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Children require more than intellectual and physical growth to develop into happy, successful adults. Good social development is an equally important factor in the normal development of your child. Friendships are the foundation of social interaction and communication which are essential skills that your child must develop. The relationships that your child forms and nurtures at an early age play a role in how your child interacts with their environment and the people around them. When children are at school they interact with their peers on a daily basis creating friendships. When summer break comes and regular contact with their friends is reduced it makes difficult for them to maintain these friendships over the holiday. As a parent, it is one of your duties to ensure the healthy development of your child and part of that is nurturing their social development. In order to do this it is important to help your child maintain their friendships over the summer holidays.
The Benefits of Maintaining Friendships
Aside from social development there are many benefits that are associated with maintaining childhood friendships. The maintenance of childhood friendships helps with your child’s emotional maturity and their communication skills. These are important skills as this means that your child will be able to process their emotions and they will be able to communicate effectively with those around them. Your child will also be able to develop the ability to be empathetic and selfless; this helps your child practice consideration with people they interact with. Friendships will improve your child’s quality of life by promoting a positive outlook on life and a general sense of happiness, which also improves their self-esteem and self-confidence. Having friends around also improves your child’s stress levels (Yes, children have stress too!).
To ensure that your child receives these benefits, you as a parent can assist them maintain these precious friendships.
How to Help Your Child Maintain Friendships Over the Summer
There are a number of things that you as a parent can do to help your child nurture and sustain the friendships that they have already made.
One of these things is sending your child to a good summer camp, like those provided by Stone Brook Academy. These summer camps provide an environment that nurtures the development of friendships as well as other important social skills. A summer camp, away from home, where your child’s self-confidence blooms and where they are taught to come out of their shells, is just the place where they are taught the skills to solidify their friendships.
Regular Play Dates And Excursions
Another way in which you could help your child maintain friendships is in organizing regular play dates and sleepovers where your child could catch up with friends and discuss their plans for the summer. Cost effective trips, to the zoo for example, could also ensure that your child has plenty of time to bond with their friends and who knows, you might have a little fun yourself.
The summer vacation is an opportunity to teach your child to keep in touch with their friends in ways that don’t involve technology. This could be done by teaching them to write letters to friends that are further away and promoting the idea of pen-pals.
Hosting cost-effective arts & crafts sessions where recyclables are transformed to masterpieces could also be a way of bringing children together to socialize while saving the environment. There are many more fun activities that your child can engage in, such as doing volunteer work with a friend that could help both their friendship and the society as a whole.
Summer is more than just a break from school, it is an opportunity to help your child develop the social skills they need to become a functional adult. It is also an opportunity to better your child’s self-confidence, their friendships and the environment around them in a healthy way that is both fun and encourages them to socialize with those around them.