|

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

The Latest and Greatest Book for Kids
Search our interactive Book Finder for the top new books for kids of all ages, brought to you by the latest book in the I, Funny series, "I Totally Funniest."

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games
Who says you have to stay inside when the temperature drops? Snowy weather is a great excuse to round up your neighborhood for some outdoor winter fun and games.

2015 Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees
The Oscar nominations are in, and they include several family-friendly movies. See which flicks earned a nod for Best Animated Feature Film and other awards.

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 Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks