Some children have a hard time making friends.
Preschool is an exciting time for kids and parents -- but it can also be a a heartbreaking time if your child has trouble making friends. If you were shy as a child, you may fear your child going through the same awkward stage that you did. The important thing to remember when helping your preschooler make friends is not to push the issue too much. Other kids will come around in their own time and not everyone will be a friend to your child, although respect and kindness should be expected whether children are friends or not.
1Talk to your child's teacher or daycare provider if your child comes home and says she doesn't have friends. The teacher has a front row seat to what's happening and may have insight into the situation that you don't. For instance, is the problem that the other kids already know each other from another class and your child is the new kid and is being excluded accidentally? Or is your child shy and not responding to friendly overtures from her classmates? Perhaps, although this can be painful to think about your own child, there is something about your child's behavior that is making it hard for him to make friends, like whining or bullying. Once you know what's going on it will be able to take steps to rectify the situation.
2Sit down with your child and listen to her feelings on this subject. Talk about ways to make friends and talk to other kids. Give her the words to talk to other children such as "Would you like to see my toy?" or "Do you want to play blocks with me?" Explain about sharing toys and taking turns and the importance of being kind to other kids.
3Arrange a playdate for your child with one of the other parents in the preschool class. Keep the time short, an hour is fine to start. A park or indoor play area is good because it will give the kids plenty to do and talk about but there are distractions if they don't hit it off right away. If that goes well, next time try a longer playtime, in your home or the other child's.
4Sign your preschooler up for an extracurricular activity, such as a sport or dance class. Perhaps she just needs to spend more time around other kids in order to feel comfortable. Building skills in different areas may boost her self-confidence, which can also make forming new friendships easier.
- After school, playdates or lessons, talk to your preschooler about how things went, how he feels and what he would like to do next as far as making friends. For example, would he like to try a playdate with a different child? Or would he like to play with several children at once? Keep the lines of communication open.