How to Help Your Child Make New Friends

Starting a new school and making new friends can be an anxious time for children. Although some children are naturally sociable, many children suffer from shyness, which can hinder their ability to develop friendships. Fortunately, this is something that parents can help children to overcome, using a few simple techniques.

Developing Social Skills

School friends

Read on to learn how you can help your child develop their social skills using these great tips from Surbiton High School

1. Conversation Starters


Starting conversations with new people can be hard, whatever your age. To help your child make new friends, it can be useful to teach them some simple conversation starters. Prepare a few things for them to say in the classroom or playground, such as ‘I like your dress’ or ‘do you like football?’.

2. Playdates


Invite some of your child’s classmates over to your house. This can help your child develop friendships by getting to know the other children in a familiar setting, where they may feel more relaxed and confident.

3. Role Model

Role Model

Be a good role model for your child and demonstrate effective social skills. Teach them to be kind and considerate and always be seen to be using good manners. It is also important to explain how to hold a conversation and listen to others when speaking.

4. Step Back


Try to stand back and allow your child to work out issues alone. Disputes with friends are common at school, and learning how to resolve these issues is an important part of developing their social skills.

5. After-school clubs

School clubs

Encourage your child to take part in extra-curricular activities. These provide an ideal opportunity for socialising with other children who share the same interests.


  • Jon | The Money Shed (@themoneyshed)

    September 9 at 10:26 am

    Great post this! After school club can be such a fantastic way for kids to make new friends they might not have met or aren’t in their class at school.

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:21 pm

      Yes, this is something I have suggested to my daughter now that she has moved to a new school. Wish her luck!

  • motherhoodtherealdeal

    September 9 at 1:42 pm

    Being a good role model is so important – I think the more social you are as a parent, it helps your children to be social too. And playdates also really help.

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 10:00 pm

      I think sometimes we underestimate the power of being a good role model.

  • Sarah Howe

    September 9 at 7:10 pm

    I find it so hard to step back!! I’m like champing at the bit. Some lovely tips though x

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:56 pm

      That’s me too, I do find it hard to take a step back but sometimes we need to so they can grow x

  • Lyndsey O’Halloran

    September 9 at 7:52 pm

    Play dates are a great way for getting to know new children… and to get to know the parents too!

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:55 pm

      They are, they definitely helped my children in the beginning.

  • Newcastle FamilyLife

    September 10 at 10:20 am

    Some good tips, my little girl is struggling a bit with school at the moment as she always played with her cousin but now her cousin has gone into key stage 2 (they are a year apart). I am hoping she makes new friends soon as she goes to after school clubs with a few girls from school and see’s a couple of girls out of school x

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:54 pm

      Oh no that’s so sad, it must be very difficult for you.

  • laura dove

    September 10 at 5:00 pm

    Great tips here. I worried a lot about my kids making friends when they started school, inviting children home on play dates was a real help and getting to know their parents too so we could do more together.

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:45 pm

      Yes, I found that worked well in Primary School, I must admit things are a little more difficult in Senior School but hopefully joining clubs will help.

  • Marie Blake

    September 10 at 8:15 pm

    Ahh, these are good tips. I think being a role model is particularly important and they are always watching!

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:37 pm

      They certainly are, I have learnt that lesson many times over.

  • Sonia

    September 11 at 10:07 am

    Love these ideas, it can be hard sometimes for kids to make friends. Thankfully mine have been able to make friends just like that, I really hope it continues through their life. I find it really hard as an adult to make friends so I’m going to use some of these for myself x

    1. Sabina Green

      September 11 at 9:36 pm

      Some children are so resilient aren’t they, I must admit this aspect of parenting is one I find particularly hard because I just want to be there for them every step of the way.

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