These days, a child should not just excel in school academically; he should also be active in other aspects of academic life. Therefore, a young student should not just get good grades. His social life — specifically his relationship with his peers and classmates — should be good as well.
Unfortunately, making friends or being friendly isn’t easy for everyone. While some students are naturally sociable, others have a more difficult time socializing with their peers in school. Some schools — such as Los Gatos private school — put emphasis on healthy socialization among its students. But not all schools focus on this aspect of student life.
Is your child always alone during recess? Is he having a hard time making friends? Here are some ways you can teach kids to be friendly at school.
Be a model
First, let your child learn by example — specifically, your example — when it comes to interacting with other people.
Remember that your child is most likely observing you whenever you talk to other people, whether they maybe your friends or the cashier in your neighborhood store. Make sure that every time you talk to other people is a model of how you would want your child to talk to others as well. If there is a chance, let your chance to join in the conversation as well.
If this isn’t a possibility, then you can start by role-playing at some. Some kids do find it difficult to start conversations with other people, so roleplaying may allow your child to develop socialization skills naturally without the pressure of talking to other kids.
You can also create or organize scenarios where you can child can develop his social skills in a more comfortable setting. You can set up a playdate, for example, and let your child help you organize. Ask your child what he should do to make your guests during the playdate feel safe and comfortable. Let your child pick out some of the activities or games, or maybe ask him what snacks you should serve. Let the playdate progress naturally — as long as it remains safe. Praise your children when he does something good during the activity as it encourages good behavior.
You can also make small achievable goals for your child’s socializing practice if a playdate is not feasible. In a social setting, ask your child to say hi or even just smile to another kid. This can help his social skills develop in time as it minimizes the pressure of socializing bit by bit. Remember: with kids, as it is also for adults, making friends requires a bit of practice.
It should also be noted that not all kids are naturally sociable — but being shy is not an excuse not to be sociable. Observe your child to see how he interacts with his peers and adjust your socializing lessons and expectations from there. Enrolling him in schools such as Los Gatos private school, which encourages socialization and helps kids develop skills outside of academic competencies, should help too, as competency in socializing is just as important as competence in academic concerns.
LGCS is a Los Gatos private school known for preparing students for life since 1977. Contact us today to learn more about our preschool, elementary, and middleschool programs.