Monday, May 7, 2007

How to make a boy make a friend

I am seriously, yes-seriously, at the end of my rope. Those that know me will say-it's a short rope. Be that as it may, I'm dangling off the tip of my rope and I need some advise.

I'm sure I've mentioned before, my DS's lack of social skills. His dad left when he was two years old and we've had a "rocky" agreement of how the boy is be raised since then. I also feel partly responsible since I placed him in a situation at an early age where we lived with psychopaths. I have tried very hard to over come that and help him become a "whole" person.

He has a very hard time making friends. He gets in trouble at school for talking when he shouldn't and has a very bad habit of correcting people instead of letting the teacher do their job. We've talked about this a zillion times, to no avail. He's better for awhile and then he gets in trouble again. He also is very hard on himself and expects nothing less than perfection in his school work. To that end, he will refuse to do assignments or not finish because he would rather get a failing grade than do less than what he feels he should do.

I've probably also told you about the new kid at the bus stop. Sweet looking kid. New to the neighborhood and to the school. I figure it must be hard on the kid coming into a school this late in the school year. He turned out to be in several of DS's classes. PERFECT says I. Perfect chance for DS to make a new friend. They have the "New kid" label in common. He stands at the bus stop with the same lost puppy look my son has. He plays an instrument. Figured that will give him additional geek points with the middle schoolers. He is prime target for a friend.

DS will not talk to him at the bus stop. He says he talks to him in their classes but how much "talking" can they do without getting in trouble? They can't sit together and talk on the bus because they apparently have assigned seats. We get to the bus stop at least 10-15 minutes early. Plenty of time to talk to someone. Get to know them. MAKE A BLASTED FRIEND!!!

This morning, for at least the millionth time, I asked DS why he will not get out of the car and talk to the boy. I asked him to give the kid a business card for the kid to give to his mom, for my business. He saw that it had our phone number on it and FREAKED out. He refused to give it to him, because THE KID might call our house. I tried to get DS to explain to me what he was so afraid of. He said, He's only one person. I asked him what that means. He can't tell me. He "Doesn't know". I not so calmly explained to him that he needed to stop using phrases that he "Didn't know what they meant". He still couldn't tell me what he thinks will happen if he talks to this kid. I know he is afraid but I can't get him to admit it and try and work through it. From looking at the other kid, I'm fairly sure he is just as scared as DS is. !!!!!!!!!

I'm going to ask DH to give it a try this afternoon. He seems to be able to get him to open up when I can't. Maybe he can get him to see there is no fear in saying hello and asking a few "friendly" questions. When ever I suggest an "ice breaker" my DS says that is prying. I can't get him to understand it is a normal way of starting a conversation. It could lead to a new friend.

I've already decided that starting tomorrow, I'm not going to take him to the bus stop any more.
Maybe if I make him walk there and I'm not hanging out with him, he'll talk to the kid. If not, at least I won't have to sit there watching the kid look so sad and DS looking so scared. Now that the sun comes up earlier, he won't be in the dark. He doesn't need me to watch out for dangers in the darkness.

Yes, I'm going to throw the little bird out of the nest.

Fly or fall.

I don't know what else to do.


Til later........................


Cami said...

I am afraid I don't have any great advice for you about DS. Hopefully things will change!

Had fun cropping with you yesterday! Hope you have a great Monday...24 is on tonight!

Loretta said...

I think you're on the right track with making him go to the bus stop by himself. I hope it works. Jenny was always incredibly shy and would never initiate conversations, much less relationships, but she outgrew it by the time she hit her teens. She's a regular social butterfly now, lol.


Michele L from Tampa said...

Making him walk to the bus stop will help. But also maybe bridery always works! Did with me! If Cody wanted something, I had to get something in return that I wanted him to do. Since the boy rides the same bus does he live close too? Maybe bribe with money. 1.00 for everyday that he talks to him until the end of school. And 5.00 if he comes over and plays. Do that at first then once he realizes the kid is cool - then stop paying lol. And the money can be used during the summer to do things (like the movies or Putt Putt. And of coarse the kid now being a friend would go too.

Lisa D:) said...

I like Michele's speaks volumnes at these kids ages!!! If the boy lives in your neighborhood could you "take a walk" (with the intent to stop at their house....but what ds doesn't know won't hurt him)? I think that sending him to the bus stop on his own is a great idea.

Jenn said...

The ONLY kink in the money advice would be that DS would say something one day to the affect, "My mom payed me to play with you" and that may not fly well with the kid nor the parents, KWIM?

You just never know what is going on in their heads at this age, especially boys. It was very hard for me to make new friends since I moved around and lot and went to new schools a lot. Also, DS may be rebelling against you in a way because YOU want him to make this kid his friend and he just isn't going to. Maybe if you just leave it alone for awhile he'll come around. He may see that this is getting to you and he may like that. Not saying HE WANTS to hurt you but this is the age that kids like to make their parents miserable and you have a few years that you'll have to go through this. So, be there for him but not so noticably. If he thinks you want to know too much he may clam up more. Kids at this age feel like they are being interrogated when they are asked questions and they resent that. (I remember...) So, I think making him go to the bus stop alone is a good thing. You're giving him responsiblity and showing him he's more grown up for being able to walk alone, so he may respond more positively.

I dunno..I may be way off base. I'm just trying to remember when I was that age...