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no close friends

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM
  • 23 Replies

Our 8th grader does not have any close friends.  He is very social, and gets along with lots of kids at school, but does not go out, (to the mall, dances, sporting events etc.).  He is not an athlete, and prefers to stay home and read, play video games, watch tv or help DH outside with projects.  It doesn't seem to bother him, but we worry about him feeling left out, and just not letting us know.  We have not found anything he wants to join.  Unlike every other kid today, he does not have a phone, and does not want one.  In elementary school, he had two really close friends.  They don't really have anything to do with him anymore b/c they are so involved in their own sports which keep them really busy and they hang out with their teammates.  (they don't hang out with each other anymore either b/c they are in different sports).  We have had the opportunity to observe him at school (while volunteering at a couple of events) and he tries to get in the conversation/group, but other than him inserting a few comments, he is really on the fringe, with his "friends" carrying on a conversation amongst themselves.  I know this is generalizing, and not  pc, but he is not a total nerd or gross, but he is also not as far along (physically) as a lot of the boys in his grade.  Has not hit his growth spurt, has a little baby fat still. We would love for him to just have one close friend, or one group that actually seems to appreciate him.  One thing that did bother him is a class trip that is coming up.  He did not end up in a roommate group with any of his friends, and had to get put in a group with "leftover" kids.  He was so upset when this happened that he didn't even want to go.  He has decided he wants to go, but is dreading having to room with these boys, and has said he will sleep in a chair or on the floor.  I don't know what to do for him, if anything, or if I'm just getting this off my chest. 

 

by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM
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luvmygirlz888
by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

My 8th grade daughter is in a very similar situation with her social life also but I want to answer your question first:

I know it is so hard to stay positive in front of him but there is always a positive spin to this.  Tell him that he may feel like he is in the "leftover" group, but in reality those classmates may have actually requested to be in a room with him.  They may be just as shy or quiet as he is but maybe this class trip will give him the chance to get to know other classmates (who hopefully will turn out to be a true friend).

Have you asked the school why your son did not get one of his requested friends on the room assignments?  When my school organizes sleepaway trips, the students need to write down a list of 4-5 classmates that they prefer to share a room with.  They are then told that they will guarantee that your child's request will be honored with at least one of the names on their list.  It is a very time-consuming process for the school, but it is really about the students having a good time and to feel as comfortable as possible when they are away from home.

Maybe the school can change accomodations if you explain your son's situation (that he does not even want to go on the trip).  You obviously are not spoiling your son by looking into this matter, but the school can explain the change to the boys/families involved by saying that it is an allergy matter.  I think you should attempt to see if the school will honor your request---they may not even know how concerned you are and I am sure they would want to put your son in a enjoyable and calming enviornment.

Hope this helps...

 

 

 

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on May. 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I'm concerned about this chair or floor field trip.  YOu mean to tell me that they are putting the boys 2 to a bed??  That's not appropriate.  Maybe he will learn something about these new boys and get friends.  I wouldn't worry too much about it, my son is an introvert and nothing is going to change him.

cege
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2012 at 10:38 AM
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I understand your concerns. The only thing I can say is that both my kids made a lot more friends once they reached high school and the pool of kids got much bigger.  I would also really encourage your son to get involved in some activity, ANY activity outside of the house.   I know you stated he hasn't found anything he wants to join but I'd keep trying.  In regards to the school trip, I agree with the other posters that maybe he could look at it like an opportunity to become friends with one of the other boys. 

jandhmommy
by on May. 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Thanks everyone.  Unfortunately, the kids pick their roommates, and his friends already had their 4-somes picked out. The advisor can't change up the rooms.  They also do their sightseeing with their roommates, and a few other rooms.  She said she would try to put his room with some of his friends, but couldn't guarantee anything.  I tried to get him to nail down a group earlier this year, and not wait till the last minute, but I think his lack of sociability outside of school really hurt him.  He thought he had a group with an old friend (who said yeah, probably to my son's request to be in his group), but the day of the picks, that friend already had a foursome. After the initial roommate pick, the teacher has all the other kids come back another day, and pick from among the kids left.  Only 13 boys left.  One boy he knows of from elem. school, kind of an oddball.  Another has emotional problems, and son has seen him have meltdowns at school.  Hoping the third boy is the charm, lol.  He doesn't know much about him, except that he is not a popular kid.  He chose the least  large among those left over, I guess so he wouldn't have to share a bed with someone much bigger than him.  I am hoping he will make more friends in high school, although with only one middle school, the pool will only be larger b/c of older kids.  He does seem mildly interested in mock trial.  Maybe will push him to join youth fellowship at church.  I do know that middle school seems to be the hardest, with everyone trying to fit in, be cool etc.  I was an introvert too, and didn't go out socially much until high school.  Here's hoping.  :)

Danielle163
by on May. 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM
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 The "leftover kids" are probably the ones that would be true-blue friends................

bizzeemom2717
by Jen on May. 2, 2012 at 2:48 PM
I would really encourage the mock trial and youth group sounds like an excellent idea. As I was first reading your post I thought maybe he was happy being an introvert, then read further, and saw he is feeling left out. You may also really want to encourage a cell phone...it is the main way kids his age communicate (through texts rarely talk on phone). We just moved 6 hours from home last summer and my DD had to come to a middle school of 700+ not knowing a soul. The first day I picked her up and thankfully she had exchanged cell #s with a few of the girls and they ended up texting each other right away. She told me it is MUCH MUCH easier to reach out and text a friend then call, just a thought? (((Hugs))) to both of you and good luck.

Quoting jandhmommy:

Thanks everyone.  Unfortunately, the kids pick their roommates, and his friends already had their 4-somes picked out. The advisor can't change up the rooms.  They also do their sightseeing with their roommates, and a few other rooms.  She said she would try to put his room with some of his friends, but couldn't guarantee anything.  I tried to get him to nail down a group earlier this year, and not wait till the last minute, but I think his lack of sociability outside of school really hurt him.  He thought he had a group with an old friend (who said yeah, probably to my son's request to be in his group), but the day of the picks, that friend already had a foursome. After the initial roommate pick, the teacher has all the other kids come back another day, and pick from among the kids left.  Only 13 boys left.  One boy he knows of from elem. school, kind of an oddball.  Another has emotional problems, and son has seen him have meltdowns at school.  Hoping the third boy is the charm, lol.  He doesn't know much about him, except that he is not a popular kid.  He chose the least  large among those left over, I guess so he wouldn't have to share a bed with someone much bigger than him.  I am hoping he will make more friends in high school, although with only one middle school, the pool will only be larger b/c of older kids.  He does seem mildly interested in mock trial.  Maybe will push him to join youth fellowship at church.  I do know that middle school seems to be the hardest, with everyone trying to fit in, be cool etc.  I was an introvert too, and didn't go out socially much until high school.  Here's hoping.  :)

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drfink
by Emily on May. 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM
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I also encourage you to help him reach out. If there is just one or two that he semi socializes with help him.If possible look for something teen type cool or interesting and include the kid.I have very almost too social kids but they have seen other parents work this.

There is a brilliant semi-loaner boy that was in an organization with one of my sons.They got along fine just not friends .They invited my son to Laser Quest once and paint balling once and pizza of course.With the time alone bonding they developed a real friendship.My son started including him in his stuff ,the boy met  other guys in the group.He still is an more introverted teen but he definitely has friendS now.

I admire his parents efforts and thought they put into this.He is a great kid .

rkoloms
by on May. 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM
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What about activities outside of school, like summer camp, enrichment classes, synagogue/mosque/synagogue youth group, volunteer project, etc.?
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PinkieRed
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:04 PM

 Poor kid!

My 14 year old daughter is much the same way. She has many friends at school, but there's really only one girl (from school) who she hangs around with. She goes to a very small alternative Catholic school for special needs kids, and there's only 14 kids in the 8th grade, of which 10 are boys. There's about 140 kids from K-8th grade, in the whole school.

With the school being so small, and kids coming from 7 different counties, they can't really offer much in the way of extracurricular activities and that makes it hard for my daughter to get together with other kids from school. The school has a dance a few times a year for the junior high kids, and my daughter has gone to those, though.

Her best friend from school lives 40 minutes away, so they aren't able to see each other that often. She talks to a lot of kids from school on Facebook, but she still gets bored and lonely a lot. My daughter was bullied at her previous elementary school, so that's really hurt her self esteem, and made her cautious about making friends.

My daughter's been in Girl Scouts for 8 years now, and loves it, and that helps somewhat with giving her something to do. She gets along great with the girls in the troop, but she's not really friends with any of them outside of Girl Scouts.

She'll be starting high school in the fall, and I told her she'll have more opportunities to make some good friends then, with the school being bigger, and her having a chance to participate in extracurriculars.

I do understand how your son feels. I hope things get better for him.

 

atlmom2
by Susie on May. 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM
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Has he never had friends, ever???  Join clubs in HS.  I made my girls be in at least one club.  Our principal suggest it as its great for colleges to see and kids that are involved are less likely to fall in with a bad crowd.  My girls also joined tennis.  Its a non cut sport so everyone plays no matter how good or bad you are.  150 girls split between 5 teams. 

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