First impressions are crucial to adults, teens, and children. Within the first week of school, teachers already know who they will need to keep a close eye on and who will be their special helper. Kids notice peers who are friendly and helpful. While some kids are slow to warm up and show their true colors, it is key to develop trust among peers and adults right away.
If your child is starting a new school, going to a friend’s house for the first time, or joining a new team, help them by practicing the following. (It’s not a bad idea for us, as adults, to remind ourselves too!)
Encourage your child to:
- Smile (even if you’re faking it!)
- Say hello and acknowledge others, even if you’re shy
- Be open to new people and conversations by making good eye contact and practicing positive body language
- Follow the rules (it shows you are respectful and trustworthy)
- Be kind and help others
- Listen the first time
- Ask questions
Following these simple steps, whether you’re 5 or 45 can open doors and create opportunities. Practice and role-play with your child. Successful people know how to create opportunities through relationships. Whether it’s making a new friend or impressing your teacher, making an extra effort at the beginning can make the rest of the year so much easier. How can it make a difference?
- You will be trusted, and given more responsibilities.
- People will want to be around you.
- Your grades will be good because of your good work ethic.
- You’ll have a good reputation and people will notice you.
- It will open doors later.
- You’ll be happier if those are around you are happy with you!
People gravitate to successful and enthusiastic people. Show that you care. Whether it’s starting a new basketball team, joining a new club, or forming a new friendship, show that you care. Adults love children who respect them and work hard. You don’t have to be the smartest in the class or the fastest on the team; just be willing to work hard and show a good attitude. It will serve you well in the long run!
Licensed School Counselor, NCC