How To Make New School Friends
These tips will help kids make friends (and deal with bullies)
Making friends isn’t always easy. You want your little ones to adjust to life at school, but how can you help teach them to form relationships with other children? There are some things you can do outside of school to help your littles ones make a smooth transition from the summer to the school year. Kids often mimic the actions of others, so leading by example is a great way to instill friendliness.
Playdates = Familiar Faces
Does your child have a classmate who lives close by? Scheduling playdates with other children can help your little one practice being social, and give them a familiar face to look for so they’re more comfortable in the school setting when you’re not around.
Work on Social Skills
Social skills can be picked up at a young age. Try to teach your child some tips for being social, so they aren’t too shy to make friends on their first day at school. Practice holding eye contact, smiling and saying hello. Sometimes, all it takes is a friendly gesture to start up a conversation with a new friend.
Sharing is an essential part of making friends. Children who don’t want to share their things have a difficult time playing with their classmates. Kids who don’t have siblings aren’t always accustomed to sharing their toys, so it can be especially helpful to practice sharing with an only child.
Teach your child to take another person’s perspective. While this concept may seem overly complicated for little ones to grasp, you’d be surprised what they can pick up. Try some exercises to get your child to put him/herself in someone else’s shoes. It’s important for children to learn that everyone has feelings, and those feelings should be considered.
Watch Out for Bullies
You may think you don’t have to worry about bullies at such a young age, but the sad truth is they exist. Children can be mean no matter how old they are, so it’s always best to teach your little one how to deal with negative situations. Encourage your child to ignore or walk away from bullies, and to tell an authority figure like a teacher, principal or even another parent if it doesn’t stop right away. Keep an open line of communications with your child so you always know what is going on, in case you need to take further action by contacting parents, teachers or principals.
School is often the place where kids first begin to create bonds with other children in their age group. It can be a very scary thing to be surrounded by unfamiliar faces. But with a little practice and preparation, your little one will be making new friends in no time. What tips have you tried? Please share any helpful advice for making friends on our Facebook page!