How to make friends at school?

Making friends, requires a number of skills. Maintaining friendships, can also, be a tall order, especially if children are missing social skills.

If a child has social skills deficits, they tend to play alone as they loose confidence in their ability to make friends. Its therefore easier not to attempt social interaction because for the child with social skills deficits, it can feel overwhelming and too hard to interact with peers.

At Catch Up kids, we identify each child’s specific social skills deficits. We dont group children in a social skills class, because no one child is missing exactly the same skills. It becomes important to teach social skills, pertaining to each individual child. We also work on building confidence and self esteem, both essential to social success.

Some children have poor eye contact. This can affect their social success as they may miss important facial cues and important social information. Being able to identify social cues is another skill we teach at Catch Up Kids, to help children become tuned in to whether their peer is interested in the conversation or getting bored.

General knowledge ie being able to talk about many topics, including topics that are not necessarily your child’s first preference is a consideration. General Knowledge, is a lesson we include in our social skills curriculum at Catch Up Kids. If all the other boys are playing soccer and discussing Manchester United and Chelsea soccer teams and your child is talking about going to the zoo, the peers will not be interested to engage in meaningful social interaction. We must teach children a wide variety of general knowledge topics to secure their social success.
Learning through observation, knowing how to initiate and end a conversation, dealing with conflict and how to join group discussions, are all lessons we create for children who are missing these important social skills.

Humour and jokes, understanding the intentions of others and being able to loose a game and not always being the winner, are more examples of social skills we teach to help children engage in meaningful social relationships. Social awareness and understanding your conversational audience are key to success. Being able to pick up on those social subtleties and redirecting the conversation when needed are important skills to have.

Gaining attention appropriately, is a skill we make children aware of when we teach social skills at Catch Up Kids. Sometimes children will become the ‘class clown’ to gain attention. In this case, we need to teach the child more appropriate ways to gain attention. For example, asking the peer about his weekend or where he bought his watch or soccer ball can be topics of conversation that will lead to meaningful social interaction. We have to teach appropriate social skills in order for the child to replace the way they currently respond in social settings or gain attention.

Teasing and bullying can arise and at Catch Up Kids, we teach children what they can do about encountering a bully at school. The more the child responds to teasing and the more attention they give this, the more the teasing will continue. Knowing how to respond to being teased can be taught and results in a more confident child who wont become victim to bullying.

Understanding social rules ie knowing what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to talk about in the classroom is something we draw attention to in order to equip our kids with the skills they need for social success.

The more they practise these skills and the more social opportunity they encounter, the more they will be able to practise the skills we teach for social success. Therefore, if your child cant make friends it doesn’t mean that they will never be able to make friends, we just need to support them. At Catch up Kids, we identify the deficits and help teach them how to be socially successful.