What to Do If Your Child Doesn't Want to Make Friends

There is a lot you can do for your child if he doesn't want to make friends with his classmates. Here are some practical suggestions to get him out of this uncomfortable situation.
What to Do If Your Child Doesn't Want to Make Friends

Last update: 04 October, 2018

If your child has a hard time making friends, you can help him develop social skills. That way he can interact with others appropriately, and have fun with other kids.

4 ways to help your child make friends

You can start by making your child feel comfortable with his peers. You can do this without forcing him against his will. To do this, you need to be a role model when making good relationships with your friends.

Also, when talking with your child, always look him in the eyes. You need to show empathy and put yourself in his shoes. In addition, we recommend some other behaviors that can help.

Make play dates at your house

It’s very likely that your child will feel motivated to play with other kids at home. That environment will be familiar to him, and he’ll feel comfortable and confident. 

Invite a few children to social activities

If you’re thinking about having a party in the park or plan to go to the pool, it’s best to only invite a few children. This way, your child won’t feel intimidated or pressured by having to talk to so many people at once.

Don’t pressure him too much

Forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do won’t help. Try to select activities the child likes, or encourage him to choose them.

Encourage him to participate in recreational activities

These are good times for your child to interact with other children around his age. He can try sports, dance or music classes, or other activities. 

“Also, when talking with your child, always look him in the eyes. You need to show empathy and put yourself in his shoes.”

What if my child is already a teenager?

Having good friendships offers teens benefits for their futures. Therefore, motivate your child to make friends with his classmates.

You should get used to having good communication with him. Ask him questions to find out what’s keeping him from making friends. Also, encourage him to look for ideas to improve his personal relationships.

What to Do If Your Child Doesn't Want to Make Friends

Help him put these ideas into action. Play the role of your classmates with him. Try different approaches until he can have a fluent, friendly conversation. You can make things easier for him by offering to take him and some friends to social events or after-school activities.

In addition, it’s helpful to become friends with parents of your child’s classmates and do activities together. This will give you the chance to make friends with some of them. You can also make friends with people your own age.

Why doesn’t my son want to make friends with his classmates?

Some children may be nervous about saying what they think, so they downplay their feelings and needs. They prefer to adapt to the wants and thoughts of other kids. Those kids quickly notice their insecurity.

Another reason is the fact that they may not feel respected or have low self-esteem. This greatly affects how they see themselves.

Some learning and attention problems can contribute to the child not wanting to interact with his peers. Also, language disorders could prevent him from finding the right words and expressing them correctly.

On the other hand, this may also be due to some hearing difficulty that doesn’t let him listen correctly. Therefore, the child withdraws and doesn’t socialize with other kids.

How does this affect my children?

Not being able to make friends with peers has a negative affect on some children and young people. They could lower their self-esteem, lose confidence in themselves and avoid participating in new activities.

They might also feel sad because they think no one can help them change their situation. In addition, they feel like they can’t control their own feelings.

What to Do If Your Child Doesn't Want to Make Friends

Help from professionals in the field

To get help, you can go to experts who offer practical advice on websites or in books. There, you’ll get the necessary information to help your child develop social skills, strengthen them, and be more resilient.

School teachers can be very helpful. This is especially true if you talk with them about this situation clearly. You could say something like, “My son doesn’t want to make friends. How can we work on this together?”

Consequently, they will start working on it. For example, try to get the child to start working in groups and have good experiences. In addition, they could put them in new groups with the goal of making friends.

With the suggestions in this article, your child will begin to socialize in a less traumatic way for him. The phrase “my son doesn’t want to make friends with his classmates” will no longer be concerning to you.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.