Back to School can be a stressful time of year for everyone, but especially for the kids who struggle to navigate the social world around them. And, all while breaking in a new backpack, notebooks and calculator!

Some of the best advice parents can give their children is about how to get along well with others. Here are three great ways to help your kids make friends this school year.

Teach your kids that everyone has value and that affirming other kids with compliments puts them on the fast-track to friendship. Making a friend is always a bit easier after a genuine compliment.
:: Everyone is gifted in some way and sometimes it’s our job to find that special thing!
:: When you meet a new friend, look them in the eyes and smile. Notice one special thing about them.
:: Then, tell your new friend that special thing you noticed about them!

Teach them to be welcoming to other kids: feeling isolated in the first few days at a new school or in a new class can be so painful for kids. A sure-fire way to be welcoming is to make sure no one sits alone during group activities.
:: Tell your kids that one of the greatest kindnesses they can do is to invite another kid to join their circle.
:: Ask them to make a point of noticing the kids who are sitting by themselves.
:: Tell them that they can make a lot of new friends just by including kids who are sitting alone.

Teach your kids to ask questions: you’ve heard the old adage, “interested is interesting.” Asking questions helps kids get to common ground faster and can remove awkwardness.  Fun, safe questions are a great icebreaker, such as:
:: Would you rather be a Jedi or an Avenger?
:: Who do you play in Mario Kart?
:: Have you seen the new Doc McStuffins?

Some kids are having difficulty with more than the social stuff. They’re not outfitted for school because mom and dad are trying to keep body and soul together, making just enough – or not quite – for food and rent. There’s just no money for school supplies.

You can help them too when you and donate to support our Back to School drive in your community. Click here for a link to our donation page.

Thanks for making the school year better for your own kids and others in your neighborhood.

Happy Back to School – let’s make it a great year!

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