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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

Five Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

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By Lee Scott

Contributing Writer and Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member

Our heart aches when our children suffer from an unkind word, are not included in a game or struggle to make friends. We all want our children to make friends and enjoy playful activities with others. There are five easy activities that you can do to help your children develop and maintain positive friendships that we use every day at The Goddard School.

Read Together – Children learn so much through the narrative of a great story. Look for books that feature friendships, helping others and sharing. Talking about the characters, their feelings and story outcomes helps to develop an understanding of how to be a friend.  A few favorites of The Goddard School are:

  • How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends? by Jane Yolan, illustrated by Mark Teague;
  • Little Lonely Leigh by Sally Huss;
  • Making Friends Is an Art! by Julia Cook, illustrated by Bridget Barnes.

Play Games – Game-playing is a great way to help your children develop skills such as taking turns, self-regulation and following rules, all of which are essential for being a great friend. Select board games that are easy to follow at the start and add more challenging games. You can do this with online games as well. Choose games that at least two people can share. Once your children learn a game, invite a friend to play and share the games together.

Help Someone – Children learn empathy, caring and perspective by participating in activities to help others. For young ones, start with simple tasks such as creating a get-well card for a sick friend, collecting unused toys for children’s hospitals or making cookies together to give to a neighbor.

Play! – Provide open-ended opportunities for your children to play with others. Try not to go to venues where the children don’t have a lot of time to interact with each other, such as a movie or an amusement park. The entertainment is a distraction from interacting with other children. Instead, choose an outside playground or a park where children can make up their own games and play together.

Encourage and Model – Teachers at The Goddard School use two techniques to help children develop social-emotional skills. One is encouragement and praise. When you see your children exhibiting friendly behaviors such as sharing and taking turns, praise them. This encourages children to repeat the positive behavior. The other technique is modeling. By modeling positive, friendly behaviors, you can guide children to do the same. Be careful what you say within earshot of your children. Young children can pick up on unfriendly behaviors as well.

Learning to build friendships supports children’s development into well-rounded, emotionally healthy human beings. Try not to worry. By using these five activities, your children will be well on their way to developing the skills for many fun, engaging and long-lasting friendships.

5 Real-World Ways to Make Time for Friends

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We can’t add hours to the day, but we can share these tried and tested ways to fit in much-needed time with your besties.

“I’m teaching my kids how to play golf, partly because I love golf and my friends love golf. I have two boys, who are 11 and 6. I’m friends with my kids’ friends’ parents, so when we get together, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. We plan events that include the entire family, like going to a ball game or a kid-friendly concert. We’ll also take trips with friends and their families and rent a house. Those kinds of trips really create quality time together.”
—Mark Choey, 47, cofounder, partner, and CTO of Climb Real Estate

“I have been traveling a lot this past year, so I post on Facebook where I’ll be and connect with people that way. Sometimes I’ll send calendar invites to friends about meeting up. It helps because we’re all so busy. But it’s also good to be spontaneous and not always plan ahead. I’ll message 10 friends on Facebook to see if anyone wants to go to dinner. I think it’s important to do this kind of thing on a regular basis—otherwise I just blink, the whole year goes by, and I’ve lost touch.”
—Suz Somersall, 34, founder of KiraKira3D

“Now that my kids are 11 and 14, I find many friends through them. It’s important to have that network of people you trust with your kids. I’m driving a lot of carpools, and there’s homework, so the evenings are pretty tied up. But on the days I work, I try to see a grown-up at lunchtime. Or we’ll meet and go for a walk, or I’ll exercise with them on my days off.”
—Desiree Botkin, 48, briefing attorney for United States District Courts

“My family life just went into overdrive because we recently had twins and already have a 5- and 7-year-old. Having a set event helps make time. I used to organize a Dads’ Drinking Club as a way to meet new people; we’d gather once a month at a local bar. Now, every month or two, my friends and I play poker. One of the biggest sources of marital disharmony I’ve observed is an imbalance in time with friends. So I make an effort to schedule something to take the kids to so my wife can be with her friends. I think that makes our relationship happier.”
—Rabindra Ratan, 36, assistant professor of Media and Information at Michigan State University

“I think you have to prioritize time for friends and not feel guilty about it. Thursday works best for my schedule, so I have a goal to meet a friend for dinner and drinks every Thursday night. Seeing a friend shouldn’t feel like a guilty pleasure; it’s a really essential part of life. I think it’s important for women in particular to look at friendship as something that feeds your life and your business. It’s one of those things that make you better at everything else you do.”
—Robbie Hardy, 70, author, mentor, and cofounder of Lessons Earned

 

This article was written by Jane Porter from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

The Super-Easy Secret to Making Any Playdate a Success

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Playdates are, in a way, like any other kind of date. When they go well, you (as the parent) want to sing a little song and do that move where you jump sideways and kick your heels together in mid-air. (There will be no eating lunch alone in the library for your kid!) When they go badly—like when one child hurls insults at, hits or openly despises the other in front of the woman who gave him life, it kinda feels like you’ll be scarred for the rest of yours.

But we have a genius antidote to all the social awkwardness (courtesy of our son’s seasoned former nursery school teacher): Cap the playdate at 45 minutes. Max. “End on a high” were her exact words.

Even if the kids are midway through constructing an elaborate Lego skyscraper and begging to stay for just one more minute, yank the one that belongs to you the eff outta there and get gone. Count your blessings, know when to fold ’em and cash out. Leave before things go bad, because—your kid is not an outlier—they almost always, inevitably do. “Keeping playdates short will help avoid meltdowns, squabbles and other misbehaviors,” say the parenting experts at Understood.org. “Giving fair warning by announcing that the playdate is nearly over and initiating cleanup time increases the likelihood that the playdate will end on a high note.” See, almost everyone can keep their game face on for the first 45 minutes. As the experts at Parents advise: “When in doubt, leave ’em wanting more.”

 

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Siblings: First Friends

Siblings play a huge role in each other’s lives. Many siblings who are close in age become each other’s first friend. You can encourage a strong, long-term bond by letting your older child take care of his new brother or sister as much as possible.Siblings

Children learn a lot from their parents, and they also learn a lot from their siblings. It is best to encourage our children to have strong connections with one another for them to achieve stable social and emotional development. When children are close with their siblings, the transition to making friends at school is much easier. With siblings who are farther apart in age, the older child becomes a teacher who can explain how to make friends at school and how to behave in the classroom.

Along with being the first born, which is special in itself, your older child now has the extra special responsibility of being a role model for his little brother or sister.

What are some ways you encourage your children to bond with one another?

Supporting Your Child’s Friendships

The Goddard SchoolWhen children outgrow the ‘mine’ stage and begin to share with others and make friends, these new friends will occasionally argue over a toy or game. As parents, we are often tempted to solve the problem for our children or talk with the other child’s parent. While this may calm things down for the moment, it does not help our children learn the give and take of a friendship.

Help children learn to solve problems themselves with the following proven steps.

  1. Talk about the situation to help your child understand the other child’s point of view. “I guess Kyle wants a turn, too.”
  2. Stay calm and let your child know that hitting, grabbing and shoving hurt other people. “You hurt me when you grab the toy, and I don’t like that.”
  3. Model sharing for your child and congratulate your child when he takes turns or shares a toy. “Wow, you guys are having fun. I like watching you play together!”
  4. Be nearby. Watch and guide the children as they solve conflicts. Once the children resolve the conflict, step in and praise the children. Having an adult close by puts the children on their best behavior, and developing good social skills leads to fun and enjoyable play dates with friends.
  5. Don’t overwhelm your child with play dates. Hold your first play dates with friends your child feels comfortable with and have several activities ready. During the play date, let the children choose which activity to do.
  6. Have bedtime talks and read stories. Talk about the friendships your child is building and read books on friendship. Children learn how others cope in social situations through stories.

The Goddard School Builds Confidence to Prevent Bullying

The Goddard Schools share the power of playful learning with community

Throughout 2011, bullying has been on the rise at all levels of education. In an effort to combat this growing problem, the nation’s leading preschool, The Goddard School®, is reaching out with a renewed vigor to help families discover the benefits of playful learning in early childhood education and how it can help prevent bullying. With their proprietary FLEX™ Learning Program, designed to build children’s self-confidence through play, The Goddard School hopes to break the cycle of bullying and halt a national trend.

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According to Dr. Kyle Pruett, child psychiatrist, published author and advisor to The Goddard School, the success and enjoyment that preschool children experience through playful learning contributes to the development of self-confidence. Confidence, along with strong parenting and learning to interact in a social group, are important factors in helping children manage bullying.

“Confidence comes from competence, and there’s no better way for a child to discover competence than through play-based learning,” said Pruett. “When children learn through play, they become independent thinkers capable of solving problems themselves instead of seeking help from parents or teachers. That’s a huge self-confidence booster.”

“The children in our schools are the leaders of tomorrow,” added Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc., parent company of The Goddard School. “Our teachers nurture each child’s self-confidence and foster their lifelong love of learning by incorporating teacher-planned and child-directed learning activities into each day. When children enjoy learning, they gain not only knowledge of the task or concept but a sense of personal accomplishment that prepares them for a successful journey through life.”

“Goddard Schools across the nation are hosting the Goddard Community Games on February 11, and all of the families are invited,” added Adair.  “There will be a variety of activities for children and their parents, and the focus will be on learning about playing well with others and accepting each other’s differences.”

Visit The Goddard School online at www.goddardschool.com/games.