As parents, we all get a little anxious about sending our kids to school for the first time, especially if this is a new experience for you too.
However, one of the biggest hurdles for your little one to overcome is making friends, so that's why we here at Toys for a Pound have put together a short guide, so you can help your child build confidence and make friends as soon as possible!
Work on some 'Opening Lines' with your child
Interacting with new people can be scary at any age, but especially when starting a new school, and all the emotions that go with it! Why not speak with your child and work out some conversation starter lines, such as 'What did you do at the weekend?' or 'I like your shoes' perhaps?
Arrange a Play Date
Setting up a play date with just one other child from your little ones class is a GREAT way for them to make a friend! They will be in a much more comfortable environment, allowing them to be much more chatty and relaxed!
Enroll your child in a Sports Team
Sports clubs are another great way for your little one to meet new friends! Again it's out of the school environment so your child will feel more comfortable, and sports are a self-esteem booster, as well as relieving stress! Plus, the exercise is SOO important for your child's development!
Take Time to Talk Everyday
Making time to speak with your child everyday about how their day went and what they're expecting tomorrow is so important, as your little one will look to confide in you and ask you for advice on any tricky social situations they may face. Your input can be vital in them making friends!
Praise Caring Behaviour
Praise your child when they’ve being caring, kind or thoughtful towards a fellow classmate or friend. Children are more likely to repeat behaviour that has been praised, so be sure to shower them with compliments after an act of kindness!
Model Positive Social Behaviour
Be wary of how you socialise with those around you, as children learn by example! Your child is learning how to interact through you, so speak to people the way you want your child to!
It's a Marathon not a Sprint
Pushing your child to make friends the second they start school can backfire massively! However, we suggest slowly pushing them beyond their comfort zone into new situations, as this will help them in the long run in other situations than making friends!
Don't forget though, every child is different, and while some ideas listed may work, others may not! It's also important to remember some of the strongest friendships take time to develop, so let your little one take their time in making friends!