- Encourage and congratulate your child when they make a positive move toward others - sharing, helping, saying kind words, issuing an invitation to play, giving a gift.
- When conflicts arise, involve your child in resolving them. Ask them what they suggest, and make sure that they understand the resolution.
- If you are organising an activity for some of your child's friends - a party, an outing or a game of football - suggest that your child invites a new friend too. It might be a child who has just moved to the area or joined your child's class.
- If your child is worried about joining a new class or group, help them by practising how to talk to people and make friends. This will give them more words and ideas and make them more confident.
- If your child loses a friend, try one of our activities to help them make new friends.
|Aim||To strengthen your child's abilities to make new friends|
|How long will it take?
|What do I need?||Materials for making a card, cookies or other gifts|
|What do I do?||When a new child arrives in the neighbourhood or school class, your child can make and send them a gift of welcome. They can also suggest doing something together - playing at school or at your home. This is a simple exercise in how to make friends.
You can use the same approach if your child wants to make friends with any child.
|Activity 2||My magic helper|
|Aim||To increase your child's abilities to cope with loneliness and rejection|
|How long will it take?
|What do I need?||Nothing|
|What do I do?||Young children often break friendships and begin new ones, and all of them know how it feels when a friend does not want to play with them any more. Talk to your child about times when they have felt lonely or rejected, and ask them what they did to feel better. Encourage them to think of more ideas - singing a favourite song, cuddling a teddy bear, playing with a favourite toy, thinking of something nice. See if together you can think of one thing that your child can keep with them, to comfort them when they feel lonely or rejected - a picture, a small toy or even a magic word.
This activity is particularly helpful if your child is feeling lonely or rejected.
|Activity 3||Friendship cards|
|Aim||To increase your child's abilities to keep friends|
|How long will it take?||30 minutes|
|What do I need?
||Materials for making cards|
|What do I do?||Ask your child to name their best friends and say why they like them so much. Then help them to produce cards for these friends. Each card should reflect the friendship. If your son likes to play football with his friend, he might draw a football match or cut out a picture of his favourite player from a magazine. If your daughter and her friend both like animals, she can decorate her card with pictures of animals. Your child should sign the cards and perhaps add a message of friendship, before delivering or posting them.|