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Is your child struggling to make friends? We bring you some useful ways that can help them out

Arun Sharma Arun Sharma 3 Mins Read

Arun Sharma Arun Sharma

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Written For ParentCircle Website new design update

As easy as it may sound, making friends can be difficult for some children. In this situation, parents can play an important role in teaching their children how to make friends

Is your child struggling to make friends? We bring you some useful ways that can help them out

Julia Cook, author of the book, 'Making Friends Is an ART!' says, "Friendships are very important when it comes to emotional health."

Most children make friends easily but some struggle to and need guidance and encouragement.  If your child is struggling to make friends, here are some things you can do to help them connect with their peers.

Help them build relationships

Being in unfamiliar situations like going to a new school can sometimes make your child feel shy. You can help them by gently encouraging them in such situations to boost their confidence in forming relationships. Sometimes your child may see himself as different from others. This can cause them to be anxious and hesitant to approach other children. Talk to your child in a sympathetic way to help them understand how to keep their negative emotions under control while approaching other children.

Talk to them about social behavior

Take your child out to places where they can be among people, like a park, a shopping mall, or a coaching class. This will help them get exposed to, learn and practice social behavior. It will also help your child be themselves and prevent them from being overwhelmed by the presence of others around them.

Show them how to start a conversation

In their study, 'Parent-specific reciprocity from infancy to adolescence shapes children's social competence and dialogical skills,' Ruth Feldman and colleagues made an important observation. They found that children whose parents responded to their communication developed better social competence and negotiation skills over time. So, communicate with your child and teach them how to engage in a conversation. They can start a conversation by talking about likes and dislikes, giving the other child a chance to talk, listening actively to what is said, and responding with a question or an answer. If your child likes a particular activity like music or sport, encourage them to mingle with children who have similar interests. This will make it easier for them to start a conversation.

Show them how to read facial expressions

Although understanding facial expressions come naturally to most of us, some children are unable to do so. Children who are unable to identify facial expressions often get into trouble with peers. You can use flashcards of different facial expressions to teach your child how to understand them. Some of the expressions you must include are happy, angry, sad, fear and surprise.

Organize playdates

To start with, you can call over one or two children for a few hours to play group games with your child. Get the children to say hello and shake hands with each other and remind them that they are there to play together. During the first few play dates, you can supervise the play to reassure your child and guide him.

Be an example

You can set an example for your child by meeting people warmly and with a smile.

With a little support, your child can develop the social skills necessary to make friends. But don't have unrealistic expectations and don't compare your child with other children.

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