1. Talk to your child’s teacher and find out how your child is doing at school
Some children are not able to give an accurate picture of their day at school. They may have had friends to play with some of the time, but only remember to tell you about one incident when they were not included in a game.
2. What do you know about your child so far?
Every child is different. Some children are shy and take time to warm up in a group. Some children are happy with one solid friend and are tricky to nudge into a wider group. It is possible you have a child who is content much of the time with their own company or who is completely comfortable with playing on their own if others don’t like their ideas or rules. Getting to grips with your child’s natural leaning is going to help here.
3. It takes time to be a good friend
There is a lot to it. Your child may be a friendly person, but not yet know how to take turns. They might be a leader but not yet grasp the concept of letting others have their ideas included. Step by step, your child is learning the skills of being a good friend and it is going to take some time and coaching.
4. Arrange for the occasional play date at your place
You may get some insights on how your child relates to other children. Without hovering, notice how your child shares, takes turns and initiates games etc. This little bit of research can help determine what might need tweaking.
5. Build a network of friends that includes playmates outside of school
It might be the neighbours, the cousins or a child from the soccer team. If there are some wobbles with friends at school, it’s great to draw on another source of friends from another ‘pot’.
6. Be a friendly family
When we model friendliness and our children see us show warmth, hospitality and care for others, we are helping them get the idea. We share our resources and time with others and they get to see firsthand what this looks like.