With thanks to Lingokids for contributing!
Help your kids develop the essential skills to interact with others. Check out these 8 tips to help your kids make friends!
Of course, there are bound to be some awkward or challenging moments along the way. But, with a little dedication, you can help your youngster feel confident making new BFFs.
1. Know the Benefits of Friendship
When kids can relate to their peers, they’re essentially learning how to trust and connect with others. Genuine friendships even assist kids in solving conflicts and controlling their emotions! Through these relationships, your children will learn useful skills they will use throughout their life.
2. Be a Good Role Model
More than just enjoying rewards, parents need to play their part, too. We’re talking about being a role model and leading by example. You know, like a superhero! After all, kids are like sponges and absorb their parents’ behaviour. If you don’t speak nicely to the waiter or practice active listening with others, how can you expect your child to do the same?
3. Practice Manners at Home
It’s important to have good manners when making new friends. Whether at the dinner table or grocery store, children can practice greeting techniques with family members. This way, they will have a safe space to practice and learn. Soon enough, they’ll be able to address strangers politely and make a positive first impression!
4. Talk Openly About Friendships
One way to show the value of friendship is simply by discussing it with your kiddos. You could start by sharing memories of your best childhood friends. Reading a book or watching a movie about friendship is another technique to get an honest conversation started.
5. Plan Fun Play Dates
You know what they say: practice makes perfect. The same can be said for kids learning how to make friends!
Playdates offer endless learning opportunities for kids of all ages, but they are especially useful for toddlers. Problem-solving, critical thinking, communication skills, teamwork, creativity, and sharing are just a few of the skills your kids can learn through regular play dates.
6. Teach Cooperation, Not Competition
Sometimes, friendly competition can be too much of a good thing. For many, friendships are more likely to form when kids work together to achieve a common goal. In fact, experts advise that kids should understand concepts of cooperation before competition. Too much competition can lead to negative social behaviors.
7. No Room for Comparison
Naturally, some kids are more shy or anxious than others. If this is the case with your little one, it’s advisable to not compare them to others. Such comparisons could harm their self-esteem and make it harder for them to form healthy friendships in the long run. Instead, prioritize giving praise and positive reinforcement for small accomplishments if your child struggles in social settings.
8. Embrace Empathy
Part of making friends is learning how to see other people’s perspectives. A friendship will always be stronger if friends can read each other’s emotions through body language or facial expressions.
This doesn’t happen overnight, though. Kids often need their parent’s guidance to practice empathy—that’s where you come in. When you are kind and considerate of others, your kids will model this behavior in their own friendships too.