi's avatar

Probably, maybe he needs something to be interested in, and then people with the same ineterests around, then, everything will flow easily for him :)

marinelife's avatar

The issue with his sister seems separate. It depends on the age difference between them.

You don’t say whether he even has a few close friends that share his interests. What does he like? I agree with Hollister0221. Whatever his interests are these days: video gaming, role playing games, computers, chess, books, animals, there is an interest group that he could join and find some people he feels comfortable with.

I would approach this gently. You do’t want him feeling pushed or getting defensive.

Mangus's avatar

Hi Angie. I know these worries well. I think, before you try remedies that people are suggesting, that you need to think and observe a bit more. Your question focuses on a comparative definition of ‘normal’. But there is a large range of normal. What you need to do is look at him first, not others his age first. So:

Is he happy? Does he speak up when he has a need? Does he feel safe asking for help (emotionally or logistically) from his trusted adults (you, others)? Does he engage with other people in some situations (not necessarily the ones you describe) in productive and interactive ways (conversation, inquisitiveness, creativeness, etc.)?

Some kids aren’t gregarious. Some kids are quiet. I’m not saying I think your son is “definitely ok and normal”. But your description doesn’t necessarily mean that he isn’t.

Look to his health and happiness first…

timoni's avatar

I used to stay in over lunch when I was in middle school, too. It’s hard sometimes when the cliques are so tight and it seems impossible to make new friends. Does he have other hobbies? Maybe he could join a club, if sports aren’t a good option, and meet kids outside of his school that share his interests.

tinyfaery's avatar

At this age you might want to have someone evaluate him for an anxiety or other social disorder. I’m not saying your kid is crazy or needs meds. It is not normal for your son to not have at least a few people with whom he can be himself with. Kids at this age find commonalities quickly. If he isn’t even interested in finding others to share his interests with, that could be a sign of a disconnect between his internal and external life.

If your child is suffering, learning coping skills and then practicing them in everyday situations (like communicating with people) will do wonders. Don’t wait too long on this. If there really is something deeper going on, waiting will only make it worse.

Mangus has it. If your son does engage with life, maybe he just needs some extracurricular activities. If you truly feel there is something wrong, get your son some help.

Hollister0221's avatar

I agree with timoni. Cliques can be tough. They are like the mafia. Hard to get in and even harder to get out. But again that is the pains of youth. We all experienced it before. Yes please don’t push him to do anything. It will only make things worse I believe. But in the end if all he has is his relationship with you and that it is strong, I can’t see anything that bad.

Hollister0221's avatar

also we don’t know much about the situation. Like: are you divorced? Does he have a step father? Where is his real father? Does his real father interact with him? Does he enjoy anything? If so what?

Hollister0221's avatar

also how are you and his relationship?

Response moderated
itmustbeken's avatar

Did this change in behavior just happen or is this an ongoing pattern? If its a sudden change, stay on point mom! Something may have happened and you need to chip away to find out what.

As a former awkward, shy and socially retarded kid, he may just not know how to make that leap from hello to conversation. I hate to admit that still sticks with me today, but you can survive.

My mom was super outgoing and it made my shyness all the worse because she kept telling me to do something I just didn’t know how to or want to do. Eventually I found friends who were as weird as me and it all worked itself out. Now, as I write this from a maximum security prison (kidding! I am kidding!...its not maximum security….kidding again, I can’t stop…).

Seriously, be there for him. Let him know that talking and getting to know people is hard but friendships can make you better than you ever thought you could be.

ebenezer's avatar

sounds like me when I was a kid. He may be a thinker.

Dog's avatar

It is important to have an accurate perception of what is “normal”

Like your son and Ebenezer I am thoughtful- and an introvert. Unlike common
perception being an introvert is NOT a bad thing at all. It is simply
the way we respond and recharge. We are NOT antisocial as many extroverts think.

You may find the book “The Introvert Advantage- How to survive in an Extrovert World” very helpful when raising your son.

Here are some quotes from the book:

“Introverts are thoughtful, imaginative, tend to work independently and think outside the box. Introverts are keen observers and sensitive listeners. Introverts prefer to be involved intimately with one person and are often drawn to life’s spiritual side. Introverts are not antisocial, shy, or aloof.

But they are in the minority—outnumbered by extroverts three-to-one in a culture that values being an “Outie” over an “Innie”. And they are easily misunderstood, as often by themselves as by their extroverted families and loved ones.”

Introverts take in information and need quiet time to think. Extroverts need social input and stimulus.

There is nothing wrong with your son- read the book link See if he fits.

Just in case you still think that being an introvert is a bad thing here are some folks that are introverts:

* Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president
* Sir Alfred Hitchcock, film director
* Michael Jordan, basketball player and celebrity
* Thomas Edison, inventor
* Grace Kelly, actress
* Gwyneth Paltrow, actress
* David Duvall, golfer
* Laura Bush, first lady
* Bill Gates, software pioneer
* Candice Bergen, actress
* Clint Eastwood, actor/director
* Charles Schulz, Peanuts cartoonist
* Steve Martin, comedian/actor/writer
* Harrison Ford, actor
* Michele Pfeiffer, actress
* Katherine Graham, late owner of Washington Post, author
* Joan Allen
* Ellen Burstyn
* Glenn Close
* Clint Eastwood
* Tom Hanks
* Helen Hunt
* Diane Keaton
* Jessica Lange
* Laura Linney
* Julia Roberts
* Meg Ryan
* Meryl Streep
* Noah Wyle

As you can see- being an introvert does not hinder success.

tinyfaery's avatar

The difference between an introvert, and someone with a disorder, is that an introvert does not withdraw from other people or the world.

ilovemetrostation's avatar

He may be being bullied, and only feel comfortable around his sister’s friends for that reason, thinking they will not say anything to him. You should try talking to him about it, it may help if he tells you, then you can talk to his teacher/school about the issue. &+ no when i was 12, all the boys in my class would jump up in front of class and dance and sing in every class. They were never shy, so definatly not the age.

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