Transitioning to the school schedule sometimes takes time. As a result, children may feel hungrier, be more tired, or experience fluctuating moods in September. Getting enough sleep and eating healthy can help navigate some of the additional stresses that occur while transitioning to a new school year.
Although your child may already know someone in their class, we encourage all children to try meeting new classmates and to make new friends. Learning how to navigate different personalities is an important life skill that children will be able to use throughout their lives when playing and working in different settings.
Occasionally, children may feel shy or not know how to approach a new friend. Here are a few tips for younger and older students to help them feel confident when trying to make new friends.
1. Compliment the other person. Smile and give your new friend a sincere compliment. This can be an easy ice breaker and a way to show someone you want to be friends.
Examples: “I like the tower you are building with those blocks.”
“Your sandcastle is really cool.”
“I really like the picture you are drawing; you are very talented.”
2. Look for common interests. If you see someone playing with a toy you like, or doing an activity that interests you, ask them if you can join them. Parallel play is sometimes a starting point for building friendships between children.
3. Help out when you can. If you see another student in your class struggling with an activity or seeming lost, don’t be shy to help them out if you can!
4. Share your toys. Participating in games or playing with toys can be lots of fun, but sometimes including others can make the experience even better! Take the soccer ball out for recess and invite your classmates to play with you! This may be a great way to make some new friends!
5. Invite someone who is alone to play with you. Even if you are already playing with a friend, inviting someone who seems lonely to join you is a great way to make a new friend. We encourage children to have a variety of friends and to try to make friends with their friends’ friends.
6. If you see someone is sad, ask them if they need help. Showing empathy tells your friends that they can depend on you to be kind and caring. This is a great starting point for any friendship
7. Know when to walk away. If someone you are playing with starts yelling at you or throwing objects at you, don’t be scared to tell them “I don’t like that, please stop” in a confident voice. If they do not stop, walk away. It is important you let your friends know that you expect them to be kind with you, and that you communicate when you feel they are not treating you well.