Having friends beyond those that are imaginary, and family is important, and beneficial to a child in many ways. It provides them social, mental, and emotional development. Playmates are fine in the beginning, but soon, real and close friendships are more important. Although the assumption that children make friends easily may be true, your child may still need a bit of help in building or even starting a relationship with others.
If you feel your child needs help, here are some of the things you can do:
1. Teach him proper and positive social skills
Your child may not be the best playmate. As a result, parents may shy away from setting up playdates. The reason for this may be due to your child’s habits or inappropriate behavior. Consider that negative behaviors may have been picked up by your child from TV shows, or his surroundings. Try to correct them and teach your children basic good manners, proper greetings, giving compliments, being polite, and other things of the like.
2. Give them the opportunity
Be the one to present your child the opportunity to make friends. Set play dates with other parents. Allow and encourage your child to join clubs, organizations, and team building exercises.
3. Talk to your child
Whenever your child encounters a bump in his friendship, make time to talk to him about how he feels and the steps he’s about to take. You don’t have to tell him outright how to solve his problems. A little guidance to help him realize the right thing to do is enough. This way, you’re also up to date on the events occurring in your child’s life.
Without a good set of friends or even one close friend, children may be more prone to depression when they grow up. They are also more likely to have low self-esteem and low self-confidence than others. Those who have established strong and long lasting friendships, on the other hand, perform better academically and have more grasp of who they are.
- Alward, Mary. “Friendship: An Important Part of Your Child’s Development” http://www.googobits.com/articles/p6-2047-friendship-an-important-part-of-your-childs-development.html, 09 August 2005. Web. 23 May 2014.
- Unknown author. “Helping Children Learn Positive Friendship Skills” http://www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/about-friendship/making-friends/helping-children-learning-positive-friendship-skills#, unknown publication date. Web. 23 May 2014.
- Brhel, Rita. “Why It’s Important to Help Children Make Friends” http://theattachedfamily.com/?p=2706, 03 March 2011. Web. 23 May 2013.
- Gurian, Anita. “Do Kids Need Friends?” http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/do_kids_need_friends, unknown publication date. Web. 23 May 2013.