Since August, one of the main areas I have been working on with children in my coaching practice is friendships. First, there was the lead up to going back to school in September and getting into a positive mindset about friendships and being ready to re-connect again after such a long time.
Now, (after the October half-term) I am seeing children who still aren’t connecting fully with their friends. Their friendships are really good in school, but outside of school in the evenings and weekends, they aren’t speaking regularly or having any face to face interaction with friends socially. It is so important that we encourage children to socialise with friends in-and-out of school, even if meeting up during lockdown means meeting just one friend in the park and going for a walk, or kicking a football around. They still get to connect no matter how short the meet up is.
Friends shouldn’t be part-time and friendships are better when they don’t have the regiment of school – kids can relax and have fun. Children need to let loose and get rid of any stress they are feeling as a result of a lockdown or just normal school stresses. It’s better for their friendships if they can do that out of school time.
Children, just like adults, need to see others to keep their mental health strong. If your children’s friends aren’t reaching out to them then encourage your child to make the first move. Their real friends will appreciate a call, an online chat, a text or even the initiation of a social plan. Even if their friend can’t meet up (due to Covid or lockdown restrictions) at least they know that they have a friend that cares about them.
Has a lack of socialising and time with friends affected your child’s mental health? If they are struggling, please do get in touch as I’m coaching many children experiencing the same issue at the moment.