How to make friends: Is it really that hard?
One worrying factor that parents may have is whether or not their child can make a friend and the right friend would go a long way to ensuring your child's happiness. Everyone needs a friend to share happiness and go through dark moments with. If your child is having trouble making a close friend, here are some things you can do!
1. Get them involved in extracurricular activities
CCAs are not just to make a portfolio look good and while sending your child to piano and swimming lessons are fine, excelling at these activities may be a lonely pathway. You cannot talk to the person next to you if you are underwater. So try some team sports and bonding activities so your child can make connections and form lifelong friendships.
2. Be casual and let the friendship unfold
Parents, more often mothers, are very protective of their children but if a kid does not want to be friends with your child or they do not get along, do not overreact. Kids can be fighting one week and friends the next. Let the friendship run its course and as much as we want everyone to like our child for who they are, not everyone can be pleased.
3. Expose them to children of different genders
Boys will be boys and girls like to shop is a stereotype that you can break. Boys and girls should interact with one another and break out of their comfort zone. Getting to know different points of views will be good for them as well. As adults, we need to interact with different genders at work and this prepares them for tertiary education as well.
4. Let them be themselves
Their unique identity is what makes them special and instead of trying to blend in, they should try standing out. Other children can sense if someone is pretending and it is also detrimental for children to feel like they have to be someone other than themselves because that indicates something is wrong with them. They will grow up not finding their own identity and simply follow the majority which hinders their personal progress and propel them to succumb to peer pressures.
5. Be friends with your child
Being a parent is tough. You have to be the villain at times, only for them to realise years later you were actually the good guy and was on their side. Although you have to put your foot down sometimes, also show them what is it like to have a friend. Someone to joke around with, someone to confide in, someone to converse and spend time with so that when they find other friends they know what to expect and what is appropriate.
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