Join JustParents to ask for advice and make new friends! It only takes 60 seconds. Join for free

Child shutting down

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I'm not sure if it's due to the teenage years or if there's something more to it. My 15 year old is very secluded. We used to have a close relationship. In the last six months, it has entirely disappeared. He won't tell me how he is feeling. He has no interest in talking to me. He seems to get upset when I try to pry anything out of him. I've tried to do things with him but he shows no interest. Is this just a stage some teens go through?

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I don't think you should worry so much because he is going through a phase like every teenager does. Maybe you are being too fussy and it does not make him feel comfortable. He is developing into a man with a mind of his own, he needs his space, he needs his privacy but you must anonymously check up on him from time to time.
He could be going through some tough things at school, with his friends or his hormones are merely playing tricks on him. You know you have raised him well, relax and watch your boy turn into a man, he'll be safe.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
My gut instinct is to say that at age 15, it's most likely a natural stage he's experiencing... a rite of passage, so to speak. It seems that many teens are at that place.

BUT for me to sit here and say "Aw, don't worry, he's fine" is not something I can do and feel confident about it. I've seen way too many families in my lifetime treat things like this with that cavalier "oh, it's just a stage" attitude when the teen was actually reaching out and no one was there.

So... my answer is that there's a good chance it's rite of passage, but you'd be remiss not to think of the other possibilities. Has there been any indication that there could be a "substance" issue, either alcohol or drugs? (Yeah, I know none of us want to hear that, but I'm sure you've already let it go through your mind, yes?)

If no indication whatever, could there be a bullying issue at school?

Are you familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression? It is so much more prevalent in teens now than it was just a decade ago.

Does he have a teacher or close friend you could talk with who would keep your confidence that you asked about him?

I think you're an exceptional mama because you're not willing to let it go with a "la la, all's fine" brush-off without confirming that it IS indeed fine.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I remember I was like this when I entered the teenage years. I felt it really hurt by dad's feelings. Nothing was wrong, other than EVERYTHING that was wrong in a teenager's life!

I think the important thing to remember is to stay present and don't change your attitude or way of interacting with him, even though he has changed. I would just "ignore" his attitude in a way, and keep acting like you are close, and keep sharing from your side. He may be going through a stage, or it could be more serious, but either way you're not going to find out from his lips if you start pestering him or nagging him about his attitude.

If you stay constant for him, he will come back to you in his own time.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
These are the teenage years. I will be going through this in about 3 years and I'd rather leave it. This is the time where all teens think their parents are jerks..and would rather be anywhere else but around them. Don't take it personal...I can remember when I was going through the same thing. I thought my parents were old and needed to get a life. I would read about these teenage years and all that he will be going actually will gets worse before it gets better. Hold will not be like this always...stay strong.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I understand your concern. I also have a 15 year old and he sounds a lot like your child. My son comes home and usually goes straight to his room. I try talking to him and he usually has very little to say. It is so hard to read him or understand what he is thinking. I hope this is a phase. I miss the days when me and my son did things together.

posted 8 years 4 months ago
I should probably have added that I have another teenager that is two years older than my 15 year old. He went through a secluded type stage and our relationship wasn't as close anymore. This is different than that. He does go to counseling due to some problems we had with self harm over the summer. His counselor says he tells her stories and tells her what she wants to hear. He will not open up to her either. He says he's fine and that nobody can help him or that he doesn't need anybody's help. He is happiest when he is at school so I know there are no problems there. He doesn't use drugs or drink alcohol. I have caught him smoking cigarettes in the past as well as a vapor but nothing else.

I'm not the type of parent that can just shrug it off and think that I raised him right and just sit back and wait. There's something more to it and if I don't worry about it, I could be in the same situation so many parents face on a day to day basis.

Oh and I don't recall who mentioned it but no I'm not a fussy parent either. I don't think asking your child how his day was, why he appears to be unhappy or upset, and asking him why he's not willing to talk to you anymore is being fussy.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
You are certainly not alone there. We had a similar issue with our oldest son when he was growing up, and it was a phase. He is generally more secluded and keeps to himself to begin with, but when he was a teenager it was to the point of being a little alarming. I think that the best thing to do is be open and honest and hope that everything that is out of your control is okay.

posted 8 years 3 months ago
I think it is great that you are concerned and noticed that your son's behavior has changed. I remember when I was that age and I liked to be alone and secluded. I know some will say that it is normal for teenagers to be like that but I think it just depends on the severity of the change. If you are concerned about then there would be no harm in seeking professional help even just for your peace of mind. Being 15 years old is not easy and you go through so much emotional changes. I know for me I liked being alone because of my depression so this may be a contributing factor in your son's change in behavior.

Join JustParents for free to reply


Questions needing your answer

Latest Reviews