Making New Friends
For some children, knowing how to make friends is really easy – for others – not so much. It can be an awkward and challenging time, both for your child and for you. Some children lack confidence when trying to make a new friend; they are just not sure where to start or they are good at initiating a friendship but not good at maintaining them. Sometimes kids can be too dominant – or too passive. More often than not, children genuinely don’t know how to talk to other kids of their own age; they get nervous, they show off. All too easily, they are on their own, whilst everyone else seems to find it oh-so-easy to make friends.
Why making friends is important
Friendships are important – knowing how to make friends is a key life skill. If your child is struggling with friendships, reassure them that friendships take time and effort on both parts. They are also not alone in struggling with this issue -problems with friendships comes up a lot with children I work with. There are many issues with friendships – making them, losing them, changing friendships, old/new friendships, toxic friendships – and of course bullying, which I will be posting about very soon.
Here is some advice from one child to another. Through coaching, Milly is learning how to make being her age a little less complicated – for herself and others around her.
“Some people really have a thing about popularity and they will be mean to you just so they can be friends with the person you are friends with. And then, the friend you used to be friends with, starts being mean to you because that’s what the other person wants. But, if the false friend is being mean to your old friend, then that’s not friendship at all. That sounds weird and complicated, but people my age will get it.”
“Sometimes making new friends is scary and really you want them to like you. Be yourself – not the person they want you to be.”
Some strategies on how to make a friend:
- Ask them their name and tell them yours
- Ask a question about what they like to do or what TV they watch
- Give a compliment
- Be aware of things you do when you are nervous, like talk too much – acknowledge it and then move on to chatting about something else
- Remember – everyone can be nervous when trying to make new friends, even if they do not look nervous.
If you are worried about how to help your child through any issue related to friendship, why not get in touch with me and find out more about how I can help support both you and your child. You and they are not alone – and there is someone who can help.