Tags: personal development
Making friends, especially if you are a toddler, is not always easy... some children are keen to have 'best friends', others go around in packs and some are simply not interested at all. When you ask who they played with a nursery and they say 'no one' it can be heart-breaking. But, we have to remember that some children are emotionally 'advanced' and understand the concept of having a friend; whereas others are more interested in playing along side another child with no interaction at all.
If your child is nervous of making friends or you want to gently encourage them to make some new friends, here are a few ideas for encouraging and guiding them. Friendship is an important part of all our lives and the importance placed on making friends in childhood is demonstrated by the fact that 'Forming Relationships' is part of the EYFS and is a focus of Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
Here are some tips on how you can help children make friends:
- Give them plenty of opportunity to make friends: see lots of people and do lots of different activities
- Give them lots of praise when they do something kind to another person
- Don't force them or try to make them form friendships with people they don't like even if you like them!
- Try not to interfere when they are interacting or playing
- Be bold and approach people at playgroup and get to know them yourself
- Lead by example, chat to people and make friends yourself
- Talk about being kind, sharing and being a good friend while you are at home
- Support any efforts to make friends even if they fail
- Look at photos of friends and chat about how much fun they can be