There can be many reasons that a child may need help making friends. Some kids can be shy in class, and others may just lack the opportunity to foster a connection with classmates. There are many different ways you can encourage your child to make friends without seeming overbearing.

Schools have tons of different extracurricular activities. There really is something for everyone. Playing a sport can be beneficial for kids in a multitude of ways. They learn from the value of teamwork and sportsmanship. It’s fun but also teaches discipline. Team bonding is encouraged and sometimes produce lifelong friendships.

In addition to sports, schools often have choir, band, science and math teams, and many more to choose from. Find one that reflects your child’s interests and sign her up. Just spending time with other kids in a non-pressure environment can be helpful in making friends.

You should also start hosting and attending play dates. Let your child invite one or two classmates to your home or the park. Watch the kids interact with each other, and maybe you will identify areas of communication that your child needs some pointers in. Kids are definitely not masters of social skills, but with a little guidance, they can improve quickly. Let your child invite his class to his birthday party. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Have the party at the park, and just have everyone out for cake.

The idea is to give your child more opportunities to get to know the kids around him. Once they discover that they have things in common, they will get excited about getting to know each other better. At the end of the day, you have to remember that quality is better than quantity. Your child doesn’t need a truckload of friends. She just needs a few that will be kind, listen to her, share stories, and have fun.

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at //