Tips for Helping Your Child Make Friends

Tips for Helping Your Child Make Friends

Friendships make childhood richer. They teach us how to share, cooperate, and be a good companion. But for some kids, making friends doesn’t come naturally. Here’s how you can help!

Start with Building Confidence

  • Encourage Self-Awareness: What lights your child up? What makes them feel proud? Knowing their strengths boosts confidence.
  • Support Their Interests: Joining a soccer team or drama club connects them with kids who share their passions.
  • Celebrate Their Uniqueness: Help them see differences are what make them special – and interesting to others!

Creating Opportunities for Friendship

  • Playdates 101 Start with one-on-one play at home. If your child is shy, keep it short and sweet to start.
  • Activities & Groups: From Scouts to swim team, shared interests create a natural sense of belonging.
  • The Playground Approach: Observe before joining in. Is there a group playing a game your child likes? Encourage them to ask to join.

Coaching Social Skills

  • Reading Cues: “That boy frowning and crossing his arms might not be in the mood to play.” Help them interpret non-verbal signals.
  • Conversation Starters: Practice open-ended questions like, “What’s your favorite part of this game?” instead of just “yes” or “no” answers.
  • Dealing with Conflict: Role-play common scenarios (someone not sharing). Brainstorm solutions together.


  • “My child is an introvert, is that a problem?” Absolutely not! Introverts may prefer one or two close friends over large groups.
  • “What if they face rejection?” Acknowledge their feelings. Remind them that not everyone will be their BFF, and that’s okay.

Resources Section

  • Books to Boost Social-Emotional Skills:
  • Conversation Starter Games
  • Group/Team-Oriented Games: These build cooperative skills that translate to friendships. Consider:
    • Board Games: Look for simple, collaborative games like “Hoot Owl Hoot” or “Outfoxed”.
    • Basic Sports Equipment: A simple soccer ball or basketball for informal games at the park.
  • Open-Ended Toys for Playdates:
    • Building Toys: Blocks, Legos, or magnetic tiles encourage cooperation.


Helping your child build friendships is a gift. Give them the tools, support their efforts, and celebrate every connection they make, big or small. Remember, friendships, like kids, grow at their own pace.