How to Help Your Child Make New Friends

Tips to help you find ways to make it easier for your child to make friends.

Making friends can be an arduous task for anyone. Children learn to socialize at an early age; from Mommy and Me classes, to playing at the park, to your child’s preschool class – socialization is inevitable. So how do we help our children make this awkward rite of passage a success, or at the very least bearable? For one, Monday, February 11th is National Make a Friend Day – see if your local
community or school is doing anything to celebrate. In my classroom we are reading The Crayon Box That Talked and then making friendship bracelets
after.  For more practice at home, here are a few ways that may help your child to become the social butterfly of the class.

  1. Assess: The first thing you need to do is to figure out what kind of socialization your child is most comfortable with. If your child has no problem interacting with a whole class environment, art classes, sports teams and other group related activities might be a fun and easy way for your child to meet new friends. If your child is more comfortable with a more intimate setting, try to set up play dates with one of the children who your child is always talking about.
  2. Set Good Examples: Emphasize the many pros to having friends. Use your friends as examples. Enforce sharing, compassion, and good listening skills as often as possible and talk about how these qualities are important to creating and keeping friendships.
  3. Don’t push: Many times you might encounter a child that you find to be “perfect” for your child. You set up a play date, and they just don’t click. As discouraged as you might feel, do not push this friendship on your child. You tried, it didn’t work, try to move on and help your child find a different playmate.
  4. Accept: You know your child; you know their likes, dislikes, quirks, and fads they follow. Embrace them and try to help your child find friends with similar qualities. If your child loves to tinker with building blocks, see if your local store has a building block event they can sign up for. A local cooking store also has a kids cooking event once a month. If your child likes to cook, this might be another way to meet a new friend. Supporting your child’s likes and dislikes is also a big confidence boost, which brings me to my last tip.
  5. Instill Confidence: Teach your child to believe in themselves. Your child needs to understand that they have so much to offer others. Making friends can be difficult at times so help them realize that it can be a bumpy road, but to not get discouraged.

Check out “What’s on Our Bookshelf” for books to read with your child to help them understand the value of friendship.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michele Cheshire February 15, 2013 at 04:41 AM
There is nothing tangibly valuable from this article.
Hank February 15, 2013 at 12:34 PM
That's a cheap shot,Michele
Darlene February 15, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I'm reminded of the expression "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Nonetheless, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. From another viewpoint, as the mother of twins who are polar opposites in socialization styles, I did find value in the article. Tangible or not.
Michele Cheshire February 22, 2013 at 12:23 AM
My comment was not intended to be a cheap shot but a mere reflection on the idea of analyzing and controlling your child's psyche and behavior to match the external world to his or her inner sense of joy is utter crap. It's not realistic and I don't believe most parents can do so in an unbiased way that doesn't reflect independent interests. I think that's actually a nice thing to say.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »