July 22, 2013 by

Beginning a school year, especially at a new school, can be a nervous time for young people. One of the biggest concerns your child may have is, “Will I make new friends this year?” As a school counselor, I would talk to kids all the time about these fears. Therefore, I developed the CHARM method as a tool children can use when they want to make new friends. Teach this acronym to your own child in order to help them remember what it takes to make (and keep) friends:

C – Be Cheerful! Folks gravitate toward happy people, so tell your child to always say pleasant things, to see the positive in every situation, and to smile when they are talking to new people.

H – Say Hello! When they take their seat in their new class, instead of ignoring the other students around them, smile and greet them with a pleasant “Hello!”

A – Have Acceptance! In an increasingly diverse community such as Omaha, talk to your children about accepting people for who they are. Poking fun at people’s differences may turn some people away from having a friendship with them. Remind your child that people come in all forms.

R – Show Respect! Remind your child that respect is like a boomerang; if they show respect to others, others will respect them back.

M – Use Manners! Basic manners, such as saying please, thank you, excuse me, and I’m sorry, are just as important as a teenager as they are as a kindergartener. Using good manners makes others feel as though they are valued.