Do I have a problem ?

backhousiaAugust 23, 2009

Not sure if I should be concerned about my son.

He is 17 and is still at school. He seems to make friends with different kids, but no firm pals. He will talk about one particular person for a period of time, and then we don't hear about that person for a while. He often says he doesn't fit in with the other kids because they don't talk about things he likes talking about. Going out and doing things with other kids is a sporadic event and he does not seem to initiate any social get togethers.

He is a person who is very intellectual and has a social conscience and his favorite topic is philosophy. He is into music and loves playing his guitar. He is a vegetarian. He works hard at his school work and wants to go to university. He gets on well with other adults.

I try to find out if he is hanging around with other kids at school and make suggestions about how to be sociable etc. But as you can imagine this is tricky information to extract from a teen.

I guess my concern is that he may be lonely as he doesn't fit in with the other kids. I don't want him to become depressed.

Any suggestions ?

I have spoken to his teacher's a while back, he started a new school, earlier this year. He has been at the school for 6 months now.

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I wouldn't worry too much. You say he gets on well with adults, well he's rapidly becoming an adult himself and will soon be in the peer group he fits in with.
Does he read science fiction? I ask because your description sounds like so many young people who find their way into science fiction clubs and find themselves "at home" yes, I was one many many moons ago :-)
I'm thinking, with your son's interests, he's not a "typical" teenager, which isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing, he just doesn't have many others his age with a similar fit. As he gets older and especially once he is in university he will find other like minded folk.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 1:22PM
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I agree with the previous poster. He sounds more mature than typical teens, so I don't see a problem with him at all. He may be more introverted (I dislike labels) as well, which also is not a problem. He could feel lonely, because he hasn't found like-minded people who are a good fit for him, but it sounds like he has interests and that he is his own good company. Being sociable and well-liked is not everyone's goal. Some people need to stay true to themselves and desire authenticity. If he walks to the beat of a different drummer is this a problem?

I had a hard time fitting in too. I also found it very difficult finding like minded people with similar interests to relate too. Rather than trying to understand me and respecting me or cherishing me, people labelled me and then tried to fix me or change me (behaviors which are disrespectful, hurtful and destructive). I can tell you that people trying to control, manipulate and fix me rather than appreciating and understanding me created a lot of sadness, depression and loneliness in me, not to mention anger towards their arrogance and insensitivity.

I believe once your son gets into the university he may find other like minded folk. Encourage this...and appreciate him for who and what he is.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 1:57PM
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Agree with previous two posters. You've described a circumstance/situation, not a "problem".

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 2:51PM
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Just curious what the teachers said; you didn't elaborate.

Would he be interested in starting to take some community college classes? He could get a jump on his college credits as well as get a feel for campus life and have a new bunch of people (hopefully more likeminded) to get to know.

I wouldn't be too nosy, grin, just let him know you are there for questions/concerns.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Gee thanks for the responses, I am really touched by the sensitivity.

When I spoke to the teachers, earlier this year, they told me that he was sitting in the playground at lunch time reading a book, and was that normal for him to do that. He was new to the school so had not fitted in at that point. I think the teachers did do something about it, and after that he seemed to be included with the other kids. It is a very inclusive school and celebrates social, and racial diversities, so I am happy that we have found such a good place for him.

I guess things will improve when he is finished with school, he often says he wishes he could just get on with university now, but he still has a year left of the school drudgery. That is a great idea Jessy, about taking extra classes.

Thanks Flowergardenmuse, your words were very helpful in my understanding of my son. I spose I am guilty of trying to "fix" him. I must watch that. I hate labels too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:43PM
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Umm...they have "playgrounds" for 17-year-olds? Thinking I must have missed something.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 9:53PM
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popi = backhousia ???

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 8:50AM
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Not everyone is a 'joiner' or social butterfly. I know a lot of people who are secure in their own skins, who can be happy on their own, without a lot of others around. Your son sounds like an intelligent, sensitive fellow, who is probably too mature to really get a lot out of hanging around most teens. In all honesty, things would be a lot worse, if you were on here posting that he was hanging out with a crowd that was encouraging him to do things you didn't approve of--drinking, drugs, watching porn, etc.--that's more often the case with teen boys hanging out in clumps. Be thankful he's above those things, and mature enough to be more on a level with adults. He'll be fine.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 1:10PM
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