Socializing with playmates during playdates is an ideal way for kids to take the lead in self-directed play. Emotions can range from a calm, casual reception to exhilaration to general indifference and everything in between. Allowing a natural flow and progression of social play is preferably with adult supervision available to redirect and intervene as necessary. Consider placing an age-appropriate limit on the amount of time that the kids are comfortable spending together before becoming overwhelmed or frustrated.
Comfortably discuss appropriate behavior and feelings with both your child and their friend or friends. Offer gentle reminders encouraging cooperative play, respecting adult supervision, house rules and safety rules, and being kind by helping out as much as possible. Smoothing transitions with periodic, specific time warnings is very helpful in managing emotions between activities.
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