Kids these days are busy with the studies. They rarely find the time to play outdoor games so they spend most of their times alone. As a parent, you should help them to build a strong and secure circle around them by making new friends.
Friends play a very prominent role in the lives of both children and adults. Making new friends has been regarded as the crucial social skill. A child with more friends often looks more confidant.
This article discusses the benefits of having more friends. It presents the ways to teach your child to make new friends.
Benefits of Childhood Friendships:
Here are a few benefits of childhood friendship:
1. Develop child’s emotional and social development:
Friends will stay by the side of your kid and help them to soothe at the time of emotional distress. Friends will help your child develop confidence, self esteem and physical skills.
Other attributes such as self esteem, altuism, self confidence, social competence are all can be developed from the friends.
2. They help to reduce the stress in your child:
Good friends will support and help to find the solutions at the time of distress.They will guide your kid in a right path.
3. Child’s Health:
Friends are known to enhance your kid’s health along with emotional and social development. Friends will help to overcome the challenging situations.
4. Kids will develop their own identity:
Friends will enable your kid to learn more about themselves and build their own identity.
5. Positive friends encourage good behavior:
A child surrounded by good friends with positive attitude seems to acquire the good behavior. Child’s character can be analyzed by the attitude of friends surrounding them.
6. Good social skills:
Good friends will help your child to build and strengthen the social skills which play a very prominent role in the later stages of life.
How To Teach Your Child To Make New Friends:
Friends are the part of our lives and they are also the ones who stay alongside and share the up and down waves in the life. Help your child having trouble making friends at kindergarten with the best parenting techniques. Here are a few tips to help your child make new friends.
1) Choose friends Wisely:
These days, with the advancements in the technology kids have many platforms to make new friends. Other than school, kids have many digital platforms to make new friends. This virtual friendship may lead to cyber bullying. Teach your kids some basic online safety rules.
2) Talk to your kid the types of friends:
Make your kids aware of the types of friends before making new friends. Learning the types of friends will help your kids to know their limits and boundaries. The following 3 are the most common types of friends that we usually come across in our daily lives. They are
a) Contextual Friends: These type of friends will arrive in our lives depending on the context and it never lasts again once the context ends.
b) Regular Friends: Social or activity friends that you meet everyday comes under this category. You can speak to them regular and general topics.
c) True Friends: This type of friends are rare to find and the strength of friendship does not depend on the frequency of meeting. You can share all types of topics with these friends. These are the one that strikes your mind first when you are in need.
3) Practice sharing:
Sharing is one of the important life skill. It helps them to make new friends easily. Model this behavior at home and help them to follow the same at the school. Teach them the things that can be shared.
When your child is not willing to share a toy with his/her friend or sibling, then the thing that you can do is take away that toy from there. This makes neither of the child play with the toy. Both the children are supposed to experience the same consequences. This makes the child to think about the ways to get the toy.
4) Outdoor Play:
Encourage your kid to play outdoors. Outdoor play allows your kid to develop friendly interactions and make new friends. Being played with new friends makes your child to learn many new things.
Outdoor play also makes your kid physically and mentally active.
5) Books and role play:
Read out some stories for your kid which are related to friendship.
Here are a few interesting story books for your kindergarten child.
● I Will Surprise My friend!
● The story of Fish and Snail
● Poindexter makes a friend
● The recess queen
● Enemy Pie
6) Don’t compare your child to other siblings:
Comparing your child with other kids may result in many negative effects. Comparison hampers their development and academic performance. It will make them to lose their self confidence. It will make them to plant seeds of jealousy. Jealousy is an unhealthy feeling and easily turns into hatred and aggression.
Comparison eventually damages the parent-child relationship. Children may lose their natural self confidence which is difficult to reconstruct once broken.
7) Help your kid to overcome shy:
Shy is the normal response that child usually exhibits in the social setting.
Few signs of this attitude are :
- Your child often looks ground when he/she is around new people.
- They do not speak anything voluntarily.
- Children with shyness do not show interest to play with friends.
Help your kid to overcome shyness by building self esteem and self confidence. Don’ label your child as shy this makes them discouraged. Provide opportunities for your child to interact with the small groups.
8) Teach your child Social Skills:
Preschool kids need certain emotional and social skills before entering the kindergarten. Social skills are important for the kindergarten children in order to form positive and friendly relationships with the peers.
Teach your child some of the social skill like group work, expressing emotions, communication, listening etc.
9) Model the behavior:
Model yourself the behavior that you want to see in your child. Talk to the strangers in front of your kid and teach them the safe social boundaries.
10) Practise authoritative parenting:
Authoritative parenting is featured by many responses and demands. Authoritative parents maintain high standards and set limits. This parenting style produces best outcomes in children. Children who are grown under authoritative parenting are known to develop many good qualities like independent, emotional regulation and self control.
Children with authoritative parents involve in active interaction with their peers.
11) Arrange Play dates:
This is one of the best ways to get child to make new friends. Play dates offer the kids a best platform to interact freely with their friends. Under the proper supervision of parents play dates will make the kids to achieve good manners, conversation skills,and empathy which will help young children to behave well in social environments. Peer interaction will enhance your kid’s development in all domains.
12) Help your child with some conversation starting phrases:
Your child may find himself/herself annoying to stay in between the new friends. Help your kids to break the silence by using the conversation starter phrases.
This can be achieved by practising the role plays at home. Test your kid with different scenarios and allow them to come up with the instant and natural phrases.
13) Allow your kids to join in sports, clubs, and extra curricular activities:
Join your kid in the activities and sports club which they like most. These places are the platforms to meet new friends. Along with introducing the new friends, these places will offer a chance to strengthen the muscle strength and make your child to achieve a balanced and healthy life style.
14) Observe the interaction of your child:
Attend a few school events along with your child and observe their interaction with others. If your child seems to behave differently than at the home, explore the root causes for his inability to speak. Based on the behaviors that you observe in your child, adopt the procedures to help your kid overcome those behaviors.
15) Teach your child to read the body language:
It is one of the most important things that you should teach your child because your child should be able to recognize the willingness of the opposite person while making friendship.
Tell your kid to remain quiet when they come across these types of kids. Explain your kids that some people remain reserved for few days till they get to talk comfortably with the opposite person.
In conclusion, Ability to gather good friends in childhood is very important because, good childhood friends will remain in our lives for the lifetime to share the unstable waves of our life. Other benefit of making friends in childhood is that it makes kids feel secured. Help your kid to make new friends for living happy and secured life.