{     Offering the Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success.     }

Posts Tagged ‘Making friends’

Five Ways to Help Your Child Make Friends

blog-image-3

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.

How to Set Up a Playdate for Your Kid When You Don’t Know Where to Start

7.png

Recently, I was lamenting to my friend (a kindergarten teacher) that I wanted my son to have more playdates but didn’t know where to begin. I’m not super close with the other parents, and the idea of calling up a near stranger and asking her to come over with her child at 11 a.m. on a Saturday felt, well, daunting. More to the point, I actually didn’t even know whom to approach, since my son’s narration of his life at preschool is suspect, to say the least. (Oh really? Your best buddy is Marshall from Paw Patrol?) 

My friend (never one to let me wallow) had a genius idea: Ask his teachers who he plays with.

Emboldened, I texted the head teacher, Diane, letting her know that I was looking to set up some weekend playdates and wanted her advice for who to invite. Within 30 seconds, she had responded: Caroline, Jake, Asher and Rosie.*

I then dug up the preschool listserve and emailed the moms one by one. “Hey! I was chatting with Diane the other day, and she mentioned that our kids have been playing together really well. We’d love to host a playdate so they could see each other on the weekend some time.”

The response was overwhelming. As it turns out, everyone was feeling the same way—wanting to plan social get-togethers but nervous to make the first move. And, because I was inviting kids we knew he got along with, the playdates have, for the most part, gone really well. (What’s a pee accident or two among friends?) 

The takeaway: Your child’s teachers are angels from heaven. Ask them for help. And give them really nice Christmas gifts.

*Names have been changed to protect the non-toy-sharers

 

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

5 Real-World Ways to Make Time for Friends

Friends.jpg

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.

Helping Your Child Make Friends

Dramatic PlayTo a preschooler, a “friend” is anyone who is willing to play the way they want to play during any given period of time. Playing with friends is an important way for children to learn social skills including sharing and taking turns.  Providing your child the opportunity to make friends is helpful, worthwhile and fun!

Dale Walker, a professor of child development at the University of Kansas, offers these guidelines to promote productive and enjoyable play dates.

  • Limit the initial invitation to one or two friends at your home.
  • Schedule the play date for one to two hours to avoid over stimulating the children.
  • Plan games and activities your child enjoys and provide enough materials so the children don’t have to share immediately.
  • Guide the children as they make a craft, play a game or splash in a wading pool rather than letting them manage themselves.
  • Schedule play dates with the same children on a weekly basis.
  • Periodically play one-on-one with your child to develop familiarity with their playing style and stimulate their social interaction.
  • Reading books and watching shows about friendship also reinforces the positive aspects of socialization.
  • Model friendship by inviting friends to meet, especially when your friends have children compatible with your own.
  • Limit your expectations and pressure to prevent your child developing insecurity about developing friends.