Feeling Left Out?

A reader wrote in to say that she was feeling lonely at recess because her best friend wasn't around. Here's our advice to herand to all kids who feel lonely sometimes.

It's hard when a best friend isn't around — maybe because she moved to a different school or a different class, or maybe she's just home sick for the day. Recess or lunchtime can feel lonely without her. Will it ever feel the same? You want to have new friends, but how do you make them? Maybe it seems like everybody else already has their friends. But remember, there's always room for more friends.

Start by looking around your classroom — think about which kids you'd like to play with at recess. Look for chances to say hi to them, smile, and be friendly. Offer to share something or give a compliment. Invite someone to play with you or say "Do you want to sit here?" in the lunchroom. When you're at recess, walk over to kids you want to play with, act friendly, and say "Hi, can I play, too?" or just join in.

If you have trouble doing this or if you're feeling shy, ask your teacher to help you make new friends. Teachers are usually pretty good at matching up friends. The best way to make friends is to be a friend. Be kind, be friendly, share, say positive things, offer to help — and pretty soon, you'll have one, or two, or even more new friends.

You might still miss that special best friend. But when you see each other, you can share something you didn't have before she left: You can introduce her to your new friends!

Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: May 2009

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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