My Child Has No Friends: What Can I Do?

alone child photo
There are numerous reasons for why children do not have school friends.  Some children are shy. Even around children they are accustom to being with, they may hesitate to comment or participate.  Highly intelligent or children who strive to appear intelligent may also struggle to make friends. Children who are more intelligent than their peers often have a greater grasp of verbal language.  In a similar fashion, children who have a learning disability, especially boys, may also find it difficult to make friends.

Why Children Have A Hard Time Making Friends

  • Some children will often share that they do not have friends, when in reality, they do.  Some children see other children talking with numerous peers leading them to think that they are not as popular, when in fact, they are very popular with one or two “true friends.”

7 Ways To Help My Child Make Friends

  • Be patient.  Realize that social skills take a life time to develop, groom and change for everyone.
  • Set realistic goals with and for your child.  It’s unrealistic for a parent to set a goal of his or her child to have 10 new friends by the end of the school year when the child is shy and not out-going.  Set a goal of “one new, good friend that your child feels comfortable.  Build off of that goal.alone child photo
  • Recognize that some children are very comfortable being alone.  Some kids are so exhausted by the end of a school day that they, just like us adults, want “down time;” peace and quiet.  This is a good thing!.
  • Encourage your child to participate in extra-curricular activities at school, community center, church, park and recreations programs and clubs.  Clubs are great!  Most science museums have programs for children of all ages to “get involved,” while developing social skills.
  • Speak with your child’s teachers, coaches, youth leaders and other adults who come in contact with your child on a daily or weekly basis.  Share with the adult leader your concerns.  Begin to team with that leader.  Listen to their suggestions.  Encourage you child to try some of the leader’s suggestions.
  • Many schools have social development support groups.  Now, don’t get defensive and begin to think “My kid has social skills!  I don’t want my kid in that group.”  That’s not the only purpose of the group.  The purpose of the group is to 1) allow your child a chance to interact with other children like him or her in a safe, controlled environment, 2) allow your child a place to practice what you are encouraging your child practice at home and school, and 3) many school personnel running these groups will tell you that a high percentage of the students who participate in these groups actually go out and succeed in making more friends outside of the group- fairly quickly!
  • Last, but certainly not least, are you ,the parent, being a good role model and making new friends yourself.? Do you invite new people over to your home?  Do you go out and visit with other adults in their home, or join social community activities?  Children often watch and try to do what their parents do.
Posted in Parenting.

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