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Parenting 101: Encouraging Your Kid to Have Friends

Babies are born with an inherent skill to charm others. They are ready to socialize and give a smile to whoever holds them. But this does not mean that they will carry over this “social skill” until they are older and in school. You will be shocked to know that the happiest children at home can be the loneliest one in school. It is often harder to spot a child who’s been excluded than someone who is bullied.

The transition from elementary to private high schools in Manila or other cities is particularly hard. These children have already been used to spending time with their elementary peers. The fact that they need to make new friends in their new school is often the hardest for them to accept.

As a parent, you are in a precarious position to help your kid develop new friendships. You should take the time and effort to get to know your kid in school. Identifying the problem areas will help you assess what they should and should not do when making friends.

Manage Your Kids’ Emotions

Everybody has negative emotions. If people don’t control their impulses, no friendships will be built. Children must have the self-control to develop friendships. A study shows that children with better control over their impulses and behavior make more friends. As parents, talk to them about their feelings. Make it safe for them to open up to yo so that they don’t need to lash out at their peers.

Be a Positive Role Model

children learning music

Be mindful of how you interact with others. Your children will mirror your behavior. Remember that every scenario is an opportunity to teach your kid. If they see you gossiping about other people, they will do that, too. If they hear you badmouthing a neighbor, they will follow your example. Try to be a positive role model for your kids. Show them how great it is to have friends.

Set up Playdates

Playdates are great opportunities for your kid to make friends. If your kid is finding it hard to develop friendships, you can be the one to strike it up for them. You can invite other parents to your house and ask them to bring their kids. That will be a good chance for your kids to make friends. They’ll be more comfortable since they are in a setting that’s familiar to them.

However, it is also important to weed out people. You shouldn’t invite kids who won’t be a good influence on your child. Although you don’t want to be over-controlling, it’s best to filter out their friends as early as you can.

Role Play at Home

Hopefully, your child will be open to role-playing at home. This will be helpful if they are having a hard time striking up conversations in school. You can sit down and practice some topics at home. This is also an opportunity for you to see why your kid could be having a hard time socializing.

More than anything else, your kid needs to know you support them. You are their first friends. If you show them that you’re uninterested in their stories or spending time will them, that will affect their confidence. Show them they’re interesting and valued.

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