How to Help Your Child Make Friends

Children don’t automatically know how to make friends. In fact, as rather self-centered beings with a strong “mine!” orientation, they usually find that making friends can be tough work!

Because your child may know he or she is a valued and loved member of the family, your child may expect that the rest of the world automatically feels the same way. Your child is likely to go into the “big world” and expect others to come when called, give when asked, and smile even when the child is grouchy.

Your child may have very little experience with others the same age. He or she may be used to “bigger” kids, assuming something of a subservient role, or being the “baby,” a station that carries with it a certain amount of power. Encountering children the same age—especially a large group—is a new experience.

Child Make Friends

What can you do to help children make friends?

Enter into play with your child and the “new friend.” You don’t need to stay long and shouldn’t. But at the outset of a new relationship, it’s a good idea to enter into the play for a while. Most parents don’t realize that children need to be taught how to play with things and with one another.

Teach your child some ice-breaker phrases, such as, “Hi, my name’s ___What’s yours?” That’s per­haps the most common line of self-introduction of all time, but it works. Share with your child some of the questions you’ve come to regard as second nature. “Where are you from?” “What games do you like to play?”

Give your child ample freedom to invite friends to your home. Granted, you don’t need to operate Grand Cen­tral Station, but you can establish certain hours and days, as well as limits to the number of children allowed at your house at any one time.

Recognize that children go through “ups and downs” with their friends the same way adults experience es­trangements, distance, and closeness with their friends. Don’t expect your child’s friendships to run smoothly. They won’t.

Encourage your child to have many friends. The child who is limited to just one “best friend” is likely to expe­rience a major heartache or disappointment should that friend move away or become estranged.

Don’t expect your child to like every person you like. Parents often identify the “ideal friend” for their child; rarely does the child share that opinion. Let your child’s friendships be forged by your child, not by you.

Making and keeping friends is a major life-skill. It requires communication, patience, and a willingness to share experiences.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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