While many children excel in the realm of social interactions, others struggle with learning to play with their peers. When children have problems making friends in school or social settings, play dates can be a valuable means of developing their social skills. For children, the ability to form friendships inside and outside of school is vital to their future success. As bestselling author John Gottman, PhD states “even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life.
Play dates are vital for children because they offer them the opportunity to connect with their peers outside of the structured classroom setting. They also enhance children’s language, social skills, and self-esteem. By providing an organic setting where a child is able to connect with classmates, students can carry these relationships back into the classroom. Play dates build children’s confidence and make them more comfortable, which is especially important for students with speech, language, and emotional challenges.
Even for parents and children who have had negative experiences with play dates in the past, educators and therapists agree play dates are vital for children’s development. For some students it may be difficult to schedule play dates. Many children have overscheduled and complex lives, and parents are busy too, but particularly over the holiday season it is critical to keep children connected to school and the social skills they have been learning.
School breaks are an excellent time to plan a play date and Team Esteem can help you make sure that your child has a successful experience. While all play dates can have a beneficial influence on children’s social development, play dates facilitated by professionals are an ideal way to help your child forge healthy relationships, learn appropriate social behaviors, and gain improved self-control.
For parents who have had negative experiences in scheduling play dates in the past, Team Esteem can help. Our professionals will work with your child’s teacher to find the right play date companion. We will also provide feedback to your child’s teacher, so activities and language from play dates can be repeated in classroom, helping your child to master new skills through routines and repetition.
The Team Esteem approach will prepare your child to ensure a successful play date. Our staff starts by working individually with your child in your home and guides your child in progressing in a natural way. The Team Esteem staff also builds relationships with parents and caregivers of your child’s classmates to make the play date a happy time for everyone.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns. I’m excited to hear your feedback!