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How to help your child make friends in a daycare setting

Making _Friends _Child _Care (1)


For parents and caregivers, it can be a bittersweet moment when a child takes that first step away from home and into a daycare setting. But as tense as it can be for adults, it can also be a scary experience for children leaving home and family for the first time. However, going to daycare is a time when children have the opportunity to build relationships outside the home and meet their very first friends — a very important part of helping build good emotional health.

To help children feel more connected and to make the transition to daycare as easy as possible, here are some tips to help even a shy child make a new friend without putting too much pressure on them.

Qualities of good friend: A parent or caregiver can begin to help their child make a new friend by simply understanding the qualities of a good friendship. Teach your child how to be friendly with others through introductions, kindness, sharing, and learning to play well with others.

Seeing the best in others: Helping your child understand they have a special quality like a great sense of humor, artistic ability, sportsmanship, etc. can help them seek out children who possess their own special qualities — either by sharing the same qualities or by learning how to appreciate the special qualities in others.

The Golden Rule: The golden rule is a time honored tradition for a reason. When you teach a child to treat others in the same way they wish to be treated, your child will learn the value of kindness and respect.

Play dates: Parents and caregivers can help a child develop a friendship by arranging playdates with their child’s new friend. By being together in a home setting and away from other children, there is an opportunity for a more meaningful bonding through simple play and having dedicated time together.

Conflict resolution: No matter how good a new friendship begins, there is always the possibility of fighting or times where kids simply do not see eye to eye. By teaching your child how to handle conflicts, how to apologize, and how to accept responsibility when he or she might have done something wrong, you can help your child build relationship skills that can last a lifetime.

Bad friends: While a parent or guardian should primarily focus on what qualities can make a child a good friend, you can also remind a child what makes a bad friend. From not sharing to making fun of others to bullying, tell your child the bad qualities they should avoid so they can be a good friend for life.

Learn more about ways to help teach your child about being a good friend at and

Visit to learn more about child care and development, search for ABC Quality approved child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education. 

By ABC Quality Team on October 15, 2019