friends smiling and playing together

3 Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

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It can be very hard to make new friends, even as an adult. So it’s good to give kids some skills and tips they can use. Here are 3 ways to help your child make friends. Friendship is an important part of a joyful life.

young friends sitting together

Preschool friendships

One of the most important factors in happiness is the ability to make friendships. Some children are naturally shy and have a problem reaching out to others no matter how desperately they want to.

For a great printable to use with your stone soup friendship soup, check this out.

Other children have trouble connecting with their peers because they feel like they’re different. Still, other children have behavioral problems that interfere with their social skills. Whatever the reason is that your child is having problems associating with others, you can step in and help them out. Here are a few ways you can help your child make friends:

Communication is 50 percent listening and 50 percent speaking. To achieve good communication, both participants must go above and beyond expectations as listeners and as speakers. Your child may be a great speaker, but not so good at listening to others. Or maybe they are a terrific listener but have a hard time speaking up so that they can be heard.

preschool friends smiling together

Whatever issues may be hampering your child as a communicator, you can help address them at home. Practice having conversations with your child. Are they taking turns as both listener and speaker? Are they aware of nonverbal cues that would indicate you are interested in what they are saying or so bored you are about to fall out of your chair? Do they comfortably make eye contact? Look for communication problems and gently help your child correct them.

No one likes a bully. Yes, a bully may become popular, perhaps because other kids fear them, but nobody likes someone who makes others feel bad. Teach your child to use good manners around others, including children. Taking turns, sharing, and helping others will all go a long way toward earning your child true friends.

If your child enjoys playing sports like soccer or baseball, encourage them to join a team. If they feel unsure about their sports skills, take time to help them practice batting, kicking, pitching, and catching- whatever skills are involved in the sport. Sports are a great way to learn to get along with others and make friends.

Encourage them the same way if their interests are chess or computers too. If your son or daughter hasn’t shown a specific interest yet, they might enjoy becoming a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout. Organizations such as these offer children a wide variety of activities they can enjoy.

A child who treats others with respect will naturally attract more friends and have more meaningful relationships in school. To help your child make friends, teach him/her the common social rules. The “golden rule” is “Treat others like you want them to treat you.” This means, no hitting, stealing, cheating, lying, yelling, or being mean in any way. Encourage your child to share their toys and treats and to be nice people that other children will want to be friends with.

kids playing at a table together

Another way you can help your child make friends is to become involved with school or daycare. Volunteer whenever you can. You can also volunteer to take turns if there’s a carpooling plan to take the neighborhood children back and forth to school.

Whether you have the time to volunteer or not, you should get to know the parents of your child’s peers. It will help your child make friends. It will also let you meet their parents. To do this, ask your son or daughter who they like. Then, call some of the children’s parents. Invite them and their children over for a play date. While the children are playing, serve coffee and sit down for some valuable social interaction.

Your child is more likely to engage in positive relationships if they see you doing the same. Spend time with your friends and let your child watch how you interact. Also, give your child opportunities to socialize with nice kids so they can build friendships.

Don’t try to jump in and solve your child’s problems for them. Part of growing up is learning how to deal with different situations, no matter how difficult they may be.

Check out these fun friendship activities for preschoolers:

And, teach kids Self Regulation and Learning about Emotions for more social success in life. And don’t forget about teaching gratitude. It goes a long way in relationships. And teaching kids how to handle differences such as autism as well.

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