Getting Along With Others Isn't Always Easy

While getting along with others may not always be easy, there are skills children can learn to strengthen their relationships.

What works?

Eleven year olds know! The following video, created by a group of grade 6 and 7 students, shares the do’s and don’ts of getting along with others.

Do

  • Treat others with respect
  • Welcome new people
  • Help other build more confidence
  • Treat all people equally
  • Respect others and respect yourself
  • Try taking a risk with a new friendship
  • Smile often

Don’t

  • Don’t fight
  • Don’t pre-judge
  • Don’t gossip
  • Don’t judge others by the way they look.

Watch the video for their wise advise on HOW and WHY this is important.  What they say confirms what research tells us about how children form positive and healthy relationship with peers and adults. When children interact and play with others, they learn the importance of social life and how to manage their emotions. Children who are able to recognize emotions in themselves and others understand the consequences of emotions. This allows them to react appropriately to others.

It is not surprising, then, that friendship among young children is actually a predictor of positive school transitions and school performance. (Ladd, 1990) Children with good relational skills often appear happier when in a group of children, because they are accepted, liked, and appreciated by their peers.

But we don’t have to wait until school to teach relationship skills. In fact, these skills begin in early childhood with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  The first relationships set the template for all future relationships.

  • Encourage children who have developed language skills to say what they feel and ask for what they want.
  • Talk about emotions and help children identify and name their feelings.
  • For those without language skills, acknowledge the emotions that you see.
  • Recognize children for pro-social behaviour such as sharing, cooperating and respecting others.

Remember to be a good role model – children learn what they see.

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