It’s quite likely that when your child starts secondary school they will be leaving many of their friends from primary school behind. In some cases, they may be attending a completely new school and not know a single soul, here are some tips to help ease the transition and help them make friends.
Making friends, for most of us is no easy task, especially when you are a shy and awkward teenager. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to help make it a little easier.
How to make friends
It’s probably a long time since your child has had to make new friends, so they may need some help learning how to do it.
Here are some tips you can help them with:
  • Make sure your child understands that other children will be in the same boat and will be only too glad to see a friendly face and have someone to chat to.
  • It might seem a little silly to your child but get them to practice conversation starters with you. Give them some tips about simple topics, such as “Do you watch Glee? Did you see last night’s episode?” or “Have you seen that new movie? I loved the book.”
  • Encourage your child to join school activities such as the choir or the football team so that they meet peers with similar interests.
  • Help them spot another friend who’s looking to find a friend. There will be lots of other kids who are feeling lost and a little lonely so teach them to find kids who are sitting alone during lunch.
At the bus stop
Catching the bus to school can also be a great way of helping your child to find friends from school who in the locality and who may be interested in meeting up after school. While it may be tempting to drive them to school every day it’s a good idea to let them get the bus with other people their age.
After school activities
Joining a team sport, learning to play an instrument or attending a dance class are all great ways to make new friends as they will have at least one thing in common.
Hanging out
Secondary school children will consider themselves too old for a play date but they’re not. It’s important to encourage your child to invite friends over after school or on the weekend. Encourage your child to invite friends home after school or on the weekend. Give them ideas about fun things they can do together, such as playing the wii, going for a swim, going to see a movie or going bowling. It helps cement the relationship if kids have experiences to bond over.
Good friends will help make secondary school life so much easier. As a parent, you should do whatever it takes to develop a strong group of friends as this will be helping them succeed at school.