|By middle and high school age, children usually begin to have more friends and will probably even have a best friend. You do not need to be concerned if your teenager enjoys spending time alone, has few friends or doesn't yet have a best friend, as long as he is happy and otherwise developing normally. It may be a problem if your teen has no friends, or if he has few friends and seems to be sad, lonely or bothered by this.
One reason why he may not have many friends, is that he may have a temperament that makes it difficult to make or keep playmates. Children who are excessively shy or aggressive often have trouble and may need help making friends. He may also have problems if he is bossy, bullies others, doesn't follow the rules or has poor self control.
If you think your child has a problem making friends, you can help him by observing him or discretely talking with his teacher, coach or day care provider too see where the difficulty lies. Once you have identified some possible causes you can help your child to correct them.
It may help to find another child with a similar temperament and arrange for them to spend some time together. You can invite the other child over for a play date or ask the teacher to arrange for them to sit or work together.
You should also help your child to correct problem behaviors. If he is aggressive, bullies others, doesn't wait his turn, or doesn't follow the rules, you can help him to understand why others may not appreciate these behaviors and offer him an alternative behavior to try. Role playing may help your child to practice his new social skills.
You may need to seek professional help for further treatment if these suggestions aren't working or if your child seems very sad or lonely.