Making friends is one of the most important social skills your daughter will learn. Friends will enrich her life, boost her self-esteem, and provide moral support in good times and bad.
But sometimes making friends isn’t easy. If you suspect your girl isn’t easily making friends, start by asking her who she plays with and what they like to do together to get an idea of who she considers a friend and what she likes to do with that person. For more information, talk to her teacher about the relationships she has built in the classroom. Or better yet, watch your girl in action, whether at school on the playground or during a playdate hosted at your house. Does your daughter treat others with kindness? Does she share and listen? Does she cooperate and help?
You are the best friendship coach your girl can have, and you can help her form lasting and meaningful relationships. To help your daughter make friends, you can:
- Teach her what to look for in a friend, and support her as she tries to be a good friend to other girls. Reinforce social skills such as taking turns, cooperating, listening, and helping.
- Help her cast a wide net by encouraging her to join teams and clubs that help her get to know lots of different kids. By expanding her friendships, she’ll learn to build relationships in all areas of her life.
- Model good behavior with your own friends—share, listen, and help others out. She’ll learn best by example, and your actions will definitely speak louder than any words she’ll hear.
- Make use of teachable moments. Help her learn from her mistakes so she does better next time. We’re not perfect, and we all make mistakes in how we treat our friends. The best thing you can do is to teach her how to apologize and mean it. And then do better next time.
- Open your home to your child’s friends by hosting play dates. Teach her how to plan activities or games in advance but to also be open to others’ ideas. Read Ashlyn's Unsurprise Party together to get inspired.
If your daughter is having friendship troubles, having you by her side for love, support, and advice can help her succeed.
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