How to Help Your Child Make Friends at School

16/10/2018

Many parents want their children to be a certain way – and in Petaling Jaya, the trend is they want their kids to be sociable and have a lot of friends, but that isn’t always the case for the kiddos!

 

Each child, like each adult, has different preferences, personalities, and tendencies.  As parents, sometimes we hold an “ideal” image in our minds of how we want them to be, and when they don’t fit in our box we become angry and frustrated.

 

In many cases, parents have thought that they had an extroverted or very social child.  After all, they were playful, loud and rambunctious at home and around close family, why did they suddenly shift when school started?  In some cases, parents don’t realize their child is introverted or less social until they watch their child adapt to a new environment.  Sure, they are social and playful at home, but home is also a safe environment for them whereas school is a different setting entirely.

 

The fact of the matter is this:  some children are less social than others and have difficulty making friends.  We encourage parents to accept their child as they are.  However, there are some things you can do to support and encourage their personal and social growth.

 

One of the more recent experiences that has come up with some friends of mine is that they compare their child’s social-emotional development to that of other children. In other words, their child tends to shy away from other children in their general age group. My friends, seeking outside opinions and counsel from professionals and friends alike, they have been told all the same conventional things such as, “Every child develops differently; your child will make friends one day,” to “Maybe your child is a late bloomer,” and even the old, “It is a phase and they will outgrow it.” But it is one thing to be told to calm down and another thing to actually calm down. It honestly isn’t easy for my friends (or any parent for that matter) to watch other children have gobs of friends while their own child is left out, or isolated from the group.

So in an attempt to soothe the fear and support parents everywhere, we have come up with a few tips on how you can help your child make friends.  Keep in mind that you don’t want to forcefully push your children to do something they don’t want; this could have massive repercussions. Instead, ease them into trying new things slowly.

 

How to Help My Child Make Friends

 

Talk to your children about their emotions.
Emotions are a taboo subject for many cultures across the world.  Try not make their emotions wrong when they are feeling their feelings. Talk with them about it, “Why don’t you want to play with Susie today? What are you feeling?” Helping children to be comfortable with their emotions helps them to communicate those emotions with you.  As a parent, you can more easily understand their process when it comes to making new friends.

 

Don’t force your child to be something he or she isn’t.
Making your child do something they don’t want to do can be a futile endeavour.  f you force your child into doing something that they don’t like, they may push back or completely refuse to do what you ask altogether.  Naturally, there are times when we have no choice. For example, starting school could be something many children resist, but it is something that has to be done for many families. Eventually, they get the hang of it and become independent in a new structure and routine. For making friends, ease them into the new experience by introducing new activities or discussions in their daily routine, and perhaps inviting one friend over at a time for a playdate instead of the whole class.

 

Start small;
Again, don’t overwhelm your child by throwing them into a large group. Ease them into it slowly and make it a part of your weekly routine. Acknowledge your child’s needs and don’t make your child wrong for being a certain way. Many parents may praise and delight in a child who has tonnes of friends while being condescending to their own child who takes it more slowly when it comes to the group. Make sure your child is comfortable, acknowledge and work with them instead of against them.

 

Invite friends over and set up play dates;
Again, start small and make playdates or friends a part of the schedule. If so-and-so comes over every Thursday to play with your child for about an hour or so, this will get your child used to spending time and playing with other children.

 

Teach empathy;
Teaching children to be kind, empathetic and compassionate towards others supports them in understanding other people. It is very difficult not to make friends when you are understanding and supportive of others. You can teach empathy in a variety of ways, such as visiting an elderly relative, or donating clothes and toys to other children, etc. This also teaches your child to share and to be aware of other people’s feelings which will support them in making friends in the future.

 

Get involved in the playdates;
Playdates are not just about the children getting together and playing alone while the adults talk in another room. Getting involved in your child’s playdates and playing with them can support them in feeling safe in a new setting or with new people. Take those extra few minutes to demonstrate how to share.  Take a few minutes and participate in some game or activity so that they a little more at ease with the new environment.

 

Each child is different, unique and develops differently throughout their lives. Where one child may excel at math subjects, they may have challenges socially; where one child’s physical development and motor skills are exceptional, they may lack communication skills. In short, do not panic if your child is a little shy and takes their time to make friends. This is part of their unique personality. Encourage them gently but give them the space to explore and grow on their own.

 

 

About Little Human Scholars School and Full Day Daycare Centre in PJ

Little Human Scholars is an all-in-one childcare solution.  It is a preschool, playschool, kindergarten, nursery and full day daycare centre (with extended hours) located in the heart of PJ.

 

In fact, the location is one of the things which makes Little Human Scholars so sought after – it is conveniently nestled near Jalan Gasing, University hospital, PJ Old town, PJ New town, Jaya One, Jaya33, and the PJ IT Mall.

 

The best part is LHS has premiere services many other schools in PJ don’t offer such as full day daycare with extended hours, CCTV access for parents, and a nifty little phone app called Toddlytic which provides parents with automatic updates on their child’s development, behaviour and health checks.

 

With full-time guards always present at each of their locations, access to CCTV (which is in every room except the office, bathroom and kitchen areas), and very strict pick-up and drop-off rules, Little Human Scholars treats every child who walks into its hallways as one of their own children!

 

This place has it all:  location, safety, health, IGSCE curriculum and play-based learning.  What more could you ask for?  Did I mention they also have transportation services and offer meal plans for students?  It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

If you are interested in a tour of one of our centres (that’s right, there’s more than one), all you need to do is fill out the form here or call +6017-7303-025 and an LHS administrative staff will get back with you shortly!

 

Cheers,

Jana Moreno

How to Tell if Your Child is an Introvert or an ExtrovertAm I an Overprotective Parent?