Did you know that when your little one learns to talk about their name, cultural background, likes and dislikes, they feel more confident and proud of who they are, which is essential for healthy, emotional development?
Be it going back to school, to a new grade or class, a new neighbourhood or even meeting new folks, practicing how to introduce yourself is the No. 1 thing we do. It's helped us tremendously in getting our little one to open up, make new friends, gain confidence and so much more.
Here are 9 top tips that will help you and your kids.
1. Help them talk about their name: “Hi! My name is _________. You pronounce it like this_________. My name means _______. I can help you practise it if you like.”
2. Teach them to explain their family background: "I am Indian and American. I speak English and (insert home language) at home." OR “My dad is Mexican and my mom is Chinese. That makes me Mexican, American and Chinese.”
3. Help them talk about what they like: "I really like drawing and coloring. My favorite color is blue!" OR “ I love playing with dinosaurs.” This helps break the ice.
4. Help them talk about their dislikes: "I'm not a fan of spiders. They kind of scare me. But I love playing with my toy cars!"
5. Practice intros with familiar people: “Let’s Tell Ajji (Grandmom) all about you!" this creates a comfortable environment for your little one to practice without feeling overwhelmed. Do it on a video call if you live in different places.
6. Let them watch you introduce yourself and your little one: "Hi! I’m Kshama and this is my son, Neil. I’m Indian. Neil is Indian, South African and Singaporean. We love spending time outdoors. Neil’s favourite animal is a wild dog and mine is Elephants"
7. Role Play: “If Kahlua (our dog) was to introduce himself, what would he say?” Use dolls, pets, stuffed animals, or even imaginary friends to make it fun and interactive! Doing it with a toy helps make it less intimidating.
8. Make Eye Contact: “Eye to eye, we bridge the space, with a smile that lights up our face.” Making eye contact has been proven to help build trust and increase liking.
9. Teach them to ask about others: "What’s your name?” “What do you like?” “Tell me about your family.” Friendship is always a two-way street.
Have you seen our personalised name posters inspired by culture?
Here are two really fun games you can use for this also!
A. Mirror Mimic: Stand in front of a mirror with your little one. Demonstrate how to introduce yourself with a smile and eye contact. Then take turns mimicking each other's introductions while looking at your reflections.
B. Hide and Seek Intros: Play a modified game of hide and seek where you and your little one take turns being the "seeker." When they find you, they need to introduce themselves before continuing the game. You can even hide stuffed toys and make up introductions for them.
So much of parenting is about yourself and your experiences, here are a few notes I wrote down for myself:
- Am I transferring my anxiety about a new school year to my little one?
- Am I giving my little one space to form their own friendships? Am I encouraging or pushing social interactions?
- Have I spent time listening to my little one about their concerns?
- Have I communicated all relevant information about my child and our family to the teacher? Things like how to pronounce my child’s name, certain key vocabulary to help my child feel at home or even food preferences.
Hope you have fun practicing intros, let us know how it goes.
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