So your 15-year-old son has no friends. The good news is, in most cases, this can be taken care of pretty quickly. The bad news is, in some cases, teens are not developing socially as they should.
Parents should not avoid the problem. If your teen is not socializing properly and no action is taken, your teen could grow up and not have the social confidence to really excel.
Why Your 15-Year-Old Son Has No Friends
In most cases, teens just haven’t found their group yet, their click. It happens. Some teens just haven’t found the people on the same wavelength as them. Don’t immediately assume your son has weak social skills. The reality of it is he could just be picky with his friends. Now it is possible that his social skills need improvement.
His Social Skills Need Improvement
Sometimes teens don’t develop their social skills as fast as their peers. It is nothing to truly be concerned about but some action needs to be taken in order to catch them up. This is a common situation when children don’t spend enough time with other children.
It could be that your child is used to communicating with adults.
Let me give you an example. I had a 13-year-old that was always hitting kids at school and had no friends. We could not find out what was going wrong, so we decided to monitor him during lunch. It wasn’t very long before we realized that he was being impatient with other students. He was so used to parents listening and waiting until he finishes that when another student cuts him off while talking he gets angry.
If a teen and not spent enough time with other teens they can forget some of the “teenage socializing norm”.
He is Being Bullied
Unfortunately, a real concern in today’s school system is bullying. People will bully other people for literally everything. I remember in middle school a girl was being bullied for having big lips. Literally anything.
If your son is being bullied this may hamper his ability to make friends. Other teens will tend to avoid a teen that is being bullied. Bullying is a real problem if you feel like your son may be being bullied, reach out to StopBullying.gov. They have a reference guiding parents on what to do if they feel as though their child is being bullied.
How to get your 15-year-old Friends
Want your teen to have more friends? Here are a few things you can do to stimulate your sons social life to encourage a friendship.
Get Him Involved
The easiest way to help your son make friends is by getting them involved in recreational activities. Hobbies like sports, music, or reading are a great way to get teens surrounded by other people their age.
The most common way people make friendships is by having something in common. By involving your teen in activities, you are immediately giving him something in common with every other teen there, the activity.
There are a wide variety of activities to get your teen involved in. Here are some of my favorites that are great for both their health and are fun.
- Learn an Instrument
These are all creative and physical outlets filled with opportunities to bond with other teens. You may find some resistance from your teen to trying something new so try to find an activity that best suits their personality.
If your son loves the outdoors, suggest summer camp. If your son loves listening to music, suggest they pick up an instrument.
Check if your city has some sports leagues or group activities but even better, see if you can get your teen involved in activities at school. The best-case scenario is to integrate him with the teens he already spends so much time with.
Work on their Extroversion
Introverts can have a real problem making friends. Even though there are people out there they would form meaningful friendships with, your son could be having trouble walking up to people he barely knows and starting a conversation.
The best way to fix this is to get him out of his comfort zone. Next time you all go out as a family, encourage him to meet and talk with other strangers. For example, if your family usually goes to church on Sundays, that is a great opportunity to encourage him to speak to people he does not know that well.
Although some people are inherently introverted while others inherently extroverted, there are exercises you can do to be more social. As your son improves his social skills, good chance his friends problem should resolve itself.
What Not To Do
Do not go up to parents or other teens and ask them to be friends with your son. For some reason, there are parents out there that think this will work. I’ve been asked before (in my late teens) by someone’s mom to be friends with them. As soon as she asked, there was nothing I wanted less than to be friends with that person.
You can’t force friendship. Friendship needs to develop naturally if it has any chances of surviving the long haul.
Also, don’t make your 15-year-old son feel like a loser for having no friends. Some of the things you say to or around him could have a real impact on his confidence. Be sure to approach the situation delicately.
It would also be best if he was not aware of why you are encouraging him to be more social and get more involved in activities. At his age not having any friends could be a point of insecurity for him.
It happens more often than you think where teens have difficulty making friends in high school. Most likely this problem will go away with time but there are steps we can take as parents to ensure our children go through their social development as smoothly as possible.
Making friends, like learning to walk, is a skill that needs to be practiced over and over until you master it. If your 15-year-old son has no friends, make an effort to put them in as many situations as possible that will give them the opportunity to form friendships.