What if My Child Doesn't Make Friends In the Summer?

If your child doesn't make friends in the summer, you can organize some activities at home to help your child feel more confident.
What if My Child Doesn't Make Friends In the Summer?
Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Maria Fátima Seppi Vinuales.

Last update: 14 June, 2023

Summer coincides with an extended vacation period. Therefore, children spend several weeks or months out of school, immersed in different plans. However, some of them find socialization difficult. Exploring and navigating unfamiliar territory and stepping out of their comfort zone is a challenge. So, let’s see how you can help when your child doesn’t make friends in the summer.

My child doesn’t make friends in the summer: How can I help?

Friendship is transcendental in people’s lives. With it, we not only find laughter, anecdotes, and adventures, but we also grow and develop skills, such as learning to share, set limits, solve problems, and know affection. In this regard, friendship is very positive for well-being.

Therefore, it’s understandable that you may worry if you see that your child has no friends. Here are some tips that you can take into account to help them.

Organize activities at home

Your child may feel more secure if they’re the host, as it’s their familiar zone. So, you can invite some friends over and set up activities such as a movie afternoon or board games, or leave them free to play and then prepare a restorative snack for them.

Pre-teens playing water games in a back yard during the summer.
Setting up activities and inviting your child’s friends to participate is a good option, as your child will probably feel more comfortable hosting.

Avoid pressuring them

Sometimes a healthy concern for our child’s friendships becomes an obsession. As a result, we push and try to force things and intervene in certain spaces, which can cause more discomfort. It’s important to take an interest, but not to intrude or demand too much. Otherwise, this can cause a misconception in our children as to why they don’t have friendships and cause insecurity.

Promote different friendship groups

Your child may not feel comfortable with peers at school. However, it’s not the only place where they can interact with other people. That’s why you can offer them to go to other places, such as a club, theater classes, language classes, or any other hobby they might enjoy. In fact, having interests in common makes it easier for many kids to get along. At the same time, if you have friends with children of a similar age to yours, you can also organize plans together.

Reinforce their self-esteem and work on their skills

Good self-esteem is necessary to feel validated and interesting to other people. In this sense, it’s positive that you point out your child’s attributes and qualities to encourage them based on their strengths. But it’s also important that you correct those things that may annoy others, such as, for example, taking away toys in an outburst, not sharing theirs, or not knowing how to wait their turn, among others.

Offer movies or stories that deal with friendship themes

To help your child, you can also offer stories in which the characters value friendship or show situations where someone is able to overcome their difficulty making friends. The idea is to make this topic part of your child’s daily life so that they can naturalize the act of relating to other people and find different ways to do it.

Situations that should alert you if your child doesn’t make friends in the summer

There are two situations that should alert you if your child doesn’t make friends. The first is if they try to bond with other people, but doesn’t succeed. The second is the opposite, when they show a lack of interest in socializing. We’ll go into greater detail regarding both situations below.

Children avoiding one of their peers.
When friends avoid your child for some reason, it’s good to observe how they behave and talk to them to find possible solutions.

1. Your child tries to make friends in the summer but doesn’t succeed

This is sometimes due to an introverted personality or difficulties in their social skills or emotional intelligence. If so, some recommendations are as follows:

  • It’s good to observe their behavior: Maybe you notice that others don’t want to play with them because they don’t respect the rules, because they like to give orders, or because they’re awkward, among others. In this way, you can reinforce certain skills so that they can perform better in a group.
  • Ask them about their interactions with their classmates: You can get in touch with their emotions, open a space for dialogue, and, perhaps, find out why they don’t get involved in games.
  • Talk to the class teacher: If the problem takes place in the academic environment, it’s key to discuss the situation with the teacher so that they can follow up and suggest group activities.

2. Your child shows a lack of interest in maintaining social contact

Another situation has to do with a lack of interest in social contact. Perhaps your child simply doesn’t care about other people and isn’t interested in interacting with anyone.

Adults as a “bridge” to friendship

Especially at an early age, friendship is a bond that should be facilitated by the adults in the home. As children get older, they’re able to ask you to go play at their classmate’s house or ask someone to come over to their house. In this regard, it’s important to observe our attitude regarding our role as mediators: If we’re open to receiving friends at home, if we give up our time to take our kids to different activities, or if we accompany them to birthday celebrations, etc. In short, it’s about asking ourselves what value we give to friendship.

On the other hand, it’s also essential that you know that each person has their own rhythm for socializing. Trusting and giving oneself to others implies openness, and each person measures how they can do it according to their comfort or discomfort.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gallego Jiménez, G.; Vidal Raméntol. S. (2017). La amistad elemento clave de la comunicación y de la relación (Friendship as a key to communication and relationship) Revista de Comunicación de la SEECI, nº 44, 15-31 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.15198/seeci.2017.44.15-31 Recuperado de http://www.seeci.net/revista/index.php/seeci/article/view/475
  • Gallego S (2008). La educación en valores y actitudes igualitarias: los varones estudiantes de magisterio en educación infantil. La autoevaluación de las competencias básicas en educación infantil. Barcelona: Octaedro.

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