02-08-2020 04:26 PM - last edited on 07-22-2020 02:51 PM by Janine-RO
Hi, I'm new here and could use some support. My almost 17-yr-old son is very depressed and lonely. He had two best friends who are brothers since age 3 and they seem to be drifting awY from him. Nothing happened, may be due to other interests and getting older, but my son, as an only child, has considered them family and now they never reach out to him and don't respond when he reaches out to them. He had friends in school who he no longer heard from because he now goes to a different school. The guys he believed to be his friends at his new school have only included him twice in get together outside of school and they don't respond when he texts them, yet they all hang out at school. I've always encouraged him to reach out and try to get involved in activities in or out of school but he is very shy and unfortunately his dad has set a terrible example of just sitting around with his iPhone and rarely going anywhere or doing anything or reaching out to people. Tonight my son really opened up about his loneliness and feelings of rejection but became frustrated when I tried to make some suggestions. He's so lonely and depressed and has no interests other than video games and Netflix because that's the way he comforts himself--by retreating. I just don't know to do and I'm so sad and worried for him...
02-08-2020 09:31 PM
02-09-2020 01:20 PM
My son isn't a teen so my thoughts are based more on my teen years . It is good that your son opened up to you but also not surprising he took some of his frustration out on you when you offered suggestions. My father didnt have technology to hide behind but instead would come home tired and hide in front of the TV. There was a 1/2 hr or so window of opportunity for 4 kids to try and discuss anything during the evening meal. Needless to say I never really communicated with my father until I was in my forties . My thoughts to you are try to convince your husband that his help is needed with not your, but, our son. That it isn't acceptable for him to put his head in the sand or phone in this case, that your boy is hurting and needs help from his family.It sounds at present it's a case of like father like son, I have been guilty of similar due to a total lack of parenting input from my father in my personal relationships due to poor communicational skills. In fact I am seperated and divorcing largely because of it. I have had to really retrain myself so that I dont also ruin my relationship with my 10yr old son. I now make time for the 2 of us , to chat to read books, and I make him go camping and fishing, he makes me play video games.We both are learning from each other. I was lucky growing up in that my mum tried hard to be both parents but you are not and I was not part of a single parent family. Both you and your son deserve better. Speak out for both your sakes.
05-05-2020 01:17 PM
05-05-2020 01:19 PM
05-05-2020 04:52 PM
Hi @Teensmom ,
Thanks so much for updating us on how you're going. I'm sorry that covid has been hard on your family. I think a lot of people have had similar experiences, the added stress and pressure of people being at home all of the time, and all of the other changes in our lives that have come with this pandemic, have been incredibly tough to cope with. It is great to hear that you are all safe and healthy, though.
You might have already seen them, but I just thought I'd share some resources that ReachOut have developed to help parents and their families cope with these weird times, you can find them here - they include articles on helping to cope with study stress, but also on coping with the covid pandemic in general.
How is your son at the moment? I know in Australia we have quite a few online options for counselling, do you think something like that might interest him at all?
06-01-2020 08:06 PM
I can relate to what you are experiencing.
My daughter is 16 and recently her teacher called to inform me that she has reached out to them as she is experiencing issues. I was shocked as she looks happy and her normal self. This led me to uncover more of her writings about not being included in group chats, friends whom she thought were her friends are in fact, not that close at all. She has written she is lonely and depressed. Much like what your son is experiencing. She spends more time in her room, more so now with COVID and online learning.
We are a stable and supportive family but it seems that this does not fill the void of a firm and stable friendship group at school. My daughter joins lots of activities in and out of school and it seems this could be part of the problem. Her sister's advice is to stick to the same group of friends rather than be a 'floater' with no firm friends. For your son, perhaps enrol him in a sport that he likes?
If the place you reside has Headspace, give them a try. They offer counselling and some activities for teens during school holiday. Hope that would help.
06-01-2020 08:58 PM