Family BondingMy 14-Year-Old Son Has No Friends


My 14-Year-Old Son Has No Friends

An affectionate bond existing between two or more people is known as friendship. Friends can be classified into different categories such as acquaintances, virtual friends, close friends, and best friends. Friends make this difficult world a better place to live in. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have friends in their lives.

As a family consultant, my responsibilities are talking to family and children to help them sort out any emotional and practical problems they might be facing. In one such instance, I came across a 14-year-old boy who had no friends. The parents of that 14-year-old were massively worried about their son as according to them it isn’t normal for a 14-year-old to not have any friends at all.

Hence, I started talking to the boy to not only have a better understanding of his situation but get to know him better in order to come up with the possible reasons why he doesn’t have any friends and tell his parents about the steps they can take to improve his situation.

4 Reasons for Your Son Not Having Any Friends

Every individual is unique and different in their own way and this is especially true when it comes to children. Some children are very extroverted so they can quickly form friendships with anyone. All they need to do is initiate a conversation and instantly they have formed a new friendship. However, it is not possible for all children to possess the same social skills that extroverted children have. Some children are more reserved and introverted to the point that they might not even have friends. However not having friends is not limited to your child being introverted only. There might be other reasons as well such as:

1. Lack Of Social Skills

One of the reasons why your son doesn’t have friends may be because of his lack of social skills. He may want to interact with his classmates but he struggles to initiate a conversation or when he finally does start a conversation, he might feel out of place. Not having adequate social skills leads to having feelings of stress which in turn has an adverse effect on your son’s physical and mental well-being.

Lack of social skills

2. Interests Being Different

Interests being different

it is not necessary that your son has a similar interest in sports that his classmates have. Your son’s interest might lie in reading different kinds of books such as adventure stories, fairy tales, fables, and folk tales or it might be that your son enjoys drawing or making paintings that don’t align with the rest of his classmates.

3. Experiences from past friendships

It is possible that your son’s trust had been broken in his past friendship. As a result, he is frightened by the thought that his trust might get broken again. Therefore he chooses to remain alone and have no friends. The foundation of any relationship begins with trust and this is the case for friendship as well. Once trust has been shattered, it is very difficult to build it back and this might be the reason holding your son back from making new friends.

Experiences from past friendships

4. Arriving in a new community

Arriving in a new community

Due to your professional commitments, you may have to constantly move from one place to another. As a result, your son is not being able to properly form a bond with children of his age. Not only that, unless the interests of your son get aligned with the interests of the new community’s children, he will find it exceedingly difficult to make his way into the existing friendship groups. There is also a possibility that the new community does not have any children who are the same age as your son which results in him not being able to connect to anyone and leaves him to be isolated in the process.

Impact of Not Having Friends

Human beings are social animals and one of the most effective ways of socializing is by being alongside your friends and talking to them. However, if your son does not have friends then it will have devastating effects. A feeling of emptiness will start to grow inside him. Being lonely has emotional and physical effects such as:

Impact of not having friends
  • Increased stress levels: During periods of isolation, the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone increase which ultimately results in your son being more stressed.
  • Not getting proper sleep: If your son is lonely for a sustained period of time, then this will cause him to have fragmented periods of sleep rather than a proper night’s sleep.
  • Weakened immune system: Feeling lonely has a negative impact on the functionality of your son’s immune system and it leads to him having less immunity.
  • Depression: When your son sees his classmates having fun with their classmates, this might lead to him feeling depressed about his life.
  • Anxiety: The absence of friends will result in your son worrying about whether he will ever be able to make friends or not which makes him use up his mental energy and causes him to be anxious.

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Parents’ Role: 4 Tips to Support Your Son

As a parent, you want the best for your son. When you see other children of your son’s age having a good time with their friends, you want your son to have a friend circle of his own where he would get the same amount of enjoyment. However, if that option is not feasible then what should you do to make your son come out of this difficult situation?

There are a number of ways through which you can support your son and give him the feeling that he is not alone and also give him the assurance that you are with him every step of the way. The different ways are:

1. Be your son’s friend

It goes without saying that when your son is a loner and has no friends, it’s your duty as a parent to fill that void and become not only a friend to your son but also his best friend. When your son comes back from school, have a meal together and ask him how his day went. Try to increase your involvement in your son’s life to the point that your son willingly will share everything with you.

Our sons best friend

2. Try to build your son’s confidence

Your son may be very downbeat and he may be feeling sorry for himself. In this situation, your role as a parent is extremely important. Having lots of friends does bring about a feel-good factor with it but discovering something which your son is good at has the same effect.  As a result, encourage your son to engage himself in different activities which keep him busy. By doing so the absence of friends will not be felt by him that much.

Try to build your sons confidence

3. Encourage your son to join groups

One of the ways through which your son can work and improve his social skills is by joining different groups or clubs. When your son is part of a group it will give him a sense of belonging which he would not be able to experience if he did not join.

In addition, your son will learn from other children and since he will be a group member, he will need to communicate and interact with other group members which will allow him to develop his social skills.

Encourage your son to join groups

4. Monitor how your son spends his time

Your son might be spending countless hours watching television and playing video games which are having an adverse effect on your son. For example, he might forget to complete his homework or study for his upcoming exams which will lead to him having poor academic results.

When this happens, it is important for you to take charge and set a certain time frame allocated especially as a means of enjoyment for your son such as watching TV or playing video games. Hence, his academic life is not hampered and he is not deprived of his enjoyment.

Monitor how your son spends his time

The Right Time to Seek Professional Help

The right time to seek professional help

As a parent, you have tried everything within your power to make your son come out of his isolated bubble so that he is able to interact and make friends. However, despite your best efforts, there is no improvement in your son’s condition. On the contrary, it is actually getting worse. For example, your son might have been a mild-tempered person but the state of loneliness has led to him having anger issues. If you start to notice that there is a change in your son’s behavior and that he gets irritated at the smallest of things, then don’t waste any time and immediately look for professional help. Get in contact with someone who is a specialist in dealing with children and tell all of your son’s issues in a detailed manner. And hopefully, your son will be able to come out of the difficult situation he is in.


1. Should I be worried if my 14-year-old son has no friends?

If your son wants to be alone occasionally then there is no need to worry. However, if this continues for a sustained period of time then talk to him and find out the reason why he is isolating himself.

2. What role can I play as a parent to my 14-year-old son having no friends?

our main role is to be a support system for your son. Always let your son know that you are always there for him and he can express all of his concerns to you without any hesitation.

3. Will it negatively affect my 14-year-old son if he has no friends?

Yes, it will. If your son does not have any friends he will not be able to develop life skills such as getting along with different people, resolving conflicts, and finding solutions to problems.

Final Thoughts

Having friends to count on when the going gets tough is not a luxury but a blessing. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have this blessing. This is especially true when it comes to young children. Numerous young children may not have a single friend and as a parent, it is normal for you to be worried in this situation. However just because your 14-year-old son does not have a friend currently does not mean that it will stay like that forever. Finding out the reasons and working on those reasons hand in hand with your son will go a long way in making him come out of this dark tunnel and in the end be rewarded with lifelong friends.

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Tyler S. Rios, a parent of two, shares her valuable insights into family life. Her blogs focus on parent-child relationships and navigating family conflicts. Tyler's wealth of experience empowers readers to handle family challenges with resilience and resolution.


  • Bradi Hughes

    Everything I come up with to try and help my teen, he turns it down. I need professional help. I don’t have friends so I think it is impacting him as well. Who can I talk to locally? What do I search for?

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