Teen son friendship issues

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Teen son friendship issues

My son is 14 and in Year 9.  He attends an all boys school.  Recently he changed friendship groups as he wanted to reconnect with some of his primary school friends and be a bit more active (he previously hung out with the boys that do gaming).  All was going well until a new boy at the school joined the friendship group.  My son is now being told by several in the group that they no longer want him in the group and that he doesn't fit as they all play sport and he has nothing in common with them.  I feel that he should stick to his guns and not let these boys force him out of the group? What do you think?

Mod

Re: Teen son friendship issues

hey there @Tully99 thanks for sharing your concerns and what is going on for your son at school. Navigating through high school social rules can seem neverending, until it gets to the point for a child that it's over!

I would definately say that you wanting him to stay true to himself and be assertive in standing up for his place. It might be worth watching how the group or particular friends respond (whether positively in sticking by him or negatively).

Scribe

Re: Teen son friendship issues

Thank you SALLY-RO.  I am a bit concerned that one of his friends suggested he leave the group or he may end up being bullied by the others. I have asked my son to keep a look out and report any bullying straight away. I truly hope the group starts to think about the possible ramifications.

Mod

Re: Teen son friendship issues

Yes it sounds quite extreme to have him be alienated so quickly into being excluded. How is he sitting with all of it as he speaks to you about it?

I have just put a quick link to the Bullying "Things to try" section on the RO Parents forum. I hope there is something useful to take away from it there. Have you thought about contacting Kids Helpline for some more thorough/detailed guidance as a parent, or even Parentline (what state you are in)?

Scribe

Re: Teen son friendship issues

He is handling it well at the moment.  I am trying to give him as much guidance as I can i.e. keep a level head, respond without blame.  He is on social media so some of the 'hints' to leave are being done through txt.  I have asked him to share the txt with me so that any responses sent by him are not insulting or aggravating in any way.  However, he is a shy introverted boy so I am making sure his responses are assertive without being aggressive. Thank you for the links to the bullying.  We live in the ACT.

Mod

Re: Teen son friendship issues

That sounds like a really amazing idea @Tully99. It can also be hard to realise if you are being aggravating when you are directly involved in the texts yourself. It is awesome that you are monitoring the situation and trying to teach him how to be resilient in the face of a challenge. There is the Parentsline ACT which could be really helpful for you to talk it out verbally. All the best, keep us updated Heart. I will tag some members here for support, @sunflowermom @Happy @Beemum @Tulip

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Teen son friendship issues

Hey @Tully99, your son sounds like an amazing, resilient young man who has wonderful support and guidance from you. I agree that he shouldn’t allow himself to be pushed out of the group. Self worth is important and if he leaves the group it should by his own choice. This situation will either blow over or he’ll see who his true friends are. 

 

It’s sad how a newcomer to the group can change the dynamics so much. A similar thing happened in my daughter’s friendship group when she was at school. Friendships are tough to navigate during these years and I love that you’re helping him communicate without blame - that really struck me as an emotionally mature and admirable response to be teaching. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to be very mindful in the future to make sure I’m doing the same. 

 

 

Scribe

Re: Teen son friendship issues

Thank you Taokat for your response.  It is reassuring when others support one's decisions.  I am keeping an eye on the situation and will provide further updates. 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Teen son friendship issues

My pleasure @Tully99. We often second guess ourselves but I truly believe you’re doing all you can in an amazing way. Your son is very lucky to have you as his mum Smiley Happy

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Teen son friendship issues

Hi @Tully99,

I agree with all the responses on the forum.

You are a wonderful Mum that's raising a mature, resilient young man.

Year 9 is a really hard year for friendships as this is a stage when most teenagers like to change groups.

How does your son feel about staying with this group?

Do they include him in their lunch time activities or weekend get togethers? 

If so that's great and I would tell him to persist and stay in the group.

If not I would advice him to reconsider as not being included can be hurtful and effect his self esteem. 

Please keep us updated as we are always here to help.