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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

peers


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Apr 18, 2002 at 10:02:45 PM
Subject: peers

What do you do when your child's peers are ahead of your child socially? They are in 6th grade. The kids at this level can be ever changing. My guess would be to create the opportunity for new friendships. He really wants to be with his friends but they are ready to move on to other activities.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 12:09:12 PM
Subject:Re: peers

Middle school can be such a difficult time for children - especially boys in the 6th grade. They are deemed too big to be with the young kids but too little for the big kids and you are correct in that they are everchanging.

Perhaps you could elaborate some on your son's specific challenges. Exactly how are his friends "moving ahead" of him? How does he feel about that? How do his friends feel about *him*?

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Apr 19, 2002 5:45:00 PM
Subject:Re: peers

Thanks for the reply. I really don't know exactly what is happening. I have observed a few things. The one boy my son played with is not available as much as he was in 3rd and 4th grade. My husband and I have noticed that he even acts too cool towards us. This boy is really tuned in to being popular. Our school tends to track kids and his friend is in the gifted group. These kids seem to be more sophiscated. The sad thing is that my son just wants to play. He still wants to roller blade and have a quick game of hockey. My son has said that this boy is asking who his girl friend is. The conversation is who kissed who. My big thing seems to be put others down in order to build yourself up. He is just not there yet. Our son still does things with this boy but my son is not his first pick. There is one other boy who still calls consistently. We live in a neighborhood where he can always join in on a game with other boys.Which he does very often. Its just a change for my son. He really still has a bond to this boy. I am trying to stay out of it all and be there when needed.
My son's behavior is okay generally. He might talk too much and it concerns me that he is being annoying. Basicically, my son is friendly and likes to have fun. We are not pushing our son to be cool. We just want him to enjoy his life as a 12 year old.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Apr 20, 2002 9:29:54 AM
Subject:Re: peers

To paraphrase my Real Estate colleagues, the best thing you can do for your son is *be there - be there - be there*. Seriously, children do not develope in a linear fashion. There are always differences in their social, emotional, intellectual and physical developement. That social/emotional piece can be a sticky problem.

There is nothing wrong with where your son is at right now. Facilitate and encourage any new friendships which you see as positive for him. His "old" friend is clearly in a different place but he too is struggling to mature. Let your son know that your family's values do not include "putting other people down".
Encourage his physical acitvities. He may feel saddened that his friend has drifted away but that has happened to most all of us - let him know that he is not alone in this.

Be involved - be encouraging - talk - and don't forget to listen.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 26, 2014
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Posted:Apr 22, 2002 9:22:23 AM
Subject:Re: peers

My daughter is the same age and I see a big movement in kids from last year to this. In her case, she has one best friend and seems very happy with it. She is also younger, often by a year, than many kids in the class because she started in a different state with a different cut off dates.

I think there are huge differences between kids at this age. Many, if not most, have moved on to the boy/girl interests, clothes, music, ect. My daughter has not. I personally think what you are observing is more related to popularity interests than him being in the gifted program. In fact, he may not want to be seen as geekish.

A few years ago there were twin girls and another girl in our neighborhood who were fast friends. At about sixth grade the twins went a different way. They became very different kinds of kids--the twins were in the "popular crowd" while the other girl played violin and was part of the more arty crowd. This just is very common at this age---kids start to differentiate themselves plus some mature faster than others. Personally, I would enourage your son to "let" the friendship go--they just aren't the same kinds of kids anymore.

Beth

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