How to Make Friends at School? 10 Useful Tips for Your Teens
Help Your Teens Make New Friends at School
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Not all kids are part of the “cool gang” everyone needs to be friends with. Many of them have trouble meeting new people or steering up a conversation. After a few awkward encounters with their classmates, they’ll prefer being on their own. “New kid” eating on their own at the furthest corner of the cafeteria isn’t an uncommon sight. Is your child one of them?
They’ll need some guidance on how to make friends so they can enjoy school and perform better. It’s normal to be a little nervous, but all it takes is a little effort to break the ice and move on from being the “new kid” and blend in with the rest of the kids.
And that’s exactly what you’re here for. We have 10 practical tips for teens on how to make friends at school. Read on and learn how to build new friendships, some of which might stick with you for life!
Why Friendship Is Important For Your Kid
Performing well in school and keeping up their grades is very important for school kids. But building new relationships is just as important.
Here are some reasons why your kid needs friends in their life:
- Friendship is good for a child’s self-esteem. When they have friends at school, they’ll feel like they belong there. When someone cares about them and supports them, they’ll feel good about themselves.
- Having friends develops your child mentally. It builds some important life skills like communication, teamwork, and resolving conflicts.
- Time spent with friends will build some cheerful memories that the teen will enjoy remembering in later years of their life.
- It will open up their minds to the real world. Being with someone outside the family will teach them different cultures, life problems, and situations.
Why It Can Be Difficult For Your Kid To Make Friends At School
Before finding out how to make friends at school, let’s dig deeper into why it can be difficult in the first place.
Here are some reasons why many teens find it difficult to make friends at school:
- Some kids are just shy. Starting a conversation or speaking up in a discussion isn't something that everyone will naturally possess. Some teens need to be taught how to get along.
- They might lack interpersonal skills, which are imperative to building new relationships. There are several behaviors that can hold them back from making friends. Showing little or no interest in what others have to say, being too possessive, or aggressive behavior can put off potential friends.
- Children who are different can find it difficult to get along. For example, if a kid is obese or comes from a different ethnic background, they are often excluded by the other kids. Such kids are sometimes also a victim of bullying.
How To Make Friends At School - 10 Practical Tips
So what do you do if your kids aren’t socializing at school? Do you let your kids wander around alone in hallways and playgrounds while they feel dejected and homesick? Not at all. Support your child. Teach them the skills they need to communicate and make friends.
Start with these 10 resourceful tips on how to make friends so your child can gather up their own gang in no time.
1. Start A Conversation
Almost every friendship begins with a conversation. Noone gets to being buddies without some basic conversation starters. Take a look at these,
“Hi, can I borrow a pencil?”
“Hi, can you help me with this concept? It's too hard."
“It’s rainy again! I wonder if the match is still on.”
Once your classmate gives a positive response, you can move on to things like,
"How long have you been at this school?"
It’s quite possible that things go well from here, and the conversation builds stronger. They’ll probably want to know more about you too.
2. Participate In Activities
Think about what you're good at or what you would like to do and get involved in the school activities. Join the sports team, drama club, debating society, or a band, depending on what you'd prefer. When you find folks with mutual interests, you'll have more stuff to talk about. For example, it's easy to talk with your team members when you're rehearsing for a play or practicing for a match ahead.
3. Talk To Someone Who’s Also On Their Own
If your kid is nervous about approaching the “cool” kids, they could find someone like them. Find someone sitting alone in the cafeteria or classroom, and ask if you could sit with them. Other than finding a new friend, you might even be helping someone who’s going through a similar situation.
4. Find Common Interests
Look for a common interest among your classmates. If someone has a bag of a particular rock band that you like or is wearing a football team's badge that you support, you can easily strike up a convo. Just walk up to the person and say,
“I love your badge; I also like Ed Sheeran.”
Generally, people love talking about their interests, so chances are you'll find yourself in an exciting conversation in the next couple of seconds.
5. Be Approachable
Sometimes, even those who want to make friends might be keeping their classmates at bay without even realizing it. If you're wearing dark shades or have headphones on most of the time, potential friends might be reluctant to approach you. Make sure you look around and take an interest in your surroundings. If you do so, other kids will find it easier to approach you.
6. Ask Questions - Be A Good Listener
This is an important one on how to make friends. Everyone loves talking about themselves. If you’ve started a conversation with someone, keep it going by asking questions about them, like:
“Do you follow football?” “Who’s your favorite football player?” “Which TV shows are you watching?”
Next, you'll ask some follow-up questions, like what's the TV show about. If you also watch the show, you'll have tons of things to discuss.
Being a good listener goes hand in hand with asking questions. Focus on listening and paying attention to what the other person has to say rather than speaking. When they’re given a chance to talk, they’ll like your company.
7. Help Others
Show kindness and help anyone you can. Small gestures like picking up a fallen pencil, holding the door for someone, sharing your stationery, or just giving a smile can go a long way in building relationships. These small deeds of kindness also tell others that you're open to friendship.
8. Give Compliments
Remember to give compliments! Who doesn’t love those? Hearing things like “Nice dress" or “Wow, how did you solve that so quickly!” is bound to bring a smile.
9. Join A Group Convo
If going up to someone and starting a conversation on a one-on-one basis is difficult for you, keep an eye out for group convos. If multiple kids are talking about something, and you have something meaningful to add, don’t hold back. Take it as an opportunity and pitch in.
10. Be Yourself
The list of tips on how to make friends at school can go on and on, but what’s really important is being yourself. It can be temptings for teens to try to be someone they’re not just to make people like them. But honestly, you’ll only want friends that like you just the way you are.
FamiSafe - the Most Reliable Parental Control App
While spending time with friends is a healthy habit, it’s critical for parents to keep a close check, especially on teenagers. Do you feel the need to monitor your child’s online activity? What websites are they visiting, how much time are they spending on social media, what kind of language are they using in messages and comments?
If so, FamiSafe is the most reliable parental control app you’ll find. There are tons of features that can help ensure your teen’s online safety.
- Location Tracker
You can track their location in real-time and also view location history. With FamiSafe, you can always know where your child is and where they have been without finding the need to yell at them.
- Browsing History
You can view their browsing history to keep a check on your kid’s interest. FamiSafe also allows you to block specific websites and websites by category. If the kid even attempts to visit or unblock these sites, you’ll be warned through notifications on your phone.
- Detect Suspicious Photos
FamiSafe can detect inappropriate pictures in your teen’s photo gallery and send alerts to your phone. In the case of sexual harassment or porn addiction, you’ll be aware well in time to help.
So you've learned much about how to make friends. Encourage your teen to try out these practical tips at school, and they'll start making progress. However, don't rush them. Making friends is a gradual process; they’ll get along in due time.