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Why is it that my child has no friends in school?
This article is written by a professional and discusses 12 reasons children could struggle to make friends and how parents can help them.
One that stood out to me, since I also struggled with it as a kid (and still do sometimes), is social anxiety. I felt very anxious when meeting and approaching new people. In turn, the children didn't understand this and didn't know how to approach me; they thought I didn't want to speak to them. Parents and teachers can help by connecting with students one-on-one and making them feel heard, accepted, and safe.
Having children meet other kids in a lowkey setting can help, too. A classroom and a playground can be too hectic and overwhelming; it is often loud and crowded. The article suggests having the student in smaller clubs and groups, where they can meet others – with similar interests – in a calmer setting. Places like library activities and book and writing clubs at school helped me. You can see what clubs your school and community offer.
I hope the article and my suggestions help. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article.
While it may be hard to hear, it could be due to their behavior. What are their social and emotional skills like when playing with others? Do they share nicely, taking turns? Do they roughhouse or speak rudely? How do they react when they don't get their way? In short, are they someone that other children want to be around?
There are ways to help your child improve their behavior so that they can have more friends, however. For example, you can practice and roleplay scenarios at home so they know what to expect and do when around other children. (This and more tips are discussed in the linked article).
You can also speak to your healthcare professionals to see if developmental, social, or mental disorders play a role.
I want to emphasize that your child struggling to make and keep friends now doesn't mean it will always be that way. Many kids go through that stage. They get the help they need, and before they know it, they have so many playdates scheduled!
As a parent, it can be concerning to see your child struggle with making friends in school. There could be several reasons why your child may be having difficulty forming friendships. Here are some possible reasons:
Shyness or social anxiety:
Some children are naturally shy or have social anxiety, which can make it difficult for them to initiate conversations or interact with their peers. This can make it hard for them to make friends, and they may need extra support and encouragement to build social skills.
Lack of social skills:
Some children may not have had the opportunity to develop social skills, such as how to start a conversation, share, or take turns. This can make it difficult for them to connect with their peers and may lead to social isolation.
Bullying or teasing:
If your child is being bullied or teased by their peers, it can make them feel isolated and less likely to form friendships.
Interests and hobbies:
Sometimes, children may struggle to make friends because they have different interests or hobbies than their peers. Encouraging your child to join clubs or groups that align with their interests can help them meet like-minded peers.
Moving or changing schools:
Moving or changing schools can be challenging for children and may make it difficult for them to form friendships. It's essential to support your child during this transition and help them find opportunities to connect with their peers.
If you are concerned that your child is struggling to make friends, it's essential to talk to them and try to understand what they are experiencing. It's also important to work with their teacher or school counselor to identify ways to support your child's social development. Encouraging your child to participate in extracurricular activities, volunteering, or attending social events outside of school can also help them develop social skills and build friendships.