How to Help Your Child Make Friends - Mom it Forward

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How to Help Your Child Make Friends

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As a parent, your child may have come home from school one day crying because of the difficulty of making friends. This tough situation will tug at your heartstrings, but the way you react can make a big difference. There is not one exact solution, but helping your child find friends can a crucial life skill they can learn. The tools you use should enhance both the sense of self confidence and the skills.

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Many children can start making real friendships around age of four or five. If your child is struggling to make friends there are things you can do to help, but making friends is not something that can be forced. Helping your child to feel comfortable and confident is important. Help provide opportunities for him to interact with others. After all, how would you expect him to make friends if he spends all of his free time at home? Socialize together, be around people of all ages, and help him observe how it is done. Even if you only visit your own places of social interest, this will still have a positive impact.

As a parent you can create and facilitate social situations to help your child succeed. Attend social events that are likely to be visited by kids your son's age. You can host small get-togethers at your home, or help him invite a classmate to a movie, or to the skate rink. The more your child is around people, the more he will develop his social skills.

Try to offer and provide support to your kid whenever needed. Point out and discuss his interactions with others and offer suggestions that may be helpful. Role playing with your child can provide an opportunity to practice in a safe environment.

Whenever things are hard, stay balanced. There are bound to be moments of disappointment in the search for friends. After all, a good friend is hard to find and not all children may 'match' in terms of character and interests. When moments like these occur, always be understanding and supportive. Explain that good friends are out there 'waiting', and with a little luck and perseverance he will find them.

6 Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

  1. Do your best in helping your child realize what her strengths are. Teach her to look for friends with similar strengths and interests.
  2. Don't lose your sense of humor. Your child will key on and mimic your reactions.
  3. Don't criticize! Suggestions for improvement should be accompanied with praise.
  4. Teach him to open doors for others, wave to a friend, and give sincere compliments. In other words, be kind.
  5. Show empathy whenever she goes through a tough period.
  6. Never complain! Instead, teach your child to accept the facts, even the failures, but to never succumb to them.

Teach him/her one of life's most valuable lessons: friends make the world brighter and life easier!

How do you help your children make friends?

Grace Bailey's mission is to help you create a better organization and healthy home for you and your family. She lives in the United Kingdom and enjoys sharing ideas and suggestions for an organized and clean home.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

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