How do we learn to make friends

Today at lunch, my friend told me about a problem her son was having on the bus. She went on to describe how one little boy on the bus who was unpopular, teased and not befriended, had decided to bring his Nintendo with a “Star Wars” game on the bus. He let other kids play only if they gave him something. Well, my friend caught her poor Nintendo-less son bringing him candy. My friend was horrified. I laughed because the little boy was really thinking. He is playing out his own little social experiment. The problem is we know that the kids will give this child things to play the game. What he is hoping for is that someone will be his friend, but the likelihood that will work is very slim. My friend asked her son would he talk to this child after he played the game. Her son responded “no,” and then she went on to talk about the implications.

The other child needs some help with social skills. He is aware that he is having problems making friends. He is being teased and lonely. He needs help to learn new ways to try to make friends. The first step is hopefully his parents will give him some guidance, but also since friendship at six is often interest based maybe he will stumble upon another child who plays in a similar way. regardless, he needs to learn to make friends, how to identify possible friends, strategies and responses to deflect teasing. All normal tasks for a 5-6 year old.

Published by Kai Long

Kai currently lives in MA and is interested in collaborating with others to develop a deeper understanding of our speech and language needs.