10 Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends
© Judy H. Wright, www.ArtichokePress.com
Nothing touches the heartstrings of a parent or teacher more than the plaintive cry “nobody likes me” or”I don’t have any friends.” We wish there were something we could do to insure the child will be, if not the most popular, at least included in the games on the playground.
Actually, there is something we can do to increase their acceptance by the group and become more approachable to others. We can teach them some skills and behaviors that will enhance their chances of being picked as a friend.
New research shows that all likeable children behave in certain ways. These skills are not in-born but can be taught by parents, teachers and other caring adults. There is a language of likeability that some children cannot pick up by osmosis, but must learn. It has been called“shorthand” to making friends.
Not only does fitting in and having friends feel good, it has numerous other advantages including better grades, healthier bodies, less stress, and more opportunities to learn social skills. Children who feel like they have friends tend to stay in school longer, make wiser decisions, and are generally happier and so it much more important than just having a play date.
Parents, teachers and other caring adults:
Here are 10 secrets to assisting your child to be more likeable. Teach and model them on a daily basis and you will find your social circle enlarging.
- Look for opportunities to assist others. Studies show that helpfulness correlates more strongly than any other attribute to being liked. Teach them to be aware of other people’s needs and to offer assistance spontaneously, before they ask for it.
- Find something that makes them feel special. Encourage your child to find an activity, hobby or interest that they really enjoy. They don’t have to excel at it, just enjoy it. Do they enjoy drama, dance or railroads? Join a group of enthusiasts.
- Say “hello” first, and smile. People who smile are perceived as nice and approachable. Friendly and optimistic people act as a magnet to others. Have you ever gotten mad at someone who smiled or said hi to you?
- Be Pleasant to be around. It is simply too much work to try to figure out someone’s “moods” and if your child tends to complain a lot or blame others, they will find associates distancing themselves. If your child is consistently negative, help them to see the positive and break the habit of pessimism. Explore the energy techniques of EFT for some simple ways to change thought patterns.