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Old 10-17-2019, 01:28 PM
 
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To be clear, has your son been in the same school/district all along? Or, have you moved recently (within the past 12 to 18 months)?


I was always kind of a shy kid, but also always had 1 or 2 friends. When I was almost 12, my family moved to Oklahoma, and I didn't have a lot of friends. I missed my old friends, and a new school, new people, new place was quite an adjustment. I eventually DID make one friend and then...


We moved to Missouri and had to start all over again.


Also...forgive me, but because I have a son on the autism spectrum, I tend to think in a "hammer/nail" kind of way, so, do you think he MIGHT be on the spectrum? If he IS on the spectrum, he might not feel the need for social interaction. IMO, that's OK, and it's not necessarily something he'll live with the rest of his life. A clue to IF he might be on the spectrum. Does he make eye contact with people usually?


Does he SEEM lonely? Does he seem sad? Have you ever sat down with him and asked him how he feels about his lack of friends? Maybe hearing it from the horse's mouth (so to speak) might help clear a lot up for you.
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,315 posts, read 22,394,356 times
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I completely understand your concerns. My son was, and still is, very similar. We were the ones who moved, and he has a hard time making friends.

I encouraged playdates, even when he was older. I arranged several ways for him to make friends for years. Finally one day he said to me "Mom, why are you always trying to get me to make new friends? I like the ones I have and I am happy".

It was then I realized I needed to back off a bit.

I think you need to use your gut, and talk to him about it.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:45 PM
 
4,979 posts, read 2,143,620 times
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"Thoughts?"

let him be.
our son was a one-friend-at-a-time boy.
his only sport interest was cross-country running.
now he works for the FBI in DC.
he was/is fine.
yours is, too.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:48 PM
 
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He lost one of best friends, so he may feel a little lost right now. As long as there is no big emotional turmoil, bullying, trouble with his school grades, it's probably fine. It is good for a person to learn how to entertain himself, use the time doing things like reading or studying.

If you're concerned, I agree with other posters who have suggested that you help guide him into more social activities as he goes through school. Sports of any kind, band, debate group when he's older, karate or something like that outside of school, whatever his interests are (as long as it involves interaction with other kids). This will help him develop the social skills he needs when meeting new people and getting along with them, and just plain ol' having fun with other people. The sports things are also good for kids physically.

Even an introvert can learn to be more social. Being social is a behavior, whereas being an introvert by nature is more of a feeling, I think. If he gets more introverted, it could be he's that sort of person. Most writers and a lot of scientists are introverts.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:05 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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As a lifelong introvert and a shy person, I say leave your son alone and don't try to make him into someone he is not. There is so much societal pressure these days to be outgoing, to make friends and to cultivate an active social life. If you don't, you are looked upon as an outsider, somehow inferior and perhaps not to be trusted.

This attitude is so unfair to those of us whose brains are wired differently. Extroverts get energized by being around other people, but introverts are just the opposite. We find socializing a drain and need alone time to recharge. Some of the most brilliant and creative thinkers in history have been loners. I'd advise you to accept your son exactly as he is. Please don't make him feel like a failure because he doesn't have a million friends.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:03 PM
Status: "I believe in reincarnation" (set 13 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
11,900 posts, read 4,578,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayarea4 View Post
As a lifelong introvert and a shy person, I say leave your son alone and don't try to make him into someone he is not. There is so much societal pressure these days to be outgoing, to make friends and to cultivate an active social life. If you don't, you are looked upon as an outsider, somehow inferior and perhaps not to be trusted.

This attitude is so unfair to those of us whose brains are wired differently. Extroverts get energized by being around other people, but introverts are just the opposite. We find socializing a drain and need alone time to recharge. Some of the most brilliant and creative thinkers in history have been loners. I'd advise you to accept your son exactly as he is. Please don't make him feel like a failure because he doesn't have a million friends.
This.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,843 posts, read 3,353,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DairyGodmother View Post
So, I'm wondering what any of you know about children who are loners, who isolate themselves. Since he was quite little, he has often had one friend at a time, and his best friend from grade 1 through 4 just moved to another state (crappy luck!). So now here he is, alone in 5th grade. His teacher says in a structured environment he does engage with kids in class, but is alone at recess, preferring to play basketball by himself. We've barely had 'playdates'....a few over the years...

In and of itself it doesn't sound like a problem, his dad and I are both introverts who prefer a couple of friends to a crowd. But at the same time, we both had playground pals and are just worried about this.

Thoughts? is this just more helicoptering over a snowflake or is this preventing front page news in a decade?

Maybe someday he'll win the NBA 3-point shot contest? If you look closely at the young lives of most people who have excelled at whatever they do, you'll find a history of lots of dedicated practice and not so much socialization.
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Old 10-18-2019, 01:54 AM
Status: "it's Christmas time...." (set 17 days ago)
 
793 posts, read 202,476 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DairyGodmother View Post
So, I'm wondering what any of you know about children who are loners, who isolate themselves. Since he was quite little, he has often had one friend at a time, and his best friend from grade 1 through 4 just moved to another state (crappy luck!). So now here he is, alone in 5th grade. His teacher says in a structured environment he does engage with kids in class, but is alone at recess, preferring to play basketball by himself. We've barely had 'playdates'....a few over the years...

In and of itself it doesn't sound like a problem, his dad and I are both introverts who prefer a couple of friends to a crowd. But at the same time, we both had playground pals and are just worried about this.

Thoughts? is this just more helicoptering over a snowflake or is this preventing front page news in a decade?
Perhaps your child is very well behaved, knows the difference between right and wrong, has a strong sense of self and is self-segregating from children he feels exhibit bad behavior. I have seem this several times. You likely won't find it out from him until years after the fact.

Also, my observation is those that become leaders, small business owners, inventors exhibit this characteristic. IMO, socialization for the sake of socialization is way overrated. The question is how does he behave when with others and you have indicated that is not a concern.
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Old 10-18-2019, 04:53 AM
 
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I would ask details about what he did in group work. Pay attention to his interaction with others. For example, does he argue, does he give in, does he do what he wants without asking others for their opinion, and does he support his position in a way that others can follow. You can also determine this using your own interactions at home where family participation is required.

Does he explain why he prefers to be alone? Does his response make sense? Also, what activities does he engage in while alone?

My own child loves video games. Many other children participate in the same games. Within the games the players can form groups where they work together for some purpose. She is expected to join groups and when she has joined a group, we ask why she picked that particular group. She is also expected to create her own group and she has to recruit others. We watch her from the time she starts the game until she has met our expectations. When she gets off the game, we ask her questions.

If she is reading books instead, she is expected to explain why she chose that book. As she reads it, she must identify challenges the character faces and the responses. She also has to apply themes to her own life. This usually opens the door for conversation about what is going with interactions in real life. One thing children struggle with is when others behave in ways that are contradictory and how to address it.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:13 AM
 
4,105 posts, read 2,420,276 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
One of my older boys seemed outgoing but really is an introvert at heart who would hop from group to group, and ended up knowing a LOT of kids. Not everyone forms lifelong friend groups in elementary school.
I don't have kids but I still have memories of childhood.

You just described my high school life! I spent 8 years in a private school with very small classrooms. If you weren't "in", you were really really out.

Then one year in a public jr high, then on to high school. We had all the "groups", the cheerleaders, jocks, geeks, band *****, druggies. I did play in band and I participated in one sport (we had a huge sports program so doing just one was really minuscule). I made friends in all the groups easily, probably because I'd spent the first 8 years of school being judged, that I learned not to judge people so quickly. But despite that, I really had only one close friend that lived in my neighborhood, and that changed in high school because she was learning things about herself that she didn't know what to do about so she withdrew from everyone.

Years later, I've moved on from everyone in my childhood. And I'm fine.

I've kept in touch with ONE person from the community college I went to (we had dated for a year).

I've kept in touch with a small handful of people I've worked with over the years. Some have provided work opportunities as I've gotten older, some provide fun lunch get togethers on occasion.

I know a LOT of people. But I can do without them pretty easily as well.



My suggestion: if he shows interest in something, nurture it. Offer him the opportunity to expend on it - or not. Don't force him. I knew someone whose kid wanted to take riding lessons and mom wouldn't let her because it would "inconvenience" her after work time, so she forced her to do some other sport that was in line with her sons after school activities. Which implies that her son was more important than her daughter, and I wouldn't think that's a message any parent wants to give.

You never what would pique a kids interest and send them into a lifetime of happiness - or hell




Quote:
Originally Posted by elyn02 View Post

If she is reading books instead, she is expected to explain why she chose that book. As she reads it, she must identify challenges the character faces and the responses. She also has to apply themes to her own life. This usually opens the door for conversation about what is going with interactions in real life. One thing children struggle with is when others behave in ways that are contradictory and how to address it.
This sounds like a lot of work for a kid. I loved to read. If my parents had done this to me, I would have stopped reading to avoid this.
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