January 17, 2006

Poll Question - Youth Groups

I was blogging around today and landed over at Spunky Homeschool and read a recent post regarding the purpose and function of Youth Groups. This was not the first post I had read on the subject (both pro/con) but the first post I had read over at Spunky Homeschool. Anyway, I thought it was very interesting and since it is a topic very-near and dear to my heart, I was wondering what you all feel about Youth Groups? I guess I am asking for a little advice.

My only is 12 and has been attending a small Youth group near our home. It happens to be at a church we also attend but are not 100% confident we will continue to fellowship in. My issue is this -- while I heartily agree with many of the points Spunky makes in her post, I have a problem in that our family "youth group" consists of a whopping 3 members (me, Dad and DS). What do you do with an only child? We are home all day long and in our neighborhood we have no kids to play/hang with. So DS spends a great deal of time with me (of course, Mom loves it) but I know he is missing out on friendships and desires to spend time with other kids.

We had hoped that by attending a small group near our home, that DS would make some friends. This has not happened. He has been consistently participating in activities since July and has yet to be invited to anyone's home, party, or event. Now, I will admit that we haven't reached out in the other direction, mostly because DS says that there isn't anyone he really wants to invite over. I think most of the kids that come are already into a 'clique' of sorts and since most are not homeschooled -- they see one another more often during ps days.

It is a strange problem for us, in that we want so much for DS to have social friends and not be solely a homeschooled kid. Any parents of an 'only' homeschooled child out there with advice to share?

PS. DS is involved in other outlets - like PE through our local homeschool group. He is not athletic and prefers to spend time on the computer (he is quite a whiz at html/flash and other programming stuff), music (he is a gifted musician), and writing/drawing. Should I be concerned? Help!

A Related post> Changing Churches posted here in July 2005


Spunky said...

My advice is to pray. If friendship is what is necessary God will provide. But be careful how much you let your desire for friendships for your son inlfuence him. I have a friend who was in a similar situation. He was 12 and his parents felt he needed friends. They had two younger sons but that were many years younger. They felt he needed friends his own age. They kept looking for friends and it never worked out. But the message wasn't lost on their son. He kept thinking he needed friends too. When he got to be around 16 he found friends. However, they were not exactly what his parents would have chosen for him. But these friends were from a church they attended. When the parents tried to distance him from these friends he was upset. He said, "But mom and dad you've been telling me for years I need friends. I find some at church and you're not satisfied." He is now 23. He is doing better. But it has been a struggle for him and his parents.

So while I think that friendships are important we must be careful not to make the too important. Just some of my thoughts.

In general, I wouldn't be concerned. His interests are healthy. Let him continue with those. The friendships will develop as time goes on in a natural way.

School Marm said...

Thanks, Spunky! I really love your blog - spent quite a bit of time over there today just reading and browing around.

You are right, of course. We want true friends, those 'approved' by the Lord, for our son. We have been incredibly careful with him up to now, really watching out for him and trying to shepherd him in the right direction.

Adult-pressure, I think, is worse then peer-pressure at times. You know the kind, from well-meaning friends and family. I trust the Lord and believe that He has a plan and purpose for my son's life. I want His best and not the rest.

Thanks again for stopping by my blog!

School Marm said...

Oops - how about 'browsing' around. Fingers are tired, tummy is hungry. Time to sign off!