• Making Friends

I have few friends and worry about my daughters’ friendships

Published: February 20, 2014 | Last Updated: February 20, 2014 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
A mother wonders whether she is responsible for her daughters not having friends.



I’m worried because I have few friends, and neither of my daughters have friends. Genetics? I don’t know how to help them, because I don’t know how to help myself. Appreciate your thoughts.

Signed, Alicia


Hi Alicia,

Your note was quite terse but I’ll do my best to answer. Since you do have some friends, I recommend examining those relationships to see which ones are most satisfactory, figuring out why, and then building upon your successes.

Regarding your concern about your daughters, I would speak to their teachers to find out their thoughts. Teachers are expert at observing how children interact with each other, and if your girls are doing something to alienate their peers or not doing something they should to make friends, their teachers may have some suggestions.

You can also have each of your daughters invite a classmate to an activity, like a trip to a children’s museum or playground so you can observe their interactions. If you see any red flags, afterwards you can coach them and role-play other ways to handle difficult situations.

It sounds like you may not have many relationships with other moms and this may be impacting your daughters friendships, especially if they are young. Are there opportunities for you to volunteer on any parent-teacher committees to meet other moms?

Whether the issue is genetic, environmental or a mix of the two, both you and your girls can develop friendship skills and learn to expand your social circles.

Good luck.

Signed, Amy Feld*

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

**No information provided here or elsewhere on this blog is intended as medical advice. The blog focuses on everyday friendship problems.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Justine says:

    Reading this as a doctor, I just want to add that there are a few genetic links to socialisation issues, if there is a specific condition that has been diaganosed by a paychiatrist. These conditions include Asperger’s Syndrome and other autistic spectrum disorders, certain personality disorders, and depression to name a few. But these are not usually the case. Mostly, being introverted is just a personality type which is a combo of how you are born and your upbringing. It is not necessarily a bad thing.

  2. Sienna says:

    Hi Alicia,

    I imagine you’ve asked your kid’s friends to come along on field trips to the museum etc. already. This is such a common way of socializing for kids these days as most kids don’t go outside and play anymore. Play dates are more the norm.

    I tried to arrange play dates with my kids, but found that their mothers often said they’re children were either busy with other extra curricular activities or even had such feeble excuses such as, they have to clean their room. I gave up after a while.I think my son went through a lot of real lonely times growing up. I just hope his memories aren’t too sad, but I think they are.

    He’s got a beautiful girlfriend now and a few good friends. It was hard t o watch him grow up so lonely though; it still makes me sad.

    • Vanessa says:

      Don’t feel so bad, I have two children who are 6 years apart and opposite sex. My son is 19 now and I asked him if he was lonely growing up and he told me no. He said at school he socialized with the other kids and it was overwhelming. My son said he enjoyed being at home away from other kids most of the time because he needed that escape. Childhoods are not like they used to be. Children have to deal with so much more than we dealt with. Trust me a little alone time is good for them. My daughter is 13 and she would be a loner too. But I personally fill that gap by going to the movies with her to watch whatever movie she enjoys (which is every cartoon and P-13 movie) this weekend we are heading to universal studios. I constantly ask my kids if they want any friends invited and they basically tell me “no” because school was so overwhelming they need a break from other kids.

  3. I like your post,since every parents are the only want is to protect their children. But having friends are very important as they grow because they need to communicate with others. So let your daughters have their own friends. As long as you know who their friends are everything will be fine. Thanks for the share.

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