Will other children like them and play with them? Will they be invited to birthday parties? Will they be teased?
The answers will depend on how good your child’s social skills are, says the creator of Stepping Stones—a social skills training program for children ages seven through 12.
Children need to learn how to make a good impression when approaching a new group of children. Parents can help by teaching them how to join in.
Encourage your child to:
• Watch others first. Look to see what a group is doing and decide if that’s a group worth joining.
• Watch himself. Her goal is to appear friendly and more approachable.
• Think of what to say ahead of time. For example, your child might first ask the group, “Can I play with you?”
• Think of when to approach the group. He’ll want to wait for a break in the conversation or game before speaking.
• Be direct. Look others straight in the eye when speaking to them.
• Go with the flow of the group. Try to do what they’re doing at the same pace they’re doing it.
• Find common interests and talk about them.
• Ask a question that shows interest in other children and what they’re doing.
• Speak first to a child who is smiling—who seems open to what your child might say.
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