Making friends is one of the most fulfilling things in the world. A good friend is worth her value in gold. In fact, if you want to make sure your child is happy; ensure that she has a strong family and a happy group of friends (1)!
But the tough part is learning how to make friends!
To some people, making friends is like second nature. But if you have a shy child, you’ll encounter many heartbreaking moments. It is difficult to watch your child stand in a corner while other kids make merry. Apart from good health, if there is one thing you can give your child that she’ll value for life, it is the skill to make friends.
How to Help Your Child Make Friends?
Has your child joined in a new school and worried about new friendships have ups and downs? Helping your child make friends and keep friends lifelong is one of the most fulfilling things? Let us help you out! Here are some simple tips on how to help your child make friends, which is an important life skill!
[ Read: How To Teach Life Skills For Kids? ]
1. Teach Empathy:
One of the biggest problems with the world today is that people lack empathy. You can teach your child empathy by taking her along while you volunteer. You can also encourage her to make a card for her grandparents.
2. Understand Your Child:
The first step in parenting is to understand that your child is not you! She has her own, unique personality. Just because you love hanging out with groups of friends doesn’t mean she will too. Understand her personality and don’t push her to fit your idea of ‘perfection’. Let her spend time with one special friend if that is what she wants. This is one of the effective ways of teaching children how to make friends.
[ Read: Important Life Lessons For Kids ]
3. Keep Your Heart And House Open:
Don’t keep your child away from a friend just because you don’t like her parents. As long as the other child is not proving to be a negative influence, let them be friends. Also, allow your child and her friends make a mess at your home. Kids need a safe place to nourish their relation. Let your home be that save haven for them. Bake cookies (or buy some) and be there for the little ones.
4. Help Her Deal With Friend ‘Issues’:
If you want to try helping children make friends, then first know their issues. Every relation comes with a set of problems. Be ready for your child’s tears when a friend ‘supposedly’ breaks her heart. Misunderstandings are common in friendships. Teach her to work things out with her friends. No, you should not meddle in your child’s relations. But you should gently tell her to think things over, to not shut the door on a beautiful friendship over trivial issues.
5. Watch Out For Bullies:
Yes, you should not interfere with your child’s friendships. But when it comes to bullying, you have to step in. If your child has a bully for a friend, first try to talk to the other kid’s parents. If the parents don’t pay heed, remove your kid from the toxic situation. Also, ensure that it is not your child who is doing the bullying. If you see signs that point that way, talk to your child. Tell her the right and wrongs of treating people.
[ Read: How To Identify Child Bullying? ]
6. Listen First:
If your child comes home crying about a friend who broke her trust, just listen. Don’t pass negative comments about the other child. Children have fickle minds. They might fight like cats and dogs one day, but the very next moment they can become the best of friends. So, be there for your child but don’t always interfere.
7. It Is Not A Popularity Game:
Teach your child that friendship is not a popularity contest. Tell her that it is better to have a couple of good friends instead of a group of hangers-on. This will teach her the real value of friendship instead of just collecting friends as trophies.
[ Read: How To Develop Leadership Qualities? ]
8. Let Her Find Like Minded People:
Not all kids are alike. If your daughter likes to play rough, let her. The same apply to boys. If a little boy likes to play with dolls, he should have the chance to find people who are like him. That is what kids crave for – people who are like them (2)! Help your child find like-minded people instead of forcing her to act or play a particular way.
9. Go On Play Dates:
If your child is young, organize play dates with other mothers. This will give your child a safe road to making friends.
[ Read: Role Of Parents In Child Development ]
10. Get Help:
If you think that your child is having real problems, seek professional help. If your child has a physical or mental disability, you will need to be more proactive in helping her make friends (3).
Your child needs friends, as much as, if not more, than family. As she grows into a teenager, these friends will become the center of her universe. And when they do, pat yourself on your back for a job well done! Because how you parent doesn’t just influence your teen, but also her friends (4)!
Hope you liked this post on how to help your child make friends. So, does your kid have trouble making friends? How are you helping your child make friends? Share your tips with us in the comments section below!
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