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Social Skills – 3 Lonely Problems Your Child Needs to Overcome + Video

By Jean Tracy, MSS

A CHILD SITS ALONE AT RECESS THINKING ABOUT his only friend who moved to different school. Every day he thinks, "I wish he'd come back. I don't have anyone to play with."

Below you'll find a video on how to help your child make friends.

If your children show signs of loneliness, chances are they lack the friendship skills they need. Complaining, boredom, and sadness could be red lights signaling, "Help! I don't know how to make a friend!"

You can spot lonely kids by how they look and what they do. Perhaps they sulk if others don't play their games. Maybe their unfriendly body language tells kids to ‘back off.' Still others may brag or talk too much.

3 Common Problems Lonely Kids Need to Change

1. If the neighborhood kids suggest playing tag, what might an unfriendly child say?

Child:"I don't want to."

Silent Translation: ‘I don't want to play your game. I want you to play my game.'

Result: Someone volunteers to be ‘it.' The lonely child either plays tag and grumbles or walks away. The kids are having too much fun to care about her.

Picture this child as yours, what friendship skill can you teach her? How?

2. If a child frowns, folds his arms across his chest, and usually doesn't cooperate, what might his behavior be telling kids?

Child: "Don't ask me to play."

Silent Translation: ‘They never choose me.'

Result: Neither captain chooses the unpleasant looking child to be on their team. He feels rejected again and folds his arms even tighter.

Imagine this is your child, what friendly technique can you teach him? How would you do it?

3. If an attention-getting girl constantly talks about her thoughts, feelings or successes, what might she be telling kids?

Child: "I'm so interesting."

Silent Translation: ‘You kids will like me because you'll see how important I am.'

Result: Kids avoid her.

Suppose this is your child, what friendship skill can you teach her? How?

These are just 3 of many ways lonely kids turn off others. They want friends but they don't have a clue how to make them. The good news is that friendship skills can be learned. Teachers, parents, and counselors have the power to help children learn how to think, what to say, and how to act. When kids learn how to make friends, they profit at school too.

How Socially Competent Children Often Benefit at School:

1. They like school.
2. They feel motivated to learn.
3. They pay attention.
4. They perform well academically.
5. They exhibit less problem behaviors in middle school.

(Research by Jones and Yudron - Measures of Social Emotional Development)

Conclusion – Which Social Skills Would Solve Your Child's Problems

It's difficult to know your child sits alone at recess, won't play other kids' games, or brags and talks too much. How can you help?

Consider your child's skills. Does he know how to make friends? Do you know how to help? Since research shows that friendly children do better in school, doesn't it make sense that they are happier too?

If your child would like more friends or even one friend, observe what he needs and coach him with friendship skills.

Below is the link to the short video showing how to help your child make friends.


Watch Parents and Kids Discuss 4 Ways to Learn Social Skills

Pick up Character Building Stories: Friendship Skills for Raising Happy Children Includes 75 Parenting Tips. Turn your lonely child into a friendly child.

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