Helping Your Child Make Friends

Posted on: 24 September 2018

Some children naturally make friends. They're like the flame, and other kids are the moths flitting around their light. Other kids' lights shine no less brightly, but they might need a little extra help forming friendships. The bonds that kids form when they're young are important. These friendships are their first foray into the world outside of the family, and they help inform kids' opinion of the world around them. If your child is having trouble making friends, there are a few things you can do to help. Be cautious, however, that you take your child's needs into consideration before stepping in. Perhaps you were the life of the party and had an active social life, but your child is content with one or two close friends. Be sure you're not forcing your child to be someone he or she is not. Read on for some ideas that will help you help your child make friends.

Join a Club

Kids just don't get the opportunity to socialize at school the way they used to. They're often allowed only minutes for lunch and recess, and that isn't enough time to form strong bonds. Look for local clubs or community sporting teams for your child to join. They often will encounter kids at their school and form strong bonds with those familiar faces in their club. Check out the local library for reading groups, building clubs, or storytimes. Check out the local parks for youth volleyball leagues or soccer leagues. If you live in a climate with cold winters, don't worry about your kids losing their sports friends when the weather turns cold. Often, youth volleyball leagues, soccer leagues, and basketball leagues move indoors when the weather is bad.

Set Up Playdates

Ask your child who he or she likes at school, and invite those children to your house for a playdate. Young children sometimes aren't forthcoming about who they play with or might even forget names. If this is the case with your child, ask his or her teacher who your child talks with at school. If other parents seem reluctant to allow their child to go to your home, which is understandable if you're a stranger, arrange to meet at a neutral location, such as a park, the movies, a local museum, or the mall. If your child is old enough to go to the movies alone with a friend, then drop the kids off and make yourself scarce. Sometimes, it's easier to form bonds out of earshot of Mom or Dad.