May 30, 2018

playdate

Social skills and relationships are essential to raising healthy and well-rounded kiddos. This is a challenge for all parents, but it can be exponentially harder for parents of children with special needs. We’ve heard from a few of our special mamas and they’ve all recommended the same thing – take the lead! If your child isn’t having the social opportunities you all desire, then create them. Let us help you master the art of hosting a special needs play date.

Who should you invite to the playdate?
If your child doesn’t have a natural group of friends, start your invitation scouting in your local circle such as church, recreation center, or neighborhood. Your child’s teacher can also be a great help in suggesting peers that get along well with your child or share special interests.

Where should you host this playdate?
Host your playdate in an environment where your child will thrive, or at least be the most comfortable for a social situation. Will your home cause your child to hide and flair territorial issues? Is their most familiar setting is where they’ll succeed in interacting with others? Hone in on your child’s natural tendencies and build from there.

What time is best to host a playdate?
Schedule the playdate so it works best with you and your child’s schedules. Adding the pressure of squeezing it into an already hectic day can leave stress overshadowing the event. Also, pick the time of day where your child tends to have the most energy and positive attitude.

What activities should be included in your playdate?
By inviting others to join in on something your child already enjoys, you’ll help them build connections and realize commonalities. Depending on your child’s special needs, it’s important to keep the relationship building as the new factor in the equation, not the actual play activity.

Be encouraged by your desire for your child to have additional people in their life – that’s part of loving them into the adult they’re meant to be. You’re doing a great job! Initiating playdates can be challenging or awkward, but be brave for your kiddo and go for it. You both will grow so much from these experiences.