You will also find great ideas in one of my books The Left Out Child- The Importance of Friendship
5. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If you are disrespectful to others or gossip about those who are not present, people tend to wary of how you will treat them. Don’t blame other people for not living up to your expectations. It is important that you teach your child that he or she is loveable and that if they continue to behave in positive ways, a friend will come along.
6. Don’t stand out from the crowd. Whether we like it or not, kids are judged by the way they look. Try to help them fit in socially.
7. Ask to join in the fun. When approaching a group that is already engaged, pick one person to look in the eye and ask if you can join them. If that person says no or seems hesitant, then smile and say, “Okay, maybe next time?” You will get much better response if you ask one person than if you address the group at large. If the one person accepts, then the others will go along with it. Be sure to say, “Thanks for letting me join you. It was fun.”
8. Don’t take it personally. Help your child understand that another person may just be having a bad day and may not be mad or dislike him or her. Teach them that people are really less concerned about us than we would like to think.
9. Watch your body language. Verbal communication is the language of information. Body language is the language of relationships. Appear open, friendly and eager to join in and make friends. Stand up straight and look people in the eye. Respect other people’s space by not standing too close.
10. Recognize the difference between friendship and popularity. Friendship is more important and will last a lifetime. Popularity is fleeting and dependent on the group. You really only need one good friend.
One of the most effective tools I have found for change is to think about an incident that happened ether positive or negative and then say “next time…….” It helps you to cement what went right and reflect on what didn’t go so well, so you can make changes in behavior and attitude.
It also reminds the child that we all get another chance to try again, and that somewhere there is a friend just waiting for them.
Judy H. Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke” is a parent educator, author and international speaker on family issues. For FREE articles and e-zines, sign up at www.ArtichokePress.com You will be so glad you did.