how can i help my 'loner' 7-year-old son make friends?

How Can I Help My ‘Loner’ 7-Year-Old Son Make Friends?

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.

how can i help my 'loner' 7-year-old son make friends?

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

how can i help my 'loner' 7-year-old son make friends?

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.

how can i help my 'loner' 7-year-old son make friends?

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]

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