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Ways To Help Your Child Make Friends

Having friends is an important part of your toddler’s life. It is also a way for him to develop social skills. If your toddler is a little shy, it would help to have mommy and daddy lend a hand. Here are some tips on how to help your child gain and keep friends.

Arrange Regular Play Dates

Start by inviting one or two toddlers your child knows to your home. They can be around his age or a little older (the older child might initiate a little more). Play dates give an introvert toddler a good start for a social life. Just make sure to keep play dates short, 1 to 2 hours is sufficient time for them to interact with each other. You do not want to overstimulate them as they may start to bicker.

Provide A Lot of Fun Games and Activities

Start a fun play date by planning games and activities for your toddler and his playmates. This will make your little one more comfortable and confident. Know their common interests so you can come up with activities they will enjoy. For instance, if your toddler and his playmates love drawing, then provide them lots of drawing materials. Once they are done, they can take turns explaining their masterpieces. Doing something they love together is the fastest way for your toddler to make friends.

Get Involved

Do not just leave the children to play by themselves and hope it all works out. You can oversee a craft project while letting them do as much on their own as possible. Be there in case an argument takes place, if they need a change of activity or if they stop playing together. Your assistance can make toddlers feel more at ease with each other.

Schedule An Outing

Encourage your toddler to play on the playground so he can mingle with other children. Invite your toddler’s classmate to have ice cream at the mall or go to a park. Or, organize a family trip and invite your friend and her child for picnic or spend the morning at the zoo and then have lunch together.

Enroll Your Toddler In A Class or Club

Participating in extracurricular activities is a great opportunity for your toddler to hone his social skills. Find an activity or a sport your youngster is interested in and sign him up. For instance, if he loves playing soccer, then enroll him in a soccer class. This will allow your toddler to meet and interact with other children who share his interests.

Be Your Toddler’s Playmate

Play with your toddler on a daily basis. This allows you to stimulate interaction while getting to know your toddler’s strengths and weaknesses. He may love drawing but may struggle completing puzzles. This will give you an idea what activities to include and exclude in a play date.

Teach Your Toddler How To Listen

It is very easy to talk yet very hard to keep quiet and listen. Explain to your toddler that making friends takes time and effort. Tell him to give someone time to talk about himself and that he should listen when a person is talking. Also, remind your toddler that when he talks about himself, he should not boast nor exaggerate.

The art of making friends is tricky. But you can help your toddler by taking small, gentle step that promote positive interaction without making him feel like he is being pressured to make friends. Focus on giving him behaviours, values and experiences that make him attractive to other children.

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April 2015
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