A common worry parents face centers around their child’s social life. If you notice your child isn’t making friends as easily as their siblings and other family members, it’s natural to worry.
Every child is unique and may form friendships naturally over time, but if you want to help make it easier for him or her, try one or more of the following tips.
Study Your Child’s Personality
Some children are bright and bubbly while others are more reserved. Take note of your child’s personality and try to encourage relationship building in environments they’re more comfortable in. If your child is active and social, visit the park and let them play with other kids. If your child is shy and reserved, a quiet setting might be ideal.
If you’re worried about your child’s shyness, you may take solace in knowing that many times, shyness fades away on its own. Give your child time to get past their apprehensions.
Teach Healthy Social Behaviors
If you notice that your child seems to struggle when interacting with others, try teaching him or her healthy social skills. For example, you might want to roleplay with your child in ways that reflect real-world scenarios they might face when trying to make new friends. Teach your child how to approach others, when to use polite greetings, and how to make small talk.
Have Your Child Join a Group
Your child might be struggling to make friends because he or she has not found people whose interests or hobbies match theirs. If you know what your child enjoys, try having him or her join a group that focuses on something they’ll like. For example, if your child likes to read, a children’s book club might be a good way to introduce them to kids who are more like them.
Remain Positive and Have Patience
Some children take a little longer to make friends than others, so if your child doesn’t make new friends as soon as their siblings, try not to worry. Remain positive, keep encouraging your child to talk to others, and have patience.
As you encourage your child to meet new people and adopt healthy social behaviors, keep your home environment welcoming and positive. Keep an eye on your child’s sense of well-being to be sure they’re growing up happy and healthy despite it taking them a little longer to develop lasting friendships.