As parents, we always want our children to be popular among their friends. However, what we constantly forget is that not all the kids are the same. While some of them are talkative and communicative, with highly developed social skills, the other ones are withdrawn, self-conscious, shy, and act in a more mature way than most of their peers. Since children usually perceive such differences as something negative, don’t be surprised if your child soon becomes their bullying victim.
This topic of unpopular children has always been one of the most common parental issues and it has inspired numerous psychologists to do dozens of researches. Today, we have a corpus of the data collected over decades and no matter how different they are, there is just one thing that occurs in most of them and that’s the fact that parents play an immense role in teaching their children how to make friends. Here are some most trusted tips on how to do that.
Why is being popular so important?
According to various psychological researches, what’s positive about being left out from a large group of peers is the fact that children will grow as independent individuals, realizing that they can completely rely on just one person-themselves. Not trying to impersonate their peers, unpopular children will soon develop their own personality, explore their countless possibilities and get interested about different things.
Unfortunately, positive sides of being unpopular in school are really a minority in this case. Apart from being loved, popular children have better mental picture of themselves and easily learn the crucial conversational and interpersonal skills.
Be an emotion coach to your kid
It is scientifically proven that emotions play an immense role in making friends. That’s exactly why you should always try to be an “emotion coach” to your kid. This means that you are supposed to teach your child to not to show off in front of their peers or to act overly aggressive. You should foster the feeling of empathy and sympathetic concern for others, as well as to teach them how to converse in a polite way and to share their stuff with their peers.
Avoid games requiring competition
Moderate competition is always a good thing for it inspires kids to do their best in school or during extracurricular activities, numerous psychologists claim. However, competing is something you should avoid if your child has problems making friends. For example, if you have a play date, try to discard all toys that discourage social interaction or encourage fighting.
Inspire your child to take up some sport
Kids playing sports have always been popular and that’s why it is always suggested that you inspire your kid to take up some activity he/she likes. What you should avoid is individual sports or sports requiring constant fighting and competition for some personal goals. On the contrary, encourage your child to take up some group activity, where all children work toward a common goal. That’s how your kid will feel as an accepted part of a team, learn to appreciate others’ opinions and emotions, as well as to always share.
Throw a cool party
No matter what children say, they simply need friends. They may act as if they don’t care when they’re not invited to a slumber or a birthday party, but later on, this will leave an immense emotional scar that will make them constantly think that they aren’t good enough. In order to avoid such a problem, throw a creative slumber party and plan a super-cool birthday party, when other children will be able to see the amusing side of your kid’s personality.
Inspire your kid to act like a kid!
Although it might seem a little bit odd to you right now, you should really inspire your kid to act like one! All those foolish things kids do are just an inevitable part of their growth and an amazing childhood memory. Acting like an adult and spending most of their time with adults, children will miss super-fun children’s games, interaction with their peers and most probably, later, they will never be able to completely relax, have fun and find true friends.
Apart from the unconditional love and countless pieces of advice, there is much more parents could do to help their kids make friends. These are some most common and recommended ways to do that, but feel free to think up other efficient solutions. What’s most important is to, whenever it is possible, let kids work things out on their own and stop supervising them all the time. Good luck with that!