Helping Kids Make Healthy Friendships

Many parents worry about how to help their children make healthy friendships. When kids are left to their own devices, it’s easy for them to develop poor relationships. Parents can help by setting boundaries and setting good examples, but their children need to be proactive and develop healthy friendships on their own. When children are first starting to learn to make friends, they may need more guidance than they are ready for. Sometimes it takes some doing, but often parents can help their children become closer to others by encouraging friendships.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right people to hang out with. When kids are young, they often don’t know many kids their age, so it’s hard for them to make friends. It’s also hard to know if your kids are being bullied or mean to kids who are different from them. Fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to make your child more comfortable within a healthy friendship.

Practice Saying Hello

Some kids have a hard time saying hello to new people. They avoid eye contact and try to keep a safe distance from others. This is a common problem that can cause kids to feel isolated and alone. Kids must learn to say hello to others because it can help them to make healthy friendships and develop healthy social skills.

Take Time to Observe and Understand How Your Child Socializes

The social skills of children are an important part of their development. They are used to help them learn how to interact with others and ensure that they can make healthy and meaningful relationships. After that, you can teach them a better way of socializing with other kids to have a healthy friendship.

Model Positive Social Behavior

Modeling positive social behavior is one of the best ways to learn to share, respect, and care for others. Kids with positive social skills make more friends, get along better in school, and are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other social problems.

Role Play at Home

When your kids start in school in a few weeks, they will likely be new in their class, and you want to give them a chance to get to know their new friends before the first day of class. To do that, you can give them a chance to practice social skills in a fun and helpful way. (The kids will be able to talk through the situation and decide if they want to play a given character’s role. It is a fun way to spend some time together and get to know each other better.) Once your kids lets you know that they have made new friends, encourage them to hang out often. Create opportunities for them to spend time together during weekends and other occasions. Small gestures like getting them friendship bracelets (check out as an example), new toys, etc. together can make a huge difference in their minds.

Don’t Compare Your Child to Yourself or Other Siblings

Some kids have a very hard time making healthy friendships. A lot of research shows that they may even have a harder time making healthy friendships than adults do. To make things even more complicated, kids sometimes compare themselves with their older siblings when it comes to making friends. Instead of feeling jealous, be sure to celebrate their successes by pointing out what they have accomplished in areas that you think they could improve in. By pointing out their strengths, you can help them to form healthy friendships with others in a supportive way.

Don’t Avoid the Problem

When a child is bullied, many parents try to protect their children from experience by making the child avoid the target. But a little bit of avoidance can cause more problems in a child, especially when the child is being discriminated against. It is better to push through the bullying and even to stand up to the bully when necessary. That will improve self-confidence and build a healthy, supportive social life.

Let’s face it, kids are full of energy. So, you need to learn to be able to say no to your children without feeling guilty about it. You also need to learn to say no to your children without hurting their feelings. With the right guidance, you can empower your children to make healthy friendships.

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