Only child has trouble making friends - FamilyEducation
Only child has trouble making friends
07/19/2008 at 00:00 AM

We have an 11yr old daughter who is an only child going into 6th grade next year.  She has had trouble making and keeping friends for quite awhile now.  She is not shy, just does not like to take risks.  She hates clicks (who doesn't?) and there are a couple of big ones in her school.  She will invite girls over, they come and they seem to have a good time.  But she never gets invitations or calls from other girls.  She seems to have stopped trying this summer and I am always telling her to call a friend, go to the pool, something.  She dances, sings in a community youth theater group and is friendly with girls there.  But no true friendships.  I worry.  What can I do to help her?  She is such a beautiful and smart young girl. 

I think your daughter's smart to avoid the "clicks". A true friend shld accept her for who she is. She shld not try to "fit in" or do things she doesn't believe in just to have friends. Are there any other groups outside of school that your daughter can join? Or what about sports? Church youth group? Have her choose something she enjoys doing. This way she won't feel uncomfortable in the environment to begin w/, and it will make things that much easier for her to make friends. I think your daughter is right to be choosey. I have 2 friends that I've known since freshmen yr of HS that I consider true friends. The rest of my "friends" are acquaintances that are fun to hang out w/, but in no way do I share a close personal relationship w/ them. Your daughter will meet lots of people in her life. She'll learn who are the true friends and who are just acquaintances. Give her time to find these true friends. Don't give up hope.

Thank you. Your words are very encouraging. She does dance and has friends there. School is so important and this is a transition year to middle school. I want her to have a couple girls that she can count on. I won't lose hope. Thank you so much.

Becca, Misery loves company. I had to daughter is 11, an only child & going through the same thing. My daugter is quiet in addition. Because she is quiet, and not acting 17- finding a friend is difficult. She also takes dance & is wanting to try community theatre (might not have time with dance). Parents are another thing... Seems I can make time to have their child (free sitter) over but they are always too busy to invite her or us over or out.I don't know the answer-its tough. Keeping busy has been the best so far for us. I'd reccommend church activities -however our church has about 5 children. Like you said, so beautiful(inside & out) & so smart-it rips your heart out.

My almost 12-year old is an only child and is having conflicts with her friends. They like each other, but my daughter tends to get bored with what they're doing quickly and then seeks out the adults to talk to. She's not shy at all and seems to be interested in more mature things (science, the environment, reading, etc.) than her friends. I have told her she needs to find a balance, and I know she's trying, but I just don't know what advice I can give her or what I can be doing as a parent....I don't want her to be lonely, esp when she's starting to enter those puberty years.