too small for friends

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2004
too small for friends
Sat, 06-19-2004 - 11:00am
My son has been complaining lately that no one will want to be his friend

because he is small. He just turned 10, finished 4th grade and going to 5th grade soon;

he looks like he is just starting first. His first grade cousin is half a head taller than him and she is normal height in her class. This will give you an idea on his

size. He has never had this "problem" before and was always positive about his height.

But now, he's got this paranoia that no one will like him because he looks

younger than he is. We found out last week that a family with four kids

ages 7 to 12 were moving into our neighbourhood. There are no other school

aged kids in the neighbourhood, so we thought he would be thrilled.

Nope. He said, "Oh, they won't think I'm going to be a fifth grader and so

they won't talk to me."


last night, he showed me a project he had done for school -- a progress

packet to send to their 5th grade teachers. He will be in a new school

next year, and the letter he wrote to his teacher said, "I hope the other

kids will be nice to me. I'm very small for my age, and they might not like

me because they think I'm a little kid."

Now, I think this is happening because he is going to the new school, and

he's afraid. I've told him to tell kids how old he is if they don't seem to believe

him. And they'll notice soon enough that he *is* older by the things he

does, like ride his bike out of the block, or simply by the way he

communicates. But he still seems sceptical.

I was one of those rare kids who stayed in one school my whole life, and

except for when I went to college, I never had to walk into a classroom

feeling utterly alone. I have no idea how he might be feeling. Any

suggestions, experience, or comments?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 06-19-2004 - 9:32pm
This sounds fairly normal behavior for a kid going to a new school in 5th grade. It can be difficult and finding new friends is high on his priority list. Your son is finding his fault and magifiying the issue. Not too unusual in the circumstance. Sure, the other kids will probably notice the hight issue but if he doesn't let it bother him and allows his personality shine through the other kids probably won't care for long. I know this is easier said that done.

I am not sure the best way to deal with this issue with your son. The more you can talk about it and perhaps role play will help. Suggest that he think about his strenghts and that everyone has something they don't like about themselves. Is he a good ball player, artist, chess player or whatever. Will he know anyone at this new school? It doesn't sound like you are moving, will he be going to middle school with lots of new kids?

One solution might be to find a way for him to "joke" about his height. If he comes up with a "funny" joke or retort for when people do ask him he will feel a bit more self-confident.

Good Luck.

Sara & Tim
Diana (Sara 9 yrs, Timothy 5 yrs)

Sara, IVTimothy
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2004
Mon, 06-21-2004 - 3:54pm

Hello and welcome!!