How to Be a Good Friend
Teenage friendships are very important. They can provide great learning experiences as well as painful missteps. Your son may have outgrown his earlier friendships or you may see the same faces scarfing down snacks in your kitchen. Regardless of how long your son has known his friends, the nature of his friendships will become more adult in his teenage years.
Defining the characteristics of a good friend is one of the most challenging aspects of adolescence. Your job is to help him identify the attributes he values in his friends.
You can lead by example, but it may also be appropriate to have a conversation with your son about the qualities of a good friend. Having him make a list and helping him add and subtract items may be one way to have him see the qualities of a good friend. Once he knows what he is looking for in a friend, he has something to emulate.
It can be very difficult to see your son seemingly friendless. First, ask yourself why you believe he doesn't have friends. Is it because he doesn't bring people over, gab on the phone, or go out? While these may be indicators, it's also possible that he isn't bringing his friends around for you to meet.
It is very important that you know your son's friends. When possible, you should also try to reach out to the parents of his friends. He may see this as being overbearing or protective, but it's just a part of good parenting.
You might find out that your son has plenty of friends if you e-mail his favorite teacher or talk to the leader of his after-school club. This means he's avoiding having you interact with his friends. Try to find out why this is happening. It could be that he's embarrassed by you or it could simply be a timing issue; either way it's something you should be aware of to try to brainstorm a solution.
If your son truly does not have friends, you may want to figure out why. Is your son depressed? You might seek the advice of a school counselor or teacher who may see him in a more social setting. They can also help you determine if he needs professional help. Sometimes the solution is helping him find friends who share his interests. Suggest he get involved in after-school activities or clubs. Brainstorm ideas with your son to put him in a position to make friends.