Making friends is an important part of primary school. Belonging to a group can help children feel included and learn important social skills, like sharing and taking turns.

While making friends comes naturally for some, others may need a little help. If they are shy, encourage them to make friends using small and gentle steps – don’t force the issue. 

If you find your child is struggling to make friends, follow our top tips:

1) Get your child involved in activities outside of school. They are a great way for children to spend time with others who have the same interests.

2) Play-dates can help cement friendships. Being in the comfort of their home may help children relax, and one-on-one situations can be much easier to deal with. Your child will then be able to go into school knowing they have someone to talk too. 

3) Children mimic the adult world, so strike up conversations with other parents at the school gate and encourage your child to wave at their peers as they travel to and from school.

4) If your child comes home from school saying nobody would play with them, don’t panic. Making and maintain friendships is not always easy and the process will inevitably have ups and down. 

5)If your child is having problems, sit down and listen to them.

You can’t simply make friends for your child, but you can give them the tools they need to build life-long relationships.