In a perfect world, would you describe your child as welcoming to new kids or standoffish? Most parents want their child to be welcoming and warm, but at CodeREV Kids, we’ve learned over the years that kids often need to be told to reach out to the new kids. We’re proud that our coding classes are inclusive and that we help kids learn to work together, but we also want to offer some advice to parents who want to help their child take a step out of their comfort zone to welcome the new kids.
1. Just tell them the truth
The first tip is very simple: Just sit down with your child and tell them that you hope they’ll be welcoming, open, and accepting to any new kids. Tell them that you hope they’ll smile and say hello when they see a new kid.
2. Ask them to consider how the new kid feels
It’s common for kids to not welcome the new kid because they don’t realize that it’s something they need to do. Ask them to pretend that they’re the new kid. Would they feel scared? What would they want another kid to say to them? How could your child use that information to help the new kid feel more comfortable? Come up with answers together.
3. Give your child a specific task to do
Give your child one specific goal. It may be to invite any new kids to join them for lunch, it may be to go up and ask them to play during recess, it may be to sit with them on the school bus, or it may be to talk to them before or after school. Giving your child a specific task helps make it easier for them to know how to take initiative.
4. Tell them to help lost kids get to where they need to go
If they see a kid that looks lost, encourage your child to stop and ask if they need help. Even if your child hasn’t mastered every classroom in school, your child will at least know who to ask for help.
5. Show them that asking questions is a good first move
If your child is shy themselves and nervous about approaching a child they don’t know, then simply ask them to walk up to the new kid, introduce themselves, and ask a few questions. This makes it easy for everyone to know what to say as they begin to build up a bond.