My 12-Year-Old Son Is Unsociable, Please Help!

12 July, 2019
Q My son is very shy and refuses to attend any family gathering or meeting with friends and he is very totally unsociable, I tired to help him to change his attitude but he never responds, he is only 12 years-old, any advice?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

I would kindly suggest getting your son involved in boys groups at the Masjid or Islamic centers which offers classes, groups, and other youth building activities.

•I would also kindly suggest that you inquire about how school is going, finding out if he has any issues at school. Often times children are bullied at school, yet fail to tell teachers or parents and just withdraw.

•Try to get him in groups that are geared towards adolescent issues and education as these types of classes help build solid knowledge as well as address specific concerns he may have that you do not know about.

•Try to focus on things you know he maybe interested in as well such as a sport, a hobby or other incentive which would encourage him to participate.

 


As salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing in to our live session. What your son is going through is normal for his age. At preadolescence, children are often feeling self-conscious, shy, unsure of themselves socially as well as emotionally. They are still trying to find out who they are in this world and where they fit in.

I would kindly suggest getting your son involved in boys groups at the Masjid or Islamic centers which offers classes, groups, and other youth building activities. By getting him engaged in structured Islamic activities with youth his age, this may insha’Allah increase his self-confidence as well as social skills.

Try to get him in groups that are geared towards adolescent issues and education as these types of classes help build solid knowledge as well as address specific concerns he may have that you do not know about. Try to focus on things you know he maybe interested in as well such as a sport, a hobby or other incentive which would encourage him to participate.

I would also kindly suggest that you inquire about how school is going, finding out if he has any issues at school. Often times children are bullied at school, yet fail to tell teachers or parents and just withdraw. Please try to find out if this is the case.

Also, if your husband (if this is a sister asking the question) isn’t already doing so, insha’Allah have him spent more time with your son, taking him places, talking with him, and generally forming a bond wherein your son feels free enough to confide in him if anything is wrong or bothering him. If your husband cannot due to work or scheduling, perhaps you can spend some time with him alone doing fun, no pressure activities to get him to open up.


Check out this counseling video

While it is my feeling that this is normal pre-teen behavior, it never hurts to rule out if there is something else going on as well as getting him involved in positive activities. It is critical at this age as he is entering puberty and will be (or is) going through many physical and emotional changes. Building his self esteem, confidence as well as providing him with accurate knowledge and healthy activities is important at this age.

Insha’Allah, he will soon emerge from this phase and become more social with family and friends and more outgoing. However insha’Allah, please do have patience and give it some time.

We wish you the best.


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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.