Making Friends

Everyone needs friends; the world would be a sad place without them. However, the ability to make friends varies from child to child.

To some children, making friends is easy, and to others it’s a tough call. It is a skill, and you have to encourage your child to develop this skill.

For instance, if your child has a pleasant temperament and he is easy to get along with, other children will like him. If he laughs and shares his toys with other children, he will be popular with the kids as well as their parents.

Just as adults make efforts to develop interests that will make them popular, similarly, the more your child is interested in people and interacts with other children, the more opportunities he has to make friends.

Making Friends

Making Friends [Illustration by Shiju George]

If your child has trouble making friends, here are some things he can do:

  • Realise your child’s strengths: Build on those skills and talents that others can enjoy. Make your child believe in himself that he is a good person who has lots to share with others.
  • Encourage his sense of humour: If he can learn to laugh at himself and his shortcomings, it will relieve some of his stress. And it’s a sight for sore eyes to see a couple of children chuckling away.
  • Make him respect the rights of others: Everybody has opinions; your child has his. Different opinions are healthy. Encourage him to learn to listen to others without putting them down or trying to convince them his opinion is right.
  • Ask your child to be kind: Explain to him that if he is kind to others, they will usually be kind to him. Smile at someone, wave to a friend, say something positive. There are so many things that can be done to spread kindness.
  • Encourage empathy in your child: Ask him to understand what others are going through and look at life through their eyes. Tell him if he can empathise with someone’s feelings, he can help.
  • Ask your child to complain less: Everyone gets tired of listening to a child who is constantly whining. If he can learn to accept what he can’t change, and work hard to change what he can, the world would be a better place to live in.
  • Encourage a never-say-die spirit in your child: Even if he is faced with negative people with closed minds, he should not get affected. He should always look for friends who can appreciate him.

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