NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Sticks and Stones


Children Playing MarblesBeing able to identify and ignore some teasing is a useful life skill for children. By the time a child is in kindergarten, they will probably be able to play a little game with the caring adults in their lives that will help them learn positive ways to talk to others and, at the same time, understand and handle some teasing.

Explain to the child how the game starts and how it is played before you begin playing it. Then start the game by saying something negative to your child (“that sweater is funny looking”). Ask your child to say something positive in response (“I like this sweater; my grandma made it for me”). As the game goes on, you can switch roles with your child and let them initiate with a negative statement.

A child’s personality comes through when they play with other children. Aggressive, loud or destructive children tend to be rejected by other children. On the other hand, timid, cautious, shy children may become neglected because they go unnoticed, not necessarily because other children don’t like them. They may simply be too timid to gain entry into play.

Children who know how to enter a group by taking on a minor role in play, smiling, communicating pleasantly and working their way into the group while following the rules tend to be accepted. If you notice that your child is having trouble playing with peers of approximately the same age, consider what needs work and formulate a plan. Then coach your child respectfully during one-to-one play dates. Your child may need help learning to be more assertive, less aggressive, more polite, less timid or just more savvy about social rules of children his or her age.

Source: NDSU Extension Service Kindergarten Parenting Posts  

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