About mid-way through sixth grade, Kieran was added to a group chat made up of boys from his math class.
He hadn’t had a friend that was a boy since about third grade.
Not consistently anyway.
He was a little obsessed with the chat at first.
We talked about how to “be cool.”
He didn’t always know what to write.
We practiced when and how to say (write) something, when to reply with an emoji, and when to not write anything at all.
Sometimes, the chat was inappropriate; they are sixth grade boys. It was mostly silly, harmless stuff. No bullying.
We talked about how they were including him, so he needed to keep these friendships “alive” during face-to-face times:
Choose to work with one of these boys in a class project.
Talk with some of them during band.
Run with one or two during cross country.
While he still hasn’t been invited to hang out and still sits at a lunch table with all girls, he has made inroads with the sporty boys.
He has more friends, thanks to a group chat.