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Help Your Kids Make Friends at High School

Sep 16, 2008
As the new school term gets under way, many children entering high school worry about making new friends. Without being in their face, there's a lot parents can do to help them with this major change in their lives.

Step 1: It may seem obvious, but ENCOURAGE your kids to make friends. Help them see it as a new adventure, something enjoyable and exciting. This will help reduce any fear and anxiety. The more positive and outgoing they are, the better chance they'll have of meeting and attracting new friends.

Step 2: One of the best ways to make new friends in high school is to get involved in clubs and activities. Whether we care to admit it or not, we base our friendships on what we get from others! People who share our interests become our friends; people who have radically different preferences and temperaments don't become our friends! So when your kids join clubs that suit their interests, they will meet like-minded people. And by doing things together they will forge new bonds.

Step 3: Encourage your kids to invite their new friends home, perhaps even staying for a sleepover once the friendship is established. This is a great way of helping your kids develop their social skills. It ensures they are in a safe environment, plus it helps you to monitor the friendships!

Step 4: However, try to avoid the common parental trait of being too fussy! Often the type of people WE want as friends for our kids are not the ones they would choose. Be tolerant and less critical. If you become aware of unacceptable attitudes or behavior, that's different. By all means let's HELP our kids by pointing out anything that violates our standards, but hang back if you simply dislike the way someone talks or what they wear or their taste in music! You never know, you may gather valuable insight into what really makes your own kids tick. And remember - it takes all sorts to make the world go round!

Step 5: Impress upon your kids that not all friendships last and the teenage years are a time of exploration. Kids tend to develop new interests as the school years progress, and often this leads to the break-up of old friendships and the forging of new ones. It can be upsetting, but it's a fact of life! Explaining this sympathetically can help your kids be brave and stoical. You can also remind your child that he or she may have dropped an old friend in favor of a new one, and that person may be unhappy as a result.

And finally:

* Comfort your kids when they feel let down by friends. Keep encouraging them to participate in more activities and this will help them find more friends.

* When your kids visit their friends' homes, especially if they are sleeping over, make sure you have contact information and know exactly where they are.
About the Author
At his website http://www.FamilySoftShop.com Frank McGinty offers lots of advice on study skills, education and parenting matters. Drop by and pick up a free report on how to help your kids develop Concentration Skills .
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