My son needs a friend......

@peedielyn (1211)
United States
October 22, 2008 8:38am CST
I have an 11 year old. He is so smart, rather cute kid. I was wondering how to get him out there to make new friends. We were talking the other day and I told him that if he wanted to invite some friends to his birthday party he could. He looked at me kinda sheepishly and shook his head. I noticed his face was turning red and I said, You don't have any friends do you? He said no. We live out in the country so he can't just ride his bike to the neighbors and visit with other kids. I also noticed that he cannot get passed the video game, fantasy state. He is constantly drawing Sonic the hedgehog, or Pokemon characters. We have taken his games for the year, and plan on getting him other things for Christmas other than video games. His school work was sliding, just so you know, that I am not a mean mommy. We decided that he needed to do things outside like normal kids. So, he goes outside climbs a tree and sits in it for hours. Do you have a little one like this? Do you know how to get him out of his shell? We have tried just about everything! Help please!!
4 people like this
23 responses
• India
23 Oct 08
For a balanced mental development, there is no substitute to a good friend. A thinking and living humanbeing and not a computer which just responds to your commands. By having a friend one learns to share, argue, debate things out, importance of group activity etc. he must join some club where they teach some arts and craft which he cna attend along with other kids. he ahs to be drawn out of his shell. he must join a local sports club and play basket ball or foot ball or base ball. he must rough it out with other children. Send him on a excursion with other kids of the school or on a hiking trip where mom an ddad are not with him and just kids his age. Don't make him a recluse. Tell him that if you want to make friends, you have to go out of your way. No one is going to come to you. If yo are friendly then ony others will respond. I used to tell my daughter that and slowly she changed. All the best
2 people like this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Awesome feedback! Thank you. I planned an early vacation for fall for the kids at Hocking Hills. I think that would be great! I have 4 moms going and we all have 4 kids, this just might work out! Brilliant! I tell ya. Thank you for the response!
1 person likes this
@ssj3goku (113)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I'm sure he'll grow out of the fantasy state soon. If you want him to make friends take him to the part or enroll him into an organized team sport. This way he would have to interact with the kids in the area. I advocate getting him toys other than video game for Christmas this year. Video games are ok up to a certain age, but if you keep playing them later on, they have a potential of causing social anxiety. (biased of no research, just what I have seen)
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
He likes board games so we are working on that for Christmas. His birthday is this weekend and he is getting stuff like clay, a wheel for the clay, new music for his old keyboard, and some more drawing paper. I am hoping that the art supplies might be enough. We showed him what twister was and he thought that was better than cheese! I never seen a reaction out of a child like that! I know what you mean with the video games. I used to sit day in and out with Halo while I was pregnant with my two younger children. I forgot about my friends, I would just work, come home, shower and sit in my robe with the game. I was obsessed! Thank you for your help!
1 person likes this
@hildas (3031)
22 Oct 08
My daughter is now 12 and she was (I say was) just like that. She would watch tv for hours, stay on pc to long or just refuse to go out, 'even when girls in my area called for her'. I was just like you, I was worried something was wrong. Was she being bullied at school? No. She has this year moved house, and has found one friend she relates to in every way. They can only have each other and get jealous and upset, when another child is around. They play the same childest stupid games, that I would have grown out of by now when I was her age. She has her own style of dress, that I do not agree with and seems to stick to the same clothes, 'Favourite old ones'. She does not like change. Every thing has to be the same. I suppose shes a dreamer, has a great imagination, is indeed different from my other 3 daughters. She has improved and goes out alot more. She still likes to stay in somedays but shes not half as bad. Try one big change with him that he might like, (joining a club). Maybe if he invited someone 'he likes' at school around, thats not a friend they might become his friend. He may lack confidence. My daughter would not speak in class for two years. They put her in a smaller group of 6 in a special needs group (just to help her confidence) she came out of her shell a little and didnt need to go back after 4 weeks. I myself have always been a loner,I like to be by myself a lot. I have done OK. Make sure your son is not being bullied at school (he is probably not). I probably have not been of much help really, but he will be Ok.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Enoch is definatly different! He gets along wonderfully with his siblings--almost worries me there too. He doesn't pick fights, does his chores and is really happy. Maybe I am overreacting. I just want him to be happy in life and not feel left out. My mom said that he will be alright too. She thinks that it's all in my head. Who knows? Thank you for the help. I appreciate it.
@hildas (3031)
23 Oct 08
No problem:)
@camomom (7537)
• United States
22 Oct 08
Are there any after school activities he can join? Maybe start taking him to kid friendly places to meet others. My stepson is 7 and has no friends except the 8 year old girl next door and that's only because her mom and I forced it. At his moms he doesn't have anyone but his 3 year old sister and grownups. He also is attached to his video games at her house and never goes outside. We do not allow video games for him except once in a blue moon, then we limit it to 1 hour. He's the type that thinks if another kid talks to him that they are automatically best friends but he actually has none. We tried putting him in baseball but the other kids and him just didn't seem interested in one another. I don't lnow what else to suggest. Good luck.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Thank you anyways. I might just go to the school come parent teacher conferences and see if they might have something for kids like him. I want to be involved as much as possible but then again I hated it when my parents shadowed me. We are working on homework now together and he seems to get irritated until I show him a "neater" way of doing things. Thank you again for the suggestions! These are much appreciated!
@camomom (7537)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Good idea to ask the school. I think we'll try that also with my stepson. Hope it works for us both.
@syankee525 (6296)
• United States
22 Oct 08
my daughter was like this.. we tried to get her invole in something like brownies. she did it for a year then didn't want too. i would try to get him invlove in more activies what he might like to do. like an art club..
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I thought the school said something to that affect that they had an extra class that he could take. He draws and paints all the time anyways, so why not? He seems to be good at cartoon characters too. He makes books all the time! Has your little girl ever been accused of being "emo" or "weird"? He's been called weird before but the other--not yet. I guess that's why I get worried! Thank you for the suggestion.
• United States
23 Oct 08
back then they didn't have the nemo, right ? but she was called weird, stuipd and cripp.. due her legs. you have to tell let him know no matter what anyone calls him, try not to let it bother him too much,(easier said then done) because as long as he's going out and treating and respecting others right he will be better then them in that way, and he's just as good as anyone esle.. my thing as soon started to hit my daughter i was up there raising hell. how about looking into sending his drawing in somewhere for like contest or somewhere. but look into getting them paten or copyright first. best of luck to him..
@robert19ph (4586)
• Philippines
23 Oct 08
hello peedielyn, I have my son who is now in third year high school. He is a shy type and so what we did is that we let him choose what he likes to do out door before enrolling him. Now he was able to adjust and overcome his shyness. Maybe you can do to your son too. Let him join the sports so he can gain friends and enjoy his childhood.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Thank you! I will try this. I found out that there are all kinds of programs and clubs at his school for him to join in. I am thrilled that most of them are low cost. I have 4 kids, one in soccer, dance, cheer, and the last one is in all three! Maybe I am the one who needs the friends! LOL Thanks again and have a good day!
23 Oct 08
Does he like drawing? In my opinion, you should encourage him, praise him for the pictures he drew, and tell him there are more material for drawing in the surrounding, like the nature and the people around him. I've see a TV cartoon by Hayao Miyazaki who is a Japanese director of TV animation. There was a little girl of 9 years old or so who quite liked writing. But her maths was bad that made her parents angry. And you know, the home education is so rigid in Japan that the children must obey what the father said. Her friends gave her great support that she became a writer when she grew up. I hope this can help you. God bless you.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Encouraging him is a great thing. He is very talented. I guess you don't have to have a "life" to have a life. I just went to get some really cool art supplies and found a couple of drawing books at the library. Hope this makes his day. Thank you for the response!
@lynnemg (4540)
• United States
22 Oct 08
My oldest son, also 11, had trouble making friends for a long time. He was just a loner. He pulled out of his shell a bit this year...finally, when he decided he wated to try playing football. It helped him a lot to be part of a team. Now, he has made some friends with people he played with, and even though the season is over for him, he is still freinds with those tht are in the same grade as he is. I think the best decision i made for him was to get him into extra-curricular activities. It doesn't have to be sports, just anything that gets the kids around other kids with common interests. I feel that it gives them a sense of belonging that they may not otherwise get. I suggest that you find something that your son is really interested in and find a team or group for him to join.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I am hoping that this will work! He's still talking about soccer so I might have struck a nerve. I think when kids have to work together as a team, that they see something in eachother that make things "neat" for them. I hope this gets him out of his shell. I would love to be one of the moms talking about my kid as if he were a god in something. We'll keep trying until we get something we like! Thank you and have a good night!!
1 person likes this
@Nhey16 (2519)
• Philippines
22 Oct 08
i have also have a 9-yr old son, he's just like your boy, very shy. i guess what they needed is more activities even though it would take so much time for them to get out of their shell, coz until now, my kid's still like that. i even joined him to be a candidate in their school pageant for 2 consecutive years, he was able to perform in a stage but still he can't even ask a cashier in a fast food. he still needs me to speak out for him. and he also likes to draw cartoon/anime characters. there are times, i would tell him that im getting mad when he doesnt want to ask. and since he doesnt want me to get angry, he tells the cashier in a fastfood his order. my son's afraid to do it, but then again he needs to overcome his fears. in our cases, since we are so concern with our sons, we just have to do it again and again, we should never give up. coz i know how you feel, im feeling it to.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I guess when push comes to shove, You have to do it. I think that maybe a little more aggression (and i mean it in the nicest way possible) woudn't hurt. My boy loves cartoons and anime. He's really talented at it. I think I am going to push the arts area and see if something else blooms. I hope it does! Thank you for responding!
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
22 Oct 08
Being a parent has humbled me. Especially lately. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I can try to make a few suggestions that might help. I also have a question. Doesn't he have any friends from school? You mentioned living in the country, so for a second I thought he might be homeschooled... You could try signing him up for a school club, or after school activity or some kind of sport...Those are my suggestions. I don't know if they will help. I am going through some problems of my own now with my 12 year old boy. He used to play sports and that helped him to make friends for a while. Unfortunately, he is not playing sports now, because he was having trouble in school especially with getting his homework done when he was having to go to practices and games. Lately he has not signed back up by choice. Good luck finding the answers you seek!
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I apologize, he is in public schools. The day he came home and said that he had no friends is when I started to panic. We are going through a list of activities that he can do. I would love for him to be in athletics but being the way he is, I am not sure that would do. The social interaction is what I would love to see. He needs someone to play with, that is interested in the things he does. I feel that if I open the doors a bit to the outside world, he might feel better. I dunno, hope it all works out for him! Thank you for responding!
• United States
22 Oct 08
I must say, I was a kid like that. I had a hard time making friends and most of my life have only had one or two good friends (if I had any). It's okay, some of us are just like that. Make sure he is sticking with his school work and let him dream. If he likes drawing then see if he can get into a drawing class after school, or some other extra curricular. But be careful, being pushy will make him feel like there is something wrong with him and in reality there are a lot of loners out there.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
You know what?? I just thought about that. Now that I am in my 30's I am a loner. I was super friendly in school but now, I keep to myself, and I am always designing one thing or another. I sew alot and paint things to make them look different. I just realized that I am raising ME! Thank you for that realization! He just told me that he wants an easel for Christmas AGAIN, so I think since he is talented enough to do that, I will. I also just found out by accident that he taught himself to play the piano by EAR! I had to learn by ear too. Wow! What a revelation! Thank you so much!!
@psspurgeon1 (1110)
• United States
22 Oct 08
I don't know how to fix it but I do sympathize with you. My daughter is a tvaholic and seems to be having trouble paying attention in school and making friends. She sometimes comes home and says she didn't play with anyone that day and you know, it just breaks my heart. I'm not sure but maybe some counseling sessions would help. Maybe not necessarily him but if the psychologist could get to know him a bit he may be able to advise you in some things you could do for him. I know I'm about to make my much needed trip there. I like to to go get the renewed vigoration for good parenting from them. Anyway, I know it's hard to see your child appear to suffer, it makes me feel like a failure, and I feel for ya. Maybe our kids should play together... Good luck!!! :-)
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
It is heartbreaking. He seems to be fine, but I think I am hurting for him. I was concidering counceling. Right now, he is failing science, his favorite and excelled subject. He just isn't doing the work. The teachers are saying that he is an introvert and doesn't participate in class. I on the other hand was a social butterfly and didn't participate either. I didn't excel in my classes either. I just don't like the idea of him being lonely. I think I am about to call the councelor at school and see what she thinks, who knows? It might help! Thank you for responding!
@GardenGerty (92276)
• Marion, Kansas
22 Oct 08
The advice I was given, with a son like that, is that the world needs people like that, people who are dreamers. The only difference is he did not have video games at that age, he had books, and you cannot really take those away. Do you put your son in sports of any kind? He might be open to something like tennis or cross country and track, where he is on his own, but with others. Or maybe something like tae kwon do.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Thank you for the support. I am hoping that the discussion that we had tonight might help. He said that he was interested in soccer and swimming. I thought about art classes because that is all he does when he has no video games. I hope that something breaks through. He is a loner but a loveable one. We need dreamers, they make the world go round. I will look into the martial arts scene. That just might do the trick! Thank you!
1 person likes this
@tonniek02 (457)
• United States
22 Oct 08
Hi peedielyn, I know just what you are going through. I was a loner in school and even to this day at 46 spend alot of time alone. My youngest daughter was and is also a loner. But let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with that, it just tends to make then a much deeper thinker, and a person the has values. A kid that spends alot of time alone, learns to watch what is going on around them and tend to avoid problems. Most turn out to be pretty good Adults and become extremly close to there family. Find a day that works for both of you and use that day to be a friend to your kid (not a parent for a day) get out and do something together. My daughter tells the people she knows that I am her best friend. Because I have learned to be a Mother and a Friend to them. Living out in a rual area, does make it hard for kids growing up. But, it also tends to keep them safe. If your son loves to draw...Then focus on that. There are great computer programs that allow you to create some great designs. If you want him away for the computer games alittle, Then get him a camera, and a program like Photoshop or coraldraw and let him find the creative side of himself. It will build confedence, and pride in what they do. Not only that, you will be investing into his future. A Graphic Design or web design make good money in the right area. And giving him the tools to learn will only brouden his future. As far as school work slipping. My rule in the house was....when they got home from school, they were to get all there homework done before anything else. They tend to do better, when everything is still fresh in there minds. There were no phone, friends, tv or games until it was done..This helps to keep the school grades up. Once they had it don't then I let them do other thing. But as I said my daughter is still a loner. When she got her licence I thought she would run all the time. NOP she was home more then gone, and when she did go somewhere, she was home within hours of leaving. She thought it was stupid to spend gas and time on just driving around town. So see what I mean, by being a much deeper thinker...Don't worry. He'll be fine. And when he does find a good friend. It will be a friend for life..And that's the kind of friends people need.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Oct 08
When I was growing up, I was probably a bit like him. Well, we played different games at that time. No video games yet and if there were I couldn't afford one. I never aced myself in games as well, I always came out last from kids my age. I have the least collection of marbles than my cousins. I often wonder why too during that time. I realized now that I'm good in something else which is more beneficial in daily life application. Most of the time, I read. I find myself entertained by the characters of the books and stories that I read. I was a dreamer. I have a son now but he is different, he is very outgoing and find friends easily. a bit of an A.D.H.D kid but very sweet. I also find myself climbing trees when I was young and start dreaming there so you could imagine that I'm on top of the tree for hours. LOL. Every kid is different, with different interest. Have you considered the fact that your kid has a very interesting thought life which will be realized later on in life. I turned out just the way I want to be. Street smart, I love books, I love learning and I can get the job that I want. One thing I'm not is mediocre. Let him be. He is discovering who he is. If yu found something his good at then support him. Don't force him or squeeze yourself as to why is he not the same with other kids. I am very choosy with friends, I want those that will help me develope into a better person and I'm good at keeping them because I choose quality. I hope this is accepted. sheena
• Philippines
23 Oct 08
and one more thing, I lived with two other cousins when I ws a kid they were 1 year, 2 years older than me. I'm not raising my own chair but I have by far lived an interesting life than they do. If life was a raise, a competition I was last in line but I came out first at the finish line.
1 person likes this
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
My main thing is getting him out of the shell that he is in. For about the first 5 years my parents had to raise him because I was in an accident that left me in peices emotionally and physically. I think he caught the old people syndrome. I talked with my parents alot about it last night and they said that "he's a good kid, why worry about it?" I just feel that I don't want him like me. Occasionally, when I am out, I am the center of attention. I don't mean that I go and act eratic, but I have great conversational skills and definatly a people person. But the reality is I only have a few good friends. I am hoping that he finds social skills out there. He seems fine with being just him, but I worry that the social or lack of social skills will leave him a bit immature and left behind. I know I felt that way for years. Thank you for responding!
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
23 Oct 08
One of my 3 sons finds it harder to make friends than his brothers. I used to let it bother me a lot, but then realized that not all kids need a lot of friends. I've done what I can to help him make friends, including putting him in the same class as his twin brother, in the hopes of him being able to feed off of his brother's friends. Another thing I do, is arrange playdates with other parents I know at the boys' school. This gets the adults some chat time, and the kids the chance to play with a smaller group. It's less intimidating for them, and gives them the opportunity to play in a safe environment for longer periods of time. If I had more disposable income at this time, I would put my boys in some extra curricular activities where they could be exposed to some new kids than what they get at school or here at home.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
I feel you on the income part. That is one of the main reasons that I do not have a lot of extra curricular activities. I do have friend in another town and he seems to get along fine with the other kids that he plays with. Hopefully, I can get him started again this year with more playdates. He seems to attatch himself to the adults more than the kids though. I think I am going to try doing more outside things with him to get him out of his shell. Thank you for responding.
1 person likes this
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
23 Oct 08
My son with few friends gets along better with older people as well. In fact, the few friends he has at school that he plays with regularly on nutritional breaks are both in higher grades.
@ememCz (139)
• Philippines
23 Oct 08
He needs socialization. Why not bring him to children parties more often so that he will gain more friends. You can even go to the mall and let him play with other kids. There are alot of kiddie areas where your son can spend some time with other kids of his age. It would be better if you try not to buy games that can only be played at home and worst alone. He can play at home with other kids. Invite his classmates to have snacks with you. That would be fun for him. He seems to be a very shy guy. Let him go out of his shell by involving him to different activities. Send him to swimming, basketball or whatever is his interest. :-)
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
We are working on the interest thing. I am hoping something gives, because I am worried aobut him. Being 11 and alone wasn't cool when I was a kid. I felt left out. I am going to encourage parties and sleep overs for him soon. Maybe I can get a break and he might want to go to other kids' houses. Thank you!
• Singapore
23 Oct 08
I personally understand how you feel as a mother. It is depressing to see ur own son behaving like this. Perhaps you could bring him to have some couselling by professionals as i think it would certainly help him in his developement. I would suggest you to seek help from professionals as soon as possible because you have to tackle this problem since he is still young now as it will be more difficult to solve this problem as he gets older.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
My biggest fear is him growing up alone, and yet still, all those kids who blow up the schools and shootings--arrrggghhh! He's not withdrawn, but he is backwards. He tends to lean to the sound effects and video games when my other kids and he are playing. I just got an appointment for me to see the school councelor to see if I can do anything more. Who knows, he might just be ok!
@kalianju (138)
• Nepal
23 Oct 08
i think you can be your child's best friend. you have to give him more love.
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Thank you! More love is in order then! It's free and unconditional!
@Hatley (161922)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Oct 08
hi peedielyn he sounds like me at thatage, and I daydreamed, and climbed trees,yes I was a little girl, and made up stories in my head, and plays. If he loves to read, maybe he would loveto write, too. see if he would like to write his own stories, sometimes daydreamers become bestselling authors when they'grow up so who knows. or perhaps film directors or whatever,he sounds like he has a lot of imagination. they tried to get me ou t of my tree but didnt really solve anything.If he is artistic give him some art lessons,gethim into clubs with kids who have his same interests,and also think about cub scouts and boyscouts, my years in brownies and girl scouts were so good for me as I was shy but there I was not. think about it.he needs to be with kids who share something with him,
@peedielyn (1211)
• United States
23 Oct 08
Perfect. He writes stories all the time, but I never seen him as a writer--I am blind! I am going to encourage that. I am seriously concidering boyscouts too. This might be a step in the right direction! Thank you!!