By Michelle Wilson, wellness program manager
Supporting social well-being for children and teens
As we begin to move back into the world now that things are opening back up, you may notice that your child will need support from you to reconnect with others. Social activity is very important for children and teens as they learn to make connections outside of home. Remember a few important points as you work with your child on participating in social activities.
Support them in making friends: Sometimes children and teens need help making new friends. Encourage your children to reach out to others. Invite their friends over or meet at a park to play. Encourage teens to find friends with common interests and let them spend time with their friends. Teach them how to make good choices and remind them of the importance of having people in their lives they can trust.
Talk with them about their friends. Ask your children and teens about their friends. Learn about who they spend time with. Talk to them about the importance of spending time with friends who bring out the best in them. When they have challenges with friends, let them know they can talk with you. Offer support when they turn to you.
Connect them with groups. Encourage your child to join sports, clubs, or other groups where they will meet people with similar interests. Help them learn new skills and develop interests outside of school. If you can find a group you can join together, they can learn social skills from you while you both enjoy a new activity.
Tip: Talk to your children about your own social activities, the people who are important to you, and what it was like for you as a child or teenager. They will learn from you and follow your lead. Set a great example for them as you also keep yourself socially connected in ways that are meaningful for you.