When your kids do everything right but do not socialize is it still a big issue?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by A dad, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    You see this forum deals with the issue of adult children refusing to grow up but it seems the issue is mostly lack of a job, drog use a lot of it, bad friends, children out of marriage, children when you can not even support them aggressiveness and all kinds of abuse but what when those mentioned are a issue but is the lack of a social contact as most of those above require you to be in contact to other people but when you avoid them is it also a failure to grow up.
    Lets say you have a job and you depend on no one but you are alone no friends grilfriend/boyfriend just the job and the activities you have alone. Is it a failure to grow up?
    I should probably post this in parents emeritus but I wanna know the opinion of the community in general to such a person?
  2. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I don't think it matters so much what they're doing, alone or socially, as long as they're doing it themselves, funding their own lifestyles, taking responsibility, making their own choices, living independently.

    Hubby and I disagree big-time about the relative maturity of our respective sons:

    My son went to university and didn't come home again after he graduated with a good degree. He's lived rough, on the streets, has been involved with various environmental activist groups, currently living off grid outside society with no money. He's broken my heart in the past but now I accept his life. It's his choice. Totally non-conformist.

    My step-son is a similar age. Scraped through university allowing his studies to interfere with his social life only minimally. Got a useless degree. Went back home to live with his mother who still does his washing etc, still there. Working. Socialising. Conforming to a certain extent.

    Who's more grown up? (and who's more boring?)

    I say my step-son should grow up, move out, stop living like a little boy, get in the real world.

    Hubby says my son should grow up, get a job, conform to society, get in the real world.

    Who is correct?
  3. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    None only if you combine the 2 good things each other have and make one being of them you get a grown up. My opinion of course.
  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I do not see this as a failure to grow up. I would much rather this be the scenario with my son.

    My son will be 34 in a few months and he is living his life on his terms which I have come to accept. What I cannot accept is him blaming everyone else for how screwed up his life is and behaving this way does not reflect maturity.

    I have a co-worker who has a daughter similar to what you describe. An adult who has a good job, and is responsible but does not have a social life. My co-worker complains about it, how she will never get married and give her grandchildren. She doesn't know how lucky she is. Her daughter lives a quiet life without chaos and drama.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The world has always had these kinds of people. Being self-supporting is the biggest single definition of growing up, in my estimation. If you can hold down a full-time job, pay all your bills, cook and clean for yourself (or pay for it to be done), not getting into trouble with the law, not abusing illegal or legal substances... I'd call that "grown up".

    Some people don't have the social skills to support a "social life". If the person is content being that way, I don't see the problem. If the person is not content - there are avenues of help and support to move in the direction they want to move, as an adult.
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  6. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi, Adad

    Does your son want a social life or is he happy the way he is?

    If he is happy the way he is, I don't think it is a problem at all.

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  7. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I do not know he never opened up to me or his mother so I have no idea and my observations of his behavior still brought me nowhere. But in my knowledge there is a need that is considered the normal thing for a a human to socialize to have a mate to love and be loved. Am I wrong is that not a disorder from normal conduct?
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    First, that has nothing to do with being grown up.

    It certainly isn't an "average" thing to do to be more of a loner, but it is NOT necessarily a disorder either (although it could be). And even if it IS a disorder such as Autism Spectrum or something along those lines, what difference does it make now?
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    What was he like I school? Did he have, or at least try to have friends?

    Did he have any diagnoses?

    I do agree that most people want some kind of human interaction. I think most people have a friend or family member that they interact with to some degree. Or maybe they participate in a group on the internet.

    Does your son have interests? Could he be on the internet discussing them with like-minded individuals?
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Having been one of those who survive just fine with minimal social contact I can say that, at least for me, it reflects a level of comfort with social situations. I was never diagnosed with anything but can assure you that I've had severe anxiety issues with large social situations. I'm most definitely an introvert. I have very few people I would call friend, but those who are friends I would do just about anything for.

    I'm much better than I used to be. When I was in high school, just a trip to the mall with my family for Christmas shopping could almost send me into a panic attack. I can deal now but vastly prefer sitting around with a few good friends over a larger social situation.

    The fact of the matter is that no one is the same. I require little social interaction to be happy where others crave it. It all depends on the person. As long as it doesn't interfere with them functioning at work or in society then no, it is not a failure to grow up.
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    There's a very big difference between being alone and being lonely. I think a person who is a bit of an introvert and is happy on his or her own, is perfectly fine. Not everyone is meant to be the life of the party.
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  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Watercooler was meant to be a non-kid issues forum. "Parent Emeritus" is adult kid issues forum, and drug issues is generally on "Substance Abuse" forum. Good observations, but you might find folks who are more studied in those issues either of those spots rather than the Watercooler forum.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    NLJ- I am an aging hippy, so I will vote for the non-conformist. Big factors why
    1. On his own, Mommy is not doing his laundry etc.
    2. If the grid does go down, he's got it.

    As for the whole socializing thing, mine are over socializers, that is their main focus. I see it as the problem. So, I probably shouldn't even comment.....

  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Interesting thought. My adult daughter (age 22) is in college and very much an introvert, however, she is often lonely and would like more friends. She deals with depression and anxiety (much of it social anxiety). She seeks help and is on medications. on the other hand, if someone is happy being without friends I don't know if I would be as concerned. It would be interesting to see how he feels.
  15. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I can not found out how he feels.
    Let me tell you a conversation with him usually works.
    "Hey, How are you?"
    Answer:I am ok.
    "What are you doing?"
    "Are you ok are you not sick?"
    Answer:No I am good
    "How is at work?"
    "Do you need anything?"
    "Did you got a girlfriend?"
    "Ok bye."

    A conversation with him is short and well you get nothing from him. Also I am always the one who engages in conversation with him and calls he never does and many times rejects my calls.Kind of a opposite to the Difficult Children that are usually a problem here.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The classical conversation with a teenager:
    Parent: Where did you go:
    Teenager: Out
    Parent: What did you do?
    Teenager: Nothing

    As parents, we seem to be programmed to ask a whole bunch of questions. Which our kids then take as not trusting them, or being invasive on their personal space, or just plain annoying. The more specific the question, the more pushback we seem to get. And that's from typical teenagers.

    Once this pattern is developed, I'm not sure how to change it in a long-distance relationship. It's hard enough to do when they are still living under your roof.
  17. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Conversation with husband:


    "Good day in work?"

    "What do you fancy for dinner?"

    "Ok if I draw a few thousand out of the bank and buy myself a new car?"

    (The Rugby World Cup is on at the moment, so it's worse than usual - but not a lot worse)

    Adad said: "A conversation with him is short and well you get nothing from him."
    Your son sounds completely normal. Why do you think he has a problem and what are you expecting from him? Do you have older children and find that this son is different from the others in his behaviour? I'm wondering what scale of 'normal' you are measuring your son against.
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015
  18. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    I never said that they way he has a conversation is not normal is just that I can not find a thing from it. And yes I have a older child and he really like to open and talk about him like how was his job today who he dated what did he do to explain how exactly he fixed a issue at on installation he was working on in every detail lets say its a difference.
  19. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    They're all different.
    Some are introverted and some are extroverted.

    It's not for us to tell you not to worry.

    We can only tell you that the behaviour that you describe seems pretty normal and that most parents will have experienced that with their teenage and young-adult offspring at some time.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    A dad - does he seem unhappy? Does he seem sad? Does he complain of being bored? Does HE seem to fret over his lack of a social life? If not...I really think he's fine. A lot of people just aren't social. Really, I think most of those people are okay.

    I have a Facebook friend who is very isolated. She complains about it. She talks about moving where her kids are so she can have company. She mentions that if she died, her pets would starve before anyone noticed. She can't join a sports team or get a job because she's disabled. She hasn't got a church because she's a witch. (That's not a comment on her personality - I mean it literally - she says she's a witch.) She's always talking about how bored she is. She's not okay.

    My own son whines that he's bored. He complains that no one wants to hang out with him. He comes over "just to have someone to talk to ... no one ever talks to me!" even though he lives in a house with three other people and could get a job and see people every day if he wanted. He believes that he has to have people around all the time. He HAS to have friends. He HAS to have a girlfriend. Otherwise he's miserable. He's not okay.

    But if your son has a job, maybe he gets enough social stimulation there? Maybe he simply doesn't feel like going out with a bunch of drunken idiots. Maybe he hasn't met a girl that has caught his eye. He's living his life...on his own. It may not be the most exciting life, but in my opinion, just because a person doesn't crave interaction as much as other people, doesn't mean there's something wrong with them.
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2015