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Reason to worry?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. So I'm driving past my oldest kid's school today. They are outside at recess (or whatever 7th graders call recess) .. I spot him on the track, walking. By himself.
    I'm concerned.
    Fuck, who am I kidding I am scared.
    He's been in the school system for six years. He's been at the middle school for three. He had made a few friends. I know of one now. But it's a kid he has no classes with this year.
    He has one friend here at home - a kid who's only here half the week and every other weekend. I can't stand the kid, BTW, but that's another story ...

    I'm worried my son has no friends or no one his age to talk to. He's not into playing sports. He plays outside and he interacts with his (younger) brothers. His teachers say he talks and participates in class, but I am petrified he has no circle at school. Trying to get info out of him at dinner about his day at school is akin to pulling teeth. I get a shoulder shrug.
    Now, I know by now those of you still reading this think I might be over-reacting, and maybe I am (which is the point of this thread), but I reminded of my little brother; who at 16 years of age went upstairs one Sunday morning - after being told my mom to change his clothes for church - closed the door to his room, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
    I see some of him and his behavior in my son.

    We have my son on a low dose ADHD medicine. He only takes it on school days. It effects his appetite and of course suppresses a lot his energy. I worry about it shunting his personality. I was/am shy as well. But I still had friends.
    I have talked to my wife about this once or twice, she's not overly concerned. ... But she's an only child.

    I dunno ... reason to worry?
    Feels better to type this out and get it off my chest. ...
  2. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    Given your background, your feelings are perfectly understandable. Is your son happy when he's spending time alone? I ask because my son was recently diagnosed as autistic, and while I worry about him socializing and making friends as he gets older, he is very content to get lost in his favorite things. I figure as long as he can be happy, even if it's by himself, that's a good sign.

    Of course, your son's age adds another dimension. I know I didn't want to discuss anything with my parents once I became a teenager, and it was about that time I started hopping from friend to friend. To be honest, I would have preferred to have made good friends in the intervening years (because it affected my social skills in adulthood), but it wasn't the worst thing to be forced to develop my own personality.

    Hopefully your son is just going through some typical awkward life transition.
  3. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    Wow about your brother, Orville; I can understand your concern.

    Can't really offer much in terms of answers or opinion, but I'll give you a little story on my kids that might provide some comfort or insight. We have two boys, both great kids. The oldest, Mr. Social, never met a party or social gathering he didn't like. The younger one, much more of a keep to himself kid, all through grade school and even into high school. Not one to go out of the house a lot just for the sake of hanging out. But, he ended up finding his niche in a couple activities, cross country and orchestra, made a bunch of great friends there, and ended up his high school career being named prom king--possibly the most unlikely prom king of all time.

    Even then, I wondered/worried how he was going to adjust to college this year being in a dorm environment amongst many, many others, rather still having some of his keep to himself time. Well, let's just say that adjustment has been smashing. He's with a great group of friends, his room is sort of video game central for their floor, and he's frankly having the time of his life.

    So, I guess the moral of my story is things all have sorted themselves out on their own over time, even if maybe my wife and I might have been like you, and wanted things to have progressed faster.

    And while both of my boys are good kids, Mr. Social has certainly has provided me a few more gray hairs along the way than the other one, so consider that as well.
  4. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Of course you have reason to worry. Even without your backstory you'd worry ... that's what fathers do.

    If mom's not too worried then you probably shouldn't be.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  5. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Orville, you mentioned that he's not into playing sports. What else is he into? And are there activities at school that he can channel those interests? Such as, if he's into music, maybe he can join the band. Or, if he's into other things, maybe there's a club. This way, he interacts with the other kids more than just in class or at recess.

    Out of school, look to your county Social Services to see if there are any organizations that deal with ADHD or other special needs kids. They may have support groups, both for parent and kids, and may know some other groups that meet just so the kids can interact. One of my kids is in a teen group, where they meet every two weeks at a social services place. The teens run around, play video games, watch movies while the parents sit around and chat about whatever issues. It may take a lot of time and effort to find these groups, and organizations, because they're not very well known.
  6. He is into his Kindle. Games and YouTube videos. he plays outside when his friend his here.
    I'm really, strongly considering Scouts.
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Ever thought of a musical instrument? Becoming a musician can be both a very pleasant solo activity AND it opens you up to bonding/friendship opportunities.
  8. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think scouts or something social would help. He could show he has stuff in common with others and make more friends. Sports did wonders for my shyness as a kid, but if he's not into that, find something that he would enjoy.
  9. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Dunno. Have to see if he has any propensity for that. Unless I was just a moron, music did not do anything for me. I just could not learn the notes or read the music. Guess my brain isn't wired that way.
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Nobody will ever have a better instinct for your kid than you and your wife, Evil. If you're worried, it's for good reason. Don't talk yourself out of the concern, just do your best to address it however you and your wife think is best.
    Mr. Sunshine likes this.
  11. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Agreed, and even if you are overreacting, it's better than not addressing it and having your worst fears come true.
    bigpern23 likes this.
  12. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    I am a loner and was a loner throughout school. I hated my mother telling me I needed to make more friends and be social just because she thought I needed to. If your son is social with his brother and has a couple of other friends, you need to stop worrying, and you don't need to pressure him to make more friends. That made me resent my mother. If your son doesn't like most kids in his class, that doesn't make him a hermit. That may mean he's a hell of lot more mature than his fellow middle schoolers.

    And for the love of God, don't force your son into the fucking Scouts. He isn't 6 anymore.
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