School is indeed a place for learning. It is also one of the first environments your kid is exposed to outside of home. While you want him to succeed in academics, school can also be the place to nurture your child’s social skills. Some of the friends he makes there will most probably be his friends for life, and developing friendships is a vital component of having a strong support system other than one’s family.
Here are some ways to teach your child to be more friendly in school.
#1 Use the modelling technique
Children easily pick up on the behaviour of the adults around them. If you want your child to be friendly, start by being friendly yourself. You can do this through simple acts of kindness directed towards your neighbours or strangers. This can be done by greeting your neighbours or striking a conversation with someone. Smiling and talking politely and gently are also great ways to model a friendly personality.
#2 Show him how to care for others
Constantly remind your little one that being kind goes a long way. Educate her how he can apply kindness in practical situations in school. Giving concrete examples such as being there for a bullied classmate or offering help when another child is in pain will make him remember when the best time is to be friendly.
#3 Teach him how to communicate
Communication skills are very important not just to succeed in life but also to create important relationships. You can start off by teaching her appropriate responses and greetings, as well as conversation starters she can use especially on the first day of school. Reassure your child that he can confide in you—whether it is to ask for advice in school, challenges he encounters with people, or questions about dealing with others. This way, your child will know the importance of listening, which is also important in maintaining friendships.
#4 Help him overcome shyness
One of the hindrances to making friends is shyness. If your child is shy to talk to people or to introduce himself, some techniques you can teach him to overcome it is by telling him that he does not have to be an interesting person all the time. What’s more important is for him to be interested instead. This means giving him some questions he can use to help him show interest in other kids.
#5 Do not foster an over competitive environment at home
If your child has a sibling, do not allow him to compete with each other in terms of affection or attention. Give them equal share of everything so that when your child finally goes out and starts to socialise, he won’t look at other children as competition but rather, as friends.
#6 Provide him an environment to be friendly
You can either host a playtime with other kids in your neighbourhood or invite them to your child’s birthday party so that when they finally attend school, they already have an idea on how to socialise with other kids. The key is to provide your child an avenue to practice the social skills that you’ve been modelling and the techniques you’ve been teaching him.