My child struggles a bit to make friends (Blog Series 1)

Part 1. Teaching your child what kind of friends to look for – If you missed part 1, click here to read it

Part 2. Developing the courage to initiate friendship – the first conversation

Very often when our children are not as confident to initiate conversation with someone they want to be friends with, it usually means they have a “story” about what they think will happen.

1. Preparing them for this conversation takes away the fear of having the conversation.

Help your child with a series of questions to start with:
a. What would you like to say to this friend?
b. What can you ask them about themselves? Let them find some questions they can ask. How are you? What have you been doing? What sport do you enjoy? What music do you enjoy? What did you do on the weekend? Ask a question about school?
c. What can your child share about themselves? What do they have in common with their potential friend? How can they talk about that?

2. Discuss their expected response.

Unconsciously your child might assume they will get a bad response. Asking them questions about it will open their mind to the possibility that they might just get a good response.
a. What do they think the response would be? Here you can have a discussion with them about different possible responses and how they would respond in return.
b. What makes you think they will respond that way?
c. How can you be sure they will respond that way?
d. What does it mean to them if they get a good response?
e. What does it mean to them if they get a bad response? If they get a bad response, teach them that the response has nothing to do with them, that they just need to try a different approach.

3. Encourage them to take action.

Ask them if they are feeling a bit more confident to try. Once they are feeling a bit more confident, encourage them to commit to giving it a try.
a. Who will they try with?
b. When will be a good time to try?
c. What would stop them?
d. What do they need in order to try?

4. Talk to them about it without judgement.

Once your child has initiated a conversation, discuss it with them. Give them a chance to tell you about how it went.
a. What is their opinion of what happened?
b. What worked?
c. What didn’t work?
d. How could they do it differently next time?

5. Encourage them to reinforce this by doing it regularly until it is no longer uncomfortable for them.

The more often they do it, the easier it becomes. Remind them, chat about it regularly. If they are resistant to talking about it, be there for them without judgement. We will discuss how to do this next week

These questions seem simple, but they are not always easy to carry out. Be patient and teach your child to persevere even when they are uncomfortable. It is the perseverance through the discomfort that results in success.

I look forward to your feedback! What worked? Where did you get stuck?

Next week we will continue with this theme and talk about – What to do when our children are resistant to talking about their experiences

Click to see Part 3

This blog is part 2 of the series, if you have found value and would like to read more, please see below for details:

Want to give your children the best start possible?

How many adults do you know of that struggle to easily make conversation with adults they don’t know?  How does this impact their success in business and friendships?

One of the most important skills we need in order to be successful is building good relationships and it all starts on the playground.Teach your children how to develop good relationships by asking them lots of questions.

Questions develop your children’s minds…ever wonder what questions to ask? Are we always quick to give our children solutions? Just notice how many times you do.

A new series called “Questions to ask your child” will be released every Tuesday on my blog. Have fun and try them, I would love to hear your feedback!

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