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The Friendship Factor: Encouraging Your Child to be Socially Successful

Human beings are innately social, from the first smile in infancy to the later joy of reunions with lifelong friends. But at no life stage is belonging and befriending more vital than in childhood.

Some adults view childhood as a carefree time, having forgotten their own early uncertainty about being socially accepted and having loyal friends. But the fact remains that a child who is a willing loner is out of synch with expected behavior. Unless social isolation is longstanding and persistent, it doesn't warrant great concern. Children this age will have their "in" days and "out" days, disputes with good friends and temporary partings. They also may forget yesterday's social successes when one thing goes wrong today.

You can help by:

  • Providing consistently loving support.

  • Appreciating the pain caused by even a temporary social failure.

  • Befriending the teacher and planning together how to help the child who feels left out.

  • Patching up an imperiled friendship by talking calmly and warmly to both children.

  • Providing an environment that encourages fun and learning — such as installing play equipment — that also encourages social interaction with friends.

The teacher can tell you which kids seem to work and play well with your child, so that you can arrange play dates after school. Teachers can also guide you toward after-school activities that encourage friendships, both new and old. Parents and teachers can share observations about children's social strengths and weaknesses.

When a child begins to see positive social results from changes in her own behavior, she’ll no doubt be a happier child. At Happy Hollow we offer a variety of playground equipment designed with the utmost safety and learning in mind — along with a sprinkle of challenge. Young learners from 6 months and up to 23 months play and interact, they are learning and gaining important skills that will help to promote healthy physical, mental and social development. For more information, contact us today!

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