Making friends can be difficult, but keeping them can be even more challenging. I, myself, am very fortunate that I have kept a close group of friends since elementary school. Despite having busy schedules, we have kept in touch and found other ways to connect with one another.
Here are some of the ways that I have personally made new friends and kept them throughout the years:
Groups/Activities: Anyone who knows me now would not believe that I was once a very shy kid. I was able to open up and meet friends by joining in on social groups like sports, crafts, or even summer camps. It is much easier for kids to socialize when they are around peers with similar interests. Whatever interest your child may have, there is bound to be some group that they can be a part of, including the social groups offered at PI.
Planning: As my friends and I transition into post-collegiate adulthood, we find ourselves needing to make plans to see each other at least a week in advance. Our kid’s schedules can be just as busy as ours, so it is important to set up a playdate ahead of time with their new friends. Exchanging contact information or even social media (i.e. Facebook Groups) with fellow parents/guardians is a great way to make sure our kids stay in touch.
Socializing: Even with social groups and planned play dates, socializing can still be difficult for some. There are several resources for parents that are concerned with their kid’s social skills. One of my favorites is the Social Thinking curriculum for parents by Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP. Her website provides materials/resources for clinicians and parents to help kids improve their social skills.
Written by: Aubrey Fossen, MS, CFY-SLP