What to do if Your Child Doesn’t Have Many Friends
When your child isn’t making friends, it can be hard to know what to do. We want to see our children succeed, but it’s a challenge to be confronted with a situation that you feel is out of your parental control. Here are some tips to help your child navigate friendship and social acceptance.
Trust in Friendship
This tactic almost sounds like you’re not doing anything at all, but it’s really much harder than that. If you’re patient and give your child time to develop on their own, then chances are that they will indeed figure it out. For the vast majority of children, just allowing some extra time to develop is the best thing for social skills.
Meet the Parents
Whatever the age of your child, getting to know the parents of children who are friends, or potential friends, will give you not only peace of mind, but will also offer more opportunities for interaction. If you find yourself being shy, then your kids might also have a natural draw to shyness and give you some great insight into them.
Get the Right Emphasis
There is no way to make your child have friends, and if you could then it still wouldn’t be as meaningful as if they find their own. Don’t get pulled into the popularity game, but instead place the emphasis on the properties of true friendship like devotion and self-sacrifice.
Ask Good Questions
Don’t just tell your child what to do, instead ask questions so that your child feels empowered to talk to you. Ask things like, “What did you say” and “How did that work?” You’re giving your child tools for later when you’re not there to support them.
Only Step in When They Need you
This one is really hard, but you really should only step in when there isn’t another choice. You can give them some guidance about what words to say or how to feel confident, but don’t try to make something happen that’s not coming organically to your child’s life. Your child can do it! They can make friends. Keep that patience going and good luck.
Friendships are something that build slowly, but can last for an entire lifetime.