groups of kids of mixed ages playing football in the park

Mixing with older children – easy or not? Some children can get worried about being around children that are bigger than them. They seem to unnerve them and they worry that they may be unkind to them. They may feel threatened or intimidated by them so they may try and steer clear. This is very different from when they are with younger children. They feel more comfortable with them as younger ones often look up to the bigger ones and want to play with them. They like to play with the big boys and girls as they look upto them them.

This summer your children may be going to holiday camps or clubs, and there may not be other children their own age. This means they will have to get along and interact with children older  than them. If this is the case encourage them to approach the kids just as they would if they were their own age. Teach them not to be scared and to feel confident when around them.

How To Break The Ice With Older Children

Teach your child to introduce themselves, smile, and ask questions. Just because someone is older doesn’t mean they can’t be shy or they won’t want to talk to younger kids. Help them to see these children they can still play and learn from. Some older kids enjoy playing with younger ones. Just because they are bigger, it does not mean that they won’t have anything in common with them too. Someone two years older may be interested in the same things as them and may be able to help them become better with that specific activity. These children aren’t unkind and, once they start engaging, they will realise this. In fact, many pre-teens and teenagers like to ‘look after’ younger children and take them under their wing. So don’t be afraid to sign your kids up for mixed-age activities this Summer.