The transition from home to school can be a difficult one; the natural biological bonds that exist at home do not occur in social settings and children learn for the first time how to manage differing social dynamics.
This brings with it a wide spectrum of feelings and emotions, which can be hard for little people to keep up with. We want our children to thrive amongst their peer group, but how can you support your child to build confidence in social settings?
Genetics aren’t the only thing children inherit from their parents; without realizing it, we can pass on our anxieties too. Because much of how a child learns is through observation, how you; as a Parent; engages in social settings influences your child.
How naturally inclined you are towards introversion or extroversion will influence how much you socialize with others; but whichever you naturally gravitate towards, help your child to see that engaging with others is a very normal part of life.
If socializing is seen as a natural part of life, children are more likely to feel confident in engaging their peer group, which leads to less social anxiety.
After-school clubs, social activities and sports are a great no-pressure way of allowing children to naturally build social confidence (and friendships).
With the focus on the activity itself, children are able to engage with others in an organic way that allows their personality to shine through and friendships to blossom.
It also offers you an opportunity to actively develop problem-solving skills, which translate into all areas of life.
Coach Relationship Skills
Relationships at home offer unconditional love – parents and siblings love us no matter what; even when we aren’t at our best. Non-familial relationships aren’t always so forgiving and this can make navigating new friendships tough!
Luckily, with you there to guide them, navigating social situations doesn’t have to be so sticky. Talking through differing dynamics helps your child see how their behaviour impacts others. It also allows us to offer advice on how to navigate situations as they arise.
As tempting as it is, it’s not our job as parents to ‘fix’ every situation. Instead; we can teach our child to approach the social dynamics they encounter with compassion, kindness, assertiveness and the confidence to handle the ups and downs of relationships.
As we get older we try to assimilate with the world around us; but in doing so, we sometimes lose the parts of ourselves that make us unique.
Help your child embrace who they are by helping them to understand that it’s ok to be different. Assimilating and “fitting in” doesn’t mean becoming someone we are not in the hopes of being liked.
Teach your child that “getting along” with everyone, doesn’t necessarily mean being liked by everyone – but that’s ok. Everyone is different and we gravitate more to some people than others; while treating everyone with respect is a must, we don’t necessarily have to be friends with everyone.
By being ourselves we naturally attract friends who resonate with that. A few close friends are more important than a large group of superficial relationships. And liking ourselves and good self-image is more important than making everyone else like us.
Building confidence is something that happens gradually over time, but through consistency and open communication, your child will feel comfortable with their peer group in no time. We’d love to know how you build confidence in your child – drop us a line and share your ideas with us!