OLIVER’S GREATEST CHALLENGE is why he worries so much.
He is 15, a good looking kid but a bit of a late bloomer who still has a very boyish face and has only recently begun to grow taller. Until he started main school, he had a number of friends. They played sports, rode bikes, played video games, had sleepovers and life was great.
Things began to change when he was 13.
Some of the boys in his group started to enjoy being with girls. Oliver liked girls but he wasn’t as confident with them as his friends were. Soon some of his friends started drinking and smoking, they were less interested or available to “just be boys” anymore. At the end of the year Oliver’s main friend joined the rugby team and so his entire childhood social group had disappeared.
In school, he struggled to keep up with the coursework: his self-confidence was suffering; he worried almost constantly and was growing more and more discouraged; he wasn’t having the experiences he needed to become more socially adept and confident.
Extra tutoring meant he wasn’t learning how to manage school work on his own. He spent a lot of time home alone, playing video games and surfing the net… Unfortunately, he was also spending far too much time in his own head, thinking and worrying.
There was no joy in his life and little fun.
THE FIRST THING we noticed when we met him was that Oliver’s posture was tight and rigid. It was hard to get him to speak up. He seemed concerned that he might say something that would reveal he was not “cool”.