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S/O from activities to find friends

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We must be the unluckiest family in the world with regards to friends! We've been in TaeKwonDo, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, gymnastics, cheerleading, chess club, homeschool classes, homeschool park days, Awana, Upwards Basketball, Sunday School, and a Pagan homeschool group over the course of the past 12 years. My daughter has never met a good friend and my son met only one boy that he connected with. We've maintained contact with that one family for 6 years now, but they are always so busy we don't see them very often. I'm talking once every 2 months.


We're tired of trying. We reach out and get snubbed! I finally even got bold enough to directly ask some people what is wrong with my family that we don't attact friends. They all told me we were great people but they were just all busy. I don't believe they were being honest. Surely not everyone we've met in the past 7 years is so busy that they didn't want us as friends?


Anyone else in this boat? Are we truly weird? Maybe we should go live Swiss Family Robinson style on a remote island? Surely it would hurt less!


Sorry, just a little self pity party.


I forgot to add that I have tried numerous times to get involved with groups only to be taken advantage of. I taught in a few situations, led some groups, volunteered for cleaning a facility, volunteered my time and energy. It's always like people are very glad to give the work to someone else dumb enough to take it but it didn't endear me to anyone. If I didn't get involved, I was still ignored.

Edited by Night Elf
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It may truly be that they're busy.


I have a friend who'd like to get together weekly, but we simply can't. The next door neighbor mom and I were lamenting yesterday that even though we live right next door the kids are like ships passing, and we're having a hard time finding play times. Our family is overbooked this year. By June that will change because this is craziness. But for now, "We're so busy" is the absolute truth.


And I think many of us get into our routines and fill our lives, and it's hard to fit new people in, no matter how much we enjoy them.


I have to admit, though, I would have a hard time being honest with someone that I don't know well if they asked me why I'm not becoming friends. Well, I enjoy almost everyone I meet, so "We're busy" would be an honest answer from me. But if that wasn't the case I'd probably be very uncomfortable and have a hard time saying, "Well, your kids swear like sailors and I hate the way you laugh." (Okay, first of all that's a joke since I don't know you, and secondly, if it was because your kids swore I'd say so. But you get my drift, yes?)


My first instinct is to believe that people are busy, especially if you're meeting them in chess club and classes and other activities. But if you suspect that the folks you asked were less than honest with you, is there some reason or behavior, something about your family that you suspect may be off-putting? Not saying that's likely, even, but it might be worth considering.


Oh, and for the record, re-reading my post I make it sound like we're in such high demand, lol. Really not. I've felt the same way you feel--what's wrong with us? We've been blessed in the last year or so with a couple families with whom we've really connected, but there was a point in time where I really felt isolated and disconnected.



Edited by myfunnybunch
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You are not alone. We had a great mix of friends for a couple years, but about four years ago it all fell apart. Since then, I would say most friends we have are very casual.


Mac has some from drama and jewelry classes, but they are all public schooled, so she sees them (in person) on a very limited basis. Fi is just an old soul, and has never found anyone her age that she identifies with.


I often already feel like we are on an island, just surrounded by people. No matter, we just keep looking.

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Guest Katia

I'll join your pity-party if I may.


My dd belonged to a local homeschool 'support' group (I use that term lightly because it certainly wasn't interested in supporting all it's members; only a chosen few) for 9 years. Since she was 7yo. She made one pretty good friend, but it's the kind of gal that is really friendly to everyone...she wasn't a 'special' friend, just friendly. That's it! Everyone else avoided dd like the plague.


So, this year she joins the threatre group at the cc and makes a really, really good friend; or what could be the start of one, kwim? And, she invites this gal to church......and the one other gal at church takes over this new friend and makes her 'her' friend. Dd is the one on the outside again. And she won't push herself on anyone, so......


Yeah. I just figure we're aliens.


(but I gotta tell ya.....the not-at-all-Christian kids at the cc threatre group were SOOOOOO much nicer and friendlier than the Christian homeschooled kids / dd is going back to cc next year!)

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No, you are not alone. We have dealt with this same issue over the years. I do think part of it is the personalities of my dc. My ds is a classic introvert and not very outgoing. He is happiest staying home and doing things by himself. He knows and talks to (a little anyway) the kids in the activities he is in, but that is as far as it goes. My dd is not so much of an introvert, but is in the same situation. We tried when we were involved in groups, but nothing ever really clicked. The few times it did something changed over the course of time and those relationships have fizzled.


Anyway, I am tired of trying so I don't anymore. I think my dc will be fine and as they grow older they will develop friendships through work, college, etc. Even so, it is still not easy. :grouphug:

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I do understand what you are saying. No one in our family has a lot of friends. My husband doesn't desire any. Work and his family are enough. Really.


Aaron has a few (more than any of us), but he doesn't have as much connection with them as I know he would like. He has paintball buddies, acquaintances at college and a couple of close friends, but they don't really click as much as I know he would like them to. He has a hard time even finding someone to go hiking with for the weekend.


I don't go out of my way to find friends for the boys because they do have each other, and I don't have time to drive around matching up playdates. They play with boys on the street, but in small doses. They really annoy Nathan, and they lack conversation skills. (He probably annoys them too LOL). Ben will play with anyone, but some of the attitudes and such concern me. It seems to be getting worse as the boys get older. They usually just play ball or Nerf guns -- sometimes talking about Legos and such.


I haven't had a best friend in years and have just sort of accepted that this is the way it is going to be. I do wish things were different, but I have never met anyone that really seems to really click. Most of the ladies I end up spending time with do very little academic homeschooling, have no time for their own hobbies, live almost an hour away, have farms and large families. Conversation usually has to do with farms, cooking for lots of people, and such. I have met ladies in the WTM group, but again, most of these live farther away or are very busy with extracurricular things. And then, I'm very busy at certain times with helping with the business and homeschooling and domestic stuff.


I do have empathy for you. Sometimes I wonder if Nathan will have an okay time finding friends because he talks a lot and is just sort of different.


One issue we have found is that the kids seem so nice until their parents are not around. As soon as the parent returns, the child changes again.

Edited by nestof3
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I've come to a point in my life where I realize that I have lots of friends and acquaintances. However, when I evaluate these relationships, I realize they are a mile wide and an inch deep. I had this revelation a few months ago and am now committing to spending my time and energy into people that are willing to reciprocate.


I've spend much energy inviting, initiating, and organizing. Very few people reciprocate. Yes, they appreciate the effort, but not enough to respond back. These boards have helped me realize that some people don't really want to make the efforts toward friendships that I do. I've seen posters that describe themselves as introverts that would prefer to stay at home rather than do play dates and get together with adult friends. (Not all introverts are that way, but until I read some of these posts, it didn't occur to me that some people don't mind having few or even no friends for themselves or their kids.) If I'm inviting people to my house that would rather stay at home, I'm probably causing both of us to be frustrated.


Perhaps the people you've been initiating things with are the more introverted types that don't value play dates and friends the way you do. When I was discouraged in this area, I decided to focus my efforts on those who did reciprocate in some way. I saw that there were some families that did make the effort. I wish to focus on them and not others that will likely be too "busy."


If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't waste my energy into relationships that are not reciprocated. Now, the exception would be the family that rarely invites my kids over, but is sincerely grateful when we make the effort. I know this is a large family, and the mother has been clear that she desires to have play dates but can't get organized for them. I'd look for families where your child has something in common with their child. Before I'd invite the child over, I'd make sure the parent feels comfortable with you and your family. I always tread cautiously in this area. While I am fairly social, if a new parent approaches me and wants to have my kids over, it makes me a little uncomfortable. I need to know the family a little better first.


I think it also depends on the area of the country in which you live. Some areas are not as hospitable as others. I'm not going to step on toes here and list specific areas :001_smile: but I stand by that opinion. In general, if you're living in an area where people don't move around much, i.e. they grew up there, their parents grew up there, and so on, they tend not to be as open as a place where people tend to move in and out.

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Good, I'm not alone! I thought we were freaks!


I've given up. My son doesn't want to do anything so I don't push it. My extroverted daughter wants to try lots of things but they never last long. I mean she does the activity while it's in the height of its season but isn't interested in going back. The only exception to that was cheerleading. She did that two years in a row. She tried again last fall, which would have been her 3rd year, but she had a horrible time. Her squad was older, into makeup and boys, and getting close to becoming middle school cheerleaders which means they are very talented. My dd can't do a cartwheel.


Right now, dd takes private piano lessons and is involved in a drama group that meets once a week through the school year. They are having their Spring Concert tomorrow night and she's really bummed because it will be their last event for the year. The classes don't start back until August. That's a VERY long time. And now she's too old for the local parks and recreation summer camps. This is going to be long, frustrating summer. :(

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We do have several families that we are very close to, we are friends with the parents and the boys are friends with their kids. For us all the families are from our church. I don't necessarily think that it's because it's a church that is key, but because we've been at the same church for a long time (dh for 21 years, me for 13...we were married there, kids were born there). Most of the families we are close with are people who we've known for many years, before any of us had kids. I realize it's rare in this day and age (and very rare in the area we are in) for people to stay in one place so long or stay in one group so long. But for us it's really been the key to forming lasting friendships.


I've also found it frustrating how we can be involved in activities but not really make friends there. I'm pretty introverted so it isn't easy for me to break into a group. But my thought is that in sticking with the same group we are more likely to form those relationships over time than in switching from activity to activity. For example, we belong to a pool that we joined 4 years ago. I don't really have any friends from there although everyone is pleasant. But over time I've met some families who are now on C5's Tball team...this summer he'll start swim team and hopefully we'll get to know people a little better. At least that's my hope.

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We have 2 families that are good friends with ours. The main reasons we stay good friends is because we moms have hit it off and are willing to work each other into our schedules so we can see each other. Between the 3 families, we each have an older boy around the same age. One family matches mine with dd and youngest ds and the other matches on ds8. The kids all get along great and are willing to play across genders and ages. All that said, we might see each other once every 2-3 months except for the 2 youngest that do storytime together.


ETA: One family and I met when our oldest were in storytime together and made an effort to get together outside of storytime once we saw how they were getting along so great. The other family we met at storytime while we were both pregnant with my #3 and her #2.

Edited by Sasharowan
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