Helping your child make new friends

I think she needs a few pointers...

Somehow, after six years in our elementary school, two older sisters with multiple friends who have younger siblings, three kindergarten classes, and five children at our school from her preschool class, Sydney has not one child in her class that she knew before school started.

Her best buddy, O, is in the classroom next door. And although she will be able to play with O at recess time twice a day, it’s just not the same as having a friend in class all day long.

I told her it was a chance for her to make some new friends.

But my slow-to-warm-up little Sydney looked skeptical.

So how can I help my girl make some new friends? We will have to have some conversations at home in the evenings, that’s for sure. Here are a couple of things I thought of to tell her:

1. Look for someone who’s playing alone. That person is probably wishing for a new friend and would love to play with you!

2. Walk up to that person and say, “Hi! I’m Sydney. What’s your name?” And Smile!

3. Ask your new friend a question. What’s your favorite thing to do at recess? Do you have any brothers or sisters? What did you have for lunch? What’s your favorite color? What’s something fun you did over the summer? Do you want to take turns going down the slide? Do you want to play in the art center with me?

4. Or if that seems too hard, just smile at the person and say, “Can I play, too?”

Sydney is one of those kids who sometimes takes a long time to get comfortable in a new situation, but once she’s comfortable, she pretty much runs the show. I know once she gets to know a couple of her classmates, she will have a great year. I just have to not worry about her and encourage her to be the friendly, fun-loving girl I know she is.

How do you help your child make new friends?





How far would you go to advocate for your child? In January First, father Michael Shofield and his family struggle to find the right treatment for his daughter Jani, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at six years old. Join From Left to Write on September as we discuss the Shofield’s memoir January First. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
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