As children are ready to embark on their journey to "big school", it is important they learn how to interact more with other people. Children learn how to socialise with others from their home and preschool experiences. By making friends within their peer group, they soon learn how to refine these new social skills as they mature and grow. Developing friendships are very important for all children. Friendship plays a vital role in forming your child's sense of identity and social skills.
1. Build their confidence
It is so important you tell your child often, how much you love them and how special they are. Find ways to remind them that you love them even if you aren’t there with them. For example, a photo of the two of you with lots of love hearts under the photo is a great way to show your child your love for them; Or a photo of the two of you having fun is also a wonderful way of showing your love. Just sticky tape the laminated photo inside their lunchbox lid and when they open it they are immediately reminded of how much you love them.
Just remember the more positive and self-confident your child is, the more likely they will try new things, show their confidence in new situations and to be more outgoing.
2. Remember to take your time
Each child is an individual and as such it is important to allow them to get over their shyness at their own pace. As a a parent you need to remember this is a long-term change in your child’s attitude.
3. Check you own anxiety
As a parent it is up to you to approach all new situations with your child as being fun and positive. Children are very perceptive and will pick up on any anxiety you as a parent may be feeling.
4. Encouraging Social Skills
This is a time when preschool children enjoy experimenting with role play, as they engage with toys to express themselves and practice developing skills with other children.
As a parent you need to be aware that some children may be reserved in their social confidence, to the point where they lack eagerness and inhibition.
Try to avoid letting your child feel inadequate because they’re not outgoing and shy in front of others. Remind your child that everyone is an individual and therefore different. So it is okay for them to stand back and observe a social situation before they feel comfortable to join in.
It is important to extend on your child’s boundaries by providing them with lots of social situations. This will enable them to learn to interact with others successfully. For example, inviting children your child likes from preschool over for a play date is a great way for one-on-one social interactions.