One of the things that worries us most about our children is if they seem to be having a problem with making friends. This can be simply because they come from a different background or have different interests, but often there are particular reasons for their difficulty.
Children who have difficulty from the time they go to nursery are often hypersensitive. They find their environment overwhelming and find it particularly difficult to cope in addition with other young children who can be loud, invade their space and do things they are not expecting. They may feel more secure staying on the sidelines or playing by themselves.
Children who are slow to develop language will also tend to have difficulty socialising. They will probably be having trouble following what the other children are saying, as well as struggling to communicate. The problems which have caused them to be slow with their speech are also likely to cause problems with reading body language, so they can easily misread situations and find it hard to mix in with the others. They may plunge in regardless, and put other children off, or they may prefer to hold themselves back.
Some children have real problems with social comprehension. They just don’t seem to ‘get it’. This is usually caused by problems with brain organisation, particularly the way the two halves of the brain are working together. Some children will tend to be obsessive, for much the same reasons. This may take the form of wanting to engage in a particular activity all the time, such as obsessively colouring, which may not interfere much with social interaction. Some may tend to go on and on about their particular obsessions, however, regardless of whether anyone wants to listen. This may cause them to become socially isolated.
Any of these problems can lead to a child being bullied, and sometimes there are much more subtle issues which cause a child to put out ‘bully me’ vibes. Children very often do not tell anyone that they are being bullied for fear of reprisals, but bullying is now known to have serious long-term consequences and should be dealt with promptly./br>
All of these difficulties will often continue into adult life, as an unwillingness to socialise, low self-confidence and low self-esteem.