A mom writes in asking for advice about how she can help her 7-year-old son, whom she describes as a “loner,” make friends at school. She says her heart breaks into a million pieces watching her son try to make friends, only to say that “it’s too hard.”
Author and mother-of-four Amber Trueblood, MFT, MBA weighs in with advice below.
A Mamas Uncut fan asks:
“My 7-year-old is having trouble making friends: Advice? I have a 7 year old boy who goes to first grade at school. He was always a loner but lately I can see that it bothers him the fact that he doesn’t have any real friends. He says that it’s too difficult to make friends. My heart breaks to a million pieces. I tried to help him to make friends but I don’t know if I made things worse by putting pressure to him. How can I help him?”
– Mamas Uncut Community Member
More Advice From Amber Trueblood: How Do You Deal with a 4-Year-Old Prone to Uncontrollable Tantrums and Other Attitude Problems? An Expert Weighs In
Advice from Amber Trueblood
For this age, and especially for boys, even one friend can make a huge difference in fulfilling a sense of community and belonging. I recommend asking him for the names of a few of the nicest boys or girls in the class and approaching their parents to set up a playdate outside of school hours.
I’d also request a short meeting with his teacher, and ask her perspective on your son’s interactions with others. This could be extremely valuable information. Kids often only notice or report back a portion of what is happening.
You may find that he plays with lots of kids during class, but takes a long time eating lunch so he misses out on recess play. Or, you may find he’s using a tone of voice with his classmates that gives off a strong vibe of “leave me alone”.
The third recommendation is to get him more involved in a specific area of interest that already excites him… if he loves animals, maybe a kids’ camp or class that works with animals. Any outside activity that requires physical and verbal interaction with other kids who share his interest. (Note: I would not recommend anything involving videogames or online/virtual interactions.)
[Images via Shutterstock]
Amber Trueblood MFT, MBA is an author, retreat-host, and the mother of four sons. She’s an unapologetic bibliophile, having devoured over 250 books on behavior, management, systems, parenting, meditation, and self-development. Her expertise, experience, compassion, and humor result in a unique combination of entertainment and effectiveness with her clients. Interestingly, Amber wrote Stretch Marks, her debut book, while on a Broadway Tour with her husband and four sons, traversing over 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Amber is most passionate about providing mothers simple and realistic tools to guide them toward a happier, calmer parenting life. Her unique approach includes helping clients clarify their values and priorities, then showing them how to use that knowledge to make better discipline decisions, relieve mom-guilt, reduce self-judgment, and become a truly enlightened parent.