Nili Geldwert, M.A. CCC-SLP and Julie Pike, M.A., CCC-SLP
Your child keeps coming home and talking about wanting to invite a friend over. How exciting! He really wants to get together with the friend, but doesn’t know what steps to take to make it happen. He is getting older and now is a great time to help guide them and make them feel confident in eventually doing this independently. Below are steps that you could follow to support your child in “hanging out.”
Have your child give his friend his (if has his own cell phone) or your phone number. You could write down this information for them so he could pass it along to his friend at school. Remind your child to also ask for his friend’s information. If your child needs help with this step, you could get the phone number for them but try to encourage your child to do it himself. Role play with your child what he could say when he calls his friend. You could have him make the phone call on speaker so you could ensure all the important details are discussed. Follow-up with the other parent to confirm.
Hanging Out Guidelines
After the playdate has finished, take some time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work. Your child might need some down time, but later on ask your child how he thought it went. You could help to recall some of activities and how he felt about them. If the kids had a conflict you could discuss how it got resolved. Often times kids focus on the negative, so try to wrap up on a positive experience. If your child really worked hard in being a host, commend them for a job well done - it takes a lot of social thinking and courage to have a friend over!