• Deirdre Brandner

International Day of Friendship

As we celebrate International Friendship Day during COVID-19 we can begin to reflect on the importance of relationships and the impact they have on our children. Children’s social worlds have been upended by remote schooling and the interruption of extracurricular activities due to the pandemic. We know that friendships our vital ____to our child’s development but are currently much more difficult in this time. Friendships are essential to learning social skills, communication, and cooperation. Furthermore, friendship can have an impact on learning and can decrease stress.

If our children are missing their friends, they may tell you that they’re lonely or bored. However, in some instances loneliness can be evidenced as anger, anxiety and even sleep problems.

So how do we help ?

  • Ask open-ended questions about your child’s friendships

  • Encourage them to share how they are feeling with their friends.

  • Help them establish new ways to continue social interactions

  • Arrange Daily Check- ins with friends online. This gives children a reminder that others care about them and want to connect.

  • Set up a virtual play-date (even if they don't do much during it)

  • Play online games with friends

  • Host a movie night and have friends arrange to watch something together online (movie, TV show, stream)

  • Go old school and have your child mail cards and letters to their friends

Remember maintaining Connections Reduces Loneliness!

How do I help my child be a good friend?... By encouraging these 4 positive friendship goals

  1. Teach your child empathy, sometimes this doesn’t always come naturally

  2. Help your child have conversation skills necessary for good communication

  3. Ensure they are willing to take turns and share

  4. It is super important that they know the value of offering help when it’s needed

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