Creative Child

Are Preschool Friendships Real?

by Deborah Song

Tips to Help Children Transition

2. Encourage your child to make new friends.

It’s not enough to tell your child to make new friends. Teach them.

  • Play out scenarios and practice with your child so she’ll know how to strike a conversation or be prepped about how to ask other children to play with her.
  • Also seek out opportunities by reaching out to other parents and form play dates.
  • Finally, remind your child that her best friend is still her friend and that making new friends won’t erase her past friendships but teach her to be an even better friend.

3. Encourage and applaud your child’s efforts.

Be patient with your child. They are all but 5 years old at this age. At a recent birthday party, I made the mistake of being critical of my daughter’s efforts to make new friends. Her eagerness bordered on obnoxious and instead of applauding her efforts, I was quick to point out what she could do more tactfully the next time. Children, like grown-ups, need support more than coaching sometimes.

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4. Listen to them.

Listening becomes easier when we’re not so caught up in trying to solve our children’s problem. Losing a friend and having to make new ones is less a problem and more just a life process of growing into a strong, confident individual after all. Your calm demeanor can be infectious to them. And though you may not be able to help them at school, you can still hold their hand through this.

When my daughter came to me one night and told me she felt bad about something, I asked her what was wrong. She told me she missed two of her friends. I resolved not to fix what she was feeling, for there was nothing to fix. I simply held her and told her I knew it could feel sad to miss someone.

5. Help your child be a cause for good.

Sometimes the most effective therapy comes when we take the focus off of ourselves and help somebody else. Since my daughter wasn’t the only lone ranger in a sea of new kindergarteners, I encouraged her to approach someone who was alone at recess and be a friend to them.

Ask your child who they think can use a friend a school. Part of what makes loss difficult is the loss in sense of control. If you can empower your child to make a positive impact, she will feel less helpless.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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