One of the most heartbreaking experiences, as parent, you can have with regards to your child’s schooling is when your child comes home and sadly looks up at you and says:
“I didn’t have anyone to play with today.”
The first thing to do is listen, it is the hardest thing to do when very part of you wants to jump in and ‘fix” it. But just listen, your child will tell you the details when they are ready.
There may be so many reasons why this could happen. Most are really easy to explain: their friends could be away for the day; there may have been an activity on during playtime that your child didn’t want to participate in; your child may have just lost their friends in the playground. These are issues which you can help you child to develop strategies.
But what can you do to help your child when they says this regularly. Again listening is the most important skill to apply. Your child is looking to you to see how you react, and how you react will strongly influence how your child handles this situation.
Talk with your child over a period of time; ask them to tell you about what they like to do at play time, who they like to play with, how they are feeling, what they like most about school. All these answers will help you build a clearer picture of what is happening for your child. You will have lots of advice that you can give your child to support them through this challenging time. All of us have had times when we have felt like an outsider. Look back at your own experiences, what worked for you?
Being a part of a school community affords you with a range of people who can offer you advice. Your class teacher, the school counsellor or the principal. All have expertise in this area but more importantly they know your child. If you are not getting much information from your child have a quiet chat with their class teacher. He or she may be able to offer you further insights or a different perspective. You may be surprised once you have details of what is going on that you will be able to give your child advice that will help them.
Many articles have been written by experts in this field, they can be really helpful. But remember that you know your child better than anyone else, you have a wealth of experience.