Children and Young People Friendship
Friendships are essential for developing children’s and young people’s communication, sharing, empathy, problem-solving, and creative skills. Making friends is an important part of growing up and emotional and social development. Friendships aid in the development of self-esteem and confidence in children. And can empower them by giving them a sense of belonging and identity.
But sometimes children and young people especially those in foster care can have some difficulties in developing and maintaining friendship. It can be difficult for a variety of reasons, ranging from unstable childhood or personality attributes to a lack of common interests or poor social skills. Your children’s formative experiences may have an impact on their ability to build meaningful peer bonds in a variety of ways.
The great news is that there are numerous things that can done to assist child’s social and emotional development, allowing them to be more effective at forming and sustaining connections. Begin by learning how they feels about socialising. Maybe they’re apprehensive about meeting new kids on the playground or sitting at a new lunch table on the first day of school. Perhaps they want to approach the other kids but are afraid of how they will be treated.
Once you’ve established how your child feels—whether they’re happy or unhappy—you can devise a strategy to help them develop the social skills required to form meaningful friendships.
Educate Your Children the Fundamentals of Social Interactions
There are several advantages of educating your child good social interactions. You may need to start with the fundamentals, such as teaching children typical greetings and proper replies to questions. Show children what amount of physical contact is expected and suitable in social circumstances, and make sure they understand the value of respecting other people’s personal space. Spend time with them and educate them how to share a discussion so that they don’t dominate it when they’re with friends or classmates. Remember that your child is watching you for clues, so model conflict resolution and collaboration in your interactions.
Role play can help your child prepare for these circumstances. Begin by modelling appropriate behaviour for your child, then let them practise on you. Give them prompt positive and constructive feedback to let them know how they’re doing, and then do it again.
Make them meet more youngster of their age group
If your child does not have friends, it is possible that they have not had enough opportunities to make them. Participating in a variety of activities with children their age who share similar interests might be a terrific way to make new friends. It may be beneficial to provide your child additional opportunity to meet youngsters with whom they will bond.
Look for opportunities for your child to participate in school or extracurricular activities. Be aware of your child’s energy level as well as their personality type. You don’t want to overbook introverted youngsters who want alone time to recharge.
Support them in making and maintaining friendship
Positive praise and support can help your child create and retain friends. Getting to know the children and parents with whom your child interacts is one of the best ways you can assist your child make friends. Make an effort to make your child’s peers feel welcome in your home.
You may accomplish this by greeting them warmly, speaking to them directly and politely, complementing them on their achievements, and communicating directly with the children’s parents when they arrive to pick them up. This establishes a strong basis for the connection and demonstrates to your child that you are concerned about their pals.
Give them space and time
While friendships are an important aspect of the childhood experience, our children will build social interactions in a variety of ways. As parents, we must examine our own expectations and see how they align with those of our children. Your children are immediately affected by your stress. You don’t want to force anything that doesn’t seem right or comfortable. You may support your child by giving them the skills they need to begin and form new connections, but make sure you also give them the time and space they need to develop on their own terms.
At Sunbeam, we are providing excellent training program to all our carers and regular supervisory visits to speak to carers and foster children to provide help & support. If you would like to become a foster carer with Sunbeam or need more information, please give us a call on 02087990930 to speak to our recruitment team.