How To Help Children Build Better Relationships

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Be a good role model

When you have strong, respectful relationships and interact with others in a kind, appreciative and caring way, children will learn from your example.

Trust

By building trusting relationships with children, you will show them how to trust others.

Friendships

Encourage friendships with other children from an early age. Children need practice in order to learn to share, take turns, solve problems and feel the joy that comes from having good friends.

Develop relationships

When children are playing together, take the opportunity to help them develop their relationship-building skills:

  • encourage them to help each other (e.g. when tidying up or getting a snack)
  • show them how their behaviour might affect others (e.g. how leaving a child out of a game might make them feel upset)
  • help young children develop empathy for other children by helping them focus on another child’s feelings. For example, if a child hurts another, instead of just asking them to say sorry, you could say, “Look at David, he’s crying because you pushed him. Maybe he feels sore or sad. Let’s go and see if he’s ok.”

Everybody is different

Help children to see that different ways of doing things is a good thing. If we celebrate the fact that everyone is different, we will be more creative together and able to come up with new ideas that no one was able to think up on their own. So, encourage children to work together in groups. Encourage them to really listen and try to understand, not just tolerate, each person’s ideas and contribution.