What is friendship?
Everyone needs friends! Friends are great to share, play with and to help each other feel better when we feel a little sad! Knowing how to make and keep friends is an important social skills for children to learn. Friends are fun to have around and children feel much happier when they have friends. Friendship can mean some of the following:
- Spending time together
- Sharing interests and hobbies
- Being respectful to each others differences
- Having fun together and caring about his /her safety
- A friend sticks up for each other
- Having equal shares, not one always the leader and the other following.
- Having lots of fun together
- Feeling safe talking to each other about your feelings and problems.
- Trusting each other
Help their child learn to be a good friend
The best social skills teacher are often the parent and those that spend the most time with your child. Remember actions speak louder than words, so this means that you also need to show the behaviour you are wanting your child to show.
- model cooperation and kindness with other people, including neighbors, shopkeepers, and teachers
- invite friends over and show your child how to be a good host
- help your child learn how to listen to others’ ideas
- discuss fairness with your child—how to take turns, how to share.
- Teach problem sovling or conflict resolution - we all need to compromise at times!
- Play with your child!
- Teacher your child words to express their feelings
- Use terms such as friendly and the importance of kindness.
- Empathy - help your child recognise and respond to others’ feelings. Some children need to be taught 'what to do'
We could all benefit from practising our friendship skills.
- Talk about things that others like too, not just your own interests
- Take turns when talking, don't be a conversation hogger!.
- Listen to what your friend says and ask questions
- Give your friend a compliment eg., I love your picture! You're good at soccer!.
- Say thank you and please.
- Look and think friendly. Smile!
- Be helpful and help others!
- Don't talk negatively about your friend!
- Be aware of others' feelings - think before you speak. (STOP, THINK, DO!) Sometimes we need to keep our thoughts to ourselves!
- Compromise! This means doing thinks that your friends want too, like playing a different game that they have chosen.
- Spend time getting to know other friends too!
- It's OK if your friend does not agree with you! Stay calm and remember that it is okay for them to have different thoughts and feelings to you.
- Don't brag about what you've got or done "Wow, I am the best at swimming!".
- No put downs - you wouldn't like it if someone did this to you.E.g., "You're dumb"