What can I do for my son, who has no friends?

What can I do for my son, who has no friends?

My son, 8, does not make friends at school. He is convinced that no one likes him and that he is mean. I'm sure it's because of me because as a child I was like him, and it continues today. Noelle - Brives

Claude Halmos

Psychoanalyst

answers

I think, Noëlle, that we should stop assimilating what we call in psychoanalysis "repetition" to a determinism. And to conclude that if the parents were shy, fearful, violent, etc. their children will be ineluctably too. The story of parents affects children, but not necessarily as you think.

Your son, for example, may have had problems with others at the beginning of his social life - at nursery school, at school. Not because you yourself had. But because all children have it. And, like all children, he has probably told you of his despair: "Machin does not want to play with me", "Trick says I'm ugly", etc. If you had not had pain at this level, you would probably have explained it calmly and he would have passed the course.

But the problem is that his difficulties - banal and normal - have brought back to you the ghost of your childhood. Persuaded to have transmitted your problems to you and sick of guilt, you have unintentionally sent him back from his situation a catastrophic image. And he was, therefore, reinforced in his fantasy "I am not lovable".

So I think I should explain to him what happened, put his problems into perspective, and ask his father, who is very sociable, you say, to help him.

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