What Do You do When Your Child Says ‘I Have No Friends!’

child with no friends around- Parenting resources by ZenParent

We all have faced this situation in our lives at some point or the other and know that most of the times, all it takes is a little adjusting of attitude & perspective and open communication for the issue to dissipate. But for kids, this problem appears to be like a mountain that can never be conquered and it affects their self-esteem and confidence if you, as a parent, don’t pitch in at the right time for a little hand holding.

Here’s what you can do to bail your kid out of this sticky situation-

1. Get the real story out- Sometimes, kids get into a tiff with friends, thereby, distancing themselves and thinking they have no friends at all. In such a case, you can inquire in a non-threatening way with your kid as to what really happened. It could be a small argument that escalated into a face off or a something deeper that was always lurking around and raised its ugly head one day.

2. Sort–out the problem- Okay, so if you know that it was only an argument over a trivial issue, you can coax your kid to go and speak to his /her friends and sort it out. Explaining to your kid that apologising to, (if it is their mistake) forgiving others and communicating clearly as to what is liked and disliked helps remove the barriers & forges better bonds of friendship.

But if you feel the issue at hand is a little serious like your kid is left alone most of the time, then it is advisable to investigate a little in to the behavioural traits. Is he/she the aggressive or bullying kind? Or the very shy and nervous type? Does he/she use foul language or is the personal hygiene an issue? This can be dealt on a personal level by gently speaking to the kid making him/ her aware of his / her unpleasant habits or a counselor can be consulted for behavioural therapy.

no friends- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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3. Help break the ice- Kids usually feel lonely when the family relocates to different city or locality and there is a change of school. Inviting kids of the same age over from the neighbourhood or the new school for a get together and letting kids spend time together helps initiate new friendships and makes your kid feel more accepted. You can also volunteer to gather and/or sponsor some kids for a game or an event or maybe a picnic and organise a day out along with your child.

4. Divert the mind- Restoring / building friendships is unfortunately not rocket science but a gradual process and so in the meantime you can divert your kid’s mind to other interesting activities like reading books, playing a game/sport, or pursuing a hobby. There are also many events that take place like cyclathons, free runs, treks and various competitions. Letting your kid participate may not only cheer him/her up but bring him/her in touch with a new set of friends.

5. Pin for optimism- You can use this opportunity to talk to your kid about the various problems life throws at everyone and how every situation never remains the same. You can encourage your kid to look forward, be optimistic and hopeful about better days with better friends to come and coax him/her to keep the attitude friendly, open and warm. Personal similar experiences shared by you here will be very enlightening for your child.

when your children say they have no friends- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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6. Teach your child to toughen up and let go- Your kid needs to know that he/she does not have to depend on someone else for his/her happiness and it’s OKAY to be alone sometimes, do your own thing and enjoy as much. Letting your kid toughen up a little, not be too affected by the situation and learning to let go benefits the mental and emotional makeup of the kid tremendously.

The best and strange part about problems is that they always help in learning some of the most valuable life lessons. Rather than viewing the ‘no friends’ situation as a problem, parents can view it as a chance for their kid to learn something new and worthwhile that not only helps them progress but nudges them towards lasting happiness.

Help your child find real friends for life! Click here to know how…

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