Helping children make friends at school
The 2017 Counselor of the Year offers advice to students struggling to make friends at school.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Katie Piggott knows the challenges of moving to a new school, and from her experience, she can share with others how to make new friends.
"I was confused, but I was also nervous," Katie says.
Katie remembers the anxiety of being new, so she says she tries to look for new students and make them feel welcome. She says she tries to find something she has in common with a new student. In her experience, that's where friendships start.
Maryville Elementary counselor Kaet Barron says adults sometimes forget what it's like to start a new job or go to a function where you know only one or two people. "It can give you a bit of anxiety," she says.
The 2017 Counselor of the Year tries to help students know what to say to someone new.
"Giving compliments is a great way to start," Barron says. She also suggests asking for help with something the person is good at or complimenting the person's outfit.
And, Barron encourages parents to practice conversation with their children. Require the child ask open-ended questions to keep the conversation going.
Katie adds, "Don't be scared to ask people what they're like, how they act, what their personality is."
Barron says a child complaining about having no friends might really just be expressing frustration from a bad day. But, don't discount the feelings. Contact the child's teacher to get a better picture of your child's social connections.
If it appears your child is truly struggling with friendships, contact the school counselors. They can help resolve conflicts that prevent friendships and can help children see they have more in common than they realize.
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