Talking about friendship before school

Going back to school is anxiety-producing for many children, especially when it comes to social situations, but as parents you can alleviate much of your child’s self-induced stress. One effective way to help your child is role-playing. Do you rehearse a presentation with a colleague before work? Do you plan out the points you’ll make during a potentially confrontational phone call? (I do!) It’s easy to advise kids, “Just hold your shoulders back, use an assertive voice, and tell your classmate you want him to stop grabbing markers from your supply box.” It takes more time to physically act out the situation at home or in the car, but that time will help your child conquer potentially difficult situations.

Don’t forget to role-play more “simple” interactions, too, such as greeting a new classmate. “Hi, I’m Kate! This is my second year at Westminster. What kinds of books do you like to read?” Practice, practice, practice!

When you have five free minutes, please read this great blog post that elaborates on role-playing and helping kids get ready for social interactions in the new school year:


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