Pediatric Health The Newsletter About Taking Care Of The Ones That Matter Most
“Friendship Is A Great Way For Your Child To Learn About Collaboration!” HELPING CHILDREN NAVIGATE FRIENDSHIPS
Inside: • Presenting Positive Friendships To Your Children
• Nutrition Corner
• Patient Spotlight
For some children, fitting in is a struggle. Cornerstones of childhood interaction, such as taking turns or engaging in pretend play, eludes them. This can be especially true for children who have special needs. For those who face developmental, physical, or emotional challenges, social skills may not come naturally. Though parents and teachers can’t make friends for children, there are ways to help kids develop and build social skills -- both in and out of school. If you know a child who has a difficult time making friends or winds up getting rejected by their peers, here are some useful tips to help. Act as an Emotion Coach Though everyone experiences negative emotions and selfish impulses, keeping these in check is important to making friends. Research shows that when parents and teachers speak to children about emotions in a empathetic,problem-solvingmanner,kids formbetteremotionalself-control.
This, in turn, leads to stronger socialization abilities on the playground, during playdates, and in the classroom. On the contrary, children whose are often punished for strong emotions (“Just go to your room to cool off”) or have their emotions trivialized (“You’re being ridiculous”) tend to struggle with self-control. This, in turn, leads to greater difficulty making and sustaining friendships. Keep Playdates and Hang Time Short When children of any age are just getting to know one another, it’s best to limit their together time to one or two hours during a playdate and far shorter times in the classroom. Although there’s a risk that the time together has to end when things are getting fun, it is far better to cut activities short than have them linger too long. Much longer than that and there’s a high risk of arguing, which will just leave everyone reluctant to try again.
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