Friendship is extremely important for kids and adults alike. After all, it's friends who share in our life and who challenge us to be our best selves. With friends we create memories that are happy and with friends we go through tough times as well. Unfortunately, some kids have more difficulties than others when it comes to making friends. While you'd probably like to get out there and make friends for your child so they aren't so disappointed, you can't. However, what you can do is help to equip your child with the tools needed to function socially and start making friends.
Each child is born with the desire to have relationships; however, every child goes about developing friendships in a different way. For many children, especially younger ones, they need a bit of help to develop important social skills along the way before they are able to make friends. Some of these skills include negotiation, communication, problem solving, empathy, and cooperation skills. There are things that you can do to help support your child as they work to make friends. Here are some tips and ideas to help your child to develop friends.
Give Your Child Opportunities to Meet Others
One way that you can help your child to make friends is to give them opportunities to meet other people. You can do this by having other kids over for a meal or for play time. Consider carpooling so your child can meet other kids or get them signed up for extra curricular activities. Allow your child to have unstructured time to play as well, since this helps them to develop important social skills. Get your child interacting with other people as well. If you are visiting a neighbor or you are having adults over to your home, allow your child to interact with them. The more your child interacts with various types of people, the easier it will be for them to make friends.
Support Your Child
You need to offer support to your child if you want to help them to make friends. While this seems self explanatory, how often are you really taking the time to talk to your child and listen to what they have to say? You can learn a lot about what's going on just by finding out what's going on when they are out on the playground. When they do pick friends, support those decisions and welcome them as well. Perhaps take the time to get to know the parents of your child's friends too.
Showing Your Child How to Be a Good Friend – Several Tips to Try
Of course probably the most important thing that you can do to help kids make friends is to actually show them how to be a good friend. They need to see an example. Treat them in the way that they should be treating others if they want to make friends. Here are some important tips to try that can help show your child how they can be a great friend to others.
Tip #1 – Show a Sense of Humor – Humor is important if you want to make friends. Show this to your children by laughing at yourself and your own shortcomings. Handle problems with a laugh and a great sense of humor.
Tip #2 – Help Them see Their Strengths – Another way that you can show your kids how to be a good friend is to help them see their own strengths. Good friends help others to realize their strengths. Do this with your child to teach them this important tip.
Tip #3 – Give Compliments to Others – Give compliments to others and treat them kindly. Kids need to see how kindness is shown to others. You can do this by complimenting your child or having them watch you compliment and show kindness to other friends that you have.
Tip #4 – Listen to Your Kids – Take the time to listen to your kids. Good friends take the time to listen to each other without criticizing them. You can teach your kids this important lesson by listening to them.
Tip #5 – Avoid Complaining – Don't complain about others. Teach your kids how important it is to accept things in life that you can't change. Also teach them how to work in order to change things that really can be changed. This is an important skill when it comes to making friends.
Tip #6 – Show Empathy to Others – Last of all, show empathy to others. When other people are going through tough times, show empathy to them. Empathy is an important skill that kids need to learn in order to make quality friendships in their lives.