You would think now that the world’s gone digital and kids post puppy filter photos of each other on Snapchat from anywhere, at any time, worrying about your child’s social life is no longer necessary. Well, that is so not the case. While many children are fortunate enough to have outgoing personalities that make them popular, not all the kids are cool. And some are so shy making friends is terrifying. With a new school year around the corner, parents want their children to have fun and the generous support of a real time social network. Here are some tried and true methods for your child to make friends no matter who they are.
Offer a Compliment to Three Kids Each Day: Who doesn’t love getting a compliment? Compliments often break the ice and launch a conversation. Encourage your child to say one nice genuine thing to three different students each day.
Practice Active Listening: Often kids have conversations where everybody’s butting in or speaking all at once. So if your child is able to listen patiently in conversation before responding the act is sure to garner respect and likability. Teach your child to actively listen to others. Encourage them to repeat what is said, ask questions, and make connections off conversations.
Beware of Becoming a Tattletale: Teach your kids the difference between tattling and telling. Explain telling involves reporting to the teacher when another child (or your child) is harmed, is sick, or is being bullied. Let your child know that some kids are mischievous and while that may be uncomfortable for a more “by the book” child, sometimes the situation is not that serious.
Be Helpful: Tell your child if a classmate is in need of a pencil or other school supply, to lend a hand. Help students who are on crutches by carrying their bag or lunch. Your child can invite kids over after school or ask others to the library to study together especially if there’s a quiz coming up. Being nice is still a virtue even as society has moved into snarkier times.
As you explain these tips to your children also let them know the difference between real friendship and being taken advantage of. When your child makes an effort to navigate the tricky territory of relationship building he or she is gaining invaluable life skills. And now that your child is learning to become a social dynamo, mamas out there be prepared with popcorn and pizza for all those impromptu slumber parties that await you!