Is there something wrong with my son that he doesn't keep friends long and never really gets called for play dates?
My son is 9 years old. There are lots of kids in our neighborhood in his grade. I have recently noticed that they all play with each other and do not ask him to play with them. He only gets calls for playdates once in a while from kids at school. When he does have schoolmate playdates I am the one who does the calling and sets up the playdate at my house but then no reciprocation. He does play with a few kids from other areas of our neighborhood because my husband and I are friends with the parents. Lately these children are becoming friends with the these local kids and are getting closer, having playdates and sleepovers. My son is being left out and although he acts like it doesn't bother him, I can tell that it does. I told my husband I don't want to continue friendships with our friends anymore because it breaks my heart to hear all about these playdates and sleepovers that my son is being left out of. Is there something wrong with me that I get so mad and feel so sorry for him? Am I wrong for not wanting to continue friendships with our friends? How would I look if I mentioned something to my friends about this? I don't expect my son to be mr. popularity but I do want him to enjoy his childhood and have a few good friends who at least want to play with him. I had a lot of the same issues growing up and there were times I just wanted to crawl under a shell and die. I don't want this for him. Please help with some advice!! Thanks
I have been experiencing the same exact problem for several years and my son is 12. It is getting worse. I have tried taking kids to movies, having swim parties, taking kids to DQ, etc and they go but NEVER does anyone call my son. My son is a straight a student, is very kind friendly and outgoing. Teachers LOVE him and have sent us emails how they have never met such a great kid. I don't understand it and it has worried me for a couple years now. Tonight I finally found out that it is bothering my son as he told me no one likes him or will like him and he was crying. My friends also talk openly in front of me about all the parties their son goes to and my son who is supposedly his friend is never included. Has never been invited to sleep overs, never gets invited to birthday parties, etc. It's horrible. He knows all these people get to go and he doesn't. He also realizes where he sits on the middle school food chain and it isn't at the top. He wished we could move so he could get a fresh start. Help me please someone because this is killing me to see the most wonderful boy in the world hurting like this.........
Hey guys, my son is 15 years old, a completely normal teen, and a really good kid. My son plays JV high school football & hockey, and plays double a baseball as a shortstop, my son is very athletic and a very outgoing kid, but, he barely ever leaves the house and hangs out with friends. This is just coming off the summer, and he only hung out with friends about 10 times, and one day after coming home from the mall, I noticed he was very upset, he told me that he has no friends, and started to cry, I asked him why he doesn't, and he wouldn't tell me, after about an hour of talking he told me that all's his friends want to do is smoke up and party, but my son doesn't want to do any of that, so his "friends" ditched him and don't want to hang out anymore, he showed me his texts, and his friends are now texting him nasty messages and bullying him. It is now September and after being an all star football player last year he doesn't want to play football anymore because he's scared of getting hazed by his a##hole friends. I told him that they are not good friends nor good kids and not to worry, but he seems so depressed and I dont know what else to do, any help????
I must say it is good to know I'm not the only one. My son is just turning 15 in a couple weeks. He is a great kid very well mannered makes pretty good grades and seems to have a fair amount of friends at school. His two best friends are the most popular guys in school. My son plays baseball and football. He is Handsome or at least I think so. His two friends which are at my house a lot. They get invited to all the other in crowd functions they get all the popular girls and yet my son never gets invited anywhere. I just do not get it. Now my son will tell me oh I don't like that kid he is always in trouble or that kid is a pothead ect. Now don't get me wrong I'm glad he's not hanging in a bad crowd. I just feel so bad for him I see it getting him down being stuck at home every weekend with us while his two good friends are out having a great time getting invited every where. I don't know what or how to help him???
This is such a tough situation as a parent. You want your child to be happy, included and valued by his peers. Every parent faces some level of this concern whether it's regarding friends, sports teams, academics, etc. Here are a couple of things for you to consider:
1. Does it bother him? If not, then try and put things in perspective with your own feelings. Relax and see if things are different in a few months.
2. If it does bother him, ask him what he thinks the problem is. You may find that he is making good choices with who he wants to hang around.
3. Objectively observe his behaviors when he is around other kids. Is there anything he says or does that might be a turn off to the other kids? If you notice things, try to teach to the behavior afterward.
4. Understand that some kids are independent and don't require a large circle of friends, he may be one of those kids.
5. How does he get along with other kids at school? Sometimes teachers have great insight in kids' relationships.
6. If you feel comfortable with one of your friends, ask for her input. Approach it in a way where you are not criticizing or angry, but that you have noticed what is going on and want to help your son if their are behaviors that he needs to work on.
Above all, maintain your friendships regardless of what is going on with your kids' friendships. Kids aren't always going to get along with each other, but may be best of friends again tomorrow. Don't paint yourself into a corner or isolate yourselves because of what is going on with your son. It won't help you or him in the long run.
In the meantime, spend time with your son. Support him and make him feel good about himself--your love and encouragement will be key as he is goes through the many ups and downs of growing up!
I think this is a part of his personality. Friends come based on one's perception and personality. You do not want to push him too much to play with friends if it is not bothering him My son is turning 8 and he always changes his friends. But whoever we ask, they all like him. I would suggest engage him in some group games. Find his natural interests. Lots of big thinkers in the history were having very little friendships.
Hi, I am the proud mommy of three sons ages 8, 5, and 3. I googled "children love coming to my house but NEVER invite my kids over to theirs"- and this thread was a top hit. The thing with me is that my older kids do have friends; however, it always seems that playdates and visits only occur at my house. One child in particular has been to our house over 20 times throughout the past couple of years...maybe more. During the county fair, i somehow always get stuck with said child.....whether it be watching them as his oblivious parents tend to their own affairs, and then having to take this child to the carnival (which CAN get expensive) - and may i add that this has happened two years in a row. I don't mean to be cruel. I love this child, although he has a reputation for being quite rambunctious and a trouble maker. I can't say that I've ever had a major problem with him. My issue is that his parents are taking advantage of me and my kindness. Just today, as I was picking up my older kids from school, there was the little boy.....clinging on to my 8 year old asking him to ask me if he could come over to my house. UUGGHHHHH! I ended up raising my voice and telling my son, "WHEN HAS HE EVER INVITED YOU TO HIS HOUSE??? NEVER!!!! IT'S NOT FAIR!!! TELL HIM TO TELL HIS MOM THAT IT'S HIS AND HER TURN TO HAVE YOU OVER FOR ONCE!!!" I immediately felt awful. My little boy doesn't understand the unwritten laws of our society. That it is polite to reciprocate when others do nice things for you. Don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that this isn't necessarily a MUST....yet, it would be nice. But this one little boy isn't the only one. So many other kids LOVE coming to my house to play with my kids. I provide a safe and fun environment so maybe that's what attracts them to us; however, I can't understand why my children always have to be the "hosts." Okay...rant over.
P.S. My children are well behaved and I'd like to believe that my husband and I have taught them to respect their elders and/or people of authority and to be kind and gentle with their peers. So before I get the "maybe your kids are hard to deal with" - the answer is "no."
I had/have the same problem with my daughter and she is 18 years old now.
I have been her best friend and we do everything together. She has a few friends now from work. I know how you feel. I have just kept my daughter busy with crafts, movies, etc. I don't understand why she doesn't make friends easily. She is beautiful and funny.
This is my first time posting on a blog, but I have been so bothered by the fact that my 9 and 11 year old sons are never invited over to friends houses, whether for playdates or sleepovers. If my kids do hang out with other kids, it is always initiated by myself and involves the other kids coming to our house. The issue was really brought to light just this past month when a boy, who I thought was one of my 9 year old's best friends, innocently informed me that he was having a sleepover for his birthday with a 'few friends', clearly my son not being one of them. I obviously did not share this with my son, but have remained bothered by it. What is wrong with my kids or does the problem rest with me and my husband? We're both professionals within the community, friendly and relatively social, although we don't hang out with the parents of our kids friends. My boys don't really seem to notice &/or be bothered by it, nor do I share my concerns with them, but I just want to understand. It saddens me to see other kids/parents dealing with the same issues, but it is also helpful to know that I'm not alone...!!
A good way to build a strong relationship with you kids and their friends is invite the other kids family over for dinner. Then find out the other kids hobbies and put your kid in the same ones this will build a level of trust in Association.because Association brings on simulation which build a cohesive friendship . hope that helps.
I have a son (14 years) who is struggling with the friendship factor too. It is very painful, as a mother, to see your child break down and cry because he doesn't have any friends. In reference to "MyNameisGarrett"'s post, my son fits that profile exactly. Here we have, all of us, good kids. Bright kids. Kids that are dealing with more social and educational challenges than we ever did growing up at their age. My son not only participates in school athletics, i.e. Cross Country, Track and Field, and Wrestling, but he's good at it. And academically, he's a superstar! His maturity level at this age range is beyond grade level by 5 years. With EVERY boy (and girl) in this age group scatching and scraping to be included into the popularity clique...they can't see that being popular ends when they graduate from high school as everyone parts ways to go to college or find work or join the military, etc., and there they finally begin to find that balance and harmony and acceptance for who they really are and not what they were or wanted to be.
They need us more than ever. Not to helicopter parent them, but to be accessible. To be available for them so when they need us, we are going to be there to listen and to give them that encouragement and hope they will need while they fight this battle to fit in, establish friendships, keep friendships, suffer the constant episodes of change and rejection and lost friendships. Be vigilant. Make sure they are always participating in extra curricular activities such as school athletics, volunteerism,clubs on campus, church youth groups, anything that involves continued social development which will ease the pain of loneliness from time to time until a new friendship is formed, that will hopefully and finally stick. This is the age when friendships and acceptance from others are at its highest point of importance in their lives. Nothing else matters. Be accessible.
During the beginning of the school year my son was the most popular kid in school. Everyone loved him. But what slowly started to happen was the "scratching and scraping" of the other boys wanting to be the "it" guy, to be popular and their mentality of "winner takes all" and "I don't care who I take down or railroad to be popular". To be accepted into the "in crowd" or to have a lot of friends, more than others. These boys began to slowly chew my son up bit by bit by bit. First it was the snide remarks or insults. The wearing down and belittling words of insults. Small snipey insults, then the sharp and harsh words like, we don't think you are funny, stop hanging out with us, stop getting in my way to hang with the popular people, they don't like you. All lies. It was the constant words of self doubt and insults and mean and unkind things said to my son that began to slowly deteriorate his self confidence.
Friends who were with him through thick and thin, now gone to be with the "popularity crowd". The popular kids at his middle school drink booze and smoke pot. They are complete losers and jerks and I thank them for not including my son. My son doesn't need that in his life. My son has so much potential. He is going to do great things. But if that means he must go through the ups and downs of struggling to find friends, so be it. He needs friends that have similar interests like him. It's our job as parents to find out what those interests are and to include them and encourage them to actively participate in activities that other kids are interested in too. They will make new friends, it just takes patience and time. The friendships from High School disappear after graduation. It is those friendships they develop after HS that will forever be their life long friends.
Our (my sons current stage) current stage at this time has been that he has lost all of his friends, that as much as he has tried to hang with the kids from Track, no one invites him to do anything. He has no one to eat lunch with, he won't shave, he dresses sloppy, doesn't eat, skips meals and has not been sleeping well at night. This just started to manifest itself this week. How do I know that? It's because each Friday night I take my son out to dinner. I purposely take him out each week to gauge his current status, which fluctuates on a weekly basis. This week was a tough week for him. As a parent we must be vigilant and to make time to give our sons and daughters our uninterrupted attention. Don't talk, let them talk. If they don't want to talk, don't talk. The "don't talk" part is the magic to getting those pre teens and teens to finally talk. Small talk during ordering dinner then leave the window of conversation open. listen to them, listen to key words and ideas that they might share and express. Support and encourage and embrace the things that you may not be interested in or not like because you may have different tastes in music, humor or even politics. Do not criticize or belittle. This is their time, not yours. So what if you have to watch the same goofy YouTube video for the third time, you better watch it because that is how they are reaching out to you and that is how you will be able to gauge their progress; therefore, allow you an opportunity to quickly adjust any potential behavioral discrepancies, or not, that need to be corrected. Support and encourage. Listen and shut up. Be their friend when there aren't any there for them. Make them know you are accessible and available to them at all times and let them know that they can depend on you always.
I struggled similarly as a teen myself. I know that even though he feels no hope or there is no way he will make a new friend that I KNOW that this is only temporary, and this too will pass. It's not the end, it's just a small pause. Just be there for them. Be accessible. And don't forget, take advantage of these friendship lulls, because when they finally have found a friend, you won't be seeing them as much or if not at all. Their friends are more important to them at this stage of life than we are. It's not that they don't love us, it's just that they are finding their place in life and when times begin to be a little tough for them, just hold true to this moto.... "Be Accessible".
Do your kids a favor and introduce them to another community group outside of school so they can make friends with kids with like minds and interests. When I was 15, my mom found a youth group where I met other kids. We were all new and shared a common activity every weekend. It can be any church, sports, hobby, dance group with kids their age. It will show them that there's life outside of school. Pretty soon, his schoolmates will wonder why he's got such am active social life!
I don't think anything is wrong with your son. I dont know when this post was written but I came here because I am having the exact same issue and it is driving me nuts. My son is also very sweet, kind, gentle, straight A student. He is good at sports too. Yet the neighborhood kids have sort of abandoned him. They all play on the street and do not call him out. I am hurt and cry silently for him. Sometimes I feel being too nice is also a disadvantage and kids showing this virtue are often taken for granted. Problem with older kids is that you can no longer even have "play dates" as they are too old. I sometimes take my son to a neighborhood park where he finds someone to play with once in a while. Again, these kids also do not maintain any further contact. We as parents try to keep him busy by taking him to movies, parks, vacations. But for kids his age that is not enough. I just want to let you know that you are not alone. A lot of people have this problem. My Best wishes are with you and your son. Tell him he rocks!
I too have worried over this exact same problem...invitations never seem to be reciprocated-and for no reason I have ever been able to fathom out... Having read all of the above comments-its good to know that though our children seem alone-we are not alone-and neither are they really... It is not our children's fault...every comment is as questioning as I have been myself-there seems no rhyme or reason to any of it-because there probably are no underlying reasons!Our children are amazing and as one of you wrote-we should tell them so-i believe in them all and I will be sure to try not to worry quite so much-there is nothing wrong with our children as the above only goes to prove!Perhaps they are too polite-or- maybe not as loud as some-or pushy-but for me-id rather my children play alongside any one of the above as they sound far more worthy of friendship by judging what's been said!I will always be there for my cchildren whenever they need me-and will encourage them as much as i can to have as much faith in themselves as i have in them-thanks to the above I'll be worrying a little less & concentrate on instilling that self belief in them!
I too have a similar problem. Mine is that when it comes to my son's birthday, I send invites. I set the day and get everything needed with exception of the cake. Then everybody says they have other things to do. I get it that these other kids have sports to do, but it's not my child's fault that he was born during baseball/soccer season. My child has only had one decent party where a friend came and everything went well. He did have another party, but things went sour pretty quickly. I don't blame the parents, because they can't force their kids' coaches to change the game schedule. Sometimes, I wish my son would have been a summer baby. I guess from now on, I won't worry about parties any more. He has me and his dad and my parents. Honestly, we are all my child needs.
I totally understand what you're feeling. My daughter is 10 going on 11 and when we first moved into the neighbourhood all the kids at school wanted to be her friend. Over the months that's changed. She says she plays with a few kids at school, but more often than not she mentions how she's always left out and how when she asks to join in, the game or whichever, has already started and there is "no more room". It breaks my heart. I, too, struggle with playdates (if that's what they're called at this age). We usually end of inviting kids over here from our old neighbourhood. And even that is not reciprocated. She was only invited to one birthday this year. Her other "supposed" friends at school, have not invited her. She says she doesn't care, but I can tell she does, because she quickly retreats to her room, or goes and eats. I feel so sad for her. I know it's a lot with hormones at this age, and kids trying to fit in, but it just breaks my heart. High school can't come soon enough! I always felt grade school was the worst when I was young. Kids can be so cruel!
Hi there, I am at this point now. The parties have slowly tailed off and everyone else seems to have kids who are going around to each other's houses, yet we only seem to have each other and I know that they need their own friends. They have friends at school but other than that there is nothing outside of school. It really worries me. I have tried getting friendly with the other mums but I always feel like an outsider looking in, not actually part of any group, and this probably doesn't help my children either. I tend to pull away from people if I feel I am getting too close or if things they or their children do make me uncomfortable. I feel like my kids are really missing out (I have a first grader and a third grader). At their age my friends were everything. They have never had sleepovers except for at their grandparents, simply because I am not comfortable with them staying at houses where I don't know the parents very well.