Thursday, September 23, 2010

Playtime Can Be Stressful

Children are not born with the ability to get along already ingrained in their DNA. They must be taught how to get along and interact with people. Many kids are shy and playing in a group can be very stressful for them and their parents. Here are some hints on helping your child to get along with other kids.

Find a friend that is near your child’s age and find activities for them to do together. It is sometimes easier to approach another group of kids if they have a friend by their side already.

When your child has friends coming over to play, remember that some toys are easier to share than others. If your child has a toy that is near and dear to her heart, put it away during playtime. Some toys that are easier to share: Cars, balls, puzzles, dress up clothes, kitchen toys and musical instruments. When you get these out, be sure there are enough for each child to have a few.

Do not always jump right in to help when your child and another child have a disagreement. You should let them try to work it out unless they are getting aggressive or violent.

A great way to get kids to play together is a craft project. Hang a twin size sheet on the side of a fence and give each child a spray bottle with paint that has been slightly watered down. They can each spray their paint colors and swap colors with one another. Once the sheet is dry they can see the large project that they created together.

Before you go to a party with a shy child, talk to the child and let them know what to expect. Tell them that they do not have to participate if they do not want to. It is okay to watch everyone else. A shy child should never be pressured to participate in an activity, some kids like to play alongside other kids, some kids like to watch other kids play for awhile before they participate and yet others will jump right in with both feet.

There is no wrong or right way for a child to approach a group of kids and ask to be included but sometimes it can help a lot if you allow the kid to role play a little with you or a bigger sibling. It can help to build up a child’s courage.

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