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As adults, it can be easy for us to oversee how challenging it can be for your children to adjust to a new environment. For children, friendships can be very important to children. And thus, making friends will help make it easier to adjust to new places since humans are social beings after all. Since social skills do not come naturally to all children, they might need a little nudge to help them make friends like other kids their age.
This article shall offer some tips to help parents address and support children effectively in making friends.
Observe And Understand How Your Child Socialises
We behave differently in different social settings. Therefore, it would be beneficial for you to observe how your child engages with others of their age. Perhaps you could bring your child to the neighbourhood playground, set up playdates with your acquaintances, or attend school events where parents are invited. Depending on what you observe, you can focus on what to address and pivot your attention towards. If you need more input, approach your child’s teacher who would have observed your child first-hand with their classmates. As teachers, they would be very supportive and helpful in engaging with you regarding your child’s development and well being.
Provide A Nurturing Environment
Provide opportunities for your child to interact with others in various social situations. Stay involved in their interactions with others to allow them to feel confident and comfortable interacting with others. Always keep them updated on your whereabouts to allow them to relax in unfamiliar settings. Through consistent interactions with others, they might observe people their age and learn how to make friends naturally. Find childcare that is beneficial for your child’s development where teachers would strive for the best. This will also provide you with a sense of assurance as a parent when you are not around your child when they attend school on their own.
Model Positive Social Behaviour
Children are like sponges. They learn a lot from watching adults. As such, always be mindful of how you interact with others when you are with them. Strike up conversations with people when you are outside, like your neighbour, friends, or even the cashier at the supermarket. Allow them to create conversations with the person you are speaking to as well. Start with a simple hi when it comes to strangers or acquaintances and when it comes to people they might be more comfortable with, you could push it up a notch and have them ask about their day, the weather, or whether they have had their meal and such. Always make sure to role model meaningful social interactions with others - including problem-solving, managing emotions, and conflict management whenever possible. Click here to find out how you can be a role model for your child.
Nurture Social Skills
If you find that your child is finding it difficult to interact with their friends, do provide guidance to them by engaging them in role-play in scenarios they might encounter. Create simple everyday conversations with them and practice regularly. Remember to create opportunities for them to utilise what they practised with you and take note of what they need more help with. Set up a meeting with their teachers to find out which aspect of socialising they struggle most with. Some may find that they are unable to start a conversation to make friends, or are unable to continue a conversation with others. Understanding the issue would likely allow you to create scenarios that will be useful for your child. Here's an article to guide you on how you can raise kids who can get along with others.
Reinforce And Praise
Very importantly, always make whatever you are trying to attempt to instil in your child practice in daily life. Make it a point to make them as comfortable as possible with the new habit and reward their effort. Perhaps setting up a point system with prizes your child would love to receive. A new colouring set, a day out to the beach, so on and so forth. A simple hug, kisses, and statements like “great job”, “you are doing great”, or “I am so proud of you”, would always serve as an acknowledgement for their efforts and would motivate them to keep trying.
Always remember that every child is different and hence always make sure to avoid comparing them with others. It may be easier to present someone as an example for them to follow but this may just make them feel like they are not enough. Remember to avoid placing too much pressure on them and take a look at the situation from their perspective. Let things take their course and support your child in their journey and grow together with them.
We're Always In The Students' Best Interest — Choose Genesis Childcare 1989
Educators at Genesis Childcare 1989 are capable of drawing from their creative side to take risks and make decisions outside the norm in the best interest of our students. Enrolling your child in a childcare gives them the opportunity to have social interactions with their peers. Teachers at our Tampines childcare centre are always there to give our students a little nudge to help them forge meaningful friendships.
To add on, our educators go through regular training and development to stay updated on the best practices in the early childhood setting.
Discover the infant care that will give you peace of mind while you're at work — knowing that your infant is immersing in our premium infant care services that make him or her feel home, away from home!
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)
Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months infants)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)
Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)
Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293