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Parenting Positive Kids Parenting Positive Kids

Making New School Friends

Posted by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 52 Replies

Most kids feel a bit nervous and unsettled the first trimester of school, and much of that I think comes from some anxiety about not knowing everyone in the classroom, or maybe missing old friends and not being sure about making new ones. I remember this feeling well, even though I have not been in school for years: I still get this way, a little bit, when I start a new job or join a new group or team of any kind. So I've been trying a few different ways to help my somewhat shy child feel less anxious about making new friends in school this fall. Here's how:

First, I think it's important to help my child know that she is not alone in feeling anxious about making new friends. She likes to hear stories about how I felt this same way when I was a little girl, starting a new school year and being in a new classroom.  I also remind her that other kids around her probably feel the same fear she does, because I think it makes them seem less threatening or different to her.

Second, I like to remind my daughter about the friends and familiar faces she DOES have around her in school, because this definitely brings her comfort and calms her fears.  I also like to point out that no matter what, she will not be alone because that is just the opposite of what school is all about. I remind her that school is all about learning as part of a community, and that her institution is simply the home of her school community, so she can think of her school in a more fun, nurturing and warmer way (like home) instead of a place of fear or dread (like a scary, unfamiliar place, full of unfamiliar people).

Last, I try to be proactive in meeting some of the other kids and parents, so that I have a face to put to the names when my kid talks about them; and I try to help her make some connections either through play-dates after school, or just finding out from the parents if their kids have some similar interests to mine. My hope here is to help my child feel like she is part of a cohesive group which she BELONGS to, and is not separate or outcast or different from. Enjoying the group you are in means enjoying your peers in that group, and therefore makes them, naturally, your friends.

How do you help your kids feel more confident about making new friends?


© iStockphoto.com/ideabug 

by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ablackdolphin
by Bronze Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 7:42 AM
1 mom liked this
I have not had to deal with this yet as dd still loves seeing other kids no matter where we are
goddess99
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:30 AM
1 mom liked this

I encourage my dd to be friendly and talk to people. She's been going to school for so long though that she always knows people in her classes.

lalasmama2007
by Ticia on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I've never had to deal with this.  My dd is very outgoing and makes new friends easily.

Mom2jngnc
by Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM
1 mom liked this

I haven't had to do this. 

My oldest didn't make friends easily, but I always told him to be himself, not to become what someone else wants.

virginiamama71
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:15 AM
1 mom liked this

 the same for my son

Quoting lalasmama2007:

I've never had to deal with this.  My dd is very outgoing and makes new friends easily.

 

matt_sara_mom
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Unfortunantly this is something that is very hard for my toddler. He is very very uncomfortable around other children, so we try for small play dates with one or two other children. 

jen113000
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:48 AM
My son seems to make friends pretty easily.
la_bella_vita
by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM
I have not encountered this issue yet. My children are friendly and making friends so far has come easily to them.
dusky_rose
by Sue on Oct. 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM
1 mom liked this

My youngest son seemed nervous about the school year, so I found out what friends that he would have in his 1st grade class and let him know who they are. Then I reassured him that he knows how to make friends and gave him a refresher.


sukainah
by Bronze Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

My oldest is really shy and is getting therapy for depression and anxiety.  He would just prefer to be alone, but the therapist has given him some suggestions to help him.  It's still not working and I think that it's my responsibility to be more proactive in meeting the parents and setting up playdates etc.  But he has had friends over and he just played by himself.  It's sad really.

My youngest son will have no problems meeting new friends.  He just started pre-school and is an extrovert, but I still need to be more proactive and meet the parents and arrange playdates so he can play with them outside of school.

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