“How can I get them to like me? Why aren’t they my friend?” Has your child ever said these words? It isn’t nice to explain that another child doesn’t want to be their friend, despite projecting attention onto them. It can hurt feelings and self-esteem. Your child might think, “Why don’t they want to my friend and what does that say about me?”
Parents need to treat the issue delicately. Help your child see that they have other friends and that it’s no big deal if the new ‘friend’ doesn’t want to play with them. There is usually a reason – maybe they have other friends that they have more in common with. Or maybe they like to play a particular way and it is not the same way your child likes to play. Perhaps they don’t find your child fun or easy to be around or may just not share common interests. It may be simply that they aren’t looking for any new friends.
Tips to Stop Projection
If the other child really isn’t interested in making friends it may be uncomfortable for them. Help your child to stop projecting their focus on making friends with the other child by trying these tips:
- Show your child who they have in their own life and to be happy with the friends they do have, rather than those they don’t have.
- Help them to be friendly towards this child but not over-friendly
- Definately teach them not to appear desperate. No begging to play with that child or people pleasing them.
- Help shift their focus away to other friends and activities.
- That person may just take advantage of their good nature or even be unkind towards them because they are not happy with the desperation and unwanted attention. Help your child to recognise if this is happening and walk away.
Friendships can be difficult as children grow so parents can help by guiding them through. Has your child ever wanted to be friends with someone who isn’t very interested? How did you deal with it? I’d love to hear from you – just pop a comment under my blog or social media channels.