HELPING YOUR CHILD MAKE FRIENDS
Each beginning of a new school year presents an opportunity for our children to make new friends. This is especially true at Discovery School, where we welcome new and exciting families every year. Through the new friendships that are made, our children have the wonderful opportunity to live and experience new cultures, beliefs and traditions.
Making friends is a task comes easily to some, but not to others. And as much as parents would like to step in, we simply cannot make friends for our children. We can, however, give our children the tools they need to be social and to make new and be a good friend.
1. PLAY DATES – As parents we can offer a variety of opportunities for play and socializing. Host friends over for play dates or lunch. See if you can participate in a carpool and sign-up your child for group activities such as art, drama or dance. Exposing children to different areas of play will help them learn to socialize.
2. BE A GOOD FRIEND YOURSELF - Perhaps the most important lesson you can provide your child with about friendship is setting the example. You need to show your child how to be a good friend and how to make friends.
ü Be kind, give compliments, wave to a friend.
ü Be understanding of what others are going through by showing empathy.
ü Don’t complain. Instead, teach your children to accept what can't be changed by working hard to change the things that can.
ü Help your friends when they are in need
3. KNOW YOUR CHILD –Ask your child how school went, what he/she did during recess, who he likes in class. Listen to what your child says happened on the playground. Support your child’s choice of friends and welcome them to your home. Try getting to know her friends and their parents.
4. BE OJECTIVE AND FAIR – When things are hard for your child, stay balanced and keep things in perspective. Making friends is a lifelong process and it may have its ups and downs. Pain, unfortunately, is a part of it. We can support our children by listening and acknowledging their feelings. Talk about your concerns with other adults who can support you -- such as a coach, teacher, friend, or family member.
If you’d like to learn more about how to help your child make friends visit http://www.parentingscience.com/kids-make-friends.html or watch http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/social-skills/4356-helping-your-child-choose-good-friends-video.gs to learn about talking to your children about making good friends.