Kids all over the U.S. are heading back to school and right now the question resonating on all of their hearts is, “Momma, will they like me?”
As parents and guardians, we surely can relate to this feeling.
Every time we take a new job, we attend a meeting for the first time, a new small group, or even a new volunteer opportunity.
We wonder just as our children do, will they like me?
So, if we struggle with the same question. How can we help our children in making that adjustment back to school?
6 Tips to Help Your Children Make New Friends
Affirm their feelings. Let’s face it, making new friends is scary. Letting them know their feelings are okay can be encouraging and affirming to them. They’ll know they are not alone.
Remind them this is not the first time they are making new friends. I ran into this question with my child as he was starting camp this summer. When I reminded him this was not the first time he was making new friends he realized if he was successful once before and he can do it again. This gave him the confidence and reassurance that he needed in being open to meeting new people.
Tell them who they are. Your child has strength and abilities unique to them. Tell them who they are as unique creations made in the image of God. Gush over them about all that you know to be amazing about them. Don’t worry about their egos, at this point, they need to be built up, not torn down.
Ask them to consider the other children who are also struggling with the same idea. You can use this to encourage them to be the brave one. To go over to someone and introduce themselves or sit with the child that is sitting by themselves.
Pray with them. Take a moment and pray with them about their fears, using God’s Word as a guide to help them learn how to lean on God to overcome this hurdle. You could use Philippians 4:6-7 reminding them not to be anxious about anything but instead praying to and giving thanks to God that the God of peace that surpasses all understanding will guard their hearts in Christ Jesus. (my paraphrase)
Know who you are
This may sound a bit strange to you as a way to encourage your child. But children learn from their parents. If you are unsure of who you are then you are probably communicating that to your children. As parents, we have a responsibility to our children to be our best selves. When you don’t know who that is, it can be just as confusing to them as it is to you. My encouragement is to dig into God’s Word. We are who God says we are but we have to know what He says to know how to respond.
Our children are going to struggle. But as we listen to them and their fears, pray with them, and encourage them we can watch God do immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine in their lives.
What other ideas do you have to share with other parents on how they can help their children make new friends?
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