Every parent wants their child to make friends easily. Forming relationships and bonding with others is human nature but it can be harder for some than others.
Children need to make friends in order to feel comfortable and safe at school. While some children are naturally social, many more need help finding friends.
If your child is shy or not used to a chaotic setting, the start of the school year might have you wondering how you can help your child make friends at school or at their activities.
You might need to work at boosting your child’s self esteem to get them comfortable at talking to new people. That being said, if your child is a little shy or doesn’t seem to have made any friends at school yet, there are some things you can do to make the process a little easier:
This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. Please read my Disclosure for more information.
7 Ways to help your child make friends
1. Role Play
Give your child the tools they need by practicing scenarios where they can ask to join in a game or ask a friend to play with them. Practice at home so they feel comfortable in a social setting.
2. Encourage discussion
Talk about what makes a friend and why being a kind friend is important. The books about forming friendships below will help open up the discussion and give you some ideas for talking points. Ask your child why they like their friends and what they look for in a good friend.
3. Host a play date
Shy children often feel more comfortable in a smaller group setting and a play date with one or two classmates may be just the thing to bring them out of the shell and running into class each day.
If you are worried about your child being too shy or introverted to jump right in to a playdate, plan a craft or fun activity like baking that will keep them entertained. It will be easier to get the children playing together with a planned activity than expecting them to jump in with free play.
4. Show an interest
On the way home each day, ask about the other children in the class and point out similarities between your child and them (“look, Ethan has a little brother, just like you!” or “hey, look at Katie’s Frozen bag!”).
5. Get your child involved
Classroom activities such as show and share and field trips can encourage discussion and help friendships to blossom. Bringing in class treats for holidays such as Halloween or Valentine’s day can also be a great ice breaker for small children if they can deliver each gift personally.
6. Consider extra-curricular activities
Shared interests can help spark conversation plus after-school activities are a great way to meet new friends. Activities such as drama or dance can help with confidence.
7. Read some books about friendship
The books below are great for sparking conversation about being a good friend.
More Parenting Tips: