Talking about making friends

Having friends and building positive relationships is important for your child, and they may look to you for support to deal with friendship conflicts or how to make friends in a new environment.

By talking about friendship, emotions and how people interact, you are helping your child develop empathy and establish important social skills they will continue to use later in life.

Children need to practice these skills; with their friends in play, and by talking to you. Talking and listening with you lets your child think about their experiences, how they dealt with a situation or emotion, and explore ideas like how friendships work and what it is to be a good friend.

Encouraging empathy

You can help your child to be aware of how others are feeling, or what kind of treatment they’d like from others.

  • If they want to be included in a game, maybe others are also feeling left out.
  • Thinking about how to join a game or invite others to join in.
  • Talking about how they feel or felt, helps develop an understanding of how others might have felt in a similar situation.

Having good relationships with a number of people, including friends, family and community members is important for creating a sense of belonging for your child. By getting to know the children your child plays with you can understand who is important in their life.

Image Two friendsshare a joke as they sit together

Published — 10 October 2016 Last updated — 02 November 2016

Want personalised tips and activities?

Complete these short questions to get personalised tips and activities to see how simple and easy it can be.

Get started
01 / 05

What is your relationship with the child?


What best describes your location?


If you had a spare moment, what would you most likely do with the child?


And finally…

Do you speak another language at home apart from English?
Are you of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent?
Does the child need additional support with their development or learning?
Now we know a little more about the content that might interest you we’ve compiled it into a handy page for you.