zelasko1 asks:

My son and his small clique (2 other friends) have been ignored for the last 2 years. He feels that their small school (700 k-12) sees them as outcasts.

He participates in theatre, baseball, and cross country. He pulls good grades (honor roll). He's cute, friendly, inquisitive about others but says over time it's getting frustrating that no one notices them. He says people avoid him and his 2 friends. One is a bit awkward but very nice and the other is a high functioning, adorable and funny autistic. He says people don't bully him but instead just avoid them. I acknowledge his feelings and listen to him share his thoughts, concerns and joys. He does seem happy at home but I do notice he becomes quiet in social scenes. He tells me later he just didn't want to be rejected or that he was good doing his own thing. He seems ok often but 20% of the time he seems down about it.
I want to make sure that this shall pass and peers will begin to see the amazing, kind and talented kid he is. My friends love him and I am so proud he made friends with and defends "misfits" but it's leaving him lonely. I just don't want him to explode one day. Should I worry about a "Columbine"? Rose in Reno

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago



Dec 13, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

It's reassuring that your son has friends. Often I hear from parents whose kids are on their own dealing with exclusion from peers. That this isn't the case with your son is a blessing. Believe me! What's also positive is the fact that your son has stayed true to these "misfit" friends of his. Too often, a child in your son's position might deduce that his social situation would improve if he ditched them. And, in truth, that might be the case, but at what cost? If he jettisons his friends in order to gain social acceptance from the wider population, how would he feel, deep down, about himself for doing it? Wouldn't that, in fact, make him guilty of the treatment that he is suffering from. I would suggest that you talk to him about the concept of "pecking order" and the injustice of it. Talk to him also about self-respect in doing the right thing (ie, being a good friend) in spite of being shunned. I would also suggest that you use some of his interests to guide him toward after school (and out of school) opportunities to meet other kids. This will open up worlds of possibilities for him to forge new friendships.

I hope this helps!

In friendship,
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