How to be a Good Friend
As parents, we want our children to have friends they enjoy. Having friends is important for a child to help them learn to get along with others. With a little help from parents, children can learn vital communication, sharing, empathy and problem-solving skills. Some children are naturally social while shyness can be a factor for other children. Shyness is certainly something parents can help their children overcome. Either way, your child can develop the right friendships with these simple tips and activities.
Role-Play: We always start with basic social skills. Practice saying hello with your child. Role-play before they go into a social situation. They feel safe and comfortable with you, so use this security to your advantage to practice greeting friends and asking questions such as, “What would you like to play today? or “What is your favorite game?”
Playdate: Planning a playdate at your home is a great place to start. For one, you can monitor how your child interacts with other children and secondly, they will be more comfortable in their own home. Children below the age of four often parallel play. What does this mean? They play in the same room, but not necessarily interacting with each other as you would expect. This is a completely normal milestone in social development. In our home, we have a rule of “no devices” on Sundays. We want to provide time for our kids to have uninterrupted free play time. We are constantly astonished at the creative games and play they make up with each other. We are fortunate that our children are close in age; however, siblings of any age can engage in creative free play if given the chance. Even if your child isn’t shy, parents can help him make new friends. Parents can help share their understanding of friendship and facilitate opportunities for engaging with other children with similar interests.
Storytime: We love to read books to our children. I am constantly looking for just the right book to read with each child at night. A good friend of mine gave me a copy of “A Friend Like Ed” by Karen Wagner. This book helps children understand true friendships are rare and we don’t all necessarily like or do the same things. It is important to accept differences in each other. Of course, we would recommend Bloomer written by our designer, Michael Ward. This charming picture book with hand-stitched fabric illustrations helps children see we are different from each other, and these things also make us very special. Receive a free copy of this book with your next order from The Yellow Lamb. Use code: BLOOMER at checkout. After reading, talk to your child about the characters of the book and their feelings. Ask your child if they had something similar happen to them with a friend.
Play Games: One of the best ways for children to experience sharing and taking turns is through game playing. Our kids love to play Uno after bath time at night. There are several benefits here for children. They get uninterrupted time with their family, and they also learn the importance of taking turns and celebrating other people winning. It has been a joy to see the personalities of our children blossom in ways we don’t always see during a typical busy day.
Praise: Be on the lookout for your child exhibiting friendly behaviors, such as taking turns, helping each other and sharing. Make an effort to acknowledge and offer praise in the moment. This will encourage her to repeat these behaviors again and again.
Let us Hear from You: Ask your child what they do to be a good friend to others. We would love to hear the responses. We asked a few friends of our children and here is what they said. Margaret age 7, “by helping them do something like pull a sled up the hill” Maddie age 7, “helping them up if they fall” and "giving them a high five if you win.” See our post on Instagram and comment your child’s response for a chance to win an outfit from The Yellow Lamb. There are so many adorable options from our Spring Summer 2022 Collection, each with classic designs and ease of care fabrics. We can’t wait to hear what your little lambies say.
Be sure to download our Lambie Lambert Lesson: Friendship. Included are fun Valentine activities to help your child better understand being a good friend. A hidden image color sheet for your child to enjoy as well. Click to download.
Looking for a sibling set or cute outfit for an upcoming holiday or special event, check out our website at www.theyellowlamb.com. We are happy to help you find the perfect pieces.