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Helping Your Introverted Child Make Friends at School

Helping Your Introverted Child Make Friends at School

Being an introvert is far away from being antisocial. The stark difference between the two is many a time shadowed by their similar social behavior. The only way of helping your child to make friends at school is to understand the nature of introverts.
Mukta Gaikwad
An introvert is often misunderstood to be an antisocial. Although the terms 'introvert' and 'antisocial' are used synonymously, they differ in their meaning. In order to help your introverted child make friends at school, it is important to understand their basic nature. Some children find it extremely easy to make friends, please crowds and find company in any kind of social gathering. These extroverts do not need much effort. On the contrary, some children choose to read books, play by themselves, watch TV and play solitary games over socializing with others. The latter are not being shy, but they simply have different social preferences. The act of voluntary isolation becomes the greatest challenge for introverts while making friends. However, if these traits are altered at a younger age, it will help your child at the later stages of life.

Aiding Introverted Children to Make Friends at School

Pioneering a Small Talk
The starting point of any kind of socialization is a small talk. It is a way of going beyond that initial moment of awkwardness and striking a conversation. With kids, all it takes is a simple 'hi' to initiate a small talk. However, for an introverted child, making the first move is supremely dreadful. Teaching your child a few simple tricks of small talk is a good start at helping him find friends at a new school. Greeting a classmate with a smile, a simple 'hello' or wishing the teacher are good ways of making small talks.

Role Play and Practice
Once you've introduced your child to the idea of small talk, it is important to show its application too. Practicing it with your neighbors, friends, at home and with relatives is a good start at making your child speak up in public. Role play is a great idea to coax your child to come out of the shell. Create a scenario of the 'first day of school' at home, wherein the other family members must pretend to be new classmates and teachers. Give your child time to assess the situation and assimilate the idea of approaching strangers. Practicing the act in a simulation helps in grasping techniques and building confidence.

Encouraging Hobbies and Interests
Curiosity of your child to explore, learn and perfect new things is your biggest asset in helping him make new friends at school. Encouraging introverted children to be a part of extracurricular activities at school such as dance competitions, choirs, painting classes, fancy dress shows, annual days and sports will expose your child to several children from different backgrounds and of varying ages. The constant company of other children who share similar interests as your child, will definitely change your little one's perspective of socializing.

Making Good Friends
Some children tend to make a lot of friends, while some are selective about their company. An introverted child is likely to be the latter, as they prefer the company of just a few friends. Introverts prefer a few close friends, who can be understanding and patient about their innate nature. Having a close-knit circle of friends is more important for an introverted child, than to have a horde of friends and acquaintances around him/her. Once your child finds a few friends, do not push further. Give your child time and allow him the liberty of being his own judge while making friendships.

Helping your introverted child make friends at school can seem like a tough nut to crack. It takes a great deal of patience and understanding as a parent to encourage your child to fit into the social circles. Despite having friends, an introvert would pick a solitary activity over playing outdoors. While helping your child make friends, it is imperative that you seem encouraging and not pushy. Being empathetic towards your child's innate tendencies, is the only way of molding your child for a better tomorrow.