Shy Daughter Has Difficulty Making Friends

Dear Sara,

I have two daughters ages five and seven. My seven year old seems to have difficulty making friends. She’s overweight and a bit shy but it seems to me she’s just not interested and would rather be by herself. She gets along well with her sister who is fairly outgoing but doesn’t attempt to make contact with anybody else. I think friends are important. How can I help her?
-Laura





Dear Laura,

You are right that friends are important. Everyone needs someone to laugh with and share their joys and sorrows. At your daughter’s age friendship isn’t too deep but it’s an important learning experience.

It seems that attractive kids have more self confidence and seem to make friends more easily, so one thing that you could do is to help her change her physical appearance. If she is eating too much between meals or snacking on candy bars, don’t buy high calorie food and offer healthy between meal snacks. You could also try to find some after school activities that would interest her so that she can burn off some calories and meet new people.

Your daughter may not care about how she looks but looking better may help her self esteem and self confidence. Is your daughter unhappy or depressed? Try to talk to her and listen to see how she feels but don’t make it seem that she is somehow at fault for not having friends. Maybe she can tell you what she needs.
-Sara

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