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I have two sons: 15 and 16 years old. My older boy is very shy and extremely silent. When we are with other people he never speaks with anybody, he talks only to me and never pays attention to others. He has absolutely the same behavior with his father. When I leave the room, where the three of us are he leaves too. They never speak to each other. If his father asks him something he answers only "yes or no".

My husband think that he could not do anything to change the situation and doesn't even try. The boy realize that the relationship with his father is not OK.

I will appreciate any advice.

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I would suggest spending one-on-one time with his father that at first doesn't require much speaking but can include a lot of listening. As time goes on, your other son can be included as "dad activities."

Some examples:

  1. Sporting events, especially baseball
  2. Fishing
  3. Bowling, golfing, etc.
  4. Using tools, make a project
  5. Take a class together at the local rec center
  6. Service projects, such as volunteer work or community cleanups
  7. Worship
  8. Video games

But, considering his shyness and sensitivity, I'd stay away from activities that might require being too critical, or unlikely to foster communications, such as:

  1. Helping with homework
  2. Drivers' Education or supervision
  3. Rock concerts
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  • Hunting or fishing, in particular, are good ways to interact without being verbal. – pojo-guy Sep 17 '17 at 18:21
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I wish I could tell you where I read it (I tried to google, but didn't get much) but ages ago in a book I read that boys open up more when they are active. I have found this to be true with my sons. So a heavily physically active situation that goes on for some time helps them to be more verbal. I can't recall the reasoning, although it was explained. I will look for the book. I do recall the look of the cover, hoping I will find it for you.

So for us what helps is bike riding together, chopping wood would be good at the age you are talking. We are just starting that. Any physical labor that is enough to get you a little winded, but still able to talk is good, so we do things like digging, or moving rocks around the property (I do actually use that to cut back grass/weed). It has the opposite impact on me (I don't feel like talking when working hard, but I do see in my boys it seems to help. If I recall right it has something to do with engaging the portions of the brain that inhibit openness and that by simultaneously talking while being so active makes it more likely to let your guard down a bit. Again, I can't recall anything more specific, so I will dig and see if I can locate that book. It was quite helpful to me and it was gifted to me by a mom of boys who felt it had helped her a lot.

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