It’s back to school again! It is the most exciting moment to all school age children. Though for some children like the pre-schooler, it is the terrifying moment because they will be away from their parents for a longer hour. All of these are normal feelings and sooner they will be able to adjust and cope up especially when they will be able to make friends at school. As parents we can help and guide them towards developing healthy and happy friendships.
- Be a good role model. Show him how much you value your friends, and what you give and get from each other. Try to play games with your child that shows sharing, patience emphasizes honesty and loyalty and other important skills for making friends.
- Encourage -- but don’t push. If your child is shy, especially in new situations, give him some time to socialize at his pace. Develop in him/her self confidence so that he/she can show to other people his capacity.
- Get him into a sport or favorite activity. Doing things outside of school -- like playing soccer or taking a pottery class or mingle with other kids in the neighborhood.
- Entice him into new relationships. Having a best friend is great, but if he only wants to play with one person all the time, tries to broaden his horizons. Explain to him that while it’s nice to have a best friend, that doesn’t mean he can’t also hang out with other kids, too. This will also give him the chance to discover new ideas and behavior and he can be able to distinguish the good and bad traits.
- Set up some after-school time with kids of the opposite gender. It was inevitable, I suppose. But being friends with a child of the opposite gender can help your child stay well-rounded.
- Balance friend-time with alone time. Watch your child’s moods and don’t overfill his social calendar.
- Respect his style. You may be a social butterfly who needs people around constantly to feel energized. But if your child does better in one-on-one settings or likes be alone occasionally, give him what he needs.
- Watch him interact with other kids. You can learn a lot about your child by observing him as he socializes with peers. This can be particularly helpful if your young child seems to be having trouble making friends. Watch his behavior -- is he bossy? Aggressive? Does he have trouble sharing, or have a meltdown when a playmate beats him at a game? Then work on some positive skills for building friendships. Keep on reminding your child not to be a troublemaker.
These are some simple tips to consider in helping and guiding your child in making friends in a happy way.