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How to Help an 8-Year-Old Make Friends

By Megan Smith ; Updated June 13, 2017

If your child never gets invites to birthday parties on the weekends and doesn't come home talking about her new best friend, she might be having difficulty making friends at school. If your child is unable to make friends, she might be shy or unsure about how to cultivate new friendships. Making new friends can be particularly difficult if your child is in a new school or classroom where she doesn't know a lot of people. Work together with your child to help her branch out and make new friends.

  1. Have a conference with your child's teacher. If your child doesn't seem to be making friends at school, ask his teacher if there is anyone in class with similar interests to your child's. See if the teacher can place your child and this child together during recess or a group activity to break the ice, says Educational Consultant Dr. Ruth Jacoby.

  2. Encourage your child to talk to kids at school that he ordinarily wouldn't approach. Tell your child that there is nothing wrong with going up to someone at school and just saying "hi," according to KidsHealth.

  3. Practice conversation starters with your child. If your child feels uncomfortable because she isn't sure what to say around new friends, give her some ideas. Encourage your child to talk about her class, compliment her new friend's jacket or ask her new friend about her favorite food or animal.

  4. Ask your child if there is someone he would like to play with at recess, and encourage your child to go up to this child or group of children and ask if he can play, too.

  5. Get the telephone number of a child in your daughter's class that she particularly likes. Call the parent or guardian of the child and set up a play date. Your child might feel more comfortable playing with friends in her own home.

  6. Tip

    Even after he begins to make friends, keep an open dialog with your child about his blossoming friendships at school.


    Consult a doctor if you think your child could be unable to make friends as a result of a learning disability.

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