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Old 01-30-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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My nephew, whom I am VERY close to, had the rare friend/school acquaintance in elementary school, and those either moved away, or moved on. I'd say he put kids off with habits like insisting on sitting in the same space in the cafeteria or in the classroom, and was bossy. On the other hand, many children aren't perfect, make mistakes, and make and hold onto friends. In addition, he had several children who were verbally aggressive about putting him down; it was somewhat dealt with, but the stigma of some kids adamantly not liking him held through the last two years of elementary school.

Was hoping middle school would open up the chance to move away from kids with old thoughts about my nephew, which it largely has, but he has shared he still doesn't have any friends. I said I thought he said he ate at the lunch table where they did a lot of talking, and he shared he does, but he doesn't know if anyone really listens to him.

Some girls have been a little kinder to him (and some have been cutting and mean), but they are busy with their own friendships, and there are no real overtures of friendship. He did mention one girl was his "awesome" friend at the beginning of the year, but now stated she is mean, and he isn't sure she was ever his friend.

He is a good-looking kid, and is bright and in challenge block, and is appreciated by adults and family friends. (Unfortunately, no friends or family with children his age.) I do think he is going to be just fine as an adult.

Much of the early issues happened before he was diagnosed with ADHD. With medication he holds it together pretty well at school, but I do think he misses some peer miscues, and is happy to do some things, which may be out of step, because he does have self-confidence to be himself. He does have challenges with ADHD and can really be a handful when he is out of sync, but he has a kind and thoughtful heart. He doesn't have Aspberger's.

One hold back has been that his parents never had play dates for him, and there aren't kids in his neighborhood his age. Nor, has he played sports.

Overall, he is is a positive kid and has interests at home. He doesn't like that he doesn't have friends and has made statements like, "I guess I must have done something wrong in pre-school"; however, he doesn't dwell on it, or get depressed about it. It is the rare occasion for him to mention it. However, my heart breaks for him. We are social creatures, and no one wants to go through life without a friend. He isn't what I might think of as a "nerdy" kid, but he is ostrasized.

I have two problems. Firstly, what can I do to help him? Secondly, while he may not get depressed, I do, and cry for him. I do deal with some anxiety which means I can worry a problem to death, and I have a hard time with this. I could really use some words of encouragement.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Back in MADISON Wi thank God!
1,047 posts, read 3,550,925 times
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I'm afraid I can't be of much help,but I will say he is lucky to have a caring Aunt like you! My middle son who is 10 is a bit of a loner.He has always been very independent and likes time on his own.Even in preschool when groups of kids played together, his choice was to go on the computer by himself.It has been just this year in 4th grade that he has started to interact more with other kids,although he has always been able to hang with his older brother and his friends. My husband has especially worried about him. I am more of a "keep to myself "type person,so just think that's his personality.But,it sounds like your nephew really would like to have friends.Does he have any areas of interest where he could join a club or group of kids with the same interests? A church youth group? Community service club? Chess,book group,music? We started my son in cub scouts because he loves all that sort of stuff.And we tried serveral different sports until he found something he likes.Is he good at track,tennis,or something that you can get into at this "older" age? Maybe reseach those things for him after having a talk to discuss what he likes.A museum group of youth docents?Just throwing things out that come to mind.
Anyway,good luck to you and your nephew!
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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Good topic, I am dealing with this as well. child is kind of a loner, he does have friends. But does not proactively seek to interact with them. We have to prompt him to get together with them. He does do a lot of activities at our church and takes martial arts, and that seems to help.

You hate to push them out there but... a little bit I think is OK.
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
40,270 posts, read 49,782,858 times
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Many successful adults would say they were out of the mainstream when they were in school. Anyone who has been to a highschool class reunion knows that the big shots usually turn out to be losers, and the nerds turn out to be millionaires. If I had a child like your nephew I would just encourage him that it's OK to be different. I would help him find what his passions are and be encouraging. I would let him know that I think he's the greatest and that I appreciate him for himself.
I actually have a nephew who was super smart, but bad at sports, kind of goofy, and a loner. He turned out great and has a super interesting (and high paying) job. He's stil not too successful with the ladies, but he's working on it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:52 AM
 
821 posts, read 1,864,860 times
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My daughter doesnt exactly have that type of problem but she's just a shy kid so what I do is enroll her in things in our town like softball and art class she learns to meet friends that way because they have something in common and on occasion there are children she runs into that go to the same school then thats something else the kids can talk about... just encourage him to try new things and meet new people.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:38 PM
 
7,373 posts, read 13,368,574 times
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He will either grow out of his shell by himself or he wont. Its really up to him. I have ADD myself and was a loner up until high school. I finally decided to push past all the anxiety, problems whatever and be more social. No one really helped me through it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:18 PM
 
3,182 posts, read 6,822,978 times
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My son was like this as a middle schooler as well. He is now in high school and is much, much more social (too much, sometimes). Middle school is tough - we all know that.

Help him pursue anything at all that he is interested in. He will make friends much easier with people who share his interests no matter how offbeat the interests may seem. We all like to be around people who enjoy the same types of things that we do. Don't hesitate to push a bit. If he has faced rejected repeatedly, he may balk at social settings just to protect himself. Encourage, push, nudge... your goal is for him to TRY something new.

When he gets to high school things will naturally improve. For one thing, kids mature enough to value people more for what they can contribute than what they look like (not totally, but better than middle school). There will also be a bigger sea for him to find friends in.

Most importantly, just keep being supportive and positive. You are a great aunt and a special friend.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,873,462 times
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Sport, Church, clubs - all ways of meeting people.

Kids also become more self aware as they get into their teens and so he may become aware of his habits and that they push people away. He may feel frustration too in not knowing how to fix him self. Having a close friend who can encourage & coach him without being too demanding or judgemental would I believe be really helpful and it sounds like you can be that person.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 6,225,878 times
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Maybe he just isn't interested in having a bunch of friends.

In one grade of middle school, there was nobody in my homeroom I was friends with, so I sat at a table by myself. The homeroom teacher (a P.E. coach and all-around jerk) kept pushing me to sit with other kids. When I declined to do so, he was all into calling my parents and the school counselor about my "anti-social" and "at-risk" behavior. Eventually I sat at a table of 3 or 4 other boys, who completely ignored me for the remainder of the school year - which was fine by me.

Many of society's great artists, writers, and musicians are/were loners. Let your nephew be who he is, not what society expects him to be.

I also agree with earlier posters that high school is a time of forming friendships based on common interests, rather than on social status.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:00 PM
 
550 posts, read 1,122,898 times
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Let him try different sports, at his age there should be plenty around to try, when he find a fun activity friends should come automaticly...
Most of my friends have always been through sports...in fact when I think back on school before university I can only think of about 10 good friends...and that was 13 years...
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