Making new friends before the new school year
Making new friends is trending on Classlist this week. Parents are busily arranging playdates for their children. Especially new families connecting before the start of the school year.
A positive sign, as child mental health experts urge their governments to prioritise children’s socialising with friends. Indeed, it’s a significant issue. With around 1.4 billion children worldwide living under partial or full lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Peer play and wellbeing
According to a recent article in the Guardian, experts from top UK universities including Cambridge and Sussex, say peer play will be essential to help relieve stress and anxiety among children. “At this time, many children’s emotional health will be suffering due to loneliness and isolation. As experts in children’s mental health and development, we urge the government to prioritise children’s social and emotional wellbeing. In all decisions related to the easing of lockdown restrictions and the reopening of schools.”
According to Dr Jenny Gibson, senior lecturer in psychology and education at the University of Cambridge, “playing with friends and classmates has a very significant impact on their social development.”
Under normal circumstances parents are aware of the importance of peer play. Consequently, they invest a lot of energy and time to help their children to make new friends. Now with concerns over their child’s mental health, parents are even keener to arrange playdates and meet ups. At the same time, as there is pressure to meet up with friends, many parents are hesitant about sending their children back to school next term. Due to physical health concerns.
Technology not a substitute but can help
Technology, although not as good as meeting in person, enables a form of face to face contact. It can start to create some level of connectedness and at least a kick start to early friendships.
To help parents connect with new families we’ve built Classbudi – AI powered video chat tool that introduces new families to each other for small group chats. With helpful follow up emails. To remind you of who you’ve met in your class and are yet to meet.
Build your community
Classlist Ambassadors play a key role to help community members form meaningful relationships. This in turn leads to new friends for both pupils and parents. You can now customise your welcome message to new parents to get the ball rolling. This is sent automatically to new joiners.
For more posts on what’s trending on Classlist click here.
Have a wonderful summer, good luck on making new friends and take care.
Susan and Clare
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