Making friends can be a hard thing to do. This is especially true for people who don’t talk much. My son, who is 14, has had a handful of friends over the years, most of which have been girls. They talk to him and they’re “pretty” he says, so he responds to them. Sometimes how he responds isn’t the wisest.
For example, in 7th grade there was a girl who talked to him often. After a short while he began to really like her. So, he began staring at her a lot. By a lot, I mean practically non-stop. One day she got fed up with it and met him outside the classroom, where she proceeded to shove him across the hallway and straight into the lockers. That was the end of that friendship.
Since then, we’ve been trying to work on the concept of friendship. How to make friends and how to keep them. The problem, is that my son doesn’t talk much, so it’s hard to even begin a friendship. That’s okay if the other person is a talker, but when neither of them are the situation gets tricky.
There is a boy who rides my son’s bus. I’ll call him Tom. Tom is about a year older than my son and watches him closely every day. Tom doesn’t talk much either. So he and my son just look at each other. Without saying so, Tom has given me the impression that he wants to befriend my son.
The first day my son (he needs a name)…Pal. Let’s start again. The first day Pal rode the bus home, Tom followed us. He pretended to be watching a work van, but it was obvious that he was watching us to see where we lived. Tom only lives a few houses down. We often see him outside throwing balls around, typically by himself. Since he’s so near and apparently alone most of the time, it would be neat if he and Pal would become friends. But, one of them must talk first. That’s like pulling teeth. Well, pulling teeth is much easier.
Yesterday, Tom went even further when following my son home. I saw Pal headed down the side walk and right on his heels was Tom. As Pal walked in the front door, Tom was standing at the fence just across the sidewalk. This isn’t the first time Tom has been so close to our house, trying to spy out the land. There have been many days where I’ll see him walking up and down the sidewalk glancing toward our windows. One time, he was on the lawn attacking our tree with a stick.
I think it’s pretty obvious that he wants to be friends with Pal. I wonder what they will do together, seeing as how neither of them talk much. I suppose that as long as they become friends then whatever they do, within limits, will be good. They both need a friend, and what better friend to have than one who lives only a few doors down?
I’ve been trying to give them time to work this out on their own. Evidently, that’s not working. I will probably have to be the one to make the first move. If the kids can’t manage to become friends on their own, then I suppose I’ll do it for them.
Until then, I assume they will remain silent friends. That may not be a bad thing. You can’t disagree if you never talk.
Do your children have problems making friends? If so, how do you help them?