My 8 year old has a hard time making friends

Mercedes - posted on 10/03/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




My daughter is an only child, and she had a complete melt down last night because she wanted to adopt a brother her age. This is completely out of left field. She used to play with our neighbor next door, but after their dog bit her, they really don't play at all anymore. She has had a couple of friends over the years at school, but this is the first full on meltdown she has had. I am at a loss as to what to do. I don't want her lonely, but there aren't any kids in our neighborhood to play with. Help!


Guest - posted on 10/03/2014




I have an only child too, and we live out in suburbia, but outside of the box neighborhoods, so he cannot just walk over to a neighbor's house to play. We have to work really hard to create a social circle for them where they can feel connected to others.

Set up play dates at least once a week with different girls who participate in the same extra curricular activities she does. Try to have the same girls over at least 2 or 3 times a month so that she can build a relationship that goes beyond acquaintance. If she does any team sports, work with the coach to organize team parties and events--this will not only benefit the girls by creating friendships, but it will improve their performance as well! Research indicates that teams who have stronger bonds off the field are more coordinated on the field, which translates to better scores :)

School is an okay place to make friends, but it is very hit or miss because the kids have so many different interests, personalities, and backgrounds. That is great for exposure, but kids who share similar interests and backgrounds will be more likely to form deep friendships like the one she is looking for, so focus on finding friends within the groups she is interested in.

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2014




If she is friendly with one or two girls at school, perhaps to can schedule some after school get togethers? I'd invite one to come to your house and hopefully the invitation will be reciprocated. Do you have any idea why she suddenly wants a brother, did something happen at school? In addition to gently encouraging her to reach out to her peers, you should try to open a dialog about what is bothering her. Maybe it was just a passing thing and she won't bring it up again, but if it is a deeper issue, better to start taking about it sooner.


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