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Back to School: How To Help Kids Make New Friends

Finding new friends can be scary. Try these ideas to help your child develop new friendships.

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Making new friends can be tough for kids especially those who tend to be shy or are in new situations. I'm Dr. Eileen Kennedy-Moore. Here are 3 things your child can do to open the door to new friendships. Seek out a friend with similar interests. Sometimes children are drawn to the most popular, outgoing or athletic children in their class. But friendships are about mutual attraction. If another child is noticeably older, already has a close friend or has very different interest, it will be harder to strike up a friendship. Show your child how to be friendly. Kids blend to be around peers who are happy and having fun, smiling, saying "Hi.", or offering a sincere complement are easy ways to communicate, "I like you." Your child might also want to do a little something nice for a potential friend- like lending a pencil or saving a seat. But tell her not to go overboard. It's not a good idea to give away money or valued possessions to try to impress a friend. Encourage your child to have a variety of friends. Explain that it's okay to have more than one friend and to have different kinds of friends. Your child may have a soccer friend, a bus stop friend and a friend who likes to sit and chat. And there's no reason to force someone to choose between friends. Instead, encourage your child to try to get along with the friends of his new friends. After all, the more the merrier.