Can't Connect, Won't Connect: The Secret To Getting Your Child On The Friendship Straight And Narrow

It’s no secret that supportive and consistent care can go a long way towards giving kids the confidence they need to make something of themselves. 
This is a collaborative post

But, as you might be able to guess, happiness at home doesn’t always equate to a go-getter child. In fact, despite your best efforts, you may have noticed that your little one seems either reluctant or unable to make friends. 

This can be upsetting to witness, especially when you consider how vital these formative friendships can be. But, aside from arranging all their playdates for them, you may be at a loss at what you can do to help. 

Admittedly, there will come a time when your child has to do the thing for themselves. For now, though, there are a few steps you can take to make this friendship thing easier on them, and we’re going to look at them here. 

Consider root causes for their reluctance

First, delve into what’s behind their reluctance to reach out. It may be something as simple as a bad experience with another child. Or, the issue may be something more in-depth, such as difficulty connecting due to autism. In these cases, autism therapy could still see them thriving around other kids in the future, but only if you take action now. As such, observe their interactions or lack of, and really try to uncover root causes.

Get their siblings involved

While you could arrange playdates on your child’s behalf, doing so isn’t going to teach them as such. To do that, you might want to get their siblings involved. This is a ready-formed relationship that they’re already comfortable with, after all. Inter-sibling play can be an excellent way to learn social cues, or even meet new people that they might not have the confidence to approach alone. That can be a fantastic way to get the friendship ball rolling, all without the pressure that often comes alongside such undertakings. 

Be a social role model

You could be the best mom in the world, and your child’s social skills could still suffer if they don’t see you interacting with others regularly. Remember that it’s astounding how many behaviors your child will mimic from you during their lifetimes. If you have friends, they’re far more likely to. No matter how busy your days get, you should, therefore, be sure to invite people around when your kids are likely to see them. As well as showing them what friendship looks like, this alone can expose them to invaluable socialization with new people. And, that could quickly become key to giving them confidence when approaching new kids in the playground. 

While we often imagine that kids can make friends with anyone, anywhere, know that your child isn’t alone in their struggles here. More children than we realize hang back and find it challenging to make lasting connections. Just remember that the earlier you catch this issue, the sooner you can see your child on the friendship straight and narrow at last.


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