As your child becomes more social with other children, it’s important to help him or her learn to engage positively with peers. Providing the child with the right tools to handle different social situations will help reinforce values related to playing well with others. Here are some tips for this important life lesson:
- Play-dates - Whether it’s a parents-of-preschoolers group or signing your child up for a sports or dance class, there are plenty of opportunities in your community to help children socialize. The more opportunities for children to play together, the faster they will develop the necessary social skills needed in the classroom.
- Golden Rule - Teaching children to treat others as they want to be treated is an important step towards explaining the abstract concept of respect. Remember, your child doesn’t have to like everyone, but he or she does need to show respect to everyone.
- Team Activities - Involving your child in team activities will help foster his or her ability to work collectively with others. Including your child in household chores and projects, establishing a weekly game night, or enrolling him or her in a sports activity, allows your child to engage with others to accomplish a specific task, which helps them learn the value of connecting with others.
- “I Need a Break” - Let your child know that it’s okay to say “I need a break” and to walk away from frustrating or hurtful situations. What to Do When Your Child Won’t Play Well with Others states that “[w]hen kids are frustrated and feeling like they want to lash out at others around them, this simple sentence can be a way for them to back out of the situation and signal to the adults around them that they need a little time alone.”
- Kind Words - Encourage proper manners and the use of “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” and “Sorry” when your child is interacting with others. These simple practices in etiquette will take your child far as he or she begins to make friends.
How to Help Your Child Make Friends notes that leading by example and inviting your friends over for activities is a good way to demonstrate social skills and the importance of friendship to your children. Visit Fairmont’s Early Childhood Education Pinterest board to find more great resources for preparing your preschooler for kindergarten!
Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Aprendoyeduco.Com