Author - Jessie
Note for parents and teachers: this post is designed to help you share some ideas on how to make new friends with your kid/s - written from the point of view of another child. We’d love your feedback and perspective - so please feel free to share in the Comments!
Making friends? What can I say, it comes easily to me! I love people - helping them, listening to them, and laughing with them. Maybe it’s because my family has volunteered together since I was a baby - but I really love making new friends!
This new school year, we have a couple of new girls (and boys) joining my 4th grade class in Washington, D.C. I’m excited to learn more about where they’re from! Since I’m so friendly, my teacher asked me if I could welcome them and show them around. She also asked me to share what I know about making friends, so that it can help any other kids as they face any “new” situation. So here goes!
Be Nice: My mom calls it “the golden rule:" treat others the way you want them to treat you. So I treat everyone as nicely as I can. This means I speak nicely, smile at other kids, say “please” and “thank you," and try to never let someone else feel embarrassed or sad. Once you start, you find just how good it feels to always be nice to other kids.
Friends are Everywhere: My stepdad loves to fish, so he taught me about “casting a wide net”. I talk to everyone - I have made friends that play sports, friends that are great at math, friends that are shy, and friends that are loud and funny. I love it because I learn something from each of them, and they from me - and we make a better team together when we each bring what we’re best at to the game.
Get Involved: As you may know, my family has volunteered together since I was a baby. We’ve helped clean up beaches, read stories to the blind and elderly, and played with kids at the community hospital. We’ve also made a lot of friends that way - talking to others, asking questions to learn a bit more about them, and helping them feel better. And you get to meet other volunteers that care about the same things you do.
Make the First Move: My grandma told me that deep down, we’re all a little shy and aren’t always as brave as we may look. I remember that whenever I feel shy, I tell myself that making the first move isn’t easy for anyone. So, if I feel shy and a little afraid - so does every other kid! Remembering what my grandma says makes it easier for me to be brave, make the first move and introduce myself to a new kid - and ask them if they want to play. It always works! :)
And if you’re still not having an easy time making friends, talk to someone you love and trust - your mom, dad, brother, sister, or grandparents. There’s always a way!