Our first childhood friend is someone that we never forget – that friend that we’re so excited to see and have fun with as soon as we get to school; the one that we’re looking forward to having adventures with and invite for playdates at home. 

Friends play an important role in the lives of children. Friendships are vital to their social well-being as well as their overall growth and development. Being able to establish friendships at a young age gives young kids a chance to develop their own identity and it also boosts their self-esteem and confidence. As a parent, you also have a role to play in helping your little one create and nurture friendships with their peers and the people around them. But, if they’re a bit shy, here are some tips that you can use to help them make friends in school.

Observe the way that your child socializes

It’s important for parents to be aware of how their children interact with others, especially with kids of similar ages. What kinds of behaviors do they exhibit when they are surrounded by people? Do they feel anxious when around a large group of people? Or, are they comfortable with interacting with other kids and joining groups of kids to play?

By understanding your child’s social behaviors, it’s going to be easier for you as a parent to decide what strategies to use to help them. You’ll also be able to determine the skills that they need to improve upon.

Keep their emotions in check

While it’s sometimes difficult for adults to control their emotions and negative impulses, it’s even more difficult for children to do so. Young kids usually don’t have control over their negative emotions and behaviors, and that’s why parents are there to guide and help. Take the time to have conversations with your little ones about their feelings. Help them to regulate their emotions because this is something that doesn’t come easy for kids. By being their emotion coach and guiding them through utilizing better emotional self-control, creating healthy friendships will be easier for your child.

Set a good example

If there is anyone that young kids look up to the most, it is their parents. As a parent, you become the most influential person in their life. Therefore, if you want to instill positive behaviors in your little one, be sure that they begin with you. Set a good example in terms of your social interactions. How do you relate to people? Do you exhibit positive behaviors when surrounded by others? Does your child see how you engage and strike conversations with people? Use every scenario as an opportunity to teach your kids the right way to get along with others.

Teach them how to engage in conversations

Learning how to communicate and converse with people starts at home and as parents, it’s your job to make sure that healthy family dialog occurs in the household. Spend adequate amount of time engaging with your child in conversations by asking them about their day, joining them during their playtime, as well as reading them stories and discussing the story afterwards. Make a habit of exchanging information by asking them questions. Also, teach your little one how to politely converse with others. Teach them how to ask questions and how to appropriately share something about themselves. You can also role-play at home so that they can find techniques that they can be comfortable with.

Allow them more opportunities to get along with other kids

Whether or not school has already started, it would help if your child is given more opportunities to socialize. Consider setting up playdates during the weekends and encourage your children to invite some friends over. Bring them to the park or the beach where they can meet other kids, or you can even enroll them in workshops or sports clubs if they have a passion for it.

Help them overcome shyness

If your child is naturally shy, help them to overcome it. Do not ignore the problem and wait for them to step out of their comfort zone. You are there to encourage and push them a little so that they can learn how to be comfortable in new social situations. Help them to ease into learning better social skills by using encouragement and praise every time that they show progress. 

Not all kids find it easy to jump into social situations because not everyone is born to be a social butterfly. Help your child to enjoy their childhood better and make friends at school by incorporating these tips!

Here at Early Childhood University, we value the importance of teaching kids how to make friends and how to socialize for their social and emotional growth. Send your little ones to a school that focuses on a child’s holistic development. Please feel free to give us a call for more information.