Having good friends is important to most kids. Some people like to be friends with lots and lots of people, while others like to have one or two special best mates (besties).
A friend can:
- be someone you have fun with
- be someone you have adventures with
- give you help
- be someone you trust and feel safe to share secrets with
- encourage and support you
- help you figure out how to sort out problems
What kind of friend are you looking for?
Making friends sometimes seems to just happen, but sometimes it takes time and practice. Before you make new friends, have a think about what you’re looking for in a friend and who you’d like to be friends with. You might want a friend who has similar hobbies and interests as you. For example, if you like to play handball at lunchtime, it might be cool to make friends with someone who likes handball too so then you can play together. Having friends that are different from you can also be really good, as you can introduce each other to new things.
Making a new friend
If you’re new at your school or class and you don’t really know anybody, you can still act like a friend! By being interested in what other kids are doing, and by being kind and friendly, you’re being the sort of person that other kids will want to hang out with, and it probably won’t be long until you have friends of your own.
A good first step to making friends is by talking with someone you’d like to be friends with! Try doing the following:
- asking them about what they like to do – maybe there’s something you could do together
- smiling and saying something nice about them – a smile shows you’re a friendly person, and this helps because other kids probably feel a bit nervous about talking to a new person too
- asking questions like “What’s your favourite movie or TV show?”, “What did you do in the weekend?” or “Do you have any pets?”. Asking questions shows you’re interested in other people and will help you get to know the other person better
Be patient and keep trying – sometimes making friends can be hard, especially if you’re shy, but don’t give up! It can take a while to build a friendship – if you haven’t found the right fit, maybe there’s another group that will suit you better.