| 15.9°C Dublin

Close

Premium

Dear David Coleman: My son has lost his friends but won't discuss it with me

Close

Focus more on just listening and showing that you might understand how he feels

Focus more on just listening and showing that you might understand how he feels

Focus more on just listening and showing that you might understand how he feels

Q My son is 15 and is struggling with his friends. His best friend seems to have dumped him and decided my son isn't cool enough to be part of the group. They have all moved on and are not interested in him anymore and he won't accept it. He has great social skills and even plays lots of sport so I don't know what to do to help him. He is down in the dumps about it all but just refuses to talk to me.

David replies:  That sounds like it must be really difficult for your son. I could imagine it feels horrible for him to lose his friends. If they have moved on from him, especially if it isn't clear to him why they have moved on, he may be grieving the loss of them, just as anyone may grieve the loss of a friend, whatever the circumstance that led us to no longer be able to continue the friendship.

If he feels that it was his own fault, for example, if he caused offence or betrayed a significant trust with his best friend, then he may have guilt on top of the sadness, or the feelings of just missing them. If the split has happened simply because one friend has turned everyone else against him, then he may feel that there is an injustice to the friendships ending.