One of the hardest things in parenting is seeing your child upset, especially when it’s over friends, and even more so if you know that there’s no real ‘reason’ that they shouldn’t have friends. If your child is not naturally an extrovert or you’ve noticed they have a difficult time relating to their peers, it can be difficult to determine how exactly to help them. Teaching your child to make friends is not as easy as conducting employee trainings from HSI, but it is not impossible! Keep reading to learn a few simple tips for encouraging your young child to make friends that will stick with them and help them socialize as they grow up.
Observe Your Child’s Social Patterns
The key to helping your child make friends is understanding how they personally socialize with others. Identifying whether your child is naturally an introvert or an extrovert is the first step in determining how they can work towards making friends on their own. If you notice your child is particularly anxious or avoidant in social situations, understanding this behaviour is the first step in helping to correct it. Knowing more about your child’s unique social behaviour is key in teaching them to make friends in a way that is helpful and meaningful.
Lead By Example
You are often your child’s first teacher, so it is important to set real life examples of the behaviours you’d like them to model. When it comes to making friends and socializing with others, set a good example for your children striking up a conversation with strangers, acquaintances, neighbours, etc. whenever you get the opportunity. Teaching your young children to be excited about social interactions with others is important for instilling confidence and positive thoughts about making friends that will stick with them as they grow up.
When helping your young children socialize, it can be beneficial to get the ball rolling by inviting your friends with children of similar ages to come over for a play date. This will provide a low intensity setting for your child to get to know a potential friend and to foster their social skills, while also allowing time for you to visit with a friend in the midst of your otherwise busy schedule!