6 Reasons Why Some Kids Find It Hard to Build Friendships (and What Parents Must Do)
Childhood is a colorful phase of life. It’s the time when you can play all you want, run around tirelessly and do everything only kids can do! It’s also the time to start creating and welcoming friendships outside home and to discover how it is to interact with new human beings.
While a lot of kids are so enthusiastic and excited about the thought of meeting new people, there are also a lot of kids who are not comfortable with it. Some find it tough to begin; some are not good with maintaining good fellowships.
As everyone knows, having friends is significant. From childhood to old age, it surely is. Parents, most importantly, should be aware of this. First, they have been to childhood themselves, and second, they should know the social relationships and interpersonal capacities of their children. The latter is a must because it is a substantial part of their own beloved kids’ growth and development.
Now, you don’t actually have to be a parent for you to be concerned about this matter. You could be an older sibling who cares about the circle of your younger siblings, or you could even be a younger sibling who’s extroverted unlike your older brother or sister. You could be a close relative, or you could be a long-time nanny in a family. Whoever you may be, you may need to know why some kids back out when it’s time to make pals! You may actually be such a struggling child or adult too, or simply a curious reader. This list is specially for you! Keep reading these 6 reasons why some kids find it hard to build friendships.
1 – THEY ARE SHY.
The most obvious reason and the most common reason is shyness. Some children are hesitant to reach out to others and to take the initiative of introducing themselves. Even when they want to, they cannot take a step forward towards others because they are bashful.
This primarily occurs during little kids’ first time to see humans of the same age, sized similar to them, unlike their parents and older family members who are bigger than them. It still happens to bigger children, especially during first encounters. Well, this still happens to adolescents and adults, like you, who have already met a hundred people, so how much more overwhelming it could be for tiny munchkins, right?
Parents should not ignore this or take it lightly because some kids need huge help to overcome their shyness. Self-confidence must be established and nurtured in them to combat their reluctance.
2 – THEY FEAR MEETING NEW FACES.
Some kids are not simply shy but are really anxious of meeting new faces. This could be another case for little ones who only get rare chances to meet unfamiliar people. Since they are used to seeing the faces of their family members and neighbors most of the time, they may not be as energetic as usual when they see new people around.
Parents have a hard time making the kids greet their visitors because they tend to hide away in their bedrooms. Some youngsters even cry when meeting their aunts, uncles and godparents for the first time. When that’s the case, it’s not even very much surprising when they are hesitant to make new friends in school and in other communities. They are afraid because they don’t know who they are yet. They see them as the total strangers that they are.
3 – THEY ARE ANXIOUS OF BEING MISJUDGED BY OTHERS.
Opinions of other people, although they are not always relevant, affect every individual. These kids are anxious of being misjudged by others, so they are anxious to meet new people. More than just a feeling, this could be social phobia. As it could be a mental health concern, this can monumentally have an impact on academic performance and daily activities. Parents and guardians must be fully aware of it and do what has to be done (also medically) to take care of their kids in conquering this anxiety.
4 – THEY HAVE TRAUMAS FROM THEIR OWN FAMILY’S DENTED RELATIONSHIP.
Before a child meets the outside world, there’s a world inside the home, where they experience and learn a lot of their firsts. All these influence how they showcase themselves in front of people not from their family.
Some kids are having troubles when it comes to entertaining people who want to become friends with them because they have traumas coming from their own family’s relationship.
Witnessing domestic violence is tainting. Hearing hurtful words from one parent to another parent is painful. Seeing how older children thoughtlessly disrespect parents is shocking. These are just three, but there are countless unwanted traumas that kids unwillingly gain from their own family’s dented relationship.
These make them extremely in doubt about trusting others because for some innocent kids, if family can hurt family, how much more can a stranger hurt a stranger? Although it shouldn’t be like that, some kids develop this kind of mentality, keeping them away from being able to welcome new friendships or, plainly, friendships in general.
5 – THEY EXPERIENCED BEING BULLIED.
Most usually, kids who have experienced being bullied find it difficult to make new friends because they are scared that they might be bullied again. They have been hurt and downgraded, and they never want that to happen again. Bullying left a strain and scar on them, making them undervalue themselves and making them think that most people look at them the same unlikeable way. It’s another matter of having trust issues.
Poor kids because they lost their self-confidence and self-esteem due to bullying. Parents can do something about it. Discuss with your kids’ teachers regarding the problem if the issue is in school. Confront the bullies and speak with them and with their parents about the issue. If it comes to the point of needing to file legal claims, then family counselors and lawyers are ready to help you. Most vitally, attend to the mental health assistance that your bullied kids need.
Help them, so the next time they get an opportunity to build healthy friendships, they won’t think twice about going for it!
6 – THEY HAVE INTERPERSONAL QUALITIES THAT DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY.
Lastly, some kids might be proactive about establishing friendships, but the thing is that they cannot maintain it. One of the major reasons is that they have interpersonal qualities that drive people away.
Maybe they’re insensitive of others’ feelings, thus, often hurting people through their words and deeds. Being too possessive puts off friends. Being selfish, talking only, looking only and caring only about themselves, also makes friendships easily break up.
Parents can help their kids by teaching them, showing them and making them feel the true meaning of love and goodness from birth, so that as they grow old, they will never forget it. They will bring it everywhere they go whoever they meet.
COMPANIONS BEYOND HOME
As no man is an island, everybody needs a friend to rely on. Especially for children who are still learning life, friendships play a pivotal role because the friends they gain or will gain can influence how they grow up. Without a doubt, these relationships are part of every individual personalities and perspectives’ composition. Because of that, it is also the duty of parents to ensure that their kids develop pleasant friendships from childhood up to the following years.
There are many reasons why some kids are having problems in terms of building and keeping friendships, and the above-mentioned points are just some. That is essentially why they should not be uninterestedly looked at. Instead, they must be paid attention to because these kids’ social challenges could be more serious than you know. Of course, the family is kids’ forever friends, but everyone also needs companions beyond home.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Adams Lawyers, a team of professionals that offer well-rounded service for all legal needs. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.