An exciting part of your child starting preschool is that he or she may begin having play dates with friends from school. These play dates are different from the ones that kids have when they are younger, when kids typically end up playing with the kids of their parents’ friends. Preschool play dates are instigated by the relationships kids build at school and are a vital part of child development. One tricky area to navigate with these play dates is how to make sure siblings don’t feel left out. When your child starts preschool in Pembroke Pines and begins having play dates, keep the peace with siblings with these strategies.
Talk About the Play Date in Advance
Before the play date starts, get all of your kids to sit down together and talk about what to expect. Talk about activities everyone can do together, such as baking cookies, and also about things that the child who is hosting the play date wants to do alone with his or her guest. Talking through the ideas in advance will help siblings understand their role in the play date to reduce the chance of conflicts occurring.
Don’t Force Inclusion
If you force your preschooler and his or her friend to include siblings in all of their activities, everyone will feel resentful. Your child and his or her friend will also lose out on the opportunity to practice their relationship skills and build on this important part of child development. Make a rule that siblings have to be kind to each other, but don’t force kids to play together. Without the pressure of forced inclusion, you may be surprised at the way that kids actually reach out to each other.
Find Alternate Activities
Prevent siblings from feeling left out by finding other things for them to do. You may ask them to help make snacks for everyone, for example, or you may take advantage of the opportunity to have one-on-one time together. This can turn play dates into a positive experience for everyone.