There is only one thing in life worse than having problems with friends, and that is watching your children go through them.
It makes you anxious to help your child to form those bonds with their peers.
So what can you as a parent do to help?
1. Lead by example
Let your child see your friendships and talk to them about how we are kind to our friends, how to welcome people to their home and how to behave in others homes. Don't assume that your child understands what social interaction is appropriate, talk to them about it.
2. Make friends together
Find a parent and child activity where you can interact together. Other parents will be just as anxious to see their children interacting with others as you are. This type of interaction is really helpful because it allows you to help your child through awkward moments, and to gently guide the first stages of friendships.
As they get a little older look for activities where you can observe at least some of the time so that you can monitor your child's interactions
3. Give your child room to make choices
Try not to criticise their choice of friends. It may be that the child that your little one befriends would not be your first choice, but the mistakes we make along the way in choosing our friends is how we find the type of friends that we love forever.
There is no way in the end to stop your child from being hurt, we all are at some time in our lives. Help them to make the most of the experiences that they have.
4. Be honest with them when things go wrong
if friendships don't work out, help them to honestly assess what went wrong, including taking their share of the blame. It might help them to sort out the problems, or not. It will certainly help them to make better choices in the future.
Helping children to form friendships when they are little, with the falling out and making up that goes along with it, is a vital way to help your child to make clever choices as they grow older and to form the type of friendships that can truly last a lifetime.