“None of my child’s friends are in his class this year. Help!”
"Getting a different class assignment from his buddies can make a child feel bummed out about school. You can’t make friends for him, but you can help him feel confident about meeting new kids. Try these strategies: When he wants to join a group, tell him to stand close by, laugh at a joke, and add one of his own (have one prepared!). Or send him with some cool crayons to share with his desk mate and an idea for a game to play at recess, both of which will help initiate play."
—Michelle Anthony, Ph.D., a child psychologist and P&C contributor from Centennial, CO
"Try to set up some time to meet the new kids in the class either before school starts or within the first few weeks. When this happened to me, my mom knew some of the parents of the kids in the new class already, so that really helped. Also, tell your kid not to worry too much. It’s actually really awesome to make new friends!"
—Sophia Kirk-Salazar, sixth-grade student from Brooklyn, NY
"We have a rule that during the first week of school, the girls have to find someone in their new class they’d like to get to know better. Then we set up a playdate! My younger daughter met her now best friend this way last year, and my older daughter became friends with someone she had never had class with before. They still see old friends, but they also expand their social circles and learn a great skill."
—Sarah Barrett, mom of two from Studio City, CA