Family Living

How to Teach Your Child to be a Good Friend in DC

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Teaching your children how to be good friends starts with you — their parent or guardian. At an early age, kids look up to their closest caregivers as role models. They closely watch how you interact with family, friends and coworkers, and in turn, mimic your actions. To further prepare them, explain how to be a good friend — maybe even read some books that display positive relationships like the classic Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel.

Positive friendships are extremely important and benefit health, behavior and communication. It’s important for children to experience other relationships outside of your family and neighborhood. These relationships can be found at The Gardner School or by participating in community activities around DC (or both, if you’re a real overachiever)!

Read how building relationships at an early age begins in preschool here. There are great opportunities in DC to help kids discover and master new activities and knowledge while practicing making friends. It’s important these life skills be developed at an early age, so it comes naturally as they grow older. Below are a few options (but not all) for new adventures you and your little ones can go on!

Parents and their children can come here to interact with each other and while they create, play and read. They even have dollar items you can purchase and play with in their bakery, art shop and soap bar. One of the great things of the playseum is part of the proceeds support almost 60 children in India who’ve been taken off the streets and placed in adoptive homes!

There are many options for kids’ yoga in the DC area, and Circle Yoga has been offering it to families for over ten years. They provide age-appropriate yoga classes that help mental growth, improve parent-child bonding, develop friendships and, of course, build strength.

Kidville was designed for kids ages 6 and under by early childhood development specialists. Like-minded children can choose programs in music and dance, gym, art and other enrichment classes. Their indoor play space is a fun-filled and safe atmosphere for kids to get to know one another.

This fitness-focused center offers classes for kids as early as 4 months! The Little Gym builds confidence in each little one through A Perfect Start, geared towards parents and their children and Get Rolling, a structured environment for preschool gymnastics. Having fun together is a great foundation for bonding.

We all know zoos are a great environment to learn about the natural and wild world, but the National Zoo goes further and created weekend classes for preschoolers. Their appropriately-named programs Hello, Kitty!, Panda-monium! and Happy Leap-Frog Year! among others, allow ages 2-3 to get together for mini fury adventures. Besides their great programs, they also have a Kid’s Farm!