M.G. asks from Olathe, KS on May 16, 2010
Making Friends - Olathe,KS
Hello, I have an 11 year old son who has difficulty making freinds. He just seems at a loss for what to do sometimes, how to be a part of the group. Now I will mention that he does, at times, have a tendency to be bossy. We've told him that he doesn't need to be in charge and that the kids don't like it. Does anyone know of books that could help us? Books for him or me. He is active in Boy Scouts and was a Cub Scout, so we have activities with kids.
Any ideas would be helpful.
L.A. answers from Austin on May 16, 2010
We have a great book, that I found when our daughter was in about 5th grade.. It is called "How Rude! The teenagers Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and not Grossing People Out.. " by Alex J. Packer, Ph. D.
Do not worry, it is very appropriate for him and speaks about all types of situations, friendships and manners..
Make sure he involved in out side of school activities that are groups.. Scouts, community service, theater, church youth groups.. The more he is around other kids his age, the more he will learn and the more others will get to know him..
3 moms found this helpful
T.M. answers from Kansas City on May 17, 2010
One on one time is the answer. Ask a child on a play date, go to the park, a movie, bowling, mini golf anything they might enjoy. It will be an opportunity for you to supervise so he isn't too bossy, suggest other ways to say something or other ways to compromise. With a group it's harder to make that connection that leads to a lasting type of friendship. If both parents feel comfortable even having the boy over to hang out at your house for a few hours, or even have his parents over, you might find some new friends too.
1 mom found this helpful
S.H. answers from St. Louis on May 17, 2010
My son is 13. I can truly say that he does not have a "best friend". He has lots of friends he hangs with, a couple he does sleepovers with. he hangs with friends in Scouts & at religion school.
But, on a daily basis, we do not have one child added to our lives. There are times when I wish my son had that one confidante.....but at this point in his life, it's not going to happen. There is no one his age who lives close by. All of his friends live outside of town.
As a child, I did not have that either....& I did miss it at times. BUT I truly believe that my son is happy. He's thriving, he's a joiner & loves doing stuff with his friends. He, at times, revels in his solitude. & at times, has expressed relief at having his room to himself.....after the friends leave.
If your son is happy, leave him alone. Don't label him "bossy"! It will make him feel uncomfortable when he is in activities. You might try jump-starting a closer friendship by offering to take one child with you on outings, having a sleepover, etc. But, as a word of caution, this does require trust on both families involved! .....which is another whole issue! Good Luck & Peace.
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Kansas City on May 17, 2010
I "second" the mom who suggested inviting someone over on a playdate. I did this for my daughter and after the second playdate, I could see a real bond developing between her and her friend (I volunteer at her school an hour a week, so I witnessed it there too). My daughter's confidence in herself has really gone up as well.
M.R. answers from Columbus on May 16, 2010
Have you considered a social skills class? Some speech-langague therapists offer them, and while he might be with high funcitoning kids who have disablities, he might pick up some valuable lessons.
Generally, by 11 most kids have learned that their strategies don't work very well and try new ones. Is that an issue for him in other areas of his life too?