Tips for Parents: How to Help your Child Make Friends

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Tips for Parents: How to Help your Child Make Friends

October 9, 2015

Written by: Tracey Clayton

Most people tend to idealize childhood and say it is the best part of life, but not everyone shares this experience and childhood can be downright awful for some kids, for many reasons. One of those is not having friends while you are growing up. Not all kids are extroverted, outgoing, active and sociable. There are shy, introverted, sensitive children who are quickly left out of any groups because they are just different. These children are usually the arty types, empaths and future intellectuals, and their social life is very important in this early age. That is why parents should make an effort to help them with their social life. Here are a few suggestions.

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Help them build a positive image of self

Children internalize all outside reactions to them and it is all too easy for them to interpret their situation in a way that makes them responsible and even guilty of it. They think there must be something terribly wrong with them if they are not popular, or as popular as other more sociable kids. That is where the toxic belief of not being good enough is formed and it usually stays with people throughout their lives wreaking havoc in their interpersonal relationships. That is why building your kid’s confidence and self esteem is crucial. Just talk to them openly and let them know not all children are the same and that is perfectly alright, there is nothing wrong with them. Always emphasize their good qualities and praise them, give them examples. Point out everyone is worthy of love and friendship and tell them you will help them get better at making friends.

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Develop their social skills

Socializing comes naturally to some children, but it is a skill that can be learned and practiced like anything else. The first step is to let your child know that you are doing this together, learning a new skill, compare it with something else, like riding a bicycle, and make sure they understand it doesn’t happen overnight. Some important skills for making friends are sharing, playing together, respecting others and their property, knowing your boundaries, being fair, losing a game honorably and so on. Instill in them the values that promote unity, togetherness, equality and helping others.  Role model the social skills for them, so they have some real examples. Read books and watch films on the topic.

Organize play dates and parties

If your kid is extremely shy, you can start by inviting another kid over, so they can play one-on-one and get to know each other well. It can be a friend’s child, or someone from the neighborhood. Then go from there, let them socialize with more kids as the time goes. Organize play dates and sleepovers, throw weekend parties, take them to an amusement park or on a scavenger hunt, come up with an adventure they will love. Birthday parties are the best way to invite a lot of kids over and build your kid’s status in the group. Make it really unforgettable for them, something they will talk about for days and will want to do again. It can be a superhero party with professional animators, very popular army party that will take their breath away, a costume party, a space and science themed party, arts and crafts party and so on.

Sign them up for some sports activities or a course

See if your kid has any special interests and talents, like drawing, music or dancing. It would be a great idea to sign them up for a course of some kind, they are likely to meet other kids with similar interests and affinities and it will be much easier for them to bond and build a friendship when they share some common ground with someone. Sports are also great as they produce excitement and a fun atmosphere that is conducive to positive bonding. It is also a fact that kids who do sports are generally much more popular than kids who don’t, so if your child excels at something, this will automatically get them friends.

It is important to have determination and perseverance, and even if it is not going as well as you think it should, let them know they are good enough and should just be happy with themselves and have faith. When the time is right, the right friends will appear.

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About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.

 

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