Skill Building: Help your Preschooler Develop Healthy Friendships

Skill Building: Help your Preschooler Develop Healthy Friendships

Skill Building: Help your Preschooler Develop Healthy Friendships

  1. Encourage problem solving. Give children the opportunity to figure out resolutions to their conflict. Pose the question, “What can we do about this?”
  2. Reinforce Positive Behavior. When children are playing together, try to catch them engaging in appropriate behavior. Comment on how nice it was that they shared the buckets or that they took turns with the big shovel.
  3. Use “Feeling” Words to Describe Another Child’s Response. A few bumps in the road, even during a successful playdate, is normal. Use those moments as opportunities to teach your child about compassion and his friend’s feelings. The vocabulary of emotions takes practice. You might say, “Parker is crying. He must be sad. I think he might be sad that you grabbed that shovel out of his hand while he was playing. What do you think would make him feel better?”
  4. Give Feedback. As your child learns to make new friends, he may be unsure of what to do all the time. Reassure him with a smile or a nod of your head to encourage appropriate behavior.
  5. Make Time for Your Child to Play. Everything improves with practice, and that includes the skill of making friends. Provide your child with many opportunities to interact with other children—at the library, during playdates, with his siblings and on the playground.

At Melissa & Doug we strive to produce the highest-quality educational toys for children. From puzzles to puppets, plush to play food, magnetic activities, music and more, Melissa & Doug is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of educational toys and children’s products. Started in 1988 in their garage, Melissa & Doug has something for everyone, with over 2,000 unique and exciting products for children of all ages.

Comments

  1. I love, love, love this post. Helping children develop healthy friendship skills was my biggest job as a kindergarten teacher. It’s just so important.

    Using stories to spark conversations with my students was really helpful. I posted a roundup of 38 favorites here:

    http://www.playdoughtoplato.com/2012/04/01/the-bff-childrens-book-list/