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Old 10-18-2019, 07:19 AM
 
1,755 posts, read 3,074,205 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?
I'm currently dealing with a high schooler who is struggling hard to make friends, and it's led to some serious depression and talk of self-harm. Therapy is helping but it takes time. It might be worth investing some time now into finding a good child/adolescent specialist in cognitive behavorial therapy or talk therapy. Establish a healthy pattern of therapy once every couple of weeks. The therapist will be able to identify if there are deeper problems you need to worry about down the line, and hopefully offer your child some ideas for reaching out to other kids.

Edited to add: I've become convinced that most teens and adults would benefit from some therapy. Starting it young is a gift to your child; you're giving them a tool they can use throughout their lives when things get tough.
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Austin
12,968 posts, read 7,394,018 times
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I watched a new interview/documentary the other day of Bill Gates. He was a loner, preferring to voraciously read books alone in his room to interacting with peers or family.

Bill's parents consistently set up social experiences for him. for example, as a middle schooler, they gave young Bill the responsibility of being a greeter at their speaking events, invited their adult friends and their children to week long vacations every year filled with competitive games and communal meals, etc.

Bill's sister said if Bill had not been put into social situations at a young age, he wouldn't be the very successful man he is today. she credited her mother for creatively working social skills into Bill's young life.

Last edited by texan2yankee; 10-18-2019 at 08:42 AM..
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:56 AM
 
7,400 posts, read 4,072,838 times
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I'm a big believer and support of Scouting. One thing, among many, that separates Scouting from most sport programs is that kids of all abilities are welcome and encouraged. We do get a lot of kids like yours who tend to one or a few friends and who don't "socialize" in the typical school fashion. We work on building teams and teamwork and on growing kid's confidence in themselves. The whole program is built around a small group, the patrol, that works as a team. As the boys (and now girls) grow older, they pick their own path to the level they want. It's really fun to watch a kid who came in new and shy grow to be elected by his peers into Senior Patrol Leader and see other kids follow his lead.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:57 AM
 
8,227 posts, read 3,008,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texan2yankee View Post
I watched a new interview/documentary the other day of Bill Gates. He was a loner, preferring to voraciously read books alone in his room to interacting with peers or family.

Bill's parents consistently set up social experiences for him. for example, as a middle schooler, they gave young Bill the responsibility of being a greeter at their speaking events, invited their adult friends and their children to week long vacations every year filled with competitive games and communal meals, etc.

Bill's sister said if Bill had not been put into social situations at a young age, he wouldn't be the very successful man he is today. she credited her mother for creatively working social skills into Bill's young life.

Interesting fact, Bill Gates is on the Autism spectrum.


Other celebrities on the spectrum; David Seinfeld and Dan Akroyd. Interesting, right? lol
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Florida
5,934 posts, read 3,912,099 times
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My son (now 18) was also a total loner. He'd play with kids at playgrounds, if I could get him to go to begin with. We homeschool, so he did go to various social activities, but often palled around with only one or two specific kids. If those kids weren't going, he would have a hard time interacting with other kids.

He got into Pokemon (the card game) and he suddenly blossomed around the time he was 11 or so. He was still shy, but as he learned the game and went to tournaments all over the country, he had no choice but to talk to his opponents. This led to discussing the merits of various decks and cards, then to some close friendships, and then to him coaching others and becoming one of the top players in North America. He's traveled to Australia, Europe, and South America (as well as all around the USA and Canada) playing and he literally has friends all over the world. This activity tends to draw in introverts and there are also a lot of kids on the autism spectrum who play and are completely accepted (not suggesting that your son is on the spectrum, but more pointing out that kids who lack strong social skills can thrive).

I'm not saying that your son has to play Pokemon, of course, but help him find something that he enjoys that will bring him into close contact with others. I think those "older kid" years are challenging for a lot of boys (and girls, too). Keep supporting him and encouraging him to pursue friendships without pushing him or making him feel like there's something wrong with him for not having a million friends and I bet he will be just fine.
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Old 10-18-2019, 09:44 AM
Status: "beach bum" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: NMB, SC
2,178 posts, read 548,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Interesting fact, Bill Gates is on the Autism spectrum.


Other celebrities on the spectrum; David Seinfeld and Dan Akroyd. Interesting, right? lol
Suspected, not confirmed as is Einstein and Steve Jobs.

What is common among those three are their MBTI personality types.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:47 AM
 
5,156 posts, read 4,383,968 times
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Help your son find things & hobbies he is good at. Help him find his gifts. He might want to get into building & painting models. This can evolve into game playing or hobby groups depending on type of models. He might like drones.

Look for interesting workshops for kids at museums, colleges, & libraries.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:33 PM
 
438 posts, read 67,353 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! INTP here with an extreme "I". INTP's tend to annoy everybody. Though for me, usually more from the extreme "P" as opposed to much more common "J" types. There are lot introverts out there so that wasnt big problem though I dont like to socialize, never have. I didnt have children, but if I had, my biggest worry would been dealing with a super extreme extrovert "J" kid. Introverted kid I could identify with and deal with.
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Old 10-18-2019, 06:23 PM
 
16,473 posts, read 18,507,246 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
Interesting fact, Bill Gates is on the Autism spectrum.


Other celebrities on the spectrum; David Seinfeld and Dan Akroyd. Interesting, right? lol
Gates has never actually been dxed. That is all speculation by people who observed him, but not necessarily in person.

Akroyd was dxed in the 1980s.

Who is David Seinfeld? Do you mean Jerry Seinfeld? He says he is not on the autism spectrum. He related on some level and did think he might be autistic at one time.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:32 AM
 
549 posts, read 113,629 times
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I never understood this crazy emphasis of "being outgoing", "make a million friends" and other socializing stuff. It's boring, unnatural and annoying. What's more interesting is that seems like USA-only deal; you would not find this crazy push in another countries. I have no clue why it is so important here, but just leave you kid alone; if he is totally fine by himself, then it's rather good - he is independent.

I spent my childhood with books, nature and hobbies like radio-electronics, and could not be happier. Other people are of no interest - they are boring, stupid, have endless problems, and are plain out of my sphere of interests. If your kid is like me, then pushing him to socialize would just make him angry, since he can't do what he wants to do, and would have to waste his valuable time on some meaningless "people interaction" instead.
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