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Socialization is generally not a concern for our family. However, at times, finding friends can be a challenge. Either we live in a more rural area or, for whatever reason, our children are struggling to connect with those around them. 

Do your children struggle with finding friends? How does your family address this issue; and how are you encouraging these relationships in your children?

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This has been a huge issue for us.

We live rural and have no kids around.  They have friends at co-op and church, but not really close friends that we see outside of these activities very often.  Most of the group park dates and field trips are a LONG drive for us and usually right at nap time.  I just can't make them a priority, and my introverted self doesn't want to most of the time.

I feel guilty at times, but on the other hand, I've watched my kids with other kids.  They're friendly and get along well with everyone.  They can make friends.  They don't seem to complain or anything, but thankfully they have each other.  I have two boys close in age, and two girls close in age, so hopefully they're making strong sibling bonds, which outlive most childhood friends anyway.  

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18 hours ago, momsheartblog@gmail.com said:

 

I feel guilty at times, but on the other hand, I've watched my kids with other kids.  They're friendly and get along well with everyone.  They can make friends.  They don't seem to complain or anything, but thankfully they have each other.  I have two boys close in age, and two girls close in age, so hopefully they're making strong sibling bonds, which outlive most childhood friends anyway.  

This is exactly how I feel! My children are each other's best friends. We've been mocked for that before, but I don't understand why. My kids had friends from the church in the past when we were stationary, but those friends all moved away and didn't keep in touch. The church friend who didn't move away got into drugs and ran away from home. Nurturing a relationship just because they are the same age and go to the same church/school/whatever does not, to me, seem like solid ground. 

We work hard on relationships within the family. Periodically on our travels (both physical travels as full-time RVers and our travels through life) our children will connect with somebody. Sometimes they get quite close and stay connected. I've seen, however, how children change as they grow older, and in the case of one of my daughter's friends, it is in a direction that I don't want her going. Our daughter also recognizes this and is maintaining enough distance to not be influenced, but staying close enough to be an influence. 

I do have some concern for a couple of my extremely shy and quiet teens. They have each other and don't seem interested in anybody else. They're young, though. We'll see. I was similar, and now I can't shut up...in this post, at least. 

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Well, we are rural, too.  Malachi wants friends, but not too often and he is great with patient adults.  He just doesn't enjoy other kids his age as much.  Probably because he is still all about trains and swinging on the tree swing.  Other boys his age carry on conversations.  Xav and Merrick can both talk your ears off and will anyone who will give them the time of day.  Xav is ten, though, and is getting a bit more discerning about friendships.  He has one buddy who stole something at a party, lied about it, refused to apologize when he got caught, and is constantly trying to manipulate Xav into buying him "gifts" (toys and whatnot).  There is one boy on our road and he has a bit of a mean streak and Xav is quickly distancing himself from that one, but he is persistent.  Even if we tell him not to come over (one day Xav didn't feel well), he just shows up anyway, then I have to be the bad guy.  These situations are frustrating, but are encouraging Xav to think about the kind of friend he wants and what he should do to be that kind of friend.

Who knew kids having friends was going to be so much work for me?  :)

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OH YES!! we moved last december. We are a military family but chose to live about 20 miles from the post. Our church does have a good bit of military but our coop only has a handful. My almost-8-year-old daughter makes friends wherever she goes but my 12-year-old is struggling a lot. Part of it is the age and part is that most of the people we are around haven't ever moved or haven't moved as much and have had the same friends forever so they don't need new friends and don't know how to welcome new people. It has been hard. We also live out of town so that is another challenge. Honestly I prefer when our family matches up well with another family with kids and we can all do things together, the few things here my kids have been invited to are only for that individual child. I'm not used to that and it is insanely hard for me to manage. 

I'm a bit envious of those of you whose kids are each other's best friends. I would love to see that happen with mine but lately they are horrible to each other and I don't know how to fix it. 

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My daughter loves making friends. Right now I have to drive to everything so she can see her friends. They do come up here but not as frequent. I hope to move closer to our homeschool friends. She has friends in town here but they go to school and now that school has started we don't see them as much. I do try to make most of the field trips I can when time allows us too. Our really good friends live about 35 minutes away :( 

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We live in a small town and are the only homeschoolers. I drive them to a town about 45 minutes away to go to a PE class that somehow I ended up teaching. It has been a good experience for them, sometimes a bit difficult, though. They have had to learn how to deal with people that are hard to get along with. We have a Facebook group for local families and whenever a mom has a field trip idea, she organizes it and invites the group. It's all very informal, but since we have several military families here, it seems to work well for us.

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We have always struggled with socializing.  Having a child on the spectrum has limited our possibilities for my other children.  Sports and church do tend to be a source for them, but as for lasting, through thick and thin....we have had very little success.

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