Teach your child basic social skills
Your child will need to learn the basics of social interaction from you: how to say hello, answer a question with a sentence, how to use eye contact and the importance of listening to someone without interrupting.
Don't answer for a shy child
If your child is very shy or timid, it’s tempting to step in and answer for them but you should let them answer and give them gentle encouragement if they remain silent. Talking little steps to learn to speak for themselves is how they will overcome their shyness.
Encourage your child to talk about their experiences
On the way home from school or when you are sitting around the dinner table, chat to your child about their day, but don’t just ask them directly. Chat about your own day, a shy child will find it easier to join a conversation rather than start one.
Find like minded friends
Extra-curricular activities are a really great way for children to spend time with children who have the same interests and will provide a really terrific opportunity for children to form friendships. Team sports are also a great way of making friends.
Offer to carpool
If possible, a carpool is another wonderful way for your child to get to know other children in a casual environment. It also helps you to get to know the other parents. Often, it is parents who first form the friendships which takes pressure off the kids.
Listen, don't do
It’s tempting to act when your child comes to you with a problem that they are having with their peers but sometimes children just want to talk about their feelings and don't need you to solve the problem.
It’s often best not to step in, focus rather on helping your child to feel less anxious about the pressure to be popular.
If you have spotted a problem that is standing in the way of your child making friends, you can try role-playing at home to try and solve this. Ask your child to play the part of the child they are having problems with and you can play the role of your child. You can act out solutions which is more beneficial for your child than just listening to you talk about solutions.
Invite children over
Play dates are a great way for your child to interact outside of school and to further cement friendships. You can monitor the children without interfering and you will be able to judge which children play well with your child and which don't. You will also notice if your child has any problems with social interaction, such as being too shy or even, too bossy. Make it a fun experience for children to visit your home but wait until your child has received an invitation in return before extending