My 8 year old boy is having trouble making friends. He has always been a bit different and has never been much of an extrovert. I have never thought of it as a problem, since I've always thought that it does not bother him that much. He has deep interests. For example he has self taught himself to be a skillful origami creator. He has invested hours and hours into it and by now he creates stuff that I could only wish to create myself. Another example is, that he started taking piano lessons a year ago. Never in my life I have pushed him to practice and often I have found him just practicing for hours. He is way better at it by now than other kids at his music school class. As of lately he had never epressed any negative emotions himself about not socialising much or not having many friends.
He knows what it's like to have a very good friend, because he does have one. She is a girl her age and she is my sisters daughter. He could not be happier when they are about to meet. Problem is we live in different cities so it does not happen too often. Also a note that he has the biggest heart and compassion of anyone I know. He is never aggressive or anything like this.
Him opening up
Yesterday my heart sank. We had some very minor argument about something and then he burst out that he hates himself. That he would like to be someone else. That he hates his singing voice (he sings in a gorgeous high voice like a lot of boys his age) because he sounds like a girl. He hates how none of the classmates ever wants to play with him. He hates his shyness and he hates how he is constantly too afraid to approach people like other kids are. He told me that he has been trying to socialise with girls more as he is too shy to approach boys and this has worked well but now girls have started laughing on him as he has joined girls only groups while all the other boys play by themselves. And now he is too afraid to approach anyone and just sits alone at school. This came as a bit of a shock to me. I have many times asked from him, how things are with other kids at school and he has never hinted anything like that before. So yesterday I poured him over with encouraging words how being different is a pro not a con. I encouraged him to be proud of who he is and told him not a thing in the universe could make him more awesome in my eyes. And if he would keep on showing himself to others then others would see it too. And this all came very sincerely from the bottom of my heart. But no matter how hard I tried, the self loathing did not come to stop and I could not convince him to stop with the "i hate myself" stuff. Today he called on the middle of the day that he was feeling very sick and that I would come pick him up. I did. When we started getting home, he admitted that he just did not want to be in school no more.
How I could help
I personally don't know the other kids or their parents so that I could talk to them, and I am not sure if that would even be a very good strategy. One thing I definitely plan to do is contact the class teacher and discuss the situation with her. I also plan to keep encouraging him. But other than that I am not sure what I could do? I'm feeling extremely helpless here about how to conceal the situation before it gets even worse.