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My 13 yo son feels isolated by his friends

My 13 yo son feels isolated by his friends

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Mrsb115

My 13 yo son feels isolated by his friends

Hi I’m new here but I’m really worried about my son, he feels like his friends don’t like him. He’s had the same group of friends from being 5 and over the past year I have noticed the group dividing although it only seems to be my son that’s getting isolated at times, I know he feels it all the time because I’ve had him crying to me, he can be quite emotional at times.... I’m genuinely at a loss in how to help him, I just wish he would make some new friends but the current situation isn’t helping, any advice would be appreciated
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Janine-RO

Re: My 13 yo son feels isolated by his friends

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Hi @Mrsb115 , welcome to the forums.  It sounds like it would be so hard as a parent to be worried about your son becoming isolated from his friends - the early years of high school can definitely be times when friendships shift and change, and it can be so hard when the dynamics of those long-term friendships start to change. 

 

It looks like you're located in the UK, is that right? Is your son attending school in person at the moment, or are you still under restrictions? Often it can be really helpful for young people to get involved in other activities like scouts, sporting groups, volunteering or music groups outside of school, to widen their social circle and meet new people - but I can completely appreciate that could be really tricky at the moment if you're still facing restrictions due to covid. Does your son have any hobbies that he enjoys?  Does he enjoy gaming at all? A lot of young people may also connect with friends online, especially at the moment when seeing people in person can be hard. 

 

We do have an article here that might be helpful, about how to help your teen to make friends - it's got some really practical strategies to try that might be helpful. 

 

 

It must be so hard to see your son so upset, but on a positive note it is fantastic that he feels comfortable opening up to you about how he's feeling, you've clearly done a great job at establishing a really trusting and safe relationship with him. 

 

This is definitely something that we've heard about from other parents on the forums, I'm also just going to tag in a few of our parents community to see if they can offer some advice or support on this one too @Birdwings  @blueskies  @Anniesmum 

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Birdwings

Re: My 13 yo son feels isolated by his friends

Hi Mrs B 115,

Welcome to our Each Out Parent Forum. I've been coming here for a few months now,, and am Mum to an about to turn 17 young man and an about to turn 15 year old young woman. However, I'm thinking back also to when I was 13. There's been a suggestion that you're in the UK. Here in Australia, 13 is roughly when kids start high school. Where we live, the kids from a number local school merge together and so friendships from primary school in a way come under threat as all the kids met new people. Indeed, to me now, it seems healthy that social groups expand and people don't just stick with the same kids though all their years at school. However, these readjustments never seem to go smoothly and feelings are hurt, and there often seems to be kids to fall through the cracks at least for a time, and have no friends. It's awful to have no friends and no one to sit with at lunch...even just for a day. My first recommendation is to get in touch with the school. Touch base and share your concern. At my kids school, students can go to the library at lunchtime and they have activities there. I agree with building up groups of friends outside school and scouts and our youth group have worked well for us. Taking up a  sport is also good. Since he's emotional, perhaps taking up an instrument or doing a drama course. I've noticed with my son's friends from youth, playing the guitar is a good one. It's portable and gathers people around them. 

I also just wondered if you know his friends parents, and whether you might be able to get together with someone there for a coffee preferably one on one and pick their brains. There might be a real simple explanation and a way of keeping the group together or they might alert you that it's time for your son to move on and let go. I try and keep up with my friends with teenagers, and it's actually much harder than you'd think what with people working. However, I do believe it's really important. 

I hope that helps.

Best wishes,

Birdwings