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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 6:28 am
Some background. My ds is 12 and is the youngest. All his older siblings are out of the house, more or less. His school is not nearby, as well as his classmates. We are not moving. The majority of us are introverts, including this child.

He has been seeing a therapist at the insistence of the school. We had a meeting with her after she saw him for quite a few sessions. She said a bunch of things I already know, but she seems to think he’s lonely. It’s not that she thinks he’s lonely that bothers me, she seems to blame it on me, in a way. She says because he doesn’t see me socializing and he never has friends over or he go to anyone. I’ve always encouraged my kids to go their friends house and let them come to us, but they and specifically him, refused.

He says he has friends, but obviously not close. I asked him what he does during recess and he said he doesn’t play with anyone. He also said it’s his choice, he wants it that way. They play sports and he has no interest in that.
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amother




Mocha
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 6:32 am
Can you sign him up for a class for something he is interested in? Woodworking, art.. something he likes. It's a great opportunity for him to find like minded friends.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 6:56 am
Don't see it as blame. See it as an invitation.

If the kid is an introvert and may have trouble developing friends, it's not unreasonable to say that perhaps a parent providing more examples and more structure could be helpful.

It's not that you're wrong, it's that the current situation needs tweaking, and you as his mother are in a powerful place to do that. So here are a few things to consider trying -- not all will be right for your situation, but perhaps there's something worth trying for a while.

Let him see you shmoozing with friends, going for walks, planning shopping trips, etc.

Invite Shabbos guests with kids he gets along with.

You or DH volunteer whenever possible to help drive or whatever if there are school sponsored activities he tends to avoid.

See if DH or another adult will encourage him in a sport. Exercise is good for him, and it may just "not be his thing" because he hasn't had enough practice to get good.

See if older siblings can offer any suggestions, too.

I say this as an introvert with older kids with HFA, who also tend to avoid socializing. It doesn't take a lot of friends to be happy, but it does take at least a couple. And it's easier to build when they're younger. Once they graduate, it's really tough.
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amother




Milk
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 7:26 am
I do see this often especially in similar situations. He needs your help. Find a hobby he likes and sign him up for a class. Encourage him getting together with friends and inviting friends over.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 7:32 am
I have offered, pushed him over the years to join an after school program. He has no interest. I always encourage him to have friends or go over. There’s only a limited amount of things that can be done, besides forcing.

My dh is a lot more social than I am and I have gone out with friends, but rarely. If I have, it’s when he’s in school anyway. For sports, my dh is a sports fanatic and plays too. So do most of my other kids. He doesn’t care.
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oneofakind




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 7:49 am
Maybe someone has to connect the dots for him so he'll be willing to learn to socialize. He may not recognize the connection between his mood and isolation.
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amother




Gardenia
 

Post Thu, Nov 10 2022, 8:16 am
Can you enlist the help of Dh and the kids to connect with him more and spend more one on one time with him? In a way that will help build him up? Kind loving and interested nonjudgmental and accepting? Even ice cream dates and the like
Hugs and hatzlocha
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