How to Make Friends in School


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Some of the most important relationships that children have are those with their mates at school. Navigating these friendships helps children learn about themselves and feel safe knowing that they ‘belong’ in a group of their peers. So how can parents help their children how to make friends in school?

Standing back and watching as children develop their social skills can be tricky when all you want to do is step in and help them out! I’m sure we’ve all felt our hearts break a little when we’ve seen one of our children left out of a game in the playground. While this can be a tricky question to answer, this list might help guide you along.

how to make friends in school

Get to know your child’s friends

Your children’s friends are important to them, acknowledge this by asking questions and taking an interest in their social circle. We like to have a playdate at least once each holiday as a chance to get to know our daughters’ friends – we’ve met some lovely families doing this!

how to make friends in school

Help shy children practise making new friends

Role play at home with some simple icebreakers to help your child feel more at ease with approaching their peers in the playground and striking up a conversation. Sometimes children feel self-conscious trying to make a new friend, so having a few questions to get them started will make them feel more confident.

Encourage conflict resolution skills like compromise and sharing

Teaching a child to retaliate is not a good strategy to use at school. It’s also against school rules so it will most likely end them in trouble. Instead, help them practise saying no and standing up for themselves in a respectful way.

Speak to your child about their feelings when friendship troubles arise

Help them to identify exactly what caused them to feel upset. Then talk about a strategy to solve the problem if it happened again.

how to make friends in school

Encourage children to have a wide variety of friends in their circle

This will help them to further develop their social skills and sense of belonging.


Don’t force a friendship onto your child

Being social with another parent at school doesn’t automatically mean that your kids will get along! You can still chat with your friends at the school gate, even if your children don’t hang out in the playground.

Stop the urge to solve playground problems

I know this can be hard – I’ve been there myself! Meet with the teacher to share your concerns and allow them to work with the children at school.

Lauren is a teacher, wife and mum of three children, aged 9, 6 and 1. She started her blog Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep in 2012 to share ideas and support other teachers wanting to make learning hands-on and engaging. Now with children herself, she combines her teaching and parenting experience to create resources that are developmentally appropriate and fun. When not busy in the classroom or at home, Lauren enjoys travelling, the beach and reading a good book.