viernes, 21 de septiembre de 2018

Supporting your child’s school-age friendships

Children who find it easy to make friends
If your child finds it easy to make friends and gets on well with them, you can arrange playdates and sleepovers by talking to other parents.
If your child finds playdates tricky or she and her friends aren’t getting along, try keeping the playdates fairly short – for example, 1-2 hours. You could also help the children choose an activity that they’ll both enjoy.
At the beginning of a playdate at your house, you can talk with the children about what areas of the house or garden they can use, including the bathroom, and offer a snack or drink. Be available in case a child needs help, but give your child and his friend time and space to learn how to get along with each other.
Children who find it harder to make friends
If your child finds it hard to make friends, you can be more active in helping her.
You could look for extracurricular activities – for example, sports, dance or art classes – to give your child opportunities to meet children with similar interests.
Sometimes reminders about what to do might help too. For example, you could encourage your child to introduce himself when he meets new children – ‘Hello, I’m Kai. What’s your name?’
You might need to be active in setting up playdates for your child. For example, on the way home from an activity ask your child if there’s anyone she’d like to invite. At the next class, help her to invite her friend.
Another idea is to ask your child whether he’s interested in the games other children are playing at school. He might be keen to play soccer, but unsure about the rules. If he doesn’t like the games that they’re playing, you could suggest that he starts a game that he does like by asking some classmates to play it with him.
Other ways to support friendships
Some schools have a buddy system, where the younger students have an older student as their buddy for the year. If your child needs help finding her friends or isn’t sure of what to play, she could try asking her older buddy for help.
Many schools have other great ways of helping children find someone to play with, so it’s worth asking your child’s teacher if you think your child needs some help.
If your child has special needs, he might also need extra help with his friendships. You could try making friends with other parents and getting together after school at a playground. Give the other parents and children some ideas on how to include your child. For example, ‘Bill loves watching people play soccer. He can throw the ball in and be the scorer’.
I was surprised how going to dance class each Sunday helped my daughter with getting along with others. She came out of her shyness a bit quicker, even though she didn’t know anyone there when she started.
– Colin, father of an eight-year-old

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