En­cour­age child to make friends

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

SO THE first cou­ple of weeks of school have gone by and the ini­tial ex­cite­ment or ap­pre­hen­sion your child faced is hope­fully be­hind them.

You’ll start to no­tice how your child is re­spond­ing to school and if there any is­sues.

One com­mon con­cern in the early weeks is about mak­ing friends, es­pe­cially since class sizes are big­ger than day care and they’ll be sur­rounded by new faces.

Friend­ships also be­come more im­por­tant as your child starts school as it in­flu­ences their self-es­teem and teaches them im­por­tant life skills, such as get­ting along with oth­ers, re­solv­ing con­flicts and prob­lems, sort­ing out emo­tions and learn­ing in­de­pen­dence. How can you en­cour­age them to de­velop friend­ships

It’s a great idea to try to en­cour­age some ex­tracur­ric­u­lar time for your child with their new friends.

A sim­ple play date is a great idea, which also en­ables you to get to know the other child’s par­ents/guardians.

Try to keep the play dates short, as too long can stretch the friend­ship. One or two hours to­gether is fine. My child is strug­gling to make friends

Maybe your child has been strangely quiet about mak­ing friends at school or they have flat-out told you they don’t have friends.

The first few weeks are daunt­ing in a new en­vi­ron­ment, so maybe your child sim­ply needs some en­cour­age­ment.

For a start, your child might be un­sure about how to in­tro­duce them­selves. En­cour­age them to say hello and share their name with a new per­son. Be there for your child

You’re still the num­ber-one in­flu­ence on your child. It’s your sup­port and en­cour­age­ment that will help them through friend­ship trou­bles. A hug or a chat goes a long way. Get help

If you need sup­port or ad­vice, you can make con­tact with our Wide Bay Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice child health team on: Gayn­dah – 4161 3571 Mun­dub­bera – 4165 5222 Monto – 4166 9300 Biggen­den – 4127 6400

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