Friday, September 17, 2010

Confidence Game

"You can tell me." "You can tell me anything..." "Don't worry, I only want to help you..." I have an extremely close relationship with my son. I have used these phrases time and time again and I always get the same responses "I know", "I do" "Nothing is bothering me..." My issue is that I do not always believe him. I am not worried about bad behavior or disciplinary issues with my ten year old son, I am concerned that when things involving self doubt, apprehension and confusion set in, will he come to me for guidance? 

One of these guidance issues is friends. My wife and I are concerned about his apprehension to want to see friends outside of school or a specific activity. My son can be outgoing in the classroom, and especially in an athletic setting. He plays many sports with a wide diversity of kids in our town as well as in neighboring towns. He has been going to Hebrew school for three years at the same place with the same class. Our concern is when those activities are over, he is not being proactive in seeing them in his free time. When we question him he says "He enjoys his alone time." I am puzzled by his lack of close friendships but when I want to speak to him about it he quiets up. I do not know how to guide him through the thought process, especially when he repeatedly states "There is nothing wrong." Could it be that he really does like his alone time and I am making a big deal out of nothing? Over the summer we struggled to get him to call friends to hang out. He fought it hard, too the point that my wife or myself would dial the phone to make the first call. Then he would make the subsequent calls and after a few kids became excited to hang out, my son would become enthusiastic to see them. While spending time together, the kids would be like very best buddies, chatting and enjoying their company during that period. If they call him, he immediately lights up and is eager to see them.  So why is it that that feeling does not propel him to be proactive the next time?  I do not want to badger him into an uncomfortable situation or make him feel like an outcast, so I am struggling to find the correct course. 


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