There are many parents who worry because they observe at home, in the park or they warn them from school that his son always plays alone. Parents who are overwhelmed by this situation and wonder if this behavior is normal, given that their child is quite autonomous, or is it difficult for him to make friends. That is, how can you help your children to stop playing alone, make friends and socialize better.
The answer to these questions is not unique or simple because it will depend on many factors. These include the child's age, the frequency with which he plays alone, the educational style of the parents or how the little one lives it. We will see all these elements throughout this article but before continuing I want to emphasize that the important thing is that children need to play. And they need to do it both alone and with others, because the different modes of play provide equally important learning.
Children need to play alone to develop their autonomy, independence and imagination. Learn from their mistakes and have the possibility to choose at all times what they want to play. Play alone, even if we believe otherwise, it also enriches them.
If we observe children carefully when they play alone we see that they are capable of solving those problems that arise for them, in the same way that they learn to make decisions, and develop language skills by talking with their dolls or with invented characters recreating different situations .
It is true that when they play with their peers they learn other types of social skills such as the ability to negotiate, empathy, tolerance or respect for others. But solo play is just as essential as group play for the development of the little ones as long as you learn to combine them.
In any case, before being alarmed or alarmed we must know the different stages of children's play. Knowing that solo play is another phase, just like parallel play, symbolic play, or social play. By having this information, we reduce our concerns and better adjust our expectations to reality.
When should we worry? Alerts should go off when a child is always alone in the yard, away from his peers in the park, or constantly needs adult help to play.
As always, age is decisive. A child at 6 years old must have developed social skills necessary to find a group, more or less numerous, to play at recess. So, if they notify us from school because they detect that he is continually isolated, we must find a way to help the child to get out of this situation. And, if necessary, seek professional help, especially if the child experiences this circumstance negatively.
First, review our educational style and value the opportunities to socialize that we are offering our children. We know that overprotection negatively affects children's development, as it makes them insecure, dependent, fearful and vulnerable.
So, one of our obligations as parents is to foster opportunities for our little one to interact. How? In different ways, yes, always adapting to our family dynamics, our way of being and without pressure or obsess that our children must be the most popular, outgoing and friendly in the world.
Simple things we can do during the first years:
1 Go frequently to play in the playgrounds near our home.
2. Invite a classmate to play and have a snack one day a week.
3. Attend and organize birthday parties.
4. Enroll them in extracurricular activities where they have opportunities to meet children other than those in their class.
5. Offer them role models, that is to say that they see us with our friends at different times: eating, dining, walking, shopping ...
But above all keep in mind that each child is unique and different. Everyone has their own rhythm when it comes to making friends, but everyone will need to feel part of a group, especially in adolescence, when it is important that they arrive with a good backpack loaded with social skills. Help them develop them from childhood, little by little and without obsessing over it.
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