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I'm new here and searching desperately for some help fpr my child to develop friendships

Shamasamdrew profile image

Hi All,

Very new to this message board. I'm hopeful I can get some good information here. My son is 12 yrs. old and in middle school and has a great deal of difficulty being accepted by other children. He has no friends and it is terribly sad. At school, they have added him to a social group run by the school counselor? I am trying to find him things outside of school, but I am not having any luck. What have you done for your child that has been helpful for him/her to develop peer relationships? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

16 Replies

Hi! Something that has helped my daughter is getting her involved in a sport. Also, if you attend church, a youth group is great. You can also find different activities for children through your library. Your county might also have a booklet that has activities you can sign him up for. I hope this helps. :)

Look for activities at the library or comic shops depending on what he likes. I found an anime club at a library nearby and a Pokémon club at a comic book store. LEGO club for teens at a library.

Also try Young Life. They have a club for middle schoolers called Wyldlife and they do a lot of fun things with the kids. My son loves it.

I am not and expert but organizing play dates in your house with the classmates or activities like cine etc.. this help and getting know the moms so you can arrange with them. A sport helps a lot also .

Yeah, we have this issue too. Mine is 11, in 5th. She finally got to the point where she has people to eat lunch with, but I never get requests for playdates. She does do sports, and gymnastics AND goes to Sunday school. That all helps, but the bottom line issue is still there: she lacks the ability to cement friendships. I coach a sports team she is on now, and it's clear why girls don't gel with her. Anyway, sorry, no real answer here, just know you are not alone. My guess is, all the sports and extra stuff she does, does indeed help..and she would be far worse off without them. I did just buy a few books on Amazon that were recommended on this site. Made for younger people and written so they can understand. Like: 'here's what you say when you first meet someone: example of question and what not to ask.. I wish I could find an ADHD friendly parent group here...and just get the kids together, rather than some formal social skills class. Good luck!

Here's the pasted info from my amazon cart.

Buy it again Social Rules for Kids-The Top 100 Social Rules Kids Need to Succeed Susan Diamond M.A. Sold by: Amazon.com Services, Inc. Return eligible through May 13, 2018 $15.68 Buy it again Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends Kennedy-Moore, Dr. Eileen Sold by: Amazon.com Services, Inc. Return eligible through May 13, 2018 $10.48

katejames profile image
katejames in reply to Crunchby

I agree - there is no easy way to make it happen. Just tonight my 12 year old son went to an end of season soccer bowling party. Everyone having fun till my son freaks out that his score is zero and starts screaming at my husband. So now all the kids, parents and coach of this premier soccer team have seen him in action at his worst. He never did this at games or practices. School is out so I didn't give him his Vyvance pill today. Lovely. To make matters worse he continued to blame my husband for his tantrum and we all were upset and yelling. Ugh. It sucks. And no amount of explaining how his behavior affects him making friends seems to get through to him - he cant or wont change it. Going into a new school for 7th grade - its going to be hell I imagine. Sorry, not seeing a rainbow in this picture tonight.

Crunchby profile image
Crunchby in reply to katejames

Yeah,I hear you on blaming failures on others. Trying to explain this flaw in the moment just makes it worse

My son goes to the Boys Scouts, he likes it. They can participate in a weekend camping experience, which helps them to develop more social and team skills. The Scouts Leaders do get trained on kids with ADHD, so they have skills to handle them.

Also there is a nice card game called "Ungame" for families, kids, teens. These games are based on expressing your thinking and emotions without being judge. You are not force to respond. Sometimes these cards games help your children to express their feelings and thinking within their love ones and prepare them to do the same with friends. They are accessible and counselors recommend them.

Maybe try socializing with different ages of kids.

My son initially related better to kids in other age groups until he got a better hang on social interactions. Younger kids were a better match for his emotional delay, and less bothered by his off kilter social cues - so he got good practice there. He's also always be advanced verbally, with a lot of complex interests, so adults & older kids also got along well and have more patience with him.

Hi Shamasamdrew!

I just joined this site as well for the same reason. My 11 year old son is such a nice boy and tries so hard to make friends, but frequently gets rejected. He's so sad!

I'm interested in creating 'electronic' playdates (via Skype or Discord) for my son with other boys around his age (maybe 9-11 year olds). We're a homeschooling family. My son enjoys creating animations on his iPad, making YouTube videos, doing parkour, and skateboarding. Is there anyone else interested in creating an online meet-up group for their sons? Please message me if you are. It would be great if our kids had friends who 'get it.' :)

My son is 11 and in 5th. He has a hard time because of his impulse control. It’s really sad he loves to goof around and is usually happy, but he just can’t really make any friends. He’s athletic, so we put him on sports teams. Even though he never gets invited anywhere or to parties, he still thinks all the kids on his teams are his friends. Which helps him to not feel lonely. He still gets to spend time around kids outside of school and it gives him confidence. We just try to do things as a family on weekends, after school, etc. I feel for you it’s so sad watching your kid not really connect with other kids. I would say if he has any interests sign him up for a club, it does help.😊

katejames profile image
katejames in reply to BKuboff

Our situation exactly. It is sad. And they feel it. They know. It really stinks.

mom2007 profile image
mom2007 in reply to BKuboff

This is my 12 year old. He says "that's my friend and that's my friend" but they never come over when asked or never ask him over. It breaks my heart!

My 13 year-old grandson is kind of an introvert and only has a couple of friends. Only one of them comes to his house. Some kids do just fine with just one or two friends.

He was in Scouts for a while and enjoyed that. He is also a black belt in Taekwondo and gets along well with kids there.

As a former extremely shy child liking a lot of social skills I can tell you to take it slow and not push. And don't make them feel bad about it either. We sometimes need to come around at our own speed

Make your house the best play date house. Invest in the best equipment and toys, have yummy snacks, be very welcoming. Kids will want to come. Watch Dr. Barkley’s video. He discusses this issue.


Right there with you and my son is 18. My exectations were too high: since he wasn't making any close friends at cub scouts, i encouraged him to quit. I should have just settled for him getting along ok with them and enjoying cub scout activities with them. Sports were similar - at least it gave him a healthy body and he had times of leadership and kindness, and companionship there. The wrestling team was a playgroup that tolerated his need to wrestle in middle school.

I would echo the comments elsewhere about being better liked by adults and younger kids. The real problem is that my son is not very interested in the boring details of other people's lives...or his own life, although he wishes he was better at small talk. He is very attentive to people who are in real distress, so i have encouraged his interest in ems/firefighting. He seems well liked and successful in that program although he's not hanging out with them much outside the program. The military also seems ADD-friendly, but I don't trust them with my beloved boy since I'm an old hippie. We had some success being a good playdate house in the neighborhood, and making friends with kids from the social skills classes at Kaiser.

Suggestions welcome for books for 18 year olds on building social skills.

I have ADD and always made friends dispite talking way too much and being clumsy with social cues.

All I have been able to do for this kid is to make him feel loved and valued at home, and to keep trying to help him figure out what he can succeed at.

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