can help children learn the social skills they need to make friends and get
along with others.
My 7-year-old son has recently started
coming home saying that he isn’t wanted at school. He asks me: Why is it that
he is not accepted amongst his peers? Is there something wrong with him?
He is the only second grade and has
been identified as gifted and talented. He has already received his black belt
in martial arts. I consider him to be funny in a clumsy way. Anybody who meets
my son is impressed with his maturity.
He is somewhat OCD like myself, I can
see him having to correct his peers or even telling on them when they are doing
something wrong. At this point I have instructed him to mind his own business
but it is too late. He has already built a reputation with them.
His peers don’t allow him to
participate in anything they are doing. They now are starting to call him names. It breaks my heart to see him feel like an
outcast at this age. The last thing I want to happen is for him to get
frustrated and end up hurting someone when they are excluding him.
It sounds like you son is different
than his peers. You say he is exceptionally bright, mature beyond his years,
and a bit awkward. When children are different, it’s easy to be excluded from a
At seven years old, your son may not
yet have the social skills to fit in and may require help from the adults
around him. I have two suggestions:
1) When your son has children come to
your home, use the time to observe the way he interacts with other children and
how they respond to him. This can be helpful in teaching him the skills he
needs to fit in with others. For example, if he is bossy, you can remind him
that it makes other kids feel uncomfortable.
2) At school, it would be worthwhile to
speak with his classroom teacher. Tell her your concerns so she can monitor his
and other children’s behavior on the playground and intervene when necessary.
You might also want to question what
kinds of accommodations the school is making to assure that his work is
challenging and interesting to him. If you think that he has some
obsessive-compulsive traits, you may want to speak to the school psychologist
or guidance counselor to see whether this is interfering with his social skills
or academic achievement.
Hope this helps.
Some prior posts about children
and friendship on The Friendship Blog:
- Worried Mom: My daughter doesn’t have a close friend
daughter feels like an outcast at school: What should I do?
Housekeeping asks Dr. Levine about children’s friendships
Bad Friend: What’s a mom to do?