Adolescent Son Is Shy and Awkward Around Girls

How can I help my 15-year-old son feel more confident around girls his age? He's still very shy and nervous in mixed company, and I'm looking for ways to give him a boost in this area. Any suggestions?

We appreciate the fact that you’re concerned about your son, but we’ve also got some news for you. Millions of 15-year-old boys are shy and nervous around girls! So this is a very common problem – if it’s a problem at all.

The early teen years are incredibly challenging. Kids are going through puberty and all of the physical and emotional changes that go along with it. They’re dealing with peer pressure and want desperately to fit in and be popular. And, of course, they are trying to relate successfully to the opposite sex.

Most teens in our culture are very self-conscious about how they look, act, and are perceived by others. One of the best ways to combat self-consciousness is to serve others. Teens who reach out to others or get involved in service projects often feel a tremendous sense of fulfillment. And in the process of serving others, they begin to focus less on themselves and build more confidence. One thing you might try, then, is to encourage your son to get involved in a club or organization that is service-oriented. The school counselors should be able to recommend some good ones, either at the school or in the community.

If your son isn’t involved in a youth group, ask other Christian parents if they can recommend one. It should be a church group that has a strong emphasis on growth and discipleship, while also providing some healthy social activities. If your son’s school has a Young Life club, you might also give him a nudge in the direction of getting involved. Young Life offers teens many opportunities for getting connected and reaching out to others.

As your son gets involved in one of these groups, encourage him to develop some non-romantic friendships with girls to whom he isn’t necessarily attracted. Teenage boys tend to stumble all over themselves around the pretty, popular girls. As he develops relationships with girls who may not be the prettiest but who have solid character, he’ll learn how girls think and relate. As a result, he’ll begin to feel more comfortable and confident with the opposite sex.

If you’d like to discuss this subject at greater length, feel free to call our Counseling department. They’d be pleased to assist you in any way they can.


If a title is currently unavailable through Focus on the Family, we encourage you to use another retailer.

Age of Opportunity

Understanding Your Teen

Get Your Teenager Talking

Practical Advice for Raising Young Men (broadcast) part 1 and part 2

Equipping Your Teen With Character

Praying for Your Sons

Understanding and Encouraging Opposite-Sex Friendships

Training Sons to be Confident, Capable Men

Teen boys

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