You’ve gotten back into the routine with everything from the winter school run to packing lunches this year, but your child still hasn’t made as many friends as you think they should. While some things, such as making sure they brush their teeth and bundle up before heading to school on a cold winter’s morning, are things that parents can control, helping your child to make friends is not as easy to accomplish.
While most children make friends in their own time, some kids have more trouble than others, and it can lead to them feeling alone and not wanting to go to school. Here are a few tips to help your child make friends.
Talks to Your Child’s Teacher
Talking to your child’s teacher is an excellent step to take without having to insert yourself into the situation. The teacher should be able to tell you if your child lacks the social skills needed to make friends or if your child is just shy when it comes to being around others. The last thing you want to do is try to force other children into being friends with your child. Remember, however, that teachers can only do so much, so don’t expect them to work miracles.
Host a Playdate
Sometimes resolving the issue is as simple as hosting a playdate where the children can get to know your child outside of a school setting. Many children find that it’s easier to connect with their classmates in a smaller group. You can even go so far as to send out invitations to your child’s classmates for a small get-together in your home. Invitations not only make the playdate sound exciting, but it also gives parents the information they need about you and the get together all in one place.
Enroll Your Child in Extracurricular Activities
Most communities have recreation centers that offer sports or other after school activities to children. It’s a good idea to chat with other parents at the school to see which activities their children might be involved in. Sometimes it just takes having a common interest to get kids to talk and a friendship to be formed. However, don’t force your child into activities that they aren’t interested in, as they won’t be happy and will continue to fail to make friends here as well. Doing something outside of schoolwork that’s not in a school setting can often help children relax and get to know other kids while doing something they love at the same time.
Talk About the Situation
You would be surprised at how many parents fail to just talk to their children about their situation. There could be a reason that your child hasn’t made friends with the other kids in their class. You won’t know what that reason is until you ask. Are they nervous? Are they just not interested? Many kids are just introverts that prefer spending time alone to spending time with a group of people.
While you still need to encourage your child to make friends, don’t just assume that you know why they haven’t. Find out the reasons by having that conversation with them. It’s also important not to force your child to make friends or get impatient with them when they don’t. Patience and love are key in this situation.