How to Help your Unpopular Child Make Friends

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By Tracey,

Every child has a story of its own. Even though psychologists try to sort them into groups based on personality types, once you truly get to know your child, you realise how much it is different from others. Some kids can be jolly, interested, eager to discover new things, whereas other kids are on the completely opposite end of the scale – shy, pensive, introvert, – and, thus, unpopular.

Sadly, these kids are often the target of mockery and contempt, so other, more popular kids, make fun of them. This kind of bullying does not appear only later in school, but in kindergarten as well, and can lead to more serious behavioural problems later in life.

If you have noticed that you child might be ‘different’ from its peers, keep reading and find out everything you need to know about helping your child overcome bullying and socialise better.

How to spot an unpopular child?

Contrary to the general opinion, an unpopular child may not be that easy to spot. Not every silent child is unpopular, and not every loud and talkative child is popular among its peers. For example, if you have noticed that your child never mentions having friends, or if it mentions only names and you have never actually saw those children spending time with your child – it is high time your alarm goes on.

Conduct a test. When you take your kid to school or when you pick it up, see if it immediately joins the group of children, or if it stays until you go away. Or, if you notice that the kids are looking at it funnily, this indicate that someone may have caused a problem. Talk to your child’s head teacher and principal, and see if they have noticed any unusual behaviour. If the answer is positive, you need to react.

How to help your child socialise?

Your role as a parent is essential in showing your child how to socialise. Socialisation is at the core of society – if we learn the rules of social behaviour, we are then accepted by it and can help in improving our and other people’s lives, and even get the protection of the society in turn. This is why it is important to show your child how to behave.

Positive reinforcement

Behavioural psychologists believe that positive reinforcement will lead to better results rather than negative. This means that you teach your child how to behave in a positive manner and the child gets a reward for following the rules. This reward need not be a material thing, but a word of praise or simply a pat on the back. According to a recent study, if you employ positive reinforcement with a reward, you are increasing the odds of it happening again. So, the next time you child behaves properly, you should reinforce this behaviour with a positive comment (rather than the usual DON’T DO THIS).

Channelling emotions

The more kids socialise, the more experience they will get, which will in turn make a leave a mark on them and cause them feel different, and new, emotions. Teach them how to handle and express emotions, no matter if they are positive (such as excessive and sudden happiness, or the feeling of joy), or negative (such as sadness, anger or impatience).

Solve problems with group activities

Practicing sports can be a great way of learning social skills. Not only is it rewarding in helping your child live a healthier life, but it can also inspire your kid act like a kid when surrounded by its peers. This can further lead to your child becoming the head of the team, and later throwing parties, such as superhero or army party and being the star of the day. The best thing about group activities is that children get out of their peer zone, and start interacting with older and younger kids, and finally start to understand how every child has a story of its own, and that they are all different one from another. And that is perfectly okay.

And finally, remember that spending time with your child is the key in helping it gain better social skills. Give your child unconditional child and promise that you will always be there for it. Not supervising, but attentively monitoring in order to help when needed.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She loves cooking, baking, sewing, spending quality time with her daughters and she’s passionate in writing. She is contributor on High Style Life and her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.


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