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How would you motivate a quiet, homebody, teenage boy to become more socially active without sounding like a nagging mom?”

2 replies so far...

  • My two boys are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. The older one is a social butterfly :-) like his dad. He has a wide circle of friends.

    My younger one has fewer friends but does bond with the select 'privileged'. He is on the quiet side and doesn't need to surround himself with people.

    I think as long as he demonstrates healthy qualities growing up its best to let him find his comfort level in the social circle. What I mean is, is he content being quiet? Or does he try to put himself out there but struggles? If the second, perhaps joining a team at school that has the same interests is a good start.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by NJMom on 8th March 2013

  • I think it is important to ask yourself why you want to motivate your teenager in this direction, first. Some people just aren't wired to be as social as others and in fact it is very draining and uncomfortable for them. Sure, we all end up in social situations and I imagine you want your teenager to be comfortable when those days come along, but it may not work to your or his benefit to push him into uncomfortable settings. In my opinion it's always a good idea to put yourself in his shoes and try to see from his perspective. Maybe ask him gently, with true curiousity, why he prefers not to be social. Ask him if he sees any problems or challenges in his future as a result of his desire to be a lone wolf. Ask him if there are any scenarios in which he would be comfortable being more social. I believe that when kids can contribute to the decisions made for them it helps them become more excited about them. Maybe he'll offer a suggestion that would surprise you, like inviting one friend over to play video games or join him in an activity he likes. Maybe inviting a friend to a movie where they can hang out but don't have to fill a lot of uncomfortable silence. Maybe he'd like to join a sport or a group at school that participates in something he is interested in. Maybe you can start with relatives-does he have cousins or even aunts or uncles that he might enjoy hanging out with?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by normawyman319 on 8th August 2012

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