* Everyone needs friends, but making friends can be difficult.
Who will be my friend?
Do some detective work! Look, ask, and snoop around to find out if there are any kids your age in your neighbourhood, at school or in your family (like cousins).
Keep a special eye out for kids who like to do the same things as you. Are there any teams or clubs that you could join to meet other kids your age? Some ideas:
- Sports teams
- Music lessons
- Brownies, Girl Guides, Cubs, Scouts
- Activities at your local library
- Events at community centres, such as public skating
Reaching out to someone you’d like to be friends with can be scary, especially if you’re shy. Here are some “icebreakers” you can use when you’re nervous:
- Think about the things you do that other kids also like doing, like kicking a ball, riding a bike, or watching certain TV shows. Start a conversation by talking about these things.
- Begin with a compliment. If you say “great t-shirt,” the other person will say thank you, then add another sentence. Then it’s your turn to say something.
- To keep a conversation going longer, try asking the other person about themselves. Ask about what music they like, what sports they’ve tried, or what they think about something going on at school.
- If you’re shy, practice having conversations with adults you know and trust, like teachers, neighbours, or people in your family.
- Reach out to kids who seem younger or more shy than you. Introduce yourself and try to get to know them.
If you mostly hang out by yourself during recess or break, other kids might think you want to be left alone. If you’d like to try spending this time with other kids:
- Find a group of kids you think looks interesting, and stand near them.
- Try to make eye contact with someone in the group. If that person waves, smiles, or says hi, try approaching the group.
- If you’re new in a group, don’t start talking right away. Listen to the conversation first.
- When you do start talking, try not to take over the conversation. Listen and respond to what the other kids are saying, too.
The next page is about what makes a good friendship.