Kids can be a handful during play dates but the interaction they enjoy on social moments like these are excellent learning opportunities for them. What they learn when interacting with other kids can help shape their character and attitude later in life. If you are playing referee during a playdate, here are ways you can help equip children with the right set of skills.
Conflict Resolution Without Using Strong Emotions
Children are emotional creatures and while strong emotions are normal, children should not be encouraged to use them as tools to resolve conflict. Yelling, fighting, bullying, pushing and intimidating their playmates in an argument or to get their way are not desirable behavior. Teach children to manage their anger by helping them learn simple breathing and counting techniques. This step is useful for helping them calm down and process their emotions better.
Proper Verbal Communication
Children should learn that using the right words can ease anxiety, calm down anger and erase sadness. By using the proper words calmly, they can learn to discuss what causes the conflict, negotiate the process, and resolve the problem successfully. Instead of saying, "But this is what I want!", they could say, "Why don't we talk about this first so we can decide the best thing to do." By remaining calm, the child will learn to control his emotions and realize that proper communication can do more for him to help him get what he wants.
A Sense of Fairness
In a young child's mind, the world revolves around him, which is why it can be so easy for children to ignore others, including other kids. By teaching the child kindness and consideration, he learns to be fair. This will help him understand why each of his playmates should be given a turn during games. Reinforcing the learning is also important. Through encouragement and rewards, the child will learn to associate being fair with feeling good and being liked.