Many children have trouble making friends or getting along with others at some point during their school years. Sometimes these problems go away by themselves over time. However, being ignored or teased by classmates can be painful for children.
Making friends is the focal point to building one’s self-respect and social skills. However, the art of socializing is not easy for every child. Read on to find the reasons why a child faces trouble while making friends and the ways to help.
One of the most common reasons for friendship problems is behaviour that annoys other children. Children, like adults, do not like behaviour that is bossy or disruptive. It is simply not fun to play with someone who doesn’t follow the rules. Children who get angry easily and lose their temper when things don’t go their way can also have a hard time getting along with others.
For some children, the art of learning social skills is harder than their lessons. Being an introvert, they find it hard to make friends and learn the social skills involved for the same, such as joining in games, sharing or listening to others.
Children can also have friendship problems because they are very shy and feel unsure of themselves around others. Sometimes children are ignored or teased by classmates because there is something “different” about them that sets them apart from the other children.
Behavioural problems pose as one of the reasons why your child is not able to make friends. His/her extreme shyness can be a big barrier between their social circle.
Lack of opportunity is also one of the reasons behind the trouble in making friends. This may sound strange to us but it is true.
How to know if your child is getting along with others
Often the best place to start for information is with their teachers. Teachers see children interacting with others in the classroom and at break-time. They also have a good sense of what is “normal” for children at different ages in terms of friendships.
Children will sometimes talk to their parents if they are feeling lonely or if they are not getting along with others at school. But often parents have to seek out information to find out how friendships are going for their children.
Parents can also look for a chance to watch how their child behaves when he/she is with other children. You can also pay attention to the behavior you see when your child is in a group activity. How do other children respond to your child?
Ways to Help
Involve yourself. Help your child make friends by including children in social activities. Invite potential friends over to play or getting your child involved in a social activity outside of school that is rewarding.
Avoid labeling or allowing other people to label your child. Social skills should be portrayed as things we all struggle to learn, and any child’s social characteristics shouldn’t be described as a fixed state, such as shyness or aggressiveness.
Take the pressure off. When attention is focused on their response to an adult greeting or query children’s self-consciousness is greatly intensified
Find professional help, if necessary. For some children, psychological therapy can help. If your child is extremely withdrawn or easily angered, talk to a professional who can help him develop appropriate ways of relating to his peers.
Friendships are important to children. The interest you show in your child’s friendship and the support you offer to your child in this important area of development are worthwhile.
– Sharon Atkins