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How To Help Your Child to Make Friends.

Updated on August 27, 2012

Best Friends Forever

In a recent survey it has been proven that most adults have only got 2 or 3 really close friends in their lives that they feel they could trust with anything. The very most "very good friends" that most people have is 5. When asked about the detail of these friendships the majority of people admittted that their very best friends were the ones that they made in childhood.

How to encourage a Child to make Friends

Children's friendships and the process of making friends is an important part of the growing up process. There may appear to be a lot of conflict and drama along the way but alongside that are the making of childhood memories, lifelong buddies and the creation of an identity!

In the early days babies and toddlers are confined to the playmates of their parents choice, however children’s social contacts tend to increase dramatically when they enter pre-school and then school.They now have the opportunity to make friends of their own. The development of your child's friendships can be greatly encouraged (or discouraged in some cases) by the actions of parents through the arrangement of social activities and events outside of school hours. Playdates, birthday parties and attending out of school clubs all provide excellent opportunities for your child to cement the friendships that they have begun to build up. These can all be simple occasions and dont have to cost a lot of money.

As children develop their friends will begin to have a lot of influence over her life so it is important to be aware of who she is spending time with. By creating a warm welcoming home environment for your child's friends you are also creating the opportunity for you as a parent to get to know your child's new friends a little better.

Friendships are also heavily influenced by how school activities are arranged and the amount of contact that they have with other age groups and the opposite sex. Try to be aware of what school activities your child is involved in and encourage these as much as possible.

How many very close friends do you have?

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Being Supportive as the Nature of Friendships Change

Childrens friendships naturally change and develop in the same way that they themselves are changing and developing. At the age of three to five years of age, young children are first beginning to enter school or Nursery children and often refer to their friends in terms of "my friend from school" or "my friend from the park". The best way to support your child at this stage is to ensure that they are as independent as possible and to teach them to speak up for themselves. Remember that you will not always be there to intervene when your child wants to make his or herself understood.

Moving on from this stage your child will reach a stage where his/her friendships will become more about the rewards and costs of the relationships. "I'm friends with her because she lets me use her ninetendo" "I'm not friends with her because i get into trouble". It is easy to get impatient with children for this attitude but it is much better to teach them through example and patience as they have not yet reached the stage of undertanding the reciprocal nature of friendship. Teach your child to do things for people or to give things to people without expecting something in return.

Frienship & Heartache

Between the ages of nine and twelve children begin to really understand that others have feelings too. They realise that if they judge their friends for something then their friends too will judge them. This can be a very very difficult time for children as they deal with a wealth of new emotions.

In fact in any friendship there may be difficult times.The best way that parents can support their children are by being a friend themselves. Take time to talk to your child everyday so that your child feels listened to. By doing this it will be easier for your child to approach you to tell you if something is wrong or to ask for your help. Give your child examples of how to deal with conflict at home so that when it arises in their friendships they can handle it. This can be done through turn taking games and through talking through difficulties.

Most of all you can teach your child by being a good friend to them yourself. Through this they will learn by your example how they should treat others.

Friends Stick By You No Matter What!


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    • mathair profile image

      mathair 6 years ago from Ireland

      Yes NiaLee. We as adults and Parents have so much learning to do! Even the way each child reacts to new friendships and situations is different and being prepared for their emotions and reactions can be half the battle!

    • NiaLee profile image

      NiaLee 6 years ago from BIG APPLE

      I agree so much, learning how to handle emotions and situations healthily will help them mature.