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How to Empower Your Kindergartner Socially

by Joe Lawrence | July 1st, 2015 | Elementary, Social

little girls working (400x400)Elementary school is where social skills truly begin to develop in our little ones. We are no longer hovering above them and they are forced to figure out things on their own. However, there are some guidelines we can give them to ensure they are not in a complete sink or swim scenario.

Think about all the years leading up to kindergarten. All of those play dates. All of those playground moments they have experienced. We were most likely helicopter parents hovering above or around them to ensure everything was okay. We were there to remind them to be polite to their friends and to coach them on social skills in general. We were their safety net.

Kindergarten is the time where we have to let them venture off on their own a bit. Sure there is still constant adult supervision, but it is now in the form of 20 students to one adult opposed to the five to one ratio at preschool. Again do not fear. They are going to face the same social situations that we have been preparing them for all these years.

It is fun to give my daughter much more space when we go to the local playground. I love to see how she acts around other kids. I try to stay out of earshot, but still where I can see her every move. She gets to see and play with shy kids and those that are a bit more boisterous. Then as we walk home, I ask her about the kids she was spending time with.

She will tell me all the good and the bad. Then I try to pick out the life lessons in these moments and we figure out what to do together. She and I both have really grown in these moments.

The takeaway is this. We have already coached our children on how to respond to many of the social situations they will encounter. All of our helicopter years have imbued the spirit we want them to emulate. We need to give them some space to put those teachings into action. Then be there to share in the moments and learn together.

I am going to be a wreck on the inside when my daughter goes off to her first day of elementary school. However, I am faithful that her mother and I have taught her the right things and she will be just fine.

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