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How To Help Your Introverted Child To Make New Friends

Friends are essential at every stage of life, and so are good friendships. Some kids are social butterflies and make friends at the drop of a hat, while others struggle to mingle with others due to their shy nature. However, being an introverted child doesn’t mean they can’t make friends throughout their life. As a parent, there are a few things that you can do to help your introverted kiddo make new friends.

1. Organize small group playdates

Organize small group or one-on-one playdates to get your kids used to social interaction and gatherings. Carefully choose the time, place, and playmates, keeping the comfort of your introverted child in mind. For example, if your kid is uncomfortable with outdoor playdates, arrange one at home with 2 to 3 playmates. Give them activities they all love, and observe them from a distance.

Young boys with cake frosting on faces at playdate
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However, you shouldn’t force your little one to interact with their playmates. The interactions must be organic. The more you force them, the more repulsive they will become. So, let them bond at their own pace and make friends that will last a lifetime.

Remember, this can take some time, but once they open up to their playmates, they will become friends in no time. You can also ask teachers to encourage your introverted child to participate in group activities and open up a little (of course, without forcing it upon them).

2. Role-play

introverted child
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If your introverted child is anxious about meeting new people or stepping into a new environment, calm their nerves with role-play. Play their favorite superhero or use their favorite toys to act out difficult situations (remember, even if it isn’t difficult for you, it is pretty demanding for them) and show them how to interact with people in such situations.

Have a role-play with your introverted child to get them accustomed to new people. Alternatively, you can regularly play pretend games with your introverted child to help them overcome their fears. This will help your kiddo understand what to expect from new settings and how to react to them. Role-play will calm them down and mentally prepare them to face the situation.

3. Avoid number games

An Hispanic girl with down syndrome and her best girl friend who is Eurasian embrace while sitting on the steps of a school bus and smile with excitement before spending the day at school together.
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Never tell your introverted child they should have a certain number of friends. This will put unnecessary pressure on them. If you think this tactic might get them out of their comfort zones, you couldn’t be more wrong. Binding your introverted child into doing something that they aren’t comfortable with will stress them out and make them even more nervous.

Instead, let them take their time and encourage them to mix with kids their age. Always remember, having one close friend who positively impacts them is better than having several fake friends. So, if you see your introverted child conversing, smiling, and playing with only one child, be happy for them. They have found their match!

4. Talk to them 

introverted child
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Before you ask your introverted child to make friends, ask them why they struggle to talk to others. Is it because they don’t know what to talk about, or are they having trouble starting the conversation? Once you know the reason, work on that area together.

For instance, if your introverted child doesn’t understand how to converse with other kids of their age group, suggest some questions to strike up a conversation, like what is their favorite Superhero, what are their favorite books, games they like to play, etc. Once you know the reason, you can help your child make new friends.

Helping your introverted child make new friends is not easy. It will take time; you must practice patience with your little ones. However, with encouragement, you can help your introverted child make that one close friend who will stay by their side for a lifetime. So, mamas, keep trying, don’t give up, and you got this!

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