Children are continually learning about people, places, andemotions in everyday life so supporting them through these times is important for providing a strong and stable network for when they need guidance. Children learn by developing relationships with the people around them, and this includes everyone from parents and siblings to school friends and teachers. Helping them understand why these connections are essential provides the building blocks for healthy relationships in later life and can see them build networks from an early age. Supporting and nurturing this development from an early age will help to instilpositive behavioursand reinforce the importance of healthy connections.
To help support this important stage in their life, take a look at some the ways you can actively promote relationship-building skills in everyday life.
Help them express their feelings
No matter what age children are, they will find ways to express their feelings. Sometimes this might be with outbursts, other times by withdrawing from the situation. Teaching them ways to control these feelings or vent in constructive ways will help to limit unnecessary behavioursor erratic emotions. Teaching them how to cope with the feelingof anger or sadness will also help them to recogniseit in other people, which, in turn, will support their development in helping other control their emotions. This guide to Negotiation Skills can also help when dealing with conflict and difficult situations in all stage of childhood and adulthood.
Promote positive friendships
You can’t shield yourchild from every bad experience or negative person for their entire life so letting them explore different friendships is a great way to build a tolerance and understanding of different people. From an early age, kids become aware of the things they like and don’t like so when they meet new people and don’t get along; they are more than likely to void the situation or interact less with it. This is a natural part of playand encouraging them to nurture different connections can provide a solid foundation for identifying the types of relationships that they enjoy being a part of and the ones they want to avoid.
Limit screen time
When your child is glued to the TV or tablet, this limits the time they could be spending getting out there and interacting with people. Technology is becoming a part of everyday life, but it is also fast becoming a major issue for children that see it as an escape from the real world. Limiting screen time in early years can help to encourage interactive behaviourand help them build connections with more positive experiences. Taking it back to basics with traditional games can also help kids discover their creativity with interactive play plus it gives you a chance to bond over their favouritegames.
There are many ways to help nurture your child’s relationships, and by positively impacting on their experiences, you will help to build a healthier outlook on their future connections.