My child can’t make friends

My child can’t make friends. Does your child struggle with friendships? Have you been called into the Head’s office or the Year Head’s office to be told that you child is either argumentative or isolated? Have you noticed that your child has conflictual relationships both in and out of school?

I offer support to parents of children who seem to find relaxed, trusting relationships hard to maintain.

Let us look at one area of a young person’s life, school, and try see what it might be like for them to maintain friendships in this place. Remember that relationships in school are not social relationships that our children are at liberty to engage with as they please. These are relationships that need to go well, in one way or another, in order for our children to feel ok on a daily basis as they navigate themselves through the complex series of social transactions that the school day requires of them.

Could be they have worked hard to get on well with a teacher and now they do not see that teacher any more so now they are back to square one with a new teacher. Indeed, there is evidence to say that are young person’s success at any subject depends on how well they engage with their teacher.

Could be that a positive relationship developed with one of their peers later on in the school year and they are keen for that relationship to continue but unsure if their friend wishes to maintain and invest in this friendship in the same way as they did in the term previous.

All of these efforts are essential in any intense group situation in order for a person to feel as safe as they can while away from home. These efforts take energy, time and thought to maximise the potential for a positive outcome for our children in an environment such as school which is relentless, and at times, unforgiving.

Needless to say a young person’s ability to create and maintain relationships will be based very much on the relationships they see modelled at home.

If they are surrounded by tolerant, caring, thoughtful relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding then they themselves will develop relationships in this way. 

If they are surrounded by relationships that are tense, treacherous, resentful and confusing then they themselves will create relationships like that for themselves at school and there is every possibility that you will be called in to school because your child is having problems with friendships at school.

If you would like to get in touch with me to find out a little more about how counselling and therapy can help you or someone you love, I would be pleased to hear from you.