Some kids can make friends easily, while others need a little help fitting in. However, learning to form successful relationships is an important skill in a child’s social development. Here are some steps you can take to help them make friends.
Like other aspects of childhood, friendships made during this pivotal age can prove to be crucial to the overall development of the child. Not to mention, childhood friends are often the ones who develop lifelong bonds. There are several ways to encourage them and help overcome shyness in children. Here are a few tips on how to help kids make friends, be it in school or other social circles.
1. BE THEIR FIRST FRIEND
Make them feel like you understand them instead of belittling their concerns. Words of encouragement have far more positive benefits when it comes to helping your little one to make childhood friends. Spend time talking to them instead of giving them orders. Encouraging expressive behavior helps to reduce shyness in kids.
2. BE AUTHORITATIVE, NOT AUTHORITARIAN
Studies show that kids with authoritarian parents struggle more with getting along with childhood friends. It is important to encourage maturity from your child instead of demanding obedience. Be their guide to taking better decisions. Be firm when it comes to what you expect out of them instead of enforcing your decisions upon them. This is pivotal in how to help kids make friends.
3. YOUR POSITIVE REACTIONS ARE THEIR MOTIVATION
It is common to become over protective when your child is subjected to social rejection, be it in the environment of school or the playground where childhood friends are more likely to be found. Handle the situation with composure. Seeing your calmness will give encouragement and reduce shyness in kids that could lead to more complicated aversions in the future.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID OF REACHING OUT TO THE TEACHER
Your child’s teacher is the best person to help you understand your child’s behavior and their ways of taking initiative when it comes to making childhood friends. Seek their advice to find out what behavior to expect and what are the typical traits of shyness in kids to look out for. The more you evolve your understanding based on these observations and learnings, the more you will know about how to help your child make friends.
5. GET TO KNOW YOUR CHILD’S FRIENDS
Your kid’s childhood friends are some of the most important people in their lives at this stage. So getting to know them will help you better understand your child. Especially when it comes to likes, dislikes, social habits, commonalities, the kinds of peer pressures they succumb to, their understanding of what you’ve taught them etc. Your kid’s childhood friends are the best source for all this information. So if you’re wondering how to help kids make friends, start by acquainting yourself with your child’s current friends, even if they might be a handful. Their knowledge is insightful when it comes to expanding your child’s social circle. This could even help predict the kind of children your child is likely to get along with. Thus, enabling you to avoid putting him or her in situations that could lead to disagreements or arguments.