This episode 135 is about helping your child make new friends. As they get into school in kindergarten they start creating friendships. A lot of it is related to proximity. Kids in the same class become friends or you become friends with kids in the neighborhood.
It’s really cool to see kids that develop a bond early on.
But sometimes you see that they don’t mesh well. You have to recognize if it could be your kid that is the issue or the other children they are around just may not be a good fit.
For example, if your child is shyer, do they seem to mesh well with another shy child or someone younger?
You need to be pro-active. Nothing is going to happen by doing nothing.
Discuss the qualities that make a good friend – honesty, being kind, having fun. Ask them the type of qualities they value? What kind of people do they want in their life?
Provide Positive reinforcement – “I saw you and Sarah were sharing your dolls back and forth. You were really playing well together.”
Offer them some conversation and/or playing tips: “Allow both people to talk”. “Ask them questions, but also allow them to ask you questions.” Do you usually play what your friend wants to or always tell them what to do?
Schedule Play Dates – Try setting up times to play with different children. Only one at a time though. Try different personalities. You’ll begin to see the who your child seems to get along with. However, this may not always be the desired friend. Just because they are getting along doesn’t mean they are each a good influence on each other.
Keep Expectations in Check – Never force the child to have the playdate but certainly, you can encourage it. Don’t make a huge deal of it. “You don’t have friends or “you need new friends” is not something ideal to say.
You also need to be aware. Are you not getting asked to reciprocate the playdate? Are other kids not wanting to play with your kid?
Be aware if there is a real problem – If your child seems to really have problems with other kids, consider professional help. It may be something you are missing and a professional could discover it.