1) Become involved with extra- curricular activities. Extra-curricular activities provide an opportunity for your child to interact with peers who have similar interests. Contact your school office and see what extra-curricular activities they will be offering and begin making plans to participate in one.
2. Remind your child that he is not alone in his insecurities or his desire to belong. Perhaps you have a story you can share where you have experienced the same thing. Sharing these experiences will validate your child's feelings, and at the same time show him that these feelings are normal.
3. It is important for you to listen and sympathize without always trying to fix your child’s problems. "Momma Bear" sometimes takes over and we want to solve our children's problems for them. However, adolescents often want to solve their own problems and developing the strategies to handle these awkward social situations is beneficial, but if your child knows that he can come to you for guidance and support, it will make him much more likely to share. However, also know if your child is experiencing any form of physical bullying or mental abuse that is outside the realm of normal adolescent behavior, you should make your child's teacher aware of what is going on.
4. Role play situations with your child on how to act in certain social situations. Sometimes teens just don't know what is expected of them in certain social situations. Teach your child how to be friendly. Small gestures like offering a smile, offering a compliment or volunteering to work together can be the start of a friendship.
5. If your child has specific friends he would like to spend time with, arrange an afternoon adventure. Invite the student over, take them to a part or playground. Provide opportunities for your child to have social experiences outside of school. Friendships are built around shared experiences, and at school often there are too many peers interacting in a group to form these bonds. Provide opportunities for your child to interact in small groups and friendships will likely develop.
6. Know your child. Some middleschool aged children prefer to be alone. They work well in school with others and never have arguments or disagreements, but they just prefer to spend time alone, with family or with neighbors outside of school. This is a personality type and is okay. Encourage him to invite friends over, but do not be alarmed or worried for him if he chooses not to.
7. Develop a strong relationship with your child's teachers. Teachers are with your child for 8 hours a day and can often offer insight into social issues you might be concerned about. Do not be afraid to approach a teacher if you are concerned.