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Nobody Likes Me
Q: My 10-year-old doesn't have a lot of friends. He keeps telling me that he's stupid and nobody wants to play with him. He seems to have a low self-esteem problem. What can I do?
A: Start by talking with your son's teacher. Ask her what she has observed happening between your son and the other children. Sometimes children become overly sensitive and what your son sees as no one wanting to play with him may be simply two or three kids who don't include him.
If the problem is that your son has different interests than the other children in his class, help him find some groups to join that share the same interests. Joining a soccer team, a Boy Scout troop, or a computer club could help your son make friends with children with similar interests to his own.
Talk with the school counselor about the self-esteem issue. She may be able to give your son some individual time or include him in a small group. If you decide to get additional help outside the school, the counselor or your pediatrician can refer you to a therapist in your community.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.