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Failing at finding friends for my hs child


Tohru
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I've been homeschooling many years and haven't had this problem before. I have an 8yo that has no friends. She has older siblings, and they have friends, and she's tagged along with the older siblings, or been okay being alone. But lately she's been crying because she has no friends and I am failing at finding her anyone to play with.

My other children are college grads, or in middle school so they can deal with friendships on their own. Elementary homeschoolers are hard since we have to facilitate their relationships.

The biggest issue is that I am old, I had her when I was 43. It seems all the moms that have children her age are young moms, closer in age to my college grads.

I have tried to reach out, planning play dates, however then I can't go through with it because I have anxiety attacks when it comes to actually having to meet these young moms. They're an entirely different generation, I can't connect, I can't relate to them, and I honestly just don't want to spend time around young parents. I guess not only am I old, I'm old and grumpy.

I don't know, I don't know what kind of advice I'm asking for, I just need to vent or hear that I'm not alone in dealing with this. I'm sad for my lonely child and I'm filled with dread whenever I think of trying to meet new people.

Edited by Tohru
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I am not sure if you are joking or serious when you say the idea of meeting other moms gives you anxiety attacks. If you are serious, I would encourage you to get some help for that.  One, it will help *you* feel better, and two, it will help facilitate these relationships for your child. For an 8 year old homeschool kid, yeah, you're going to have to put yourself out there and meet the other parents to help your child make friends.  If you don't live in a neighborhood with oodles of kids, I'm not sure there is any other way to do it except showing up at park days and introducing yourself.  

I am an older mom, too.  The age difference between me and the younger moms at homeschool meetups was a non-issue because we were at a similar stage in child-rearing. We all had kids right around the same age, so even without other things in common, we had the kids in common.  And I'm not even the oldest mom to come out to park days!   One of the moms adopted kids late in life and was about 60.  Sometimes it was a grandma bringing kids to park day, too.  

You don't have to be "friends" with the other moms. You just have to be friendly and willing to show up.     

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10 hours ago, Tohru said:

I honestly just don't want to spend time around young parents. I guess not only am I old, I'm old and grumpy.

I don't know, I don't know what kind of advice I'm asking for, I just need to vent or hear that I'm not alone in dealing with this. I'm sad for my lonely child and I'm filled with dread whenever I think of trying to meet new people.

I'm with you on the generation gap. My kids are 10 years apart, and when I try to make friends with some of the younger moms at church, I do feel that gap. 

However I think @MissLemon is onto something say that maybe you need to check to make sure you're feeling your best. Maybe run some thyroid labs, screen for depression and anxiety, run your vitamin D levels, hormones, etc. kwim? 

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I agree with a lot of what has been said before and I just wanted to point out one other thing. Not all younger mothers are the same. You may luck out and find one that surprises you with how much you have in common. Almost all of my female friends are 20+ years older than I am. I have always had trouble relating to women my own age and have found that I often fit in better with older ladies. The few friends I have that are my own age have noted the same. I find that life experience, not age, is the determining factor. For many, you need a lot of years for that life experience, and others have had enough in a short time. You may not have any luck with that in your area, but if you keep an open mind you might be pleasantly surprised. 

In any case I wish you the best and I hope you're able to find something that works for you and your daughter. 

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I am not sure what sorts of issues you are finding with "younger moms."  I am going to be 43 in a couple of months, my DH is 50.  And we have kids who are almost 8, just turned 10, and almost 12.  (plus DD24, who will be 25 in a couple of months.)   Neither of us has had issues relating to parents of our kids friends.  

I also want to say, I am actually a bit surprised that you are finding such a hard time finding moms of your own age with kids that age.  It's really not all that uncommon anymore for people to be having kids into their late 30s and early 40s.  I find that through my kids activities, there has always been a wide range of parental ages.  

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I'm also an older mom. While I find that I am usually the oldest mom, there isn't that much of a difference in age. It's not like the other moms are all in their young 20's. Generally speaking, I'm usually about 10 years older than most of the other moms and that's not that much of a difference to me. 

And speaking as the mother of an only child, you should try to address anxiety that stands in the way of your child's social life, especially if she is so unhappy. There are plenty of times that I don't want to put myself out there but I try to make myself because it's for my kid. I don't mean to make light of it because it's hard. Based on how you are reacting, maybe you should speak to a counselor or your physician about some medication. 

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In a way, I can relate. I have a very outgoing and vivacious only child. I am a very private person and I think most people my age find it strange. Co-ops and meet ups are so awkward for me.   (Pre-Covid) I prefer drop off activities like the Y homeschool PE or the homeschool days at the zoo. This way my kid can socialize, and I can sit in my car reading a book. Would a drop off experience be possible for you after Covid?  What about neighborhood kids? We aren’t close with any of our neighbors (apartment) but if we see other kids outside DS will always play with them. 
 

 

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14 minutes ago, AnneGG said:

In a way, I can relate. I have a very outgoing and vivacious only child. I am a very private person and I think most people my age find it strange. Co-ops and meet ups are so awkward for me.   (Pre-Covid) I prefer drop off activities like the Y homeschool PE or the homeschool days at the zoo. This way my kid can socialize, and I can sit in my car reading a book. Would a drop off experience be possible for you after Covid?  What about neighborhood kids? We aren’t close with any of our neighbors (apartment) but if we see other kids outside DS will always play with them. 

I'm going to offer an alternative perspective.  With my extremely outgoing kids, it really isn't that they need a lot of activities as much as they really need a friend.  For someone who doesn't like to socialize, helping kids form a single good friendship can often be more important than 10 activity outlets.

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I'm going to offer an alternative perspective.  With my extremely outgoing kids, it really isn't that they need a lot of activities as much as they really need a friend.  For someone who doesn't like to socialize, helping kids form a single good friendship can often be more important than 10 activity outlets.

 
Agreed. A close friend is more valuable than a heap of extracurriculars.
It just sounded like Op wasn’t up for meeting new people. I’m the same way, that’s why I like drop off activities. If ds makes a friend during the span of the class, I’ll try and set up another activity up with the mom. 
 

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I get what you're saying its hard! I have a smaller age gap but for my younger 2 I have had to make new friendships with moms whose oldest are their age. Its a little hard at times but I honestly have come to enjoy their enthusiasm I have lost a bit for my younger kids, lol! 

Also I agree not all younger moms are the same. I was a mom more or less to my younger 3 siblings so when I had my first it wasn't a hard transition and I had a lot more experience with all kids ages than most moms my age and in the same stage, I still do and often relate to older moms than my own age or stage. 

I do think it would be advantageous to make sure you're feeling your best ❤️

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On 9/14/2020 at 8:31 AM, PoisonHemlock said:

I agree with a lot of what has been said before and I just wanted to point out one other thing. Not all younger mothers are the same. You may luck out and find one that surprises you with how much you have in common. Almost all of my female friends are 20+ years older than I am. I have always had trouble relating to women my own age and have found that I often fit in better with older ladies. The few friends I have that are my own age have noted the same. I find that life experience, not age, is the determining factor. For many, you need a lot of years for that life experience, and others have had enough in a short time. You may not have any luck with that in your area, but if you keep an open mind you might be pleasantly surprised. 

In any case I wish you the best and I hope you're able to find something that works for you and your daughter. 

This. Give other moms a chance. Maybe you won’t click with some because of generation gap. Maybe you will though. My best friend is nearly my mom’s age. And you don’t have to be super good friends with all of your kid’s friends’ moms. You just have to be able to make polite acquaintance-level conversation once in awhile. You already have a pre-existing thing in common, two even: kids of similar ages and homeschooling.

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