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How important is a child's social life?

My daughter, who is almost 9, has only one friend at school (that I know of). She only sees her at school. She won't participate in any extra-curricular activities. I've offered several sports, dance, gymnastics, scouts, art lessons (she's very artistic)...I don't know whether I should try to make her do something or not! We moved 4 months ago and I know kids need time to adjust, but I feel like it's time to move on. She used to be very active in scouts and was part of the student council at her old school.


Asked by sparrowprincess at 10:46 PM on Mar. 2, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 3 (20 Credits)
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Answers (9)
  • Why not do a art class with her over the summer? One of those once a week classes you can find at community or art centers. It could be great mother daughter time AND could get her interested in art classes again. Even a class at a local art store like Hobby Lobby might be fun.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 10:59 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • I never put much into it with my kids, simply because I believed that family time was more important. There is plenty of time for those activities and let her warm up at her own pace. I made a major move when I was in 7th grade. I did so much at my old school, but never found my new school interesting enough to want to do the same things. It's all about the environment. Don't push her, she's still young.. just wait till she becomes a teen!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • I wouldn't push anything on her but keep her options open. Talk with her often and you may figure out what's going on inside her little head. Kids can be so hard to figure out sometimes. :-)

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 10:56 PM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • I do not push my children socially. I usually had one good friend who I did everything with when I was younger and the rest were acquaintances. I always tell them when it comes to friends the quality of a friendship is what counts, NOT how many friends you have. They know what it's like to have a friend turn on them, to be bullied & harassed by people they thought were their friends or have people only want to play with them because no on else is around. My youngest has Asperger's (as do I) & it is especially difficult for him. How do you explain that people are mean & hateful simply because he is different?

    Answer by bookworm65 at 5:15 AM on Mar. 3, 2009

  • Socialization is very important. My son doesn't have very many friends that he hangs out with and I DID and still DO force him to play baseball so that he is socializing with kids his age. He needs to learn how to interact with others. His doctor also told me that it is important for kids to be with others their age. My son has ADD and an anxiety disorder and his doctor wrote an Rx for my son to play baseball and showed it to my son as part of his treatment. As a parent, I won't always be around to be entertaining my son and he needs to learn how to do so himself, as every child does. Join some play groups that involve parents and kids and then ease her into situations without you there. She may still be adjusting to the move.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 3:35 PM on Mar. 3, 2009

  • Well, if you were asking about trying to figure out ways to get your daughter into the popular clique or something like that I would tell you that was unneccessary and probably harmful. But here you are saying you have a little girl who used to be involved in things and now since moving is keeping to herself completely and doesn't seem interested in participating in anything. How does she seem otherwise? Does she seem happy? Or does she seem a little sad? Maybe she misses her old friends and is kind of depressed....So, I would say it might be a good idea to strongly encourage her to get involved in some activity so she can open herself up to having fun and getting to know people. It is not important to be "popular" but it is important to be engaged in life, and that is part of what socializing is. I agree that one or two close friends would be enough, but isolating herself is a different story. So, encourage her to talk to you

    Answer by BJoan at 8:20 AM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • Having friends is important. My mom thought that all I needed was only family. It put a great dent in my social abilities. I believe it also affected every relationship I've ever had. My family was nowhere during the darkest times of my life. I ended up looking for advice online. And I'm still alone because I am such a loser.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:39 PM on Mar. 4, 2009

  • i think it is important, maby have her have a sleepover or something so she get to know a couple of kids better?

    Answer by dawninmanch at 10:53 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • Let her gain friends and participate in activities on her own. She should come around eventually, but if not, go to a dance class, or music lesson together etc. She will feel better that she wasnt alone, and she'll meet people that she has things in common with.

    Answer by lovelymommy2009 at 7:44 PM on Mar. 5, 2009