“Mommy – wanna play with me?” I have come to learn that the response to that request, whenever possible should be “Sure!” Kids learn how to play and get along with others from you. Kids want to play with you – to be close to you and spend time together. They also need to spend time with other kids. Kids learn the best way to make friends is to…you guessed it…PLAY with other kids. In the school yard, the neighbourhood, the sports field and in basements and backyards everywhere, children are doing the best thing possible – they are playing!
Want to help your child make friends and get along with others? Here are our TOP 10 tips for promoting healthy social development:
- Visit local Ontario Early Years Centres, libraries, recreation and community centres together.
- Give tons of love – kind words, hugs, kisses, an understanding ear and a shoulder to cry on.
- Notice your kid’s unique personality. Children of different temperaments may enter the social circle more quickly or slowly than others.
- Organize play events and invite other kids over to play.
- Role-model kindness, good manners, sharing, turn-taking and fair play.
- Encourage role-playing and pretend play.
- Help kids build language skills and use words to express their own feelings and be gentle with those of others.
- Have family rituals, traditions, special events and celebrations.
- Role-model respect for the traditions, beliefs and values of others.
- PLAY with your kids!!!
Remember, you are not alone! Be sure to check out our “Kindergarten: Ready, Set, GO!” pages for lots of handy info, checklists and workshops for parents. If your child has not attended nursery school, preschool or child care, our EvenStart program is a fantastic way to prepare them for the daily routine and structure of kindergarten.
For more tips and hints about your preparing your child for kindergarten, or to share your experience, there are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:
- Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call HaltonParents by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
About this guest blogger:
Paula D’Orazio is a Public Health Nurse specializing in Preschool Health and Parenting with the Halton Region’s Early Years Health Program. She is an accredited Triple P Positive Parenting Program individual counsellor and trained facilitator in both Nobody’s Perfect and Beyond the Basics. She is also co-author and facilitator of Halton’s Parenting Basics group curriculum. A busy, working mom, Paula believes in living healthy and relishes her “live, love and laugh” time with her young family.