No matter how old you are, having friends can make all of the difference in your world outlook. While preschoolers don’t necessarily forge new friendships based on deep emotional connections, these early bonds can have a significant effect on your child’s experience in school. After all, the work you put into choosing a preschool program might not matter if your child is miserable from a social standpoint.
While you don’t want to interfere too much in your child’s interactions, you can certainly provide some valuable assistance if they’re having trouble making friends with other preschool students. Take a look at these tips below and use them to encourage your child during this transitional time.
Focus on Skill Building
Preschool programs — in which three-fourths of young children throughout the U.S. participate — allow students to form the building blocks they’ll need for lifelong education. Preschool classes can also help students gain emotional intelligence and be exposed to all kinds of new social situations. However, choosing a preschool program won’t be quite enough for your child to gain all of the skills they need to succeed. Parents also need to do their part to emphasize the importance of empathy, sharing with others, and controlling one’s behaviors or impulses. Even role playing challenging scenarios can help your child make good choices in the moment. By putting the focus on these valuable skills, you can help your child break out of their shell and handle virtually any situation with their peers.
Get to Know Their Classmates
Being able to identify the other children in your kiddo’s class can encourage their social interactions. All you really need is a list of other students and to ask your child about who they played with or talked to on a given day. From there, you’ll learn a lot about which students your child connects with and which ones they might not be keen on. Those basics are really what matters in these early friendships, so the more information you can glean from your child, the better position you’ll be in to guide them when necessary. Getting to know their classmates will also allow you to plan some playdates at home, which can be an important and enjoyable way for your child to build upon both their skills and their newly formed relationships.
Talk to the Teacher
Keep in mind that preschool friendships evolve frequently. Just because your child has yet to make a number of close friends may not be a cause for concern. It doesn’t automatically mean that your child is overly shy or that they’ll be doomed in the future. That said, if your child tells you that they’re being bullied or that they’re lonely, it may be a good idea to talk to their teacher. When choosing a preschool program, make sure that the staff is responsive and understanding to these kinds of issues, as they come up often. There may be no cause for alarm, but you can gain some additional insight by getting the teacher involved and learning their view of the situation. From there, you may be able to assist your child in other ways or obtain some peace of mind if there really isn’t anything to worry about.
If you plan on enrolling your child in preschool within the next year or so, it’s never too early to start preparing. For more information on our programs and how they can benefit your child, please contact us today.