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Positive Peer Relationships

 With the new school year in action, your child’s social life is also in the works.  Most kids have their set group of friends, initiate play-dates and chose their activities. However, with a child with anxiety or social difficulties, setting up a play-date may feel more like doing homework.

Here are some ways you can help:

1. Set your child up for success-help them select activities that match their interest. Putting an uncoordinated, anxious child in a competitive sport may lead to melt-downs. 

2. Communicate with your child’s teacher-they may have input on a great peer match for your child to play with outside of school. Sometimes it only takes one connection to have a positive impact on your child’s self esteem. 

3. Prepare your child. If your child tends to be nervous, or having a play date is a new event for your child, talk about what the play-date will look like. What schedule will they follow? What games can your child offer to play? What are some appropriate conversation topics and starters? The more tools you give your child, the more prepared they will feel.

4. Keep it short. Don’t start out with a 3 hour play-date. If you know your child has an hour limit, schedule according to your child.  Being over-zealous can lead to a melt-down, and have a negative affect on your child’s interaction.

As your child matures, they will require less guidance. With positive interactions, they will feel more confident and able to initiate on their own.

Let me know how you’re doing.  Contact me for a family consultation.

Katie Gately
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parent

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