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How can I help my 6 year old make friends at school?

My son started 1st grade this week at a new school. Last year, he had trouble making friends in kindergarten, and even by the end of the year, he didn't really have any close friends. His teacher was great at encouraging the other kids to play with him, and encouraging him to ask other kids if they wanted to play, but he was still an outsider. I know I can't expect an instant best friend after only a couple days of school but here is why I'm worried... This morning while we were waiting for the bus, he saw a kid across the street that he wanted to go over to say hi. The bus was already driving down the street, so i told him to wait until he got on the bus to say hi. He told me that he sat with the bus yesterday with him. So today, I see him get on the bus and sit down next to the boy, and then the boy got up and changed seats. I'm so heartbroken for my son. He is such a sweet kid, but that doesn't help him make friends.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Aug. 5, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (6)
  • MAYBE INVITE SOME KIDS OVER AFTER SCHOOL, GET TO KNOW THEIR PARENTS AND PLAN A DAY. THAT IS ABOUT ALL YOU CAN DO, THE REST HE IS GOING TO HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT BY HIMSELF, IT IS ALL PART OF THE LEARNING PROCESS, HANG IN THERE MOM, HE WILL BE JUST FINE, GIVE HIM TIME.
    older

    Answer by older at 1:26 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • try going to the park after school or getting him involved in cub scouts or some other type of activity that way he has more chances to make friends on a smaller scale. when his confidence is up then he will be able to make friends easier at school! good luck!
    threeboysmama

    Answer by threeboysmama at 1:46 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Just curious, is your son one of the older or younger ones in his grade?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:08 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Thank you for the replies so far! I will look into getting him involved in afterschool activities. He takes karate, but it's at a place across town. I'll see if maybe his school has a club or something that he can join. I'm not sure how I can get to know the other parents in his class (to invite them over), but maybe I can volunteer at the school to meet a few of them. My son is younger. He just turned 6 in June, and I'm guessing at least some of the kids in his class are almost 7. That's how it was last year anyway.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:23 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Alright, this may sound extreme, but if your son is one of the younger kids and having these kinds of problems I would strongly suggest holding him back a year. I think being a bit older than his other classmates will help him to become more of a leader and make it easier for him to make friends. Also, if the situtation doesn't improve within a month and you don't want to move him back a grade during the school year, I think you should give serious consideration to homeschooling him for the rest of the year. Honestly, I think being a social outsider is devastating for a child's self-esteem, and two years is too long to let it go on.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:32 PM on Aug. 5, 2009

  • Thanks for the replies! He seemed okay when he got home yesterday, but he didn't want to go to school this morning. He wouldn't give me a reason why, he just said he didn't want to go. I think it might be a bit too extreme at this point to homeschool him, but we might move him to a smaller private school if things don't get better soon. I think that homeschooling him wouldn't help with his social skills, but maybe the public school is just too big for him. Before we do that though, I'm going to try getting him involved in some school activities, and I'm also going to volunteer with his class. His school offers a few different clubs, so I'm going to let him pick one or two to try. Hopefully, he will get more social time with kids his age, and things will improve. :o)
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:47 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

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