Adjusting to any new social scene can isn’t always easy. But having all new classmates, transitioning to a new school or most of all, moving to a whole new community can be tough. And oh, how kids can pour on the guilt to remind us they’re not happy campers:
“You’re ruining my life!”
“Why are you sending me to that dumb new school?”
“Why can’t we move back to our old neighborhood?”
“Do you have any idea how unhappy you made me?”
Let’s face it, as much as we’d love to, we can’t instantly wipe away their pain because their best friends are left behind or they can’t fit in quickly with the new crowd. But we can ease their discomfort by making the transition a bit smoother. We can help them find ways to make new friends. And we even can teach them new friendship-making skills that they can use in other social arenas.
So think positively, and stay focused on what you can do to boost your child’s friendship quotient and get through this tough time.
Here is the best news: Friendship involves a host of skills and all the skills are teachable. You can help your child have a happier, more successful school year. Here are ways to do so:
11 Tips To Help Kids Make Pals and Fit Into A New Scene
Here are tips to help your child make new friends and feel more comfortable fitting into that social scene from The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries. I also shared these tips on ways to help ease those back-to school jitters and help kids transition to a new school on NBC’s Today show.
1. Acknowledge Feelings
If your child doesn’t share her feelings, you can help her recognize how she feels: “You must be feeling lonely and miss your old group.”
“I can see you’re worried.”
It’s tough to join a new team when you don’t know any of the kids.
Let her know such feelings are normal. Let him know it may take time to meet new kids and make new friends. Point out that many kids have been friends with one another for quite a while and may not be too receptive to a new person joining in.
2. Keep Communication Open
Even if your kid won’t talk to you—keep talking.
“Is there anything I can do to make you feel more comfortable?”
“Do the kids wear or have anything different from the kids back home?
Do you need anything?”
“Would you like me to talk to your teacher?”…
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