Making new friends isn’t always easy for some children. If your child suffers from shyness, this can affect their self-confidence and hinder their ability to form friendships. Fortunately this is something that parents can help their children to overcome, using a few simple techniques. Read on for some great tips from Surbiton High School on how you can help your child to successfully develop their social skills…

1. Starting conversations with new people can be hard for adults, as well as children. To help your child feel more confident about speaking to other children it can be it can be useful to prepare a few conversation starters. These could include some really simple compliments or questions, such as ‘I like your hair’ or ‘would you like to play?’.

2. Plan a play date with some of your child’s classmates at your house. This will help your child to get to know the other children in a familiar setting, where they may feel more relaxed and confident.

3. Parents should try to set a good example for their children by demonstrating effective social skills with others. Teach your child to be kind and considerate and to always use good manners. You should also explain how to hold a conversation and stress the importance of listening to others when they are speaking.

4. Where possible, try to take a step back and allow your child to work out issues alone. Disputes with friends are common at school and learning how to resolve these issues alone is an important life-skill.

5. Encourage your child to join after-school clubs or take up some extra-curricular activities, such as sports or drama. These will not only help your child to develop new skills, but they will also provide an ideal opportunity for your child to socialise.

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