How Can We Help Our Children Make New Friends in the School and Playground.
In this fast-paced life, it has become very difficult for parents to take time out for their children. Working round the clock 24/7 exhausts them so much that they fall to sleep as soon as they are in bed. They are not able to give proper attention to their children who feel lonely at home. All of this creates the need for friendship.
The importance of friendship for children
Not all parents are able to spend time with their children or be with them all the time, which is why they want their children to make new friends who they can spend quality time with. Friendships made in schools at young ages mostly last forever as the bond between friends strengthens over time. They start trusting and counting on each other. They understand and accept the flaws in each other and learn the true meaning of friendship.
Making friends helps your child develop confidence and self-esteem. They develop life skills that increase their wisdom. Learning the art of friendship at an early age helps your child build their own community and be with people they like hanging out with. These friends are the ones they can talk to about their fears, share their dreams with, and be with when they are lonely.
Making friends at an early age and playing with them enables children to enhance their imaginative skills. They get more creative. They develop leadership skills and learn how to respond in certain situations. They develop the abilities to deal with conflicts as these are common amongst friends. They also learn to identify good friends and their traits.
Lastly and most importantly, making new friends in the school at an early age, or at the playground, will leave your child with childhood memories to fall back on and recall and cherish all the good times, when they get older.
Making friends at an early age is not easy for children. Even if your child is an outgoing one, they can find it very difficult to make new friends on their own. This is why it is important for you to help your child make new friends in the school and at the playground. It may not necessarily be a good idea to bribe their peers to play with them, but parents have to make a conscious effort to make sure their child does not stay deprived of the blessing we call friendship.
So, if you are a parent worried about your child who finds it difficult to make new friends in school and at the playground, here are a few ways you can help your child make new friends.
Give them more opportunities to play with their peers
If your child is a preschooler or has just started school, you can arrange play-dates for them. You can even search for and make them join a preschool or playgroup that meets regularly. If you are worried about proper supervision not being given, then you can take them with you to parks and playgrounds where they can meet and play with children of their age under your supervision. This will help them learn how to interact with other children which will eventually be a plus for them when they enter elementary school.
Playground play will teach your child the importance of teamwork, playing fairly, and following the rules. They will develop social skills and learn to improve in areas they are weak.
Play with your child like their peers
You can play a lot of games with your child if you wish to play like their peers. You can play with building blocks with them, or act out different imaginary roles. If your child is a little older and has a love for sports, you can play sports like football and basketball with them. You can even offer them to play a board game for fun indoors. The best thing about this is that the more you will play with your child, the more you will learn about them as you will find out how they think and behave in different situations. However, what you must refrain from doing is criticizing your child on their performance. Motivating them will encourage them to perform better and improve.
Talk to them about their friends
Talking to your child about their friends at school can let you know what kind of children your child likes to hang out with. It can also help you identify any interactions that upset them. It is always a good idea to ask them questions that make them express their feelings and needs.
Help solve their problems
While having a conversation with them, find out their problems rather than making your conversations sound like lectures. Once they are done explaining their problem, think of the possible solutions together with them. If they have had a fight with someone at school, tell them that that should not have happened. Instill good values in them. Remember, children with good habits never tag along with children with bad habits.
Help them navigate social situations
Listen to your child’s difficulties during a social problem and tell them what they must do in particular situations. Do not leave them alone in competitive situations like during competitive sports activities because it is not the right time for them to make friends. Encourage them to participate. This will keep their morale high. Allow them to opt out if they do not wish to participate in group activities but teach them the importance of participating in them once you are home so that next time they have the confidence to do so.
With so much of pending work and a busy life schedule, parents get less time to spend with their children. However, they must realize the importance of spending quality time with them. After all, children always need their parents, be it for choosing their toys, or helping them make new friends in the school or at the playground. Explaining to children the reason why parents need to work.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.