Some children make friends easily; others have a hard time doing so. Your goal as a parent is to support both types in their endeavors at creating friendships.
Teach the fundamentals of social interaction
The basics can be taught from your very own home. Sharing, taking turns, listening to others, and cooperation are all skills that you can teach before they go to preschool.
For example, teach your child to share belongings with cousins, or converse with them to harness their communicating ability. These are stock knowledge for when your child interacts with peers.
Innate values such as politeness, empathy and sympathy should also be taught to your child as it allows them to understand others more and relate to them.
Create and support social situations
Either through preschool or playdates, you must give your child ample opportunity to mingle with their fellow peers. Ensure that your child gets to meet with other people of their age.
Guide them on who to talk to, what to talk about, and stay close to give them a familiar face to reassure themselves with.
Do not try to interfere too much, however; your child has to learn on their own. Save it for when things got too out of hand.
Encourage them to interact
Sometimes, your child can get lost in his own world and keep to himself. In cases like these, try to make him interested with what the others are doing.
Do this by asking your child what Ben is doing over there, or inviting Tiffany to help clean up. Remind him or her that there are other people around that they can talk and play with.
It’s also worth telling them that it’s fine to be lonely. “There will be times that you will be alone, and that is okay.”
Guide them on unfamiliar scenarios
Teach your child to be more adaptable when things go an unexpected route. Familiarize them with likely scenarios and what to do when they happen.
For instance, there is someone being left out, or some kids fight over a toy. Tell your child what’s happening and advise him on what to do.
If the one left out wants to be left alone, tell your child not to force it. If the kids continue to fight, ask your child if he or she can help them cooperate.
Keep an eye on their social life
Keep tabs on your kid’s interactions with others. Ask his or her preschool teachers to watch over how he or she talks and do tasks with others.
Guard your child against bullying and bad influences and make sure he or she knows what they are and how to deal with them.
The opposite also applies. If you see your child bullying or being a bad influence, put a full stop to it and address him or her of the consequences of his or her actions.
Maintaining good friendships at an early age is the key to more established, long-lasting ones in the future. Support your kids in their journey to create these friendships.