Creative Child

Is Your Child Having a Hard Time Making Friends? Here are 9 Tips to Make Lonely Lunches a Thing of the Past.

by Deborah Song


  • Teach manners. Kids who don’t know how to wait their turn, speak politely, or accept they can’t always get what they want at home will have a much harder time making friends at school. 
  • Teach your child to play by himself. Teaching your child how to play alone may seem counter-intuitive in learning to make friends, but it is an essential part of the friend-making process. No matter how social your child is and no matter how many friends he has, there will always come a time when your child will need to learn to cope alone or play by himself.  Moreover, knowing when to pull away and not seem desperate for attention will also draw friends in instead of repel them.
  • Help your child find his interests. It’s not a cliché to tell your child what grow ups often repeat in love: focus on yourself first. Hone in on your child’s interests. What sports does h like? Does your child like to draw? Does he love nature and catching bugs? At the core of friendship is a common interest. The more interests your child has, the more chances he will have in establishing connections with others. A wise quote from C.S. Lewis speaks to this very nature of friendship: “Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." 
  • Don’t be too hard on your child. I’ll never forget when my then 6-year-old child at a birthday party, was trying too hard to fit in with these two girls. The transition from preschool to kinder wasn’t easy and I could tell she felt it. But when we got in the car, I asked in a shrill annoyed voice why she was trying so hard to talk to only these two girls who weren’t being particularly receptive. In hindsight, I realize I should’ve been more encouraging.

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Learning social cues isn’t easy. When do you pursue, when do you pull back, or when do you simply walk away. These things take time to learn. And all we can do is guide our children lovingly and applaud them for even trying! It can’t be easy being a little kid out there in the big world trying to make new friends. They are charting new frontiers, and if your child is trying, no matter how awkward those efforts may seem, remember not to be too hard on them. They deserve our encouragement.

Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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