Friendship might feel like an inspired moment, but there is POWER and SCIENCE to friend making!
There is nothing more heartwarming than watching your child make a friend. The smiles, the giggles, the hugs, and the play puts a smile on any face.
More than having a companion, making friends can help children have an increased sense of belonging, boost happiness, reduce stress, and improve self-confidence. There is Power In Friendship.
The National Inclusion Project has worked with parents to create a toolbox of resources to help parents and children build inclusive friendships, so no one sits on the sidelines. With this toolbox, parents of children who are typically developing and parents of children with disabilities both have the tools to welcome inclusive friendships for their children.
And while there is no way to “force” a relationship, the National Inclusion Project has created a model that builds inclusive friendships for all children, so no one sits on the sidelines.
The model, Science of Friendship, is a simple series of steps to help kids of all abilities build friendships – a model that builds inclusive friendships for all children, so no one sits on the sidelines. With the Science of Friendship, practitioners in recreation, camp and after school settings create an environment where friendship blooms. It’s a powerful position, but we know you can do it!
With the Science of Friendship, practitioners in recreation, camp and after school settings create an environment where friendship blooms. It’s a powerful position, but we know you can do it!
Some benefits that parents have given for building inclusive friendships:
- Kids learn from each other and kids with disabilities want to fit in so they push themselves to be more independent and keep up with their friends. (sometimes parents hold their kids back by doing things for them)
- Kids without disabilities gain leadership skills and see the strengths within themselves.
- All kids tend to become more compassionate and understanding towards one and other.
- Kids recognize what a person with disabilities can do and not what they cannot. The focus shifts and they see the person first and not the disability. Sometimes this will push the person without disabilities out of their own comfort zone once they realize their friend with a disability is willing to take risks and try new things.
- It teaches that it is ok to have a good laugh when we make mistakes and that not everything is perfect.
- In a group it is teaching everyone to stop and make sure that everyone is included and understands what is going on. It makes them work more as a team and help each other.
Want to learn more about how to include ALL children and help foster friendships? Join the Inclusion Exchange! The Inclusion Exchange is the FREE online meeting place of practitioners, coaches, camp counselors and teachers who are working to ensure that all kids are included in play activities – so no one ever misses out.