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Topic: 10yr Old Boy Struggles - he cant join the party

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mummafixer
    Mummafixer avatar
    2 posts
    28 August 2018


    Am I over worrying?

    My healthy, happy, active, smart 10yr old boys seems to struggle with meeting new kids.

    I recently took him to his mates birthday party and when we arrived my son saw at least 5 boys he didn't know. He instantly expressed he was feeling nervous but he NEVER joined in on the party. He goes quiet, doesn't like constant questions and basically will not articulate why he will not join in. This particular party was dodgeball and bubble soccer. This is not the first time this has happened. In January we went to his best mates house and the minute he saw 10 plus kids he did not know he would not participate. It was a Ninja warrior party.

    As a young child he was always shy around others. He seems to be a perfectionist at school. He has ALWAYS struggled with the emotion of being embarrassed.

    We did go and see a psychologist for 3 sessions who lead us to believe it may be performance based anxiety. In his short 10yrs of life he has had a few episodes where he will not join in. There is no panicking prior just a shutdown when he arrives.

    At school he has pushed a lot of boundaries. He has presented at school, he leads the reading groups , he is well liked with many friends, he joined the choir 1 year, he participates in the school production so slowly he has grown.

    However when he has these moments it is very public and we get a lot of attention as to "whats going on"... I know I have to deal with this attention myself and this is not his concern.

    We self talk, we have always shared feelings and emotions, I validate how he feels ( I am not on my A game all the time and have got cross that he opts out. eg the school holiday basketball work shop cost me $300 and he would NOT return).He will not go back to the psychologist . The last session we had he got so angry and upset (I have NEVER seem him like this) that we had the whole session at the front door outside.

    Tomorrow I have booked a parenting session with his psychologist to try and get ideas and get more suggestions on how I can help.

    I feel like I am fretting because in two years time high school is coming up and I fear he will be that kid who will scream and cry to go to school because it is filled with new kids. .Am i over worrying? He certainly does not lose sleep over it. Will maturity help? I know its tough to give advice only having read this email but i just need to get it out as his mother.

  2. Croix
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    Croix avatar
    9204 posts
    28 August 2018 in reply to Mummafixer

    Dear Mummafixer~

    Welcome here to the Forum, you've given a pretty clear picture of what is happening and I'm sure like all mum's you want the best for your son, so it is understandable you might worry about the transition to high school and his not being socially at ease in all circumstances.

    Frankly I'm not sure all your concern is warranted. If your son spent all his time in his bedroom, refused to leave the house and would not go to school than there would be a problem. From what you say he does not enjoy meeting large new groups, but otherwise is doing fine. When pressed about this he gets upset.

    If one thinks one is failing at something then being quizzed about it can be pretty uncomfortable. Perhaps your son has come to think of this shyness as a failing.

    Are there other family members who can help?

    As a precaution have you thought in terms of a hearing or eye testT these are straight physical reasons that social activity can preset problems. I was 15 before a knew I needed glasses and was terrible at sport as a result.

    If there is no physical hassle then I'd imagine that frequent positions similar to those you describe might make him increasingly reluctant or nervous and build a small foible into a larger problem.

    Do you think a policy of encouraging situations and activities that play to his strengths might help build up confidence? Also if he can become used to meeting people in small numbers with success that might help too.

    A lot can be done by emphasizing the positives, and not going too deeply into what you might regard as failures. The more the disagreements and confrontations the more he may dig his heels in and be less cooperative.

    When going to the new school, which is a couple of years off, he will be in exactly the same boat as many.

    As you say trying to give suggestions based on one post is at least partly guesswork, I hope there might be something above to at least reassure you.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Mummafixer
    Mummafixer avatar
    2 posts
    29 August 2018 in reply to Croix

    Thank you Croix for giving me your advice and helpful insights. Sometimes when you live within the bubble it is hard to see things from the outside.

    I agree with you. He probably does believe he is a failure when he can't overcome his nerves in these large group environments.

    As for other family members to help him out. My husband is great with him, my mother in law boosts him all the time and I think at the moment he has a great male teacher who is building is confidence within the classroom. eg presenting, leading, moving seats in the classroom to get used to change etc. I also frequently talk to my mother about his nerves and she was VERY much like this as a young person and young adult. Se totally gets its. She is not shy now.She still does not like social parties though.

    You mentioned getting his eyes checked. I do this frequently. Thank you for the suggestion.

    I didn't mention in my earlier post but my son is extremely athletic. He is currently playing basketball and is very good at it. We do not push him to go for higher levels we encourage him to enjoy the sport and continue growing his friendships within the team. He has made a very good friend just from joining this team. His confidence has grown just by playing this sport.

    At school he is doing well academically. The principal just said to me the other week he shows leadership qualities.

    Anyhow. I appreicate I may be over worrying. I just don't want him to miss out on fun stuff and experiences because he gets so nervous.

    You mentioned meeting people in smaller numbers might help. I will try this. The things I try on a daily basis is getting him to order the bread, or sausage from bunnings or ordering his meal when out. This way it encourages eye contact and a step towards being able to feel like he can.

    Thank you for your support and listening to my woes. I will focus on the positives because I truly have one remarkable boy that I am proud of.

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