A child can make new friends by participating in activities, initiating conversations with peers, and practicing good friendship skills, suggests PBS. Parents can help their children make friends by teaching friendship skills, supporting choices in friends, inviting potential friends into the home and encouraging participation in activities involving peers, notes WebMD.
Taking part in clubs, organized sports, playgroups and similar gatherings of peer groups is a way for a child to meet potential friends. Choosing an activity that appeals to the child increases the chances of finding a friend with something in common. Kids who join a soccer team likely enjoy the sport and physical activity, so they already have that shared interest. The common ground gives the kids a discussion topic and built-in activity to do together, which can help build the friendship.
Simply being around peers isn't enough. The child needs to open herself up to potential friends so they get to know her. Starting conversations, asking questions about the other person, and listening to what the other person has to say are ways to get to know new friends. Using kind words instead of saying mean things or gossiping is also important.
Parents help by talking to their children about what makes a good friend and addressing concerns about making friends. Organizing play dates or inviting peers over to the house can also help. If a child does better one-on-one, an individual play date with just one other child may be easier than a group play date.