Playdates are great for kids! Especially those that may have a hard time socializing with a lot of people at school. Here are 5 tips for parents to help your child have a successful playdate!
1. Plan a date and time that works for everyone.
Choose a time when family members or a behavior therapist can be involved in the playdate, as well. This will allow for effective intervention and teaching. Make sure it is an ideal time, like after the child has had a few minutes to rest. It might not be best to plan a playdate when a child might be tired, like right after the end of the school day.
2. Plan fun activities for the children to enjoy, so they aren’t bored. Children can get bored easily and this can lead to fighting or inappropriate behaviors among children. If there are lots of fun and interactive activities, this wi
ll lower the likelihood of the children becoming bored or acting out. Fun activities will give them something to talk about or interact with.
3. Bring reinforcement activities, foods, or items.
Reinforcement is a big part of Applied Behavior Analysis. It is important that there are reinforcers to provide to the child when they have engaged appropriately with others. Snack time could be a good social activity, as well as a reinforcer.
4. Have a contingency plan, in case things don’t go as expected.
Planning both indoor and outdoor activities can help children to have options. Having indoor and outdoor play options can also be helpful if the weather changes your plans.
5. Create some rules for the children, to set expectations.
Go over the rules in advance. It is important to set expectations and to prime the child to do the preferred behavior. This might look like telling the children, “Ask your friend before you take his toy.” This way the children know how they are expected to play throughout the playdate.
Playdates are an excellent opportunity to work on social skills. Our dedicated Behavior Interventionists can attend or organize playdates, to help address social skills with other children. If you have any questions or concerns about this article or about ABA Therapy, please contact Acuity Behavior Solutions at (714) 696-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.