Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Remind your child to ask before joining.

What you can do

Talk with your child about why kids may not like it if she starts to play with them without asking first. Point out how sometimes it’s hard to add a player in the middle of a game, and she may need to wait. Bring up specific examples of times she jumped in and the other children got mad at her for it.

Help her look for better ways to join the activity. Teach her to stop, look at what the kids are doing, ask if she can join them and wait until she gets their OK. Praise her when she responds appropriately.

What you can say

“Sofia, let’s talk about what you can do when you see a group of kids playing and you want to join them. First, picture a stop sign. Wait before you rush in. Look at what the kids are doing and think about whether it would be easy or hard to have another kid join in right away.”

“Ask if you can join in their activity. Or, if it seems like it would be hard to add you in the middle of the game, watch until it’s finished. Wait to be invited and then join the group. Remember: stop, look and ask before joining.”

“Let’s practice using these steps a few times together and then go try them out at the playground. It’s so hot out today. I bet a lot of kids will be playing in the fountain. I’ll pretend to be filling up a cup for some sort of water game. You walk into the playground and think what I’m doing looks like fun. What’s the first thing you should do?”

Why this will help

Children with learning and attention issues can be impulsive and rush into activities. They may not notice or understand why other kids get annoyed with them for doing this.

Preparing your child ahead of time and practicing step-by-step strategies can help her stay in control and behave more appropriately.

114Found this helpful
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