Heartbroken! DS (9) says he has no friends and hates his life ...

(20 Posts)
RunDougalRunQuiteFast Wed 09-Jul-14 22:09:07

Taking DS to bed tonight, he said he wanted 'a private word', this is a usual occurrence and can be anything from Minecraft to something he's worried about. Anyway, he said he hates his life and has no friends. He has two good friends who are not in his school, his class is small, only 20 kids and most of the boys are football mad, and he's not into football. He's into Lego, imaginative play and cycling (recent craze). He's always been very sensitive, empathetic and I think he actually gets on pretty much with anybody. He's moving up to middle school in Sept so I talked about there being a bigger pool of people there, more likely to meet people he has things in common with, let's arrange play dates for the weekend with out of school friends, etc.

Anything else I can do to help him? I'm heartbroken that he feels like this, though I was a fairly melancholy child and so was DH so poor DS probably has no hope! I am pleased that he will talk to me about things like this though.

FauxFox Wed 09-Jul-14 22:15:45

It's super cool that he feels able to talk to you about this so don't be sad! You're right about a bigger school offering a more diverse choice of friendships, he will likely thrive there and the term is nearly over. It will all be ok - his interests are just as good as football or whatever and he will meet more like-minded people at his new school. Maybe plan a treat for the first day of the hols to mark a new beginning?

Scotlandmam Wed 09-Jul-14 22:16:25

Sounds terrible sad hopefully this is just a phase. Just be there for him, be supportive (as I'm sure you are), does he have any after school activities? Something like that may be a helpful tool in making friends.

Bluestocking Wed 09-Jul-14 22:18:39

Oh, your poor boy. It's great that he can talk to you about these things though. My son (he's ten) gets terrible fits of the glooms. Have you told your boy that you used to feel like that when you were a child, so he feels understood? I find that my DS seems to be able to let go of the feelings more easily if I acknowledge them and say I understand.

I was a rather gloomy child too, and my mother was always very brisk and unsympathetic, which I used to hate - it made me feel as though she was trying to tell me that I didn't really feel the way I knew I felt, if that makes any sense.

The other tactic I use with DS is helping him remember the things that make him feel better - if it's bedtime, a hot shower and twenty minutes of reading something he really enjoys - if it's earlier in the day, it might be something like practising his rainbow flick (footie loving boys get gloomy too!) or listening to the Beatles.

Good luck, it is awful when they feel gloomy, isn't it? You just want to take all the sad feelings away for them. Hugs to you and him.

desertgirl Wed 09-Jul-14 22:20:14

I have a sensitive non-sporty almost 8 year old DS who has been saying similar things - and it tears me up inside... you just want to be able to fix it all for them, don't you? sorry I don't have any useful advice but I do have a lot of sympathy for both you and him.

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Wed 09-Jul-14 22:27:36

Thank you for all the replies, yes it absolutely devastates me that he feels like this! Have just cried all over DH, who said he often felt like that as a child but didn't have anybody to talk to, so at least DS has that. I just want to take it all away and make him happy, I think it gets harder as they get older and a kiss doesn't make the world all right!

He's not into joining after school clubs, I have offered football, scouts, Kung fu, swimming, etc etc. he likes pootling around at home with his Lego! Good idea about focusing on things that make him happy. DH is brilliant with pottering around with him and they both like that. I'm hoping it's end of term tiredness and Dh Has been working long hours for the last couple of weeks which is hard on everybody.

teafor1 Thu 10-Jul-14 09:08:13

I have a 6 year old like this who also isn't into football. It's great your son is talking with you about it. I'm learning those who aren't into football do have a harder time with friends especially with a smaller pool to pick from. Hopefully at the bigger school he'll find some like minded kids. My only advice is to boost him up about the things he likes to do? That's what I'm trying to do with my own son.

MildDrPepperAddiction Thu 10-Jul-14 09:10:31

Your poor DS. Could you get him into any activities with like minded children? Is there a cycling club near you that he could join?

Biscuitsneeded Thu 10-Jul-14 09:11:48

I can't believe I'm actually suggesting this, but if he likes Lego does he play (bloody buggering) Minecraft? I also have non-sporty, football-avoiding sons, but they both love Minecraft and they have their friends round and they either play Minecraft or pore over their Minecraft books. I hate Minecraft but it is quite sweet to hear them chatting with their friends about it with such excitement...

7to25 Thu 10-Jul-14 09:17:11

My son is 10 and a bit like this. It is the football thing that is so hard. He joined a choir a couple of years ago, he now has a couple of really good friends from there. The performance aspect has been really good for his confidence.

nicename Thu 10-Jul-14 09:44:08

I suspect he will like coding. He's not too young to try the Raspberry Pi (hopefully mum or dad is computer literate).

Has he tried other sports or clubs? Any active thing is good. Especially when there are badges or belts to work towards. I always hated team sports (but for some reason was good at hockey and basketball) but loved athletics. Team sports (like footie) aren't great for kids in their shell.

I got some books for 'sensitive' kids off amazon. One's called 'unstopable me!' and the other is a Deepak Chopra (sp??) one for kids of short stories with nice, positive messages. The Positively Alexander ones are also good for reinforcing positive feelings/emotions (the kid is a brat though!!).

Does he enjoy drawing, writing, music...? I'm guessing that he is a bright little button and a deep thinker. Keep the brain busy - there are some great magazines that he could get into - Aquila, How it Works, Nat Geo for Kids etc.

I didn't really have friends when I was little (very small class at school, wasn't alowed to join clubs, mum didn't like kids over/me going over to them, plus I was very shy and sensitive).

He's got a couple of good mates. Fantastic! Keep up with playdates, organise picnics and days out. Whatever the guys are into, then try to plan something. Will they be at the same middle school?

Also, maybe penpals?

nicename Thu 10-Jul-14 09:45:36

DS also loves Mindcraft. I have no chuffing idea what the hell it is so just smile and nod politely, and add the occasional 'awww, that's awsome!' for good measure.

That made me chortle nicename smile

Lots of positives hidden in there OP - he's talking to you about how he feels, he knows he wants to have more friends, he has some friends just not so many at current school, he has some strong interests just not football, being sensitive and empathetic he has some great skills to make friends, and he has a great new opportunity to make new friends coming up with going up to middle school.
Loads of luck to you both for this new opportunity. Fingers crossed x

nicename Thu 10-Jul-14 10:12:45

I do the

nicename Thu 10-Jul-14 10:13:52

(Arg phone). I do the same with Warhammer. Maybe the new school has clubs for minecraft/warhammer and the like?

TheHoneyBadger Thu 10-Jul-14 10:16:20

honestly i guess it's up to you what you do but essentially he's telling you that school and the normal way of educating and socialising is making him miserable and doesn't work for him.

would you consider home educating him? we have this idea that even the squarest peg must learn to fit a round hole or at least just deal with not fitting for a minimum of 12years of their life. there are other choices.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 10-Jul-14 10:27:58

My son was just the same OP, in a tiny school with just six boys in his year. He rubbed along OK with them but his best friends in school were in the year below and above. He also had good out of school friends.

He was much happier at High School though and had a really good close group of friends who liked the same sort of things as him. He's 20 now and still has a great bond with his High School friends, instantly lost touch with the boys from primary.

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Thu 10-Jul-14 13:42:29

Lots of great ideas there, thank you all!

Yes of course he's into bloody Minecraft, I do the 'that's wonderful darling!' Thing while not understanding much about it. I think it's just a temp glitch, he is looking forward to middle school and a bigger pool, and he really does have some good friends, I think it's more he's one of those kids that gets on well with everybody but doesn't have a particularly special friend at school - he did, but that boy is now more into football at the moment.

I will def look into the cycling and coding, I think he'd really like those.

Bluestocking Thu 10-Jul-14 20:32:34

I hope your lovely boy is feeling a bit more upbeat today, RunDougal.

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Fri 11-Jul-14 14:46:54

Thank you, he was. He is quite sensitive and thoughtful, which I sometimes think is a bit of a handicap!

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