No parent wants to watch their child become alienated from their peers, but many children struggle to make friends. They may need assistance from an authority—namely, you. Read this article to learn how to help your child make friends in school.
Model Positive Social Behavior
Children really do look at their parents and adults to give them clues about how to behave around other people. Every time you enter into a social interaction with your child nearby, such as if you run into someone at the grocery store, your child is observing how you speak, stand, and listen. Try to make sure your actions match how you would like your child to respond in a similar situation.
Provide a Head Start
Some shy kids just need time to acclimate to certain environments. If your child has trouble with busy, crowded places, you should try bringing them early before things get so hectic. On the first day of school, before the parking lot gets crowded with other students, give your child the opportunity to acclimate to the space. One of the best ways to help your child make friends in school is to ease them into the difficult environment.
Observe Your Child
To truly understand why your child might have trouble interacting with other students, you should take some time to observe their behavior. Sit in during class one day and try to see how your kid manages social interactions. Do they act like they do at home? How are their behaviors different?
This may also be a good opportunity to spot obvious flaws. For instance, a child over five years old should stop sucking their thumb because it ostracizes them from the students who have grown out of the habit. If you notice small behavioral problems like that at school, you will have a better idea of areas that you can help your child improve.
Encourage and Reward
It is always best to teach children with positive reinforcement. When you observe your child making friends, encourage that behavior with rewards. You can also set up exciting playdates for your child and their new friend. It will help your child see the benefit of friendship, and it will further develop their bond with their classmate.