Feeling valued and needed is what makes us feel like we matter. Makes us feel worthy. All squishy inside. We watch our kids as they struggle with social awkwardness: phones that never ring, invitations that never come…it’s nothing short of heartbreaking. We watch as our kids try very inventive ways to get the attention of others. We watch them try to achieve the feeling of belonging and friendship and when the friendship is not returned, we feel that pit in our stomach when we see the look of rejection on their face. So what are we to do? How do we as parents help them connect and fit in? We never give up. We keep trying by giving our kids opportunities to participate in activities that may be out of the mainstream. Kids with social challenges aren’t usually captains of the football team. Sign them up for scouting, bowling, fencing, karate, drama, fishing, or yodeling. Keep searching until you find where they fit in or create a club of your own with what they like. Have a game night at your house and invite kids over. Set up a Wii bowling tournament or have Heroica night. Take what they love and turn it into a social opportunity. Your kid’s friends are out there somewhere. You just need to keep searching until you find them. And when you find them, you will find connectedness, self-esteem, contentment, laughter, understanding and that wonderful squishy feeling of being liked for who you are.