(WGHP) — Today is National Only Child Day.
It’s a day to celebrate children who don’t have siblings. It’s more common now than ever before. Almost a quarter of all families only have one child.
But without siblings, how do parents help their only child learn to socialize?
The website moms.com has some suggestions to help make sure your child can make friends easily.
Teach them how to be friendly
When you teach a kid how to socialize, emphasize being friendly and outgoing to kids their own age. Teach them to say hello to their peers.
Host fun outings
From painting classes to visits to local farms, there are all kinds of fun places where groups of kids can get together. Inviting kids from your neighborhood or their classmates can make socializing easier than just hanging out during school hours.
Set up playdates
Try and find out if your child has classmates who are also only children. Setting up playdates is a reciprocal thing. Other parents are probably just as enthusiastic as you are about their kids making friends, so the more you reach other to other parents, the more they’ll reach back.
Age-appropriate sports teams are a great way to make friends, but youth drama or dance classes are just as rewarding depending on your child’s interests.
Check out weekend events in the area that are family-friendly.
Throw holiday parties
Holiday parties are a great way to help a child socialize because they can be tied to activities. You can host a pizza party before trick-or-treating, or invite people to work on homemade Christmas ornaments.
Your child will make friends through activities like this, and finding the kids they want to hang out with will make it easier for them overall.
If your child makes a good friend during group activities, follow up with the parents so that they can keep spending time together.
Swap babysitting duties
Looking after your friend’s kids, or having your friends look after your kid, is a good way to guarantee that your child is around other kids on a regular basis.
After school activities
There’s always something going on at school. Getting your kids involved in afterschool activities will not only get them more invested in their school community but help them establish friend groups.
Let your kid hang with the grownups
It may seem counterintuitive, but kids can learn a lot about socializing by spending time around adults. It’ll help your child learn conversational skills, manners and have the benefit of making them feel really cool. Letting them “sit at the grownup table” once in a while can be a really valuable tool.
This will also help them feel comfortable talking to adults they might not know well, which can help in a lot of different situations.