GlendaM asks:

How can I help my 6 year old son?

My 6 year old son is in first grade and at the beginning of the year he did make friends with another little boy but weeks later the little boy pushed him one day and now he doesn't want to talk to him anymore, says he is not his friend . I observed him in school the other day and saw him sitting on the grass alone watching the other kids play, when I asked him who he played with he said nobody because he doesn't have friends and nobody wants to be his friend. It broke my heart. He can be very shy and quiet and won't approach. When I asked him to try to talk to the other kids he said no becuase they don't want to talk to him. What can I do to help him?
In Topics: School and Academics, Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago



Dec 6, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Glenda M,

I'm sure it breaks your heart to see your son not playing with the other kids at school.  It is important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your son.  He needs to feel safe to come and talk to you and for you to help him to work through this rough patch.  Here a few few things you can do to help.

Invite a friend over for an afternoon.  This could be someone at school or from somewhere else (maybe church or sports team).  Your son needs to believe he can have a friend of any kind.  Plan the afternoon's activities together.  It might include bowling or building something (Some of the larger home stores offer free or low cost projects for kids).  Make it fun, but structured.  If the other child is from school, it won't take long for word to get back to the other kids what a cool kid your son is.

Join a team or club.  Ask your son what he would like to do or learn more about.  Then check with your town to see what they offer.  Don't forget to look into the town's recreation department, YMCA or Boys Club.  If your son isn't crazy about being active or involved in a sport, check out the library to see what they have to offer.  I have seen where they sometimes offer classes in chess or have guest speakers he might find interesting.  Chances are there might be other boys his age for have the same interest.

Be a role model.  Teach your son how you make friends.  Explain how you introduce yourself to others and grow a friendship.  Encourage him to try out those skills as well.  For example say you are at the park and you see another parent and child about the same age as your son.  As you introduce yourself to the parent, he can say something to the child like, "Hi, I'm Matt.  Want to play on the swings?"  You are right there to guide him which makes him feel safe.

Hope this gives you some ideas that can help your son.  Good luck!

Barb k

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