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Friendship Skill Builder: Making New Friends
By Dr. Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Excerpt from Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me: The Top 25 Friendship Problems and How to Solve Them (Jossey Bass Publishers, 2005)

Being the new kid with any new group of kids may be a little scary at first, but there are a few tips to help your child learn how to make new friends. Here are a few steps to teach your child to get started.

  1. Choose someone you want to meet. Pick a kid who seems friendly and is not too busy with something or someone. It sometimes helps to look for someone who doing something that you do, too like playing the guitar, or soccer, or drawing. Walk up to the kid.

  2. Look the person in the eye. Hold your head high. Smile! If the person doesn't look at you it probably means he isn't interested in meeting you. Walk on.

  3. Say "hello" and introduce yourself with a firm, friendly voice. "Hi, my name is John." You might offer your hand and shake hands with firmly.

  4. Wait for the person to respond. If the kid doesn't give his name back ask. "What's your name?" "And your name is?" Be sure to remember the name.

  5. Say something friendly or ask a friendly question. "Glad to meet you." "You're great at soccer." "Do you go to school here?" "Do you live around here?" "Do you skate here often?" You can also tell the person something about yourself. "I just moved from Minnesota." "I live in the yellow house." "I like skateboarding, too?"

  6. Keep at it. If it doesn't work out the first or second time, try again. If you and kid seem like you hit it off, arrange to meet again or do something. You may want to write down his phone number or e-mail address.

© 2005 by Michele Borba.
Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renown educator, motivational speaker, who has presented keynotes and workshops to over one million parents and teachers on four continents, and is the recipient of the National Educator Award. Dr. Borba serves on honorary board to Parents magazine and has appeared as a guest expert on Today, The Early Show, The View, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, and NPR. She is the award-winning author of 20 books including Parents Do Make a Difference, No More Misbehavin': 38 Difficult Behaviors and How to Stop Them, Building Moral Intelligence, Don't Give Me That Attitude! and Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me (all Jossey-Bass). For more information about her work see www.micheleborba.com.

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