|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

When It's Hard Making Friends

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: Because of my husband's job, we have moved around a lot and we've just recently moved back to the U.S. from Great Britain. My oldest son is 12 years old. He is a straight-A student, tall and handsome, but he just can't make friends. He gets pushed around and a lot of kids make fun of him because he's taking karate lessons. It breaks my heart to see him so unhappy. He doesn't go to school dances because his classmates tell him not to come. It's a very frustrating situation for him. He is a helpful child who just wants to make a friend. What can I do?

A: As you and your son know, any move into a new school is painful, especially at the middle level. As for your helping, start with encouraging him to continue the karate lessons and to go to the dances. Right now the bullies are winning. Middle-school boys are full of testosterone and hot air. If your son thinks the threats are serious, he should report it to the person in charge of discipline. If there is a peer-mediation program, your son could ask for a mediation with the students who are harassing him.

Next, I would suggest that you talk with his school counselor for ideas about this problem and what the school offers that might help your son make more friends. Is there an ambassador program? Are there any clubs that might interest your son?

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks