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How can I encourage my preteen to develop strong friendships and social connections?

Hi there,

I have a preteen child who is somewhat introverted and struggles with making friends. As a parent, I want to do everything I can to help my child develop strong friendships and social connections. I worry that my child might miss out on opportunities to build important relationships that can last a lifetime. I also know that a strong social support network is essential for overall health and happiness.

So, I'm looking for advice on what I can do to encourage and support my child's social development. What are some practical tips and strategies that have worked for you or other parents in similar situations? How can I help my child become more comfortable in social situations and build meaningful connections with others? Thank you in advance for your help and advice!

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Having been in a similar situation as you, I found that social media and gaming platforms can be excellent avenues for preteens to connect with peers that share similar interests. As much as social media can be a distraction to parents, it can provide preteens with a broader sense of connection and, sometimes a way out of social isolation. Additionally, you can always monitor your child's online activities to ensure their safety.

Furthermore, I found it helpful to model healthy social relationships and communication for my child by demonstrating empathy, active listening, and respect for others' opinions. Openly discussing social challenges and conflicts with my child, drawing from my personal experiences, and offering advice on how to respond to different situations has improved my child's social skills.

Lastly, it's essential to recognize that socializing can be overwhelming and tiring for an introverted preteen. Encourage your child to go at their own pace and respect their boundaries if they feel overwhelmed; a healthy balance is key to maintaining healthy social habits.

I hope this helps. Good luck!



I can relate to your situation. As a parent, I was worried about my preteen daughter's ability to connect with others. One thing that worked for us was to provide opportunities for my daughter to engage in activities that matched her social style. For instance, we encouraged her to volunteer at the local animal shelter, which allowed her to connect with other animal-loving children.

Playing therapists at school were also very helpful in supporting her social development. They provided her with a safe space to talk about her social struggles and taught her social skills involving play. They also facilitated group activities that enabled children to learn to cooperate and communicate.

It's essential to monitor your child's social activities while providing them with support and guidance, especially if they have difficulty connecting with peers. Encourage them to take small steps and remind them that building friendships takes time.

Finally, find ways to make socializing fun for your child. You can organize a pizza party, a movie night or game night with their new friends, which can provide a relaxed atmosphere for them to interact outside the formal school environment.

I hope my experience provides useful insights into the matter. Good luck!


Hey there,

I was in a similar situation as you, and something that worked wonders for my shy preteen daughter was role-playing scenarios and social situations. We would practice basic communication skills and ways to start and maintain conversations with other people. By practicing these skills in a safe and supportive setting, my daughter gained confidence that translated to real-life social settings.

Additionally, I found that encouraging my daughter to participate in community service projects helped her develop a sense of purpose and connection to others. Engaging in shared activities for a common cause helped her bond with like-minded peers and allowed her to build relationships based on shared values.

It's also essential to create a comfortable home environment for your child to practice socializing. Encourage your preteen to invite their peers over and let them host movie or game nights as a way to build connections in a safe and relaxed space.

Lastly, actively support your child and help them work through setbacks and social challenges they may face. By being a source of encouragement and guidance, you can help your preteen develop resilience and navigate the complexities of socializing.

I hope these insights help you as much as they helped me. Good luck!


Hi there,

I was in a similar situation as you, as my preteen child was also somewhat introverted and struggled with making friends. One thing that helped was getting my child involved in extracurricular activities that aligned with their interests, such as joining a sports team or a music club. This gave my child a chance to meet and interact with other kids who shared their passions, which made socializing more natural and comfortable.

I also found that building relationships with other parents and families in our community helped to create opportunities for playdates and other social events. Sometimes, all it takes is one parent to initiate a get-together for kids to start forming bonds.

Encouraging my child to take an interest in other people's lives and hobbies was another strategy that helped. By asking open-ended questions and showing genuine interest in what others had to say, my child started to develop closer connections with peers.

Finally, I made a point to praise my child's efforts in trying to make friends and socialize, instead of solely focusing on the outcome. This helped build confidence and a sense of accomplishment to keep trying, even if things didn't always work out.

I hope these tips are helpful to you!

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