Back to School | Questions & Answers | 04

Q: How about for kids who struggle to make friends? What is a good way to prime yourself to build new relationships?

A: Some children are shy, have low self-confidence or went through unpleasant experiences, bullying or rejection from their peer group. These experiences often lead to negative self-talk that makes them believe that they are “not good enough” and that “nobody wants to be friends with them”. It is important to help these children build a positive self-image and strengthen their confidence. Some children may benefit from receiving professional psychological help, especially if they are dealing with significant problems with social interactions, loneliness, anxieties or sadness. In some situations, encouraging positive relationships that lead to positive outcomes can boost child self-worth and increase their efforts to build new friendships. It is important for a child to understand that having one good friend that makes them feel good, appreciated and worthy is more beneficial than trying to fit in at all cost and behave in ways not natural to them.