How Do I Help My Daughter Make Friends at School?

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Friendships come easy for some girls while others struggle to find even one close friend. You can’t run your daughter’s social life for her, but you can support her and give her the tools to connect with her peers. Your daughter’s personality and social habits play a role in friendships. A girl who is naturally outgoing and relates well to other people is likely to make friends easily. A more reserved child or one with poor social skills might miss the mark when she is trying to make new friends.

Boost Her Self-Esteem

Interact with your daughter in a positive way to boost her self-esteem. Avoid nitpicking or talking negatively about her, which may make her develop a negative impression of herself. This makes it more difficult to connect with peers.

Spend Time with Your Friends

Spend time with your own friends to emphasize the significance of friendships. Let your daughter see you interact with your friends as an example of a positive friendship.

Role Playing

Perform role play of different social situations with your daughter so she has a chance to practice her social skills. Reenact situations that could potentially lead to new friendships, such as a new student sitting alone at the lunch table or a classmate playing on the playground. Have your child act out how she could approach the other child to strike up conversation and possibly a friendship.

Play Dates

Schedule play dates outside of school time to allow your daughter to connect with peers and practice social skills. Visit children’s museums, parks, libraries and other settings where she can meet new friends.

Observe & Improve

Observe your daughter in social settings with peers. Look for possible barriers to her making friends. Avoid intervening to help her solve problems at the time. Instead, discuss any issues you noticed and brainstorm ways to overcome those issues. For example, if you noticed your daughter being bossy toward potential friends, discuss how she could compromise.

Get More Involved

Join the PTA or volunteer in your child’s classroom to become more connected with other parents and kids at your daughter’s school. Getting to know other classroom parents gives you an opportunity to arrange play dates or social gatherings with them and their children outside school hours. This gives your daughter a chance to connect and create friendships.

Extracurricular Activities

Encourage your daughter to participate in extracurricular activities, sports teams or other groups to improve social skills. Group participation also gives your daughter a chance to meet peers with similar interests to increase the chances of making a friendship connection.

Have a Discussion

Ask your daughter specifically about friendships and interactions with her peers. Discuss any situations that she faced that didn’t go well. Talk about ways she could handle the problem with her peers and potential friends next time.

Meet with Counselor

Meet with the school guidance counselor or teacher if you are concerned about your daughter’s ability to make friends. Work with the school staff to help your daughter learn social skills to create friendships.

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