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by Abigail Van Buren

Twin Boys Don't Share Same Popularity Among Their Peers

DEAR ABBY: I have 10-year-old twin boys. "Frank" is popular with the boys in his class, while "Jake" has only one close friend, "Tommy." When Frank is invited to parties, sleepovers, movies, swimming and play dates, Jake is left out and never invited. Tommy is a great kid, but comes from a family that isn't very social. We invite Tommy to our home, but Jake isn't invited back.

I feel terrible when I see how sad Jake is when his brother is constantly going off to do fun things and he's left at home. We try to keep Jake busy with enjoyable activities when this happens, but it's not the same.

While Frank has a right to have his own friends, sometimes I feel I should say something to the parents about how much their leaving Jake out is hurting his feelings and self-confidence. -- HEARTBROKEN MOM IN MISSOURI

DEAR HEARTBROKEN MOM: I don't recommend saying anything to the parents of Frank's friends because it could backfire. Boys that age pick their own friends, and if Jake was forced on them, no one would be happy about it -- including Jake. Instead, continue inviting Tommy over and explore activities outside of school where Jake can shine in his own right. That will do more for his self-confidence than tagging along with his brother where he really isn't wanted.