Starting school, or even going back to school, is an important milestone in your child’s life. Having a group of friends allows children to feel at ease in school. Their circle of friends will become an important reference throughout their growing years. In addition, friendships strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence. The first step is to ensure that the little tots take the first step in engaging with other kids; the next is to ensure the friendship continues.
According to a study that we conducted across different schools in Bangalore, it was found that 80% of the kindergarten kids aged 3-6 years adapted themselves to fit in with new friends, whereas the remaining 20% of the children found it hard to adapt to new friends.
Friendship problems are something to be concerned about when:
- The teacher reports that your child is getting into trouble with other children or treating them poorly, or misbehaving in class
- Your child seems to be disliked by other children, and/or –
- When other children tease your child and make him/her feel lonely and upset,
- When your child is excluded from group activities
. When your child finds it difficult to make friends:
- His/her self-confidence takes a toll
- Academic performance may decline
- They might turn belligerent
- They may lose interest in going to school
Different children have different needs when it comes to helping them make new friends, getting along better with others and building friendships. Social skills don’t come naturally to all kids. Some of the kids need your guidance and help as they need more time to warm up to new situations.
Being able to adapt oneself to situations and to people’s behaviour helps the child to not only make friends but also develop a strong foundation to any relationship. These friendships not only enrich a kid’s life but also provide an emotional safety net
How can you help your child develop relationships?
It’s very clear that adapting to new situations and people is an important social skill in order to develop a kid’s intellect, social and emotional quotients. Here’s a parenting tip – Ask your child to give detailed answers and have lengthy conversations with other people beyond the habitual ‘hello’. This will encourage the child to discuss his/her day and share details about his/her experiences, thereby enabling him/her to build relationships and establish friendships with others.
Download the Mai app to improve your kid’s interpersonal skills and also assess your child’s skill in ‘identifying people’.