A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels
All Moms want their kids to have great friendships. Like us, kids need friend to hang out with and to grow socially and physically. Without friends, many kids may
feel alone, isolated and down about themselves. We also want our kids to pick
the right friends, those that will encourage him when he is sad and accept her for all of her wonderful qualities. Yet, friendships can be challenging. How can we help our kids make solid friendships?
While it is easy to get hung up in the amount of friends our kids have, the amount
is relative. Knowing your child’s personality is significant when considering their
friends. If he is more introverted then he may be more comfortable with a few close
friends. Likewise, if she is extroverted she may prefer to have more friends. Yet,
it often works out that even amongst a lot of friends a few will tend to become her
confidantes and the rest more acquaintances. The amount of friends is not nearly as
important as the quality of those friends.
Sometimes fear stands in the way between kids and new friendships. Don’t be
afraid to make the first step in helping your kids make friends. If there is someone that your child enjoys spending time with at school, then take the initiative to connect with their friend’s parents to schedule a play date. Or consider hosting an event at your house and invite new friends only. This also creates an opportunity to get to know their parents, which is always a huge benefit.
Another great way to help your kids make a variety of friends is to center them on
their interests. If you child enjoys sports, join a team where there will be kids with
similar interests. If your child enjoys the arts, then look for some arts classes that
involve group instruction. As a counselor, I encourage kids to have different circles
of friends. When there are problems in one circle, your child will have other friends
he/she can hang out with instead of feeling stuck.
How about you? What way have you found helpful to help your kids make friends?