How to make new friends and leave an impression on your new teacher

It’s the first day of school and your kids are up and about, teetering between feeling anxious and excited to be around new people. They look forward to talking, playing with others and making special bonds with new friends. They’re also keen to meet the teachers who will unlock the world of learning for them. But how? How do your kids interact with other kids? How should they interact with their teachers?

To make your child’s experience at school memorable, it is important that they form relationships with others. This is their time to shine; make new friends and interact with others for the first time. This is where cultivating their social skills comes into play; teaching them how to express themselves with others for the first time, so that they feel comfortable to demonstrate their genuine personalities. This applies to both their new classmates and their teachers- especially so the teachers can understand your child’s needs and ways of learning.

Here are some ways to teach your children to make friends for the first time:

  1. Teach your child the right way to communicate

The first place your child learns how to communicate is at home. What they interpret as natural from their environment is how they’ll express themselves to others. Setting an example for your children is how you can initially ensure that they have some tools to communicate appropriately with others. You can teach them by using the magic words: thank you, please, sorry, and you’re welcome; these words are the basics to good manners. Another essential part of communication is eye contact. When you talk to your kids, make sure you look them in the eyes so that they understand that looking a person in the eyes is important and demonstrate respect.

  1. Roleplay or try using puppets

By using roleplay as a method, you can depict both verbal and non-verbal behaviour to help your kids understand how to interact with other people. This can be done by roleplaying specific words and body language that are both good and bad. By providing examples, you can demonstrate scenarios that express specific behaviours and words.

Puppets are also an excellent way to show kids how to interact with others as  they help maintain their attention and increase their interest in what you’re trying to teach them. Using puppets is also the best way to show them habits that are viewed as inappropriate or unappreciative, such as being aggressive, annoying, being unresponsive, or how even being shy can be misinterpreted.

After showing examples through roleplaying and puppets, it’s best to discuss  what has been shown and ask your kids why they should or shouldn’t do and say certain things. This way you’ll be able to confirm if your kids understood what you’re trying to explain to them.

  1. Reading stories about friendship.

Children learn from the stories that you tell them. By reading stories about the importance of friendships or making friends, they can learn from the experience of their favourite characters. Talk to your kids about the stories you’ve read and ask them engaging questions about the characters involved and what they went through. Discuss things like: what were the common interests that made them friends, how did they treat and value each other, and how were they able to resolve their problems.

Remember to ask them about the story and what they interpret as what occurred in it. This is one of the best ways for you to make sure that they understood the essence of the story. It all goes as planned, they’ll empathise with the main characters and see themselves in their positions.

  1. Teach them to play with others

The easiest and fastest way to make friends is by interacting with others. When children play with each other, they create bonds by getting to know each other, learning each other’s names, discovering each other’s likes and dislikes, and finding common interests. Teach your kids to actively participate in games and playing. This is where all your guidance will start to pay off. They’ll start to identify the good and bad behaviour you’ve taught them and apply it with the other kids.

  1. Tell your kids that friends can make mistakes.

Teach your kids about being compassionate with others. Try to help them understand that kids make mistakes all the time; including their friends and even themselves. By teaching them to understand and forgive, they will have the tools to build deeper friendships with other people. Using the previously mentioned methods, like roleplaying, puppets, and books, will provide them with a better understanding of why it is crucial to accept and forgive others.

Here are some ways for your kids to make an excellent first impression on their teachers:

  1. Being on time

Being punctual is always appreciated. Bringing your child to school on time will help create a good first impression. It shows that you are responsible parents who are invested in their child’s education and this will probably transfer to your child. As they say: “first impressions last”.

  1. Actively participate in class.

Teach your kids to always volunteer. Let them know it’s okay for them to speak their mind and take the lead. This demonstrates to their teacher that your child is ready to take on challenges and is eager to learn. It also sets an excellent example for the other kids in class.

  1. Helping others

This may seem beneficial to others more than your child’s teachers. Still, by doing so, they can show their teachers that they are empathetic and willing to help. Being there to give a helping hand always shows that they care about other people around them. Teach them to help in the simplest ways, like sharing.

As your child begins to Interact with their peers and their teachers, they are taking the initial steps to help them cultivate their social lives. It all starts at home and your influence on them; be it positive or negative. Implementing some of the above suggestions into your child’s daily life,  in a regular routine, can help them form social and reinforce skills. This will help ensure that your child has the best start to social interactions at school with their friends and teachers.

Links for ‘Class rules’ Sheets

Videos to learn class etiquette

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