AD | The fear of not knowing anyone when they first start school or making new friends can be an emotional experience for both children and their parents.
Here are a few tips from Wetherby-Pembridge School on how you can help your child to successfully develop their social skills and form happy friendships…
- Talking to new people can be hard whatever your age. To help your child make new friends it can be useful to teach them some conversation starters. Planning out simple things they could say, such as ‘I like your top’ or ‘can I play?’ can help to prepare them for their new playground environment.
- Try to encourage your child to take part in extra-curricular activities. These are a great way for children to socialise with others who share similar interests.
- Play-dates are another great way for parents to help their children form strong friendships. By inviting friends over to your home your child may feel more confident and relaxed.
- It is important to lead by example and show your child how to talk to other people. You should demonstrate good manners, kindness, listening to others and how to hold a conversation.
- Squabbles with friends are common at school and learning how to resolve these issues is important for developing essential social skills. Try to stand back and allow your child to work things out on their own.
- If your child appears unhappy or seems to be having trouble making friends at school, it is important to listen to them and see where you can help. You could also speak to the teacher who will be able to offer support and advice. Making and maintaining friendships is not always easy and there are bound to be ups and downs along the way, as your child develops their social skills.