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Socially Immature Teen....


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#1 *~*Kitty*~*

Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

What do you do when your teen is the target of bullying from his peers due to his social immaturity?

My DS 14 (15 in Sept) has ALWAYS been the outsider, always the one that is last to be picked for something, regularly the target of bullying.

The problem is, a lot of it is because he's always been the square peg trying to fit in the round hole, he just doesn't fit, and he tries to overcompensate with silly or inappropriate actions/conversations/jokes etc to get kids to like him and it just alienates him more.  He gets good enough grades, it's just socially he struggles.

We've tried to tell him this, a couple of his friends have tried and he just doesn't listen....

I can imagine he would be very lonely and don't know what more I can suggest/try/do to help?

It doesn't matter what we say or suggest, he knows everything and we are wrong.

Any suggestions?  Will he grow out of it?  I'm worried now that he is getting older the physical aspects will get a lot more physical and dangerous.

I don't know, is this a boy thing, am I over analysing, will it all sort itself out, do I need to speak with the Principal - will that make him a bigger target???

So confused  unsure.gif

#2 morgansacre

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

No its not a boy thing, my DD is the same as your described, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. She doesn't fit either.

My DD is now 22 and has always been this way. being socially inept isn't something you learn and it fixes it (as in DD's case), she just has no idea what so ever how to approach, talk to, or be appropriate at the right time. I found with her it was something she has or doesn't have.

She too was picked on all her school live, even by some of the teachers. I tried everything to help her, in the end she built a wall and wouldn't let anyone outside the family in. Which is really sad, but it protected her somewhat.

We found out at 18, that DD has Aspergers, all the challenges she has had now fit into place. Not that it matters now anyway, as there is nothing out there to help Asperger Adults.

I don't know of anything that will help a socially awkward teen become better. It seems the more they try the worse it gets. Some people just can't read faces, social situations and make appropriate reactions....its just not in them to be able to.

Lynn

#3 *~*Kitty*~*

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:48 AM

Thanks for replying Lynn, even if you didn't have a solution, it helped to have a response and validation that it's not in my head or my expectations are too extreme.


#4 fezzy

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:53 AM

Would he talk to someone (a professional) about self esteem issues? He obviously doesn't feel like he's going to be accepted by his peers being himself therefore trying to overcompensate to fit in- maybe his self esteem could do with a bit of work.

My oldest daughter (almost 5) tries to be 'cute' or 'funny' and it's just annoying. I try to explain to her that I find her the cutest and funniest when she is being geniune (and i do find her very cute and funny often!) and most of the time being funny or cute just happens, you can't create that moment. Or sometimes if we have a really funny moment she'll try to recreate it and it just doesn't happen. I hope she doesn't grow into the teen who does this!



#5 Weirdly Sane

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:56 AM

Are the school generally supportive, OP?  Rather than going to the principal at first instance, could you discuss your concerns with his teacher(s)?

I'm thinking that if they are also seeing what you are seeing, you may be able to get a connection to a child psychologist, via the school.  Or bypass school and find a good child psych yourself.  I'm not implying that there's something "wrong" with your DS (although as PP mentioned, I did wonder if you've had him assessed, if the social immaturity is of sufficient gravity to mar his everyday living).  However, a good child psych will be able to draw him out, and perhaps give him some tools and coping mechanisms to assist him.

I hope you can find some help for him; I would definitely pursue it.

#6 AMPSyd

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:59 AM

I had the initial thought as well that it may be well worth your while seeing a developmental paed to assess him.

However, you mention he does have friends - that is great. Is there a sport or hobby that he could spend time with like minded teens.

My DS (aged 11) only has a few friends - mainly girls. He just gravitates towards girls. Of the 13 kids at his last birthday party, 2 were boys. It was really funny. But that is just him. I am carefully choosing a high school for him at the moment that will cater to his sensitive side. Because if he went to the local state high school he will get bullied. I have been told this by a parent there.

#7 Sue Heck

Posted 28 April 2012 - 09:50 PM

O

Edited by Helen Magnus, 03 May 2012 - 01:20 AM.


#8 Fr0g

Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:10 AM

There are groups around, focusing on developing social skills in peer settings. I am referring one of my clients to one next week!  This lad is very socially competent with adults, great conversationalist, but his peer relationships suffer as he misreads the nuances in teen conversation. He suffers because of it, as he tries to be the joker, enter conversations inappropriately etc.

If there is no underlying issue,  I believe social skills can be taught to teens, they just to practice them in a safe setting until they develop naturally.


#9 Mummy Duck

Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:55 AM

QUOTE (~*~Olli~*~ @ 27/04/2012, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you do when your teen is the target of bullying from his peers due to his social immaturity?

My DS 14 (15 in Sept) has ALWAYS been the outsider, always the one that is last to be picked for something, regularly the target of bullying.

The problem is, a lot of it is because he's always been the square peg trying to fit in the round hole, he just doesn't fit, and he tries to overcompensate with silly or inappropriate actions/conversations/jokes etc to get kids to like him and it just alienates him more.  He gets good enough grades, it's just socially he struggles.

We've tried to tell him this, a couple of his friends have tried and he just doesn't listen....

I can imagine he would be very lonely and don't know what more I can suggest/try/do to help?

It doesn't matter what we say or suggest, he knows everything and we are wrong.

Any suggestions?  Will he grow out of it?  I'm worried now that he is getting older the physical aspects will get a lot more physical and dangerous.

I don't know, is this a boy thing, am I over analysing, will it all sort itself out, do I need to speak with the Principal - will that make him a bigger target???

So confused  unsure.gif

We have a similar issue with ss14 and he has whatever age been more immature than his peers. We have recently had to cut all internet/social media/ph access from ss14 because he was not able to use it appropriately and it was making it worse. He also has few friends and they often come and go, he rarely is invited to parties or out of school activities. When ss was younger we would all hear a joke and ss would try to tell it again hoping to get the same reaction that the orginal joke teller got. He didnt understand that you couldnt use the same teabag twice.

Ss will often behave badly to try and impress other kids and be more liked or will follow what other kids are doing to try and bond and develop a stronger friendship. Sadly kids like this end up being the sheep and getting into a lot of trouble.

We try to talk to ss about making decisions and selecting friends. I also try to encourage movies and books that have a message. We are looking at taking him to a child psychiatrist to give him someone to talk to almost as a life mentor.

I will be reading this thread for any other ideas.




#10 *~*Kitty*~*

Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:14 AM

Thank you for all the replies ladies, so many of the responses mirror what I'm talking about and describe better than my frazzled self can articulate at the moment.

#11 José

Posted 29 April 2012 - 11:20 AM

i think he probably does need to speak with someone else. He probably doesnt want to acknowledge to you how hard things are for him. He may feel like there is nothing he can do about the situation he is in- and a professional external to the family may help with this.
i might also talk with the school- maybe year advisor, school counsellor so there is a plan for your son. if he is experiencing bullying he may need a safe zone he can go to at any time and may need to identify teachers he feels comfortable with that he can report any bullying to.
One poster mentioned a diagnosis of aspergers at 18 but said 'not that it matters now' There are people who have been diagnosed in adulthood who describe feeling relieved by their diagnosis, it helps them to understand and make sense of the difficulties they have been experiencing. Not saying ur son is asperger's but if there were other indicators it would be worth checking it out.




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