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How to help your kids make new friends?

Kids are always being shuffled from one activity to the next, leaving them hardly any free time in hand. They tend to lead a busier life than most adults. And with all these different activities, come different crowds they regularly see and interact with. While some kids jump right into social gatherings, others struggle in making their way into groups.

If your child is not a social butterfly and struggles to make friends, it’s natural for you to want to step in and help. The good news is that as a parent, there are several ways for you to guide your child, and with this blog, we hope to help you better help your little ones.

1. Observe and Understand

Children behave a certain way at home but could be completely different people altogether when they step out into unfamiliar territories. This could be because of various reasons ranging from shyness to anxiety in large groups.

What you, as a parent, could do is attend some of these activities at school and observe how your child behaves. Do they keep to themselves or try and interact with their peers? Sometimes, a child might prefer to observe from a distance than join in, which is completely okay. Before trying to jump in and gain them some friends, try and understand their nature and preference.

2. Help them with Conversational Skills

Sometimes, kids just need a little direct guidance on how to talk to and play with other kids. While some children pick this up naturally, some do better if it's laid out for them.

Give them space to listen and respond. Don’t just ask questions, talk about yourself, your day, and generic stuff too. Trade information about your mutual or complementing likes and dislikes. Wait for them to come up with a topic they’d like to talk about, and it doesn’t hurt to encourage comfortable silences shared in your company as well.

3. Lead by Example

Children really do learn by observing, so be mindful of how you interact with others around them. Every time you strike up conversations with friends or neighbours, or even the check-out person at the grocery store, your child is aware.

Almost every scenario becomes a learning opportunity, allowing your child to see how you join in, negotiate and problem-solve. If you catch them listening in, encourage them to ask questions, and be patient with your responses. 4. Rewards and Reinforcement

You don’t necessarily have to shower them with gifts and rewards every time they make a friend or strike up a conversation with a peer, but a word of encouragement and recognition goes a long way.

When your child is making progress, however small it might seem, make sure to reinforce their efforts. Acknowledge each small success, and tell your child how proud you are that they keep trying.

5. Nurture Your Child’s Ability to Empathize

Your child might be doing an amazing job at controlling their own negative emotions but they might also be directing all their energy toward that. This results in them not listening to or empathizing with their peers. Though these emphasizing skills sound like something that should come naturally, to young minds, very little comes automatically without encouragement and support. So help your kids develop their emotions and nurture their curiosity.

6. Try Roleplaying at Home

Conversation and ice-breaking skills don’t come naturally to everyone. If your child is conscious about the way they speak or the topics they want to choose to talk about, let them practice on you.

Have them sit with you and practice at home. Discuss what topics interest them that he might talk about with other kids. Test different options until he finds something that comes naturally. 7. Stop Comparing

Be aware of your child’s unique personality and temperament, and don’t force them into companies they don’t wish to be in. Your children don’t have to have many friends just because you or your neighbour’s kids do.

Some introverted children make a few really good friends instead of having many more casual friendships. Learn to accept what your child wants and respect their comfort. As long as the child is truly happy and content, you have nothing to worry about.


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