How to Make Friends
After more than a year of fluctuating learning locations teachers, counselors, and administrators welcome students into classrooms this fall! Some students have never been in their buildings, others already experience some anxiety about connecting socially, and some eagerly anticipate a fun school year. Parents want to make this year’s re-entry safe, secure, and positive.
This is the first in a series of back-to-school posts. It covers how to make and be a good friend. Recognizing out loud that returning to school might feel different from other years is a good starting place. Listening to concerns or worries is beneficial in lowering your child’s anxiety and raising confidence. Make sure to keep your stress separate from theirs.
The adage of “to make friend, be a friend” still stands. Friendship is one of the best gifts we give to ourselves and others. Everyone wants to be noticed and feel that they belong. Help your child understand the qualities of a being a friend and how to build them using these conversation starter suggestions.
Find common ground by being funny, kind, and authentic
- This is my first time in this building, is it yours, too?
- My sister had this teacher – he’s good.
- It’s so weird seeing everyone’s whole body – I’m used to headshots.
- Did/do you have a favorite mask?
- Your shirt is cool!
Show you care by asking questions, being curious, and making time
- Want to sit together at lunch?
- Is being back as weird for you as it is for me?
- Weren’t we in __ class in 6th grade?
- I’ll text you tonight
- I’m signing up for X, want to, too?
Use technology to connect and share interests
- Take selfies and share them.
- Get contact info because we are in the same science class.
- Share TikTok or YouTube videos.
- Ask about games, shows, books.
Take care of your friends, be loyal, and listen
- Keep secrets and avoid gossip.
- Stand up for your friend.
- Listen without interrupting – people want to tell their stories.
- Introduce friends to each other.
- Show compassion and empathy.
BTW, this is good for all ages!
Next up in this back to school series: Setting goals
©JoAnn Schauf, MS, LLC Your Tween & You 2021 All rights reserved