How to Help Your Child Make Friends | Child Anxiety

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I'm here to talk to you about how to

help your child make friends now

friendship actually changes for children

through the ages when children are very

young you know we think of infants

toddlers it's really about having fun

and helping them make friends is really

about teaching them appropriate social

skills for that age and usually there's

a lot of parent involvement in terms of

the sharing and managing behaviors and

you know maybe the grabbing toys or the

hitting that starts to happen and it's

really about getting them involved with

peers on just a very simple kind of

level but as kids get a little bit older

in terms of you know pre-k or

kindergarten friendships start to take

on a little bit more meaning and it's

about having fun but it's also about

making those connections and certainly

as kids you know move through the

elementary school years there's really

this sense of I like someone those

people don't like me or she's really

nice or we have a lot in common so by

the time you get to those six and seven

year olds and even eight year olds you

see a lot of already that peer group

situation and you may need to help your

child with navigating and understanding

how to figure out what's the best way to

make a friend or even keep a friend so

when you're trying to help a child make

friends I think you want to teach them

the basics the please the thank you

going up to somebody and maybe

role-playing hi you know I'm Robin and

you know you know do you come to this

playground or you know do you want to go

and play soccer with me whatever it is

help them and watch them on the

playground watch them when they're you

know at a party with their friends and a

birthday party and help them get more

comfortable with kids now if you have a

shy child you definitely want to make

sure to put them in situations where

they can practice maybe with a few

people as opposed to a big group of

people you have to be careful with a shy


that you don't reinforce that shyness

you want to give them some may be

smaller experiences one-on-one playdates

so they can get comfortable with one

person and then maybe when they go to a

party or an event where that person is

they can become part of a group in a

much easier kind of way no the other

thing that's a little tricky with kids

even at those young school age first

second third grade is teaching them

about how to manage when people aren't

so friendly and making sure they have a

lot of confidence about themselves that

they come and talk to you about their

friends on that you know who their

friends are and you help them when

there's a problem with their friends

when you get to the teenage years

those kids it's not necessarily fitting

in with those different groups as they

are in middle school but when the

teenagers are trying to have friends

it's about what group fits for them I'm

in a very different kind of way in terms

of their interests they start to develop

an identity and again you want to be as

involved and aware of their friends as

when they were little because you still

have much more influence than you think

with a teenager talk about their friends

talk about their struggles talk about

maybe trying to be a friend with someone

who's trying to get them to do something

that you don't approve of and helping

them with those situations because

friendship skills are lifelong skills

and just because you have friends today

doesn't mean you're going to want and

need new ones tomorrow and so figuring

out how to do that will help you forever