It is important to ensure that your kids interact with their peers. It doesn’t matter if your child is preschool age or older; they need to learn the basics of friendships. This article will teach you ways to start teaching your preschooler how to make friends so that they are well-adjusted and always have someone on their side at school and outside of school as well.
We at Baby Steps Daycare believe that making friends is a skill some preschoolers don’t have, and it is important to teach them how to do it. The more they learn, the better they will get at it! To give parents an idea of how to help teach this skill, we will be sharing ten tips to help your preschooler make friends.
Why is Making Friends Important For Your Child?
Having reliable friends is very important when it comes to mental health because the more your child can interact with different people, the more likely it is that they will be able to form connections and build relationships in the future. It can help them deal with other people if needed and avoid isolation since isolation can lead to depression and other related problems if not treated properly.
Other benefits of having close friends include:
- Friends Give Your Child Emotional Support: One of the main reasons why friends are important for childhood development is because they ensure your child has emotional support. Having a friend can give them a shoulder to cry on if they need it.
- Friends Help Your Preschooler Beat Stress: Having friends can help your preschooler lower stress levels because they will talk to them about their feelings and need to talk about what is bothering them. They will feel safe and secure when talking to someone they know will listen and give them the support needed.
- Friends Encourage Healthy Behaviors: Having a friend is also crucial for healthy behaviors because it reminds your preschooler that it’s alright to be who you are and not follow the crowd or try to be someone else.
- Friends Are Good For Your Child’s Physical Health: Having friends is also good for your child’s physical health because it gives them someone to play with, encourages physical activities, and helps your preschooler stay active.
- Friends Push Your Child To Be Their Best: Having a friend also helps your preschooler push themselves to be their best and improve at the things they enjoy doing.
10 Tips for Helping Your Child Learn How to Make Friends
Although there are a million ways to teach your child how to make friends, we have found some that work best! Some of the tips on this list may be old, but they work, so don’t neglect them just because they sound simple.
1. Set up Playdates
One of the reasons preschoolers don’t make friends is because they are given so many tasks daily, so that’s all they have time to do. Setting up playdates can help keep your child from feeling overwhelmed at school and help them learn how to interact with others at a toddler’s age.
2. Come up with activities that can help build friendships
There are a lot of different activities you can do to help your preschooler make friends, but one of the ideal things you can do is go out for walks. Walking around the neighborhood and getting to know some of the people in this area will benefit your child if they learn how to interact with others and become comfortable talking with them. You can also encourage different sports and take out on an excursion that your child will enjoy doing.
Some other activities that help children improve their social skills include;
- Do puzzles together.
- Play With Playdough
- Make a collage together.
- Play With Toys
- Do an Art Project
- Read Books Together
- Paint With Watercolors
- Bingo Games & other board games
These are some ways you can take advantage of your time together and help your child make friends with others. No matter what you do, ensure it’s something both of you enjoy doing.
3. Show him how to be a good friend
You can help your little child learn how to be a better friend is to show them how. It will help them see that making friends isn’t as hard as they may have been made to think. You can do it by showing how you interact with others and encouraging them to try it out at times. You could also talk about it if he ever has questions because sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how other people act when they are around you. It can also be helpful if you show him stories or shows that reinforce these principles so that he has easier access to examples when he is ready for them.
4. Be your kid’s emotion coach
A lot of us experience selfish impulses and negative emotions. You must be able to help your child when these emotions come up. Because you can’t always be around to guide them, it’s best that they learn how to deal with their emotions and feelings on their own rather than struggle with them. It can be accomplished by sharing your own experiences with negative emotions and showing them how to cope with them. It will also help make friendships easier since they will better understand how others act when they feel bad.
5. Nurture your preschooler’s ability to empathize and read minds
Children learn how to empathize and read minds by watching the emotions of others and reading body language. It’s important to help your child understand how these things work so that they are able to make new friends.
In addition, you can help your preschooler learn about empathy by telling him you feel their pain or telling him about a time when you were in a similar situation that you could get out of it easier. If he is younger, you can also talk about how other people think or react to certain situations. It will help him learn those patterns that he can use in the future when communicating with others.
6. Encourage your preschooler to be brave
Children may be afraid to approach someone they don’t know, so they need to understand that sometimes it’s okay for them to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. You can begin by telling him that you understand how he could feel nervous talking to others, but it’s important for him to be brave and give it a try anyway. You can also tell him about times when you were afraid but learned from the experience. It will help him build up his confidence by making him know that he can overcome fear.
7. Keep encouraging them to make friends
Once you let your child know that it’s okay to make friends, inspire him to get to know more people. Make sure that he knows that he can try talking with anyone in the area and encourage him to talk with a variety of different people. The more people he talks with, the better it will be for his social skills when he goes off into the world and meets new friends. It will also help him feel like he is a part of something and identity outside the family circle. It will be vital for his mental health and to feel good about himself in general.
8. Teach your preschooler crucial conversation skills
You can help your child learn to make friends by teaching him how to start a conversation. You can do this by asking him some questions about his day and interests. It will get him used to talking about himself and may make it easier to open up to others. You can also ask if anyone has ever told a joke or knows any jokes he likes. It will help him see the value of humor in helping people get along better with each other.
Another thing you can do is talk about something you did during the day and ask your child what they learned from it or what they think about it. It’ll help him see that there’s more to going out and making friends than just why you are doing it. It can be a great thing for him to remember when he gets older.
9. Teach your preschooler about giving compliments
Another thing you can do for your child is teaching him about giving compliments. If he’s young enough, you can start by telling him that it’s good to make someone feel good about themselves. Suppose your child doesn’t know how to compliment someone. You can talk with him about it and teach him how to appreciate the positive qualities someone has. You can also talk with him about the different kinds of compliments there are, like
- “That’s a pretty dress.”
- “I like that joke.”
- “You’re a great friend.”
- “You’re very good at drawing.”
- “I like how nice you are to others.”
- “I like how encouraging you are.”
10. Be supportive
You must support your preschooler through any friendships that they may make. You have to let your children know that you are there for them and that they can come to you if your children need help with something. If they tell you about making friends, make sure to congratulate him on it. Make sure he feels like he has someone who cares about him, especially when it comes time for problems at school or with his peers. It will help them feel closer to their new friend. And also make him more likely to turn back towards you when there are problems in the future.
Friends are a huge part of your preschooler’s life, but more than just for fun. They learn how to get along with many people and build their own identities. Suppose you want them to have a good life after preschool. You need to set the stage for that with some great tips discussed above. By trying to teach and encourage your preschooler to develop his social skills. He will have a much better outlook after leaving preschool and will go out into the world and make friends on his own.
Baby Steps Daycare understands the importance of friendship skills, so we hope you have found this article helpful.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 718-559-8717 for Rego Park and 347-960-8334 for Forest Hills. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.