At one time or another, let’s face it, we’ve all had trouble making new friendsat elementary school. We’re then terrified that our children will go through the same thing when the new school year starts. As parents, we want our little ones to make good friends who help them to flourish and support them in their daily lives. The problem is that we can’t interact to make things happen. So how can we help?
The importance of parental support
Even if we can’t be with our little ones 24 hours a day, there are several ways of supporting them from a distance when we spend time with them. The first priority is to choose the best school for our children. We’re all too aware of the discrimination that can occur in schools, despite the supervision and teaching of teachers.
Which school to choose?
The first question we ask ourselves is: what kind of education should I give my child? It’s hard to make a good comparison between schools. To make a successful selection, you’ll need to visit the establishments you’re interested in yourself, to see what it’s like during theschool day. Online evaluations are not always good sources for determining whether or not the environment is suitable for your little one.
As a first step, consider cultural diversity. Choose an environment where all ethnic groups are present and none is in the majority. This reduces the risk of harassment for your child.
If this is your little one’s first school, a well-stocked playground would be much appreciated, especially if your child is hyperactive.
Don’t forget to take into account the number of pupils in each class. Avoid overcrowded schools. In a small group, your child will be better able to interact with others.
Enrolling your child in extracurricular activities
To help your little ones feel at ease in society, you need to get them used to meeting a variety of people. Ask them what kind of activities they’d like to try. You could, for example, enroll them in an art class: music, drawing, sculpture or something else. In this kind of teaching, your little one will learn to help others and encourage their peers. This is an essential factor in making friends.
Sport is also an excellent way of teaching a child good values. You can opt for individual or team sports. In both cases, your little one will be introduced to community life, respect for others and the rules to be followed with regard to others.
Inviting other children into your home
Do you have friends with children of the same age as yours who are more at ease in the community? Organize get-togethers between the two parties to help them get to know each other better. The more your little one is used to communicating with others, the more comfortable he’ll be when he startsschool.
For example, you can take the little ones to a park so they can get to know other children too. You can supervise them from time to time and teach them to interact better without fighting.
Encouraging your child to express his or her personality
One thing to remember is that your child is not necessarily like you. He certainly possesses social skills that you do not. So it’s important to let him make friends in his own way. Don’t force him to act as you would have done.
If your child wants to stay in his corner and wait to be approached by others, don’t force him to meet them. He needs to feel sufficiently confident. This can take time, so be patient and avoid rushing him.
More than adults, children tend to make friends naturally. Sometimes all it takes is a few hours in the same sandbox, and that’s it! It’s in maintaining this friendship that things get complicated. A child ‘s personality changes so easily that alliances are often ephemeral, and he or she will have to start from scratch to create new ones. What’s the best way to prevent this?
First of all, it’s important for parents to be aware of the different points of a child’s personal development. A child’s character evolves with age and environment. So it’s crucial to instill a number of values in your child as early as age 3:
- Respect for others;
- The authority of grown-ups;
- Caring for others;
These values help strengthen friendships. If your child is the rough type, you can also teach him to channel his strength through sports disciplines.
The basics of friendship at 3
Primary school begins in kindergarten at the age of three. For children, this first stage of life in society can be difficult. This will depend above all on the environment in which they lived before startingschool.
At this age, don’t be surprised if your little ones change friends like they change shirts. This is perfectly normal, as they try to find the right people with whom they feel the most affinity. Their first friendships will be with children in their immediate vicinity. Often, this will be the classmate with whom they sit in class.
Conversations with other students take place largely during recess. It’s during these moments that a group of friends begins to form.
Ideally, you should ask the teachers how they proceed in their classrooms. It’s a good idea to change places in the class every day, so that everyone can get to know everyone else.
If your little one has never been in contact with other children for very long, it’s a good idea to introduce him or her two months before the start of the school year. This way, he won’t feel too scared or overwhelmed by the new environment he’ll be living in. He’ll be able to approach others with greater ease.
Making friends between the ages of 4 and 9
By the age of 4, children are already familiar with what’s going on atschool. That said, personalities evolve. That’s why friendships tend to dissolve. Sometimes children find it easy to make new friends, and sometimes not.
Groups begin to form. On one side are the nerds, on the other the jocks. The little ones start to make friends with people who have the same interests as they do, and who can help them improve their performance in this or that discipline. Those who have nothing to contribute to others quickly become outcasts.
So, to help our children make friends in elementary school, we need to encourage them to discover and develop their talents. This is where extracurricular activities come into their own.
Recommended sports include:
- Martial arts;
As far as artistic activities are concerned, learning music is still the most recommended. This discipline helps your child to:
- Develop self-esteem;
- Acquire language skills;
- Appreciate school.
All these parameters will help your child communicate better and make friends in elementary school.
Friendship between ages 9 and 11
Between the ages of 9 and 11, we can speak of pre-adolescence. Children begin to reach puberty and present new facets of their personality. They tend to become a little more rebellious, and conflicts atschool can arise at any time.
At this point, it’s no longer a question of making friends with someone who can help them achieve their goals. Relationships become more personal and valued. Children begin to recognize people who support them more than others. Of course, there will always be a clan system atschool. That said, the most important thing is to have at least one or two loyal friends with whom to share the day.
To do this, teach your children to trust each other and not to be ashamed of themselves. It’s important to stay true to your principles without the pressure of knowing what’s cool or not for others. It’s this confidence and self-assurance that will naturally attract new friends.
If your little one’s school has clubs, encourage him to join some of them. This way, he can meet people with the same passions as him, which will inevitably create bonds of friendship.
We also recommend that you allow your children to invite their friends to your home from time to time. Outings outside school hours strengthen relationships and help children get to know each other better. Organize movie or video game days, or even weekend sleepovers. Of course, during these special moments, don’t stay too close to your little one. Give them some space without asking them every minute whether or not they need something.
5 tips to help your children make friends in primary school
Before unleashing your little ones into the lion’s den, give them the right weapons to prepare for what lies ahead.
Listening to your child
Always remember: you are the pillar on which your child can lean. After his first day atschool, ask him how it went and whether he met any interesting people. Invite him to describe his classmates. This will help guide him in the behavior he needs to adopt to make friends. Based on your personal experience, you’ll be able to give him good advice. Talking regularly about your child’s day will also help you find out whether or not he’s being bullied at school. This way, you can avoid the worst for your child.
Teach your child to recognize other people’s emotions
Various board games will help you teach your children how to recognize other people’s emotions. By deciphering this, your little ones will know how to react when approaching their classmates. This will help them make friends.
For example, teach your little ones to give a piece of candy to a child who looks sad or about to cry. Also advise them to give space to others who look uncomfortable. Tell them not to insist if a child doesn’t respond. And above all, teach them how to handle conflicts without resorting to fighting.
Children are very sensitive. To make friends in primary school, it’s not a question of wildly interfering in a group. Teach your little ones to listen to others and subtly enter into their conversation by, for example, providing useful information without coming across as arrogant and “I know it all“.
Staying abreast of youth trends
Being up-to-date is undoubtedly one of the keys to making friends in primary school. Having a children ‘ s backpack or pencil case bearing the image of a current cartoon trend, for example, can get kids talking. They discover affinities with their classmates, and this can be the start of beautiful friendships. For back-to-school 2022, discover the best children’s backpacks in our selection.
Don’t force your little one to adopt your tastes. Let them create their own look and style based on what makes them feel most comfortable. You can also introduce your little ones to social networks and teach them how best to use them. It’s also a great way to start a discussion if your child is the face-to-face type.
How to make friends in primary school: our conclusion
A new school year is always stressful for a child, whatever their age. The anxiety of being alone is always present, because having friends remains a major factor in school success. To help them overcome this stage, encourage them to develop their talents, get involved in extracurricular activities and meet other children outsideschool.
The most important thing is to develop self-esteem and respect for others. This is the best way to create a good living environment.
And what about you? How have you helped your little ones make friends? We invite you to share your stories in the comments. Your experience could be a lifesaver for other parents.