NURTURE INFORMATION HUB
The ability to make new friends comes naturally to many school aged kids, however some kids find it difficult and frustrating to connect with peers. These kids prefer the safety of familiar peers narrowing their choices due to fear of feeling awkward and uncomfortable.
In school a child may know all the answers but be unable to speak in front of the class. They feel embarrassed and afraid and feel they are watched or criticised by others. They might spend a lot of time alone and suffer from stomach upsets and headaches. They are particularly vulnerable to loneliness, social isolation and bullying.
Children benefit from parents’ guidance in developing the skills they need to connect with peers. You can focus on your child’s strengths and what they are good at doing well and address their social challenges by increasing their confidence.
Spending time helping your child learn the new skills in making and keeping friends. Breaking down interpersonal skills into a small number of key skills can help your child master it slowly. Also teaching kids what to look for in a friend and show them what positive friendships look like. You can teach your child how to show warmth and sincerity by saying sentences like “how have you been doing?”
Questions you can ask your health care team if you have concerns?
It is difficult seeing your child not being able to connect with peers and being able to make friends. Talking to a counsellor or psychologist will help ease the anxiety and can give you coping strategies and activities to help your child.
“Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt