With the start of a new school year, your child’s world has enlarged and has got much bigger.
We know that friendship is a big part of life. But that doesn’t mean making friends is easy or comes naturally to everyone. Friendship and being friendly are quite different and require different skill sets. The ability to make and keep friends is a skill that has to be learned. It’s trickier than it seems. It involves things like: starting a conversation and keeping it going, responding to social cues, interacting in a positive way and listening and understanding what others are saying. For many children, making friends comes easily because they have these skills or they build them quickly but some children take a little longer.
An important part of making and maintaining friendships is having positive friendship qualities, looking at what are some of the traits that you would like in a friendship and understanding that those are most likely the same traits that others would want to see in you to be their friend.
This semester, continuing on with relationship and friendship building in our Significant 72 program, we are going to have a strong focus on teaching friendship skills and traits.
Some of the Friendship traits that we will be exploring will be consideration, helpfulness, being trustworthy, being caring, being a good listener and being forgiving. We will also be teaching children appropriate ways to behave with each other and modelling several specific skills and concepts to help students build healthy friendships.
Experiencing all the aspects of friendship — the good and the bad — is a natural part of your child’s social learning and growing process, as painful as it may seem at times. Take heart: they will learn how to make and keep friends, as well as how to be a good friend, as we together, guide and support them in their development of these important life skills.
Gail Mitchell – Head of Primary