Socialization is an extremely important, yet often overlooked part of raising a healthy, functioning adult. While we tend to think of social interaction as something we inherently know how to do, the reality is that how we interact with others is a learned behavior. Socialization skills are absorbed by children starting at a very early age, so it is important to get a head start on socializing your child. Here at Rebounderz, our Lansdale trampoline park offers the perfect socialization opportunity where kids can have fun and play. But for everyday socialization, here are some tips to help your child learn how to interact with others.
Teach by Playing
Interacting with new people in unknown ways is scary for kids. To help them get over that fear, it is important to incorporate lots of play into their socialization. Not only will fun and games distract from any awkwardness at being around new people, but it helps kids build focus and attention as well.
Ask a Teacher
Chances are your child has a few teachers who would know just the playmate for your child. They work with hundreds of kids every day, so they will be able to pick out the problem areas for your child, and match them with a child who complements them. This is a great way to build up a group for regular play dates.
Build on Their Interests
A great way to build your child’s confidence in social settings is to build on their interests. The more comfortable they are with a game, hobby, or activity, the more willing to share it with others they will be. Let your child try out a wide variety of activities, from mental to physical, and from tough to fun. Whatever they have a proclivity for, build on it to boost their confidence. Depending on the activity, they may just make a friend organically on the way!
Don’t Overdo It
Forcing socialization can have negative impacts. While sometimes a child needs to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and may need to sit through certain important events, regularly forcing them into social interaction that stresses them out can stunt their social growth and give them negative associations to certain social settings.
Embrace Parallel Play
For the younger kids out there, play looks very different than it does for the older kids. That’s because younger kids engage in what is called “parallel play”. In parallel play, kids play next to each other, but not necessarily together. They will often watch and be aware of what the other is doing, but each child will be doing their own thing.
Hopefully these tips help you with socializing your child. If you would like to make a big day of it, bring them on by our Lansdale trampoline park. We have all kinds of attractions your child will love playing on, and we also host kids’ birthday parties! Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about our location, rules, or activities.