Hearts Break Over 'Unpopular' 7-Year-Old Who Rarely Gets Invited to Parties

A concerned mom has turned to the internet for support after noticing her son hasn't got any friends.

In a lengthy Mumsnet post titled "My unpopular child," the mom explained she has a son, 7, who is often the last to be picked in class and is frequently seen playing alone.

"He gets invited to whole class parties, but very rarely gets invited to other parties. Now that whole-class parties are becoming less common because the kids are older, he simply doesn't get invited at all," she wrote.

Schoolboy alone
A stock image of a schoolboy sitting alone on the floor. A Mumsnet user has turned to the internet for advice after noticing her 7-year-old son is "unpopular." Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images Plus

"I asked him who he wanted to invite to his party this year, and it was heartbreaking to hear him talk about the people he really liked because I know that they have already had a party and DS [darling son] wasn't invited," the mom wrote.

The parent ends the post by stating she invites classmates to their home to playdate, but they decline more often than not. Also, he attends extra-curricular clubs like swimming.

In the comments, the mom described her son: "He's a bit bossy and also he's a bit brighter than average and likes to let them know that he's clever, which I'm sure grates on the other kids."

The mom also refers to herself in the comments as unlikeable and worries in the comments that he has inherited this trait.

In 2019, the National Center for Educational Statistics revealed one out of every five students reports being bullied.

Avoid Projecting Your Past Onto Your Child

Ruth Freeman, founder and president at Peace at Home Parenting Solutions, told Newsweek that parents often worry about their kids' social lives because they don't look how they imagined.

"Perhaps she felt left out and doesn't want the same for her son." said Freeman. "The challenge is to avoid projecting our past and our ideas onto our kids and take the time to really understand their wishes, needs and any struggles if there are those.

"It's easy for parents to project their anxiety about what a 'happy childhood' looks like without taking into account what is really happening in the hearts and minds of our children," she said.

Freeman encourages parents to "create opportunities" for their kids by signing them up for clubs, events, and "other opportunities to meet kids who share their child's authentic interests."

She added: "Recognizing your child's genuine interests means listening with care to how they see the world and what lights them up. This can come up during everyday conversations, careful observation, and getting out into the world together and talking about your own interests as well as theirs."

Freeman concludes by stating a seven-year-old brain is still developing so their social skills will change as they mature.

"Sometimes, kids' cognitive or physical development may advance more quickly than their social-emotional development," she said.

'It's Not Always a Bad Thing'

The post has received more than 280 comments since it was shared on February 9. It seems LunchBoxTeeth's son isn't the only one to be shunned as other parents have stated their child is in the same predicament.

One user wrote: "I've had some heartbreaking conversations with my DC [darling children] of a similar age. They do get invited to parties etc but they are desperate for a best friend and in their words 'always seem to be second choice'. I'm increasing the play dates and just [making] sure they know that I think they are wonderful so there's always a safe and friendly place when they come home."

Another posted: "It's not always a bad thing OP [original poster], although I know it's hard. My eldest is quite similar. He has lots of mates but nobody really invites him to parties now and he doesn't have a solid "friendship group" really. However, he's pretty happy. He'll chat [with] anyone and we don't have any friend drama. Just keep doing what you're doing and supporting any friendships he does make."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a personal dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice on relationships, family, friends, money and work, and your story could be featured on Newsweek's 'What Should I Do?' section.